I often awaken in the middle of the night, for no discernible reason. Sometimes I recall my dreams—long and complex dramas, full of sound and fury, to be sure, but signifying nothing—and never frightening. More often, I am simply and suddenly completely awake.
It happened again last night about 2 AM. I tried to roll over and snooze, but sleep was far away. Alright then, I would meditate. I concentrated but found my mind a bit agitated. Something about the last few days is bothering me. I no longer have the urge to teach, and I find it disturbing.
Sometimes these days I barely know myself, as parts seem to be falling off faster than I can restore them. Anyway, concentration always works. I take a breath and the lights come on inside, as they always do. I can see the mental disturbance, like pounding waves in the sea of light that is my mind.
Useless to fight with it, so I simply go up, beyond earth, beyond heaven, beyond Brahmā and his passionate insistence on being the Creator. We are all creators, each in his own universe. In a very real sense, we create the world in which we live by choosing our points of view, our intentions and actions.
I choose to be above everything, where it is dark and calm. Nothing happens; nothing is felt.
Ven. Sariputta said to the monks, “This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant.”
When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, “But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?”
“Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.” — Nibbana Sutta (AN 9.34)
But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing here. What is here is whatever you want to see. What you feel here is whatever you want to feel. We’re for sure not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
I feel immense relief at not having to be someone, to do something, to justify my ‘existence’. There is no economics, no politics, no conflict over scarce resources. Here I can be nothing, or anything: unconditional Being.
There is no space or time; there is only mind and awareness. It is a good place. From here, even the jhānas seem like limited, compressed states. This is expansive, completely natural. There is no urgency at all, no ‘becoming’. It’s just pleasant.
At some point I fall back asleep and wake up in my bed in the morning. It’s just before dawn. Everything is clear now. It’s almost time to leave here and go to that place forever. That’s why I’ve lost my taste for everything in this world, why nothing seems to matter anymore.
Maybe someday, someone will read these lines and go, “Yes!” Or maybe not. Maybe someone will understand, and find their way to this place on their own. It can only be found on your own; but what others have said, especially the Buddha, can help you find it.
If you do find it, I won’t be there. I won’t be…