It only becomes possible by waking up from the dream!!

At a barbeque a two-year-old girl fell into a swimming pool. Everybody was horrified as the girl struggled, not knowing how to swim. The mother jumped in and grabbed the girl, rescuing her before disaster struck. She pulled the toddler out of the water as everybody rushed forward with great concern. But before her daughter even had a chance to start crying or any of the people could open their mouths, the mother laughed and jumped back in the pool, still holding her daughter.

She turned the moment into a game and the daughter, instead of crying, squealed with delight. Instead of being conditioned to fear the pool and fear the water, the fear of the moment was dissolved into play. This was brilliant and intuitive and happened without thinking. It was a cutting of the conditioning at its inception.

In the same way, we must act moment to moment to observe what habituates us now. Releasing our conditioning to come into our unencumbered self can only work as long as we are aware of the entraining happening every day.

Because our conditioning by the media is as omniscient as the air that we breathe and because we don't see it, we must be as vigilant as this mother was about allowing any conditioning to be set. We must observe the possibility of conditioning and deconstruct it before it gets absorbed. This can be as simple as hooting at the television and making fun of the message. Humor is a fantastic way to pop the trance.

I nearly went mad in my first silent retreats without books, music, radio, and television to distract me. The thundering constancy of my own story pulsed in my head like a dancer who still moves after the plug has been pulled on the music. What do you mean just sit around and do nothing? I felt like I was wasting time.

This was such a clear example of the way I was using a steady drip of stimulation to distract me from myself and once that stimulation was turned off, my head clanged with restless thoughts. But it exposed the fact that diversion, like drugs, only works temporarily. Once my nervous system was slowed down, the ordinary miracles of everyday life were fully revealed, as resplendent and simple as a bird flying across an open sky.

By the end of the retreat I was lying so still in the driveway that a lizard crawled up on my arm and basked with me in the sun. I had merged with all.

But the first step was to unplug.