Moment after moment, we have to come back to this moment to see what is actually taking place. Otherwise we live in a fantasy world where we see ourselves as separate and where we become preoccupied with pleasing and protecting ourselves.

When the student in this story saw the squashed eggplant, he suddenly woke up-not just to the reality of what he had stepped on, but to how he had been creating all kinds of needless and distracting fears and concepts in his mind. He suddenly saw the imaginary worlds he'd been creating for himself, and he woke from his dream of separation, pride, and guilt.

In just such a moment-at the sight of a squashed fruit, at the sound of a pebble striking wood, at the sight of the morning star-any of us can awaken. Nothing holds us back but our thought.