It occurred to me that if people unable to attend the retreat were hanging out with the same koan as we were in the retreat, the benefits might be amplified.
Urban Retreat Sept 14th- This nursery rhyme was in harmony with the first line of the Tao te Ching, which says, “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” We name the world and change our experience of it, we name ourselves and do the same. What happens when we have the freedom to not name?
This quote from the Diamond Sutra could easily be interpreted as, ‘If it is all a dream, then nothing really matters.’ What feels closer to what is true is: If it is all a dream, then everything matters.
My rational mind went to work trying to reorient, trying to come to terms with great fear being associated with vastness and calm.
I don’t like something that’s ‘inevitable’. It feels like determinism, or predestination. Don’t I have any say in what happens? Who laid out this inevitable plan anyways? Which is to say, I have a problem with not being in control.
I have noticed that there are unexpected gifts and caregivers when the sky is very dark – just like the grass cutter offering him the matt of clean new-cut grass to sit on, and the woman who prepared the rice milk with love and joy. Certain gifts emerge from the debris flow of change and offer themselves.
And I wondered who calls me to do this cleaning up and arranging myself. Who keeps calling me home, clearly and without cease, regardless of falls and losses, and even in deep, dark and perhaps very tangled places?
I feel the earth responding to Shakyamuni in this koan. In the story flowers fall and all manner of signs appear to signal the earth’s affirmation. When the going gets rough, and I feel particularly alone, the earth has my back! But no, it is closer in than that, the earth is my back.
In talking about integrity Zhuangzi says that it cannot be cultivated any more than a mountain can cultivate being a mountain, or the ocean can cultivate being the ocean.