03.02 Uttamā (42-44)

Read aloud in “Ayya Anandabodhi & Matty Weingast’s Dharma Talks at Insight Meditation South Bay – Silicon Valley”


42. Four or five times I went out from my cell, not having obtained peace of mind, my mind being unsubmissive.

43. I went up to a bhikkhuni who was fit to be trusted by me. She taught me the doctrine, the elements of existence, the sense-bases, and the elements.

44. I heard the doctrine from her as she instructed me; for seven days I sat in one and the same cross-legged position, consigned to joy and happiness. On the eighth day I stretched forth my feet, having torn asunder the mass of darkness [of ignorance].


For years I couldn’t sleep.

Most nights I’d throw off the covers

and take long runs through the dark.

Nothing helped.

My sisters.

When sleepless nights come

to tear you into little pieces,

rise to meet the day

as a tree rises to meet the axe—

as a scalp bows to meet the blade—

as sparks from a dying fire

reach out to meet the darkness—

as all of our bones

someday fall softly down

to meet earth.

When you stand,

send your roots down between the stones.

When you walk,

walk like a skeleton walking to its grave.

When you lie down,

lie down like a blown-out candle

being put back in a drawer.

When you sit,

sit very



My sisters, sit like you are dead already.

How could this world possibly

give you what you’re looking for

when it’s so busy

falling apart—




Look closely.

Don’t move until you see it.


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