Dialogs With My Teacher #69

Michael McAlister Blog, Dialogs Leave a Comment

Here’s†another installment†in a series of emails that took place between Michael and one of his senior students beginning the Summer of 2009. May you find the exchange interesting and enriching.


Apr. 19, 2011

Student: So the last few days have been amazing and Iíve held off talking about it because I wanted things to settle down and sink in.

Michael: Good.

Student: But then at last nightís Dharma talk, you said some stuff that seemed to simultaneously blow the top off, and drop the bottom out, of whatever was left of me. Itís so weird. I donít really know where to begin. I donít even remember what you said. Iíve been walking around feeling like Iím totally here and yet not here at all.

Michael: And that paradox of being all here and not here at all resonates?

Student: Totally. Itís so clear. But itís not an action I need to take at all. I guess Iíd describe it as something like, thereís only love, and I am in it and it is in me, and thatís all there is.

Michael: Good.

Student: How long will this bliss last and is there anything to do besides, I donít know, just forget about it?

Michael: Just let the rewiring go forth unimpeded by any clinging. This applies to analysis, too. Let the bliss be bliss. Let the discomfort be discomfort. As you now know, every single thing is simply a facet on the Great Jewel of Love. Being able to consciously rest in that state is a great gift. Itís a state that has the potential to inspire and offer fertile ground in which amazing traits can grow. But this can only happen if we allow this opening the space to unfold. So no, donít forget any of it. But also donít grab it. Itís just a state, after all, born in time. Therefore, itís temporary. Just let it be as it is, without trying to understand it, change it, fit it into a story, label it, fade it, build an identity around it or deny it. Any of these moves will defile the beauty of its offering.

Student: When this happened to you did it ever make you feel like your skin was too small?

Michael: Sure. Iíve also nearly continually felt as if the pull of my real world responsibilities weakened as my practice deepened. But like all feelings, all states and all things, even this is temporary. My sense is that the most important thing we can do, once weíve begun to see through the delusions that are imposed on us by the boundaries of our minds, we can come back into the world as a practitioner, and therefore a sharer, of this offering.

Student: And we do this by teaching?

Michael: Yes. And we can teach in the simplest ways, whether weíre doing it formally from a cushion or weíre doing it informally in the way we order our latte in the morning.

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