To whom it may concern,

It occurred to me about recommending meditation that you might be afraid that what happened to me would happen to you. That turning inward you would be taken away, abruptly separated from your present relations and circumstances.

In a sense this is true. Problems in life we are putting up with or trying to solve, at their root, are about clinging to a past or yearning for a future. Simply stated, not being present. Life, if you haven't already seen this, has a way of bringing us back.

There is a distinction that hasn't been explained about when I was so sadly removed from my situation with you. One day I realized that I was already living away. The change in my circumstances was about getting on track to bringing me back. Letting go of past concerns and future expectations. Back to the present.

While I didn't understand it this way at first, from the beginning it was clear to me that on my path I have always held the intention to shed light on your own. That my efforts would clear the path for you.

In truth, I never really left.


In Buddhism we call the notion of a fixed identity “ego clinging.” It’s how we try to put solid ground under our feet in an ever-shifting world. Meditation practice starts to erode that fixed identity. As you sit, you begin to see yourself with more clarity, and you notice how attached you are to your opinions about yourself. Often the first blow to the fixed identity is precipitated by a crisis. When things fall apart in your life, you feel as if your whole world is crumbling. But actually it’s your fixed identity that’s crumbling. And as Chögyam Trungpa used to tell us, that’s cause for celebration.

(From: Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, page 8.
Shambala Publications.)

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