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 I’ve held off talking about it because I wanted things to settle down and sink in.

Michael: Good.

Student: But then at last night’s 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. It’s so weird. I don’t really know where to begin. I don’t even remember what you said. I’ve been walking around feeling like I’m totally here and yet not here at all.

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

Student: Totally. It’s so clear. But it’s not an action I need to take at all. I guess I’d describe it as something like, there’s only love, and I am in it and it is in me, and that’s all there is.

Michael: Good.

Student: How long will this bliss last and is there anything to do besides, I don’t 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. It’s 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, don’t forget any of it. But also don’t grab it. It’s just a state, after all, born in time. Therefore, it’s 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. I’ve 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 we’ve 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 we’re doing it formally from a cushion or we’re doing it informally in the way we order our latte in the morning.

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