In the beginning we have the feeling that the spiritual search is something very beautiful, something that will answer all our questions. We must go beyond this kind of hope and expectation. We might expect our teacher to solve all our problems, relieve all our doubts. But when we confront our teacher, he does not actually answer every question. He leaves many things for us to work out ourselves, which is a tremendous let-down and disappointment for us.

Chogyam Trungpa - Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism


For several days I was experiencing considerable resistance to India, and quite a bit of doubt and confusion as to what this man teaching. Nothing was happening - at least not in any way that my mind could grasp hold of. And then one morning - WHAMMO!!! We were sitting in his very small room. I was directly across from him. I was speaking to him about something (I don't remember what - the content was irrelevant). He leaned forward intently and I looked into his eyes, feeling considerable fear, as if I was about to be exposed for being a complete fool - when suddenly there was an explosion. Everything I had previously known myself to be fell away - mind, body, time - all were gone.

Language cannot adequately convey the shift which occurred in awareness in that moment and in the unfolding of insight which followed. Put briefly, it was the end of a fictitious "me" seeking and imagined "it". It was the end of the dualistic fixation of mind which had kept me on a path of urgent seeking for many years. With sparkling clarity, the entire path of seeking deconstructed itself in my mind. With rapid-fire insight, that which was essential sorted itself from that which was not. The "jewel in the lotus" revealed itself, and in its radiant light much of the dross of Buddhism as an institution or religion fell away. I saw the brilliant truth of Buddha's teaching as a vehicle or skillful means to bring us to liberating insight.

I now find myself teaching vipassana, with a minimum of emphasis on technique, as a means of helping people re-direct attention from wherever it is bound (mind, body, phenomenal world, and all that is known) to the presence of non-dual awareness, and to the possibilities of living with greater surrender to, and faith in, the unknown.

To be in the company of those who are opening to truth - whether in satsang with a realized Master or on a silent meditation retreat - is an extremely rare and precious event in this world. With heartfelt gratitude, I bow to the excellent company my life has been blessed with - my teachers, family, friends and students! May all beings be so blessed.

Anna Douglas - Inquiring Mind