I was young when I left home. And for years I rambled around.
My practice —sitting, walking, and hoping.
At first everything was new. I didn’t notice my skin drying up or my hair turning grey.
Then one morning, there I was, and old woman. Where had I gotten in all those years on the Path?
That night I slept out in a field, and it rained. I felt like I belonged there, miserable and alone in the mud.
In the morning, I went to the nearest monastery and threw myself down. A nun took me in and taught me.
This body, this mind, this world. Where they come from, where they go. What they are, what they are not.
That night I went out to sit in the field, and it rained. I felt like I belonged there, every drop of water telling me I was home.
Don’t worry, my sisters. When the road reaches its end, you’ll know it.
—Bhikshuni Anyatara, Therigatha (Poems of the First Buddhist Nuns)