Today’s message is an excerpt from Henry’s memoir One Blade of Grass describing as aspect fo his path of training. Click here to read Zen Death (a previous installment) to put this week’s piece in context.
A war was over.
It wasn’t clear if I had won or lost–but presumably lost. The contents of the war, its causes and rationales, its bitterness and rage, had already become vague memories. It was a great absolution.
…Eihei. Eihei. Eihei. Great peace. Great peace. Great Peace.
“Great peace” is possible even for troubled, “sick souled” people, as William James called us. We should not despair too soon.
I walked about in a daze of gratitude for days, weeks, months. At first I assumed it would all wear off. But gradually it dawned on me that it was never going to. This last shift hadn’t been so much an “experience” as just that–a real shift. Years on, it still hasn’t really faded. Zen had actually done the impossible: it had changed me. Over time, I stopped being able to tell wether it had “worn off” or not. It no longer mattered.