When I was in my early 20s, I realized there was no me. The realization turned my world upside down, and being young and unprepared, I was terrified. I knew, yet paradoxically I didn’t know what I knew. In the decades following, I have experienced what Buddhists call the ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows, and through them all, the journey into fuller knowing has continued, a journey, it turns out, into Love and Wisdom that has nothing to do with me. And it’s not done yet.
If this sounds like gibberish, it’s because it is, at least when put into words.
And putting it into words has been my ultimate aim in The Sati Trilogy. It shows up in The Jealous Heart when Asoka awakens and again at the end of that novel, when Sati recognizes the Nameless in Asoka and Candana and yearns to embody it himself. Putting it into words is also at the heart of Sati’s struggles in the final novel, Pindola’s Revenge, to reconcile his father’s verses with the Buddha’s early teachings. Finally, the portrayal of Sati in scripture, which concludes the novel, becomes not merely the consequence of Pindola’s vengeance, but more largely, is an example of the common inability to understand what mystics of all traditions have known through the ages.
On a more mundane level, I’ll add that I teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the University of Virginia, am a co-teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, am ordained as a lay Zen priest, have lived in Zen and Theravadan Buddhist monasteries, am a Reiki master and have a Ph.D. in international relations. Having lived with a partner-husband for 27 years, I am now a senior who is following her spiritual path one surprising step at a time.