"What is troubling my great king now," Weepasa inquired with a disinterested look on his face, as he carefully peeled a mango.

"There are many things I have learned throughout my travels, but some of my questions have never been answered," I complained, "and they are now a constant burden."

Weepasa put the mango down and said, "The destination you arrive at indicates the road traveled, my dear king. As you have ambitiously chased after the key, hasn't this road of desire led you to further desire, to competitiveness within yourself as you struggled to become that which you feel you are not? As long as you seek, you will always be in this state of becoming; becoming something, wanting something, wanting more and more, but when you no longer seek, and the road is merely traveled because it is there, the destination, as well as the journey, will turn into love. Don't you see this? Only then can you relax into this moment of eternity. Can you finally do that now? No?

"Some like you must open their eyes slowly so that the shock is bearable, for arriving at a place where experience ends is harrowing and not for the inexperienced traveler - and apparently you are still traveling, for you have not yet seen the emptiness of all things. Some questions will never be answered, my friend."

"But then how will I know?"

"Know? You want to know? You foolish, ambitious man. Do you not understand? Can you not see that to know, to find answers means that you do not know? Answers and knowing are dead! They are history, locked in the mind by your pathetic, false, little ‘self' preventing you from ever being in this immense, eternal moment. The instant that you think you know this moment, it is gone, and becomes a memory, no longer alive and no longer truth. You can never hold truth; it is far too fast and immense for you, but you can be truth if you will only remain in the moment where no kamma exists. If you can remain there, the mind will experience a profound, fundamental transformation that discovers the oneness of everything; Reality, and the myth of individuality. I am here to introduce you to this beautiful, eternal moment. Why won't you let me do that?

He was getting extremely impatient, not at all like Weeja. I thought these masters would all be compassionate and caring, but apparently, they each retained their individual personalities to some degree after they found their keys, just as they retained their bodies.

Maybe my idea of compassion was skewed in some way. Long ago, Ariya told me that it would not be compassionate for her to help me escape from my discontent. Perhaps she knew that only the discontent itself would release me, and maybe my first real step was to admit the discontent without trying to escape.

"Can you not simply remain in the moment?" Weepasa asked, "It is very simple. Just do it! This moment is right here; nowhere else must you go to find it. It has always been right here within reach but you could never see this could you? You insisted on taking the long path, discovering what was holding you back. You had to investigate your entire consciousness with your discriminating and focused intelligence.

"First, you learned to concentrate the mind, then you used that concentration to investigate every facet of your body and mind. However, there was still one thing keeping you from this eternal moment and that one thing was your lack of insight into the truth that there is no ‘self.' You have studied the self for a long time now, isn't it time to release it; let it go, let everything go? Letting go is the only way you will ever attain insight. In case it hasn't occurred to you, the price of the key is everything. This is why my training is so necessary for you because you are unable to let go of yourself - by yourself."

I was embarrassed, exasperated. It was this separate self that was holding me back. I couldn't grasp the essence of what it really was.

"We are all selfish," the master patiently said, trying to explain as simply as he could, and hopefully move me past this relentless questioning. "Perhaps we do not go as far as stealing from others, but in a very subtle sense everything revolves around ‘ME.' Every thought is connected to ‘ME.' We must always be in the center of our small, personal world, and when others try to elbow into this world, we fight them off tooth and nail, considering them threats and feeling perturbed, irritated, injured, infuriated, and envious because we are extremely selfish regarding our world. We want to constantly be the center of attention in our own minds."

It was true. I was always thinking of myself. Only during the inner work when my thoughts were gone did I feel relief, a unique release that was not only experienced during my inner work but for some time afterward as well.

Weepasa continued: "When we are thinking about another, perhaps helping them by offering food as you did for me, we are still at the center of that thought, making kamma, thinking how we personally will benefit. Perhaps we hope that it will make us feel good, or in your case scheme that our inner work will improve. This ‘thinking primarily of ME,' in relationship to everything else, is a deep-seated greed and a very basic thing, and it must be resolved or you will never go beyond this idea of yourself as being central to everything.

"You will remain mired in your delusions regardless if they are worldly or spiritual. This fixation with ourselves is on going, and never changes, and although we might be aware of it, as very few are, we still do not know what to do about it. It permeates our being like a terrible stench, and only when it is finally seen do we realize its horrendous nature. Then we realize how full of ourselves we really are. It is exactly this ‘ME' thought which causes our subconscious discontent and unease, because we subtly feel an uncomfortable responsibility for the welfare of this imaginary ‘I' or ‘Me.'"

I protested, "I have tried to change my idea of myself, but it continues to remain," "It is a shadow following me everywhere!" (To be continued)

(hr)

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is cofounder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, http://www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com His twenty-nine years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit http://www.AYearToEnlightenment.com

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is cofounder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com His twenty-nine years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit www.AYearToEnlightenment.com