A couple of years ago, about a month before my first novel was due to be published—and several months into an intensive meditation training program for yoga teachers that I was co-directing at Spirit Rock Meditation Center—I had two startlingly vivid dreams.

The first:

I am gliding and twirling around a roller disco, dressed only in a black velvet bikini and white fur-trimmed rollerblades. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, my first reaction is delight: “I look totally hot!” Then comes horror: “But what if I run into a Spirit Rock teacher while I’m dressed like this?”

The second:

My novel in hand, I have gone into therapy with a good friend of mine, a longtime teacher of yoga and Buddhist meditation. The session is held on the edge of a precipitous cliff. As the therapist tries to intervene, my friend and I keep snatching a microphone away from each other, trying to dominate the conversation. But then I tell my friend, with great intensity, “The only purpose of writing is to wake up.” So we hug each other happily and leave to attend a Buddhist yoga conference that is primarily populated by frolicking topless flamenco dancers.

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