I woke up one morning very early; the city was still asleep, and its murmur had not yet begun. I felt I had to get out, so I dressed quickly and went down to the street. It was early spring, and the sky was pale blue. I had a strong feeling that I should go to the park, a mile or so away. From the moment I came out of my front door I had a strange feeling of lightness, as though I were walking on air. Every little object which ordinarily I would never have noticed seemed to have an extraordinary quality of its own, and strangely, everything seemed to be a part of me. Nothing was separate from me; in fact, the “me” as the observer, the perceiver, was absent, if you know what I mean. There was no “me” separate from that tree, or from that paper in the gutter, or from the birds that were calling out to each other. It was a state of consciousness that I had never known.
‘On the way to the park,’ he went on, ‘there is a flower shop. I have passed it hundreds of times, and I used to glance at the flowers as I went by. But on this particular morning I stopped in front of it.
The plate glass window was slightly frosted with the heat and damp from inside, but this did not prevent me from seeing the many varieties of flowers. As I stood looking at them, I found myself filled with joy I had never felt before. Everything was alive, and I loved everything. I was the scent of those flowers, but there was no “me” to smell the flowers, if you know what I mean. There was no separation between them and me. That flower shop was alive with colours, and the beauty of it all must have been stunning, for time had ceased. The world of struggle, pain and sorrow was there, and yet it was not. In that state, words have no meaning. “I” was not experiencing, there was only that state, that experience. Time had stopped; there was no past, present or future. it doesn’t matter. There was a Presence — no, not that word.