Fool’s Journey

The Dalai Lama arrives to offer teachings in Bend. He is staying with me and we soon discuss the best day for him to teach. I suggest April 1, April Fool’s Day, would be particularly appropriate. He responds by saying he would rather not be associated with foolishness. I tell him how fools are often held in high esteem by many cultures—like the village idiot. He just laughs.

We eventually have some alone time and sit face to face, forehead to forehead. The Dalai Lama says, “People foolishly do not know when to stop meditating.” We discuss this (I awaken and reflect about meditation not being a place to find…) and we seem to merge into a shared awareness. I talk about just being here, with no effort. Just being. No place to go or be—abiding in the naturally aware mind. He smiles.

This is one of those dreams arising as clarity. Sometimes our conditioned mind drops away and we are able to recognize the symbols of our original awareness teaching us something we already know. Actually, this is every moment. When our habits of mind cease to filter our perception, we recognize the self-reflected light of our wisdom mind seeking to make itself known in every experience. 

Everything is specifically designed to awaken us to the light of awareness but we hold limiting ideas about things—including meditation. “Thinking about enlightenment, already a mistake,” as one Dharma teacher observed. We risk pursuing an illusion about meditation based on idealistic thinking formed by our habitual mind. Eventually we recognize what a fool we have been in the name of meditating. Then we meditate—for the first time.

Meditation ceases to be a ‘thing’ we do. It is a way of life. We wander through our momentary existence with a meditative mind, which is none other than moment to moment awareness. And we joyfully risk appearing the fool for the sake of the Dharma. Maybe we need more fools, more village idiots in this regard. After all, they are skilled in pointing out the lunacy inherent in our pursuit of self-absorbed activity—including meditation.

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