The city brought up the depth of my illusions. I was surrounded by people who lived in the ups and downs, to whom enlightenment was but a myth – something achieved by Gods and chosen ones. The struggle here was for survival and I looked on in amazement. I could not understand how people could forsake a path of true liberation for one that so obviously led to further suffering and torment – and yet something in this life beckoned to me. There was something here for me.
I decided that if I was to discover what I needed in this way of life then I would need to immerse myself in this way of life. In time, I found work and accommodation and I set myself to observing what it was that intrigued my intuition.
The first thing I noticed was that my mind lost its equilibrium very easily in this place. This surprised me, as holding meditative states was something I thought I had mastered long ago. Others were intrigued by my spiritual knowledge and this was something that brought up parts of my ego that I did not know existed. Mastering these seemed simple at first, but the way of the ego is alluring and in time foundations took hold.
I believed that I had come to this place to teach these people about Enlightenment.
For a time I became a spiritual teacher where others looked up to me and asked me for knowledge. As time passed however I noticed that those that were coming to me were not cultivating Enlightenment. I noticed that among my most fervent students there were those that would talk most heatedly and passionately about it, yet there were few that would practice with sincerity. I saw this and all I saw was my reflection.
I knew then why I had come to this place.
I had come to find my True Self and my path required that I find this Truth by revealing to me my illusions.
I was no teacher. I was simply a student of truth.
That very day I bid the city farewell and I continued on my path.
As I left I felt a deep part of myself awaken – this was a part that had been asleep for many years. It had been asleep when I was a child and it had been asleep when I was a monk. It was the city that rung the bells to awaken this part again.
I had come here to find something that eluded me. That something had been an illusion, yet I needed to find that illusion so that I could overcome it. Now my True Self beckoned me onwards.
I was soon to meet a very unique teacher – one that would irrevocably change my understanding of Enlightenment.