I gazed dreamily out the window of the train, enraptured by the rolling countryside. I straightened in my seat, shifted my gaze, and allowed it to meander about the train, momentarily landing this way and that, pausing and lingering, and then continuing to wander. It was as if my eyes were moving of their own accord, searching for something. I knew not what I was looking for, only that there was something for which I was looking.
My gaze fell upon several well-dressed men and women wearing formal business attire with their briefcases resting in their laps. They were smiling; yet, their smiles seemed false, as if their smiles were masking a profound suffering within them. My gaze then fell upon a younger crowd that was chattering boisterously; although certainly not insincere, their laughter seemed to be artificial, a well-rehearsed charade designed to disguise the suffering that lay at the very core of their being.
My eyes then fell upon an elderly couple lightly holding hands, with grim looks of worry and discontent spelled on their faces. My gaze continued to wander, my eyes landing on the young and the elderly, the rich and the poor, the infirm and the healthy. Everywhere I looked I saw this suffering, and the realization began to dawn on me that life itself is fraught with suffering.
I closed my eyes, and took several deep breaths from my abdomen, breaths that came as naturally as the wind itself, and then opened my eyes once more with my gaze immediately falling upon a woan that was beautiful beyond measure. The beauty this woman radiated was greater than any that I had ever seen in my life to date. The beauty that attracted me so, was not an outward beauty, rather, it was an inward beauty; it was as if this woman glowed, emitted a golden light, the type that is said to envelope the beings of the great sages, and, in fact, in varying degrees envelopes all people.
She sat perfectly still, unflinching, the most peaceful presence that I had yet to come across in my young life. Even from a distance, I noticed the twinkle in her starry eyes, a twinkle that suggested a childlike nature, one of innocence and purity, untainted and unscathed by the habits of worldly life.
The train continued on, passing several more stops before I mustered up the courage to rise from my seat and approach this enchanting woman. As I moved towards her, an incredible feeling of lightness of being overcame me. I timidly sat in the seat facing the woman, with neither of us speaking a word. I raised my eyes to meet hers, and in that instant all notions of time had stopped, leaving me speechless. “Excuse me Jeremy, do you know what time it is?” the woman asked.
She knew my name! How on Earth did this woman, this complete stranger, know my name?
“Um,” I stammered, disarmed, as I mechanically pulled out my old pocket-watch. “It’s 10:15.”
The woman’s eyes met mine again, her gaze penetrating deep into the core of my being as she smiled, a childlike smile. “The time is now,” she said, her voice as gentle as an ocean breeze. “The time is always now, and it always will be now, never forget that, Jeremy.”
I stared in disbelief at the modern day mystic seated before me on the train. “How do you know my name?” I asked, perplexed.
She gazed ever deeper into my being. “Names are meaningless, they are labels that keep us from seeing our interconnectedness, and they keep us from seeing the unified nature of our being. If you must really know the truth Jeremy, at the deepest and most fundamental level of our nature, it is that I am you.”
“You are me… are you telepathic or something like that?” I asked, hoping not to sound too embarrassed.
The woman began to laugh. Her laughter could not help but bring a smile to my face. “Yes Jeremy, of course, I am telepathic. Aren’t we all?” she asked, before continuing. “Telepathy is perfectly natural. The key is to quiet your mind, and free it from the distractions that usually preoccupy it. It has been said that there are windows through which we can enter into each other’s minds, but if no walls existed, then why do we need to erect windows?”
“Where I live, Jeremy, there is no distinction between you and I,” she continued. “There are no walls between our minds, nor between our hearts, so telepathy, as you call it, is just my way of tapping into a different part of my own consciousness, your consciousness.”
I continued to stare in disbelief, when, all of a sudden, the thought struck me like a hammer to the head of a nail, this woman was free from suffering. Unlike all of the other people that I had encountered in this life, this woman was entirely free from suffering. She had liberated herself and, in so doing, held the capacity to help others to liberate themselves.
The woman rose slowly to leave the train, she rose as gracefully as the morning sun.
“Will I ever see you again?” I asked sheepishly.
The woman laughed her melodious laugh that I had already come to love. “I am here Jeremy, all of the time. It is up to you to see me. I have ten thousand different names and I come in ten thousand different forms. My face can be seen in the innocent eyes of a child, in the heart of a snowflake, and in the glory of the setting sun. My voice can be heard in the song of a swan, in the roaring of an ocean tide, and in a whispering wind. My breath is the very breath of life itself. I am here and now, in every single moment I am there, all you have to do is choose to see me; wherever you are Jeremy, that is where I am, and that is where you will find me.”
“Always?” I asked.
The woman nodded her head as she departed the train. “Always.