Drenched in fear, I sat, and let awareness take me down, down to the roots of most unpleasant state. There, I found resistance to change, and fear of suffering, and difficulty accepting the nature of life itself. Life not to be relied on, could turn on me any time. Even further down, lied craving for sensual pleasure, uninterrupted. Craving still strong, eroded only just a bit, and a sure indicator of need to keep on with practice . . . following the footsteps of Mittakali, my 'elder sister':
Although I left home for no home
and wandered, full of faith,
I was still greedy
for possessions and praise.
I lost my way:
My passions used me,
and I forgot the real point
of my wandering life.
Then as I sat in my little cell,
there was only terror.
I thought-this is the wrong way,
a fever of longing controls me.
Life is short.
Age and sickness gnaw away.
I have no time for carelessness
before this body breaks.
And as I watched the elements of mind and body
rise and fall away
I saw them as they really are.
I stood up.
My mind was completely free.
The Buddha's teaching has been done.
- The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentary on the Therigatha, by Susan Murcott -