Stop and see, Buddha said. Stop means be still and quiet. See means see what is going on, within and without, in the totality…
We’re human, our hearts are not at peace. We want them to be at peace. So the first step is to become at peace at least with the fact they are not at peace. This the first noble truth–accepting that suffering is part of life.
This is how Buddhas and ancestors are being Buddhas and ancestors these days. Sitting in offices, waiting at airports, raising kids, working to earn to pay for food and shelter. This is how it’s happening these days (as Manjusri said to Mujaku, in the Blue Cliff Record).
Sitting — it’s not like other skills, this learning to be who we are.
How long and hard, and how peaceful, it is. So much sitting — hoping, trying to get beyond ourselves, so we can be ourselves.
That old cartoon of someone sawing a branch while seated the wrong side of the cut: a perfect analogy for Zen practice.
The tyranny of orthodoxy: we slip the bond of self, find a broad love – but then it’s so easy to distort it into the understanding that this is the “true” way.
Rather, instead, better: no understanding. Zen’s way: pull out the rug of understanding, again and again.
No understanding, no comparison, no judgement. Just action, appreciation, love without understanding, or even beyond understanding.
Stop and see, Buddha said. Stop means be still and quiet. See means see what is going on, within and without, in the totality, the “All” of our sensorium, as Buddha called it.
It also means see through. Break through. See clearly, broadly, infinitely.
“True self:” the point isn’t that there is a true self, so much as what is revealed when we drop our conviction in, and of, the separate sense of self. That’s the level on which it can seem that there is a true self, because all of what is revealed when the illusory self is dropped is more real – multifaceted and constantly changing.
Message from Henry taken from our July 5, 2016 Newsletter
Image: Photo taken by Rosa Bellino, used with her permission.