Toni Packer

‘The way I verbalize it to people is that Mu is the expression of no-knowing. This is the most satisfactory way of putting it. Because it’s not a mantra, it’s not a word. It’s not-knowing. Mu is just the top of this whole vast not-knowing. And that’s dark. Whatever comes up, like fear, is also Mu, because you don’t know what it is. You leave aside all your psychoanalytic and other knowledge about what fear is, and face it directly, in the Mu. Facing – not “I” face “that” – but the fear, whatever it is, the churning intestines and the queasy stomach and the constricted throat and the whole thing: let all of that merge into this not-knowing.’ (Meetings With Remarkable Women)

This was another book that I had given to my mother. Some of the content feels a little dated, and thankfully women are more to the fore in many areas of Buddhism in the west than they were in the eighties, but the stories and each teacher’s approach were all well worth revisiting. I offered this one to Rebecca at Hebden Bridge as she embarks on her new life a priest.

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