For a number of months, I've been informally advising and talking with a lady that is in the midst of a contested divorce, just got over cancer, mother just diagnosed with cancer, etc... so things are a bit tumultuous. She has taken to daily zazen with good energy and commitment for perhaps some 6 months now. Though, she was talking to me about her experience last weekend and about in the middle of her session she "went to a large tree in a far away place, a lot like Avatar... and it was beautiful and peaceful..." and later she "hopes to return there" because she felt so protected and at peace.

Not wanting to rain on her parade - or 'ruin' what seems to be a safe haven or peaceful and therapeutic experience for her... and also not wanting to be an insufferable know-it-all.. I haven't said anything about it. Though I feel compelled to tell her not to seek such an experience and that in fact zazen is not about the transporting of one's self away to some other or far off place but to the trueness and liveliness of here and now.. so to speak.. But I couldn't do it as I felt this pinch of restraint, guilt, worry... so let it go... Seems to me and my insufferable know-it-all-ness that this will stand in the way of the here and now in the same sense that we get hooked on our thoughts or emotions or various attachments. To run from anything, seek somewhere else, etc.. is the antithesis of awareness and acceptance .. but that's easy to say to one that isn't going through all she is or one that is more practiced.

_/_ Nate