The Awakening of Mae Chee Kaew

 

With the first light of dawn on November 1, 1952, Mae Chee Kaew sensed that her body was tired. With perfect mindfulness, she had been walking barefoot on her meditation path for hours. She decided to rest for a while before going to the kitchen to prepare food for the monks’ almsround. The first clear rays of dawn were beginning to illuminate the topmost foliage of the phayom tree, bathing its yellow flowers in the soft glow of imminent awakening. She walked slowly to the bamboo platform under the tree, and sat perfectly still for a long moment — a moment of deep, still, unfocused calm. A prolonged lull ensued where nothing moved forward, nothing moved back and nothing stood still.’ Then, aware but knowing nothing in particular, suspended in emptiness, the crystal-clear radiance of mind she had treasured for so long suddenly turned and dissolved — revealing a pure, all-knowing presence that filled the heart and pervaded the entire universe. The knower was everywhere, but nothing was known. Without characteristics and without source, emanating from no point in particular, knowing was simply a spontaneous happening of cosmic expanse. The radiant awareness had dissolved in an instant, leaving only purity of mind and the essential freedom of pure Dhamma — an absolutely unconditioned knowing that entirely transcended all forms of human conception