She is gentle always.
It is not hard to walk with her.
Yet she merits honesty - unbridled and unconditioned.
Teaching is not possible otherwise.
Often I choose silence rather than the web of language I long ago rendered untrustworthy.
But she is clear: silence is not my mode.
Nor does she value opinion.
The level of opinion is always untrue because it is inherently both right and wrong.
On the last day of her visit she asked about my attachments.
It was hard to talk.
The list, I told her, was very long.
But she only waited.
I began with people: living and dead.
I moved on to food and songs and books.
It became that whatever image entered my mind, I was attached to that too.
And so I listed it, accordingly.
I don't remember how it ended.
She did not speak herself nor address any of the specifics to which I had made reference.
When we had been quiet a long time, she said "none of those things are real."
I began to say "I know" - how I long to impress her! - but her small smile stopped me, and I said instead, "that is not yet clear to me but I hope in time it will be."
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