All forgotten and set aside

From Alan Watts’ autobiography “In My Own Way”

“Meanwhile (this was when I was about seventeen), I was still reading Suzuki on Zen and trying to practice some form of Buddhist yoga, za-zen, or satipatthana – and simply couldn’t make up my mind which specific method to follow, or exactly what state of mind or consciousness was satori, samadhi, moksha, or true enlightenment. Aside from Toby, who wasn’t playing the guru role, for we were just fellow seekers, I had no spiritual master. I was a shaman, on my own in a religious jungle. When, in Canterbury, I had become the head-boy, or captain, of my house, The Grange, I had the privilege of going off by myself to study and meditate in an ancient Elizabethan room, where one could light a fire and stay up until late at night. It was in the autumn of 1932 – windy, with fallen leaves skittering along roads and fields – and I was trying desperately to work out this problem: What is THE EXPERIENCE which these Oriental masters are talking about? The different ideas of it which I had in mind seemed to be approaching me like little dogs wanting to be petted, and suddenly I shouted at all of them to go away. I annihilated and bawled out every theory and concept of what should be my properly spiritual state of mind, or of what should be meant by ME. And instantly my weight vanished. I owned nothing. All hang-ups disappeared. I walked on air. Thereupon I composed a haiku:

All forgotten and set aside –
Wind scattering leaves
Over the fields.”