We arrived in Las Vegas on Tuesday at 5:30 PM and checked into the MGM Grand to celebrate my birthday which officially is August 26.
We took a walk toward Caesar's Palace. I wasn’t quite ready yet for the frenetic pace Vegas is known for. We ate a light dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and afterwards my wife Cecile suggested we go to Serendipity 3 for their famous Frozen Hot Chocolate dessert we first encountered many years ago at Serendipity’s in NYC. It is such a coveted guilty pleasure that even the late Jackie Kennedy asked the creator for the recipe for a White House function.
But it is here where the story takes an unexpected twist. While Cecile was placing our order I turned around and spotted a Brahma Shrine tucked away in an unlikely place, between the Roman Plaza and Serendipity 3. It is a replica of the Brahman Shrine at the Erawan Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, similar to those I had seen during my many travels & meditation retreats in Southeast Asia. In fact this extraordinary four sided shrine was actually created in Thailand and installed under the supervision of Buddhist monks. The shrine is “renowned throughout the Far East to people of all faiths as a place of prayer.”
As I lit the incense stick to make an offering at the altar of the shrine, the pleasant scent brought me to a peaceful meditative state and suddenly all the noise of the Las Vegas strip vanished.