Sleep and wake. Sustained meditation. His mind has almost forgotten the unfamiliar presence and W feels less and less like he is acting a part.

On the cushion in the morning, practicing concentration techniques, W is fascinated by how reacting to a single physical sensation triggers cascades of thoughts and emotions. He watches the sound of a bell lead to a thought about lunch which leads to a feeling of hunger that sets his leg muscles in motion causing him to imagine a bowl of rice which starts him salivating. Endlessly fascinating chains constructed spontaneously in his mind, when taken apart and reassembled, a simple vase of flowers can become a cyclical symphony.

This practice so enlivens him that W feels like he is experiencing his human senses for the first time. As he wonders, "Is this Awakening?" his heart beats faster and a smile plays on his lips. "I'm getting somewhere," he hopes, ready to impress his teacher.

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