Message from Henry: Just Zen

… there is no mind to put on walking. There is only walking. 

But how could nonbeing be blissful? You don’t know, but it is.

This is what the famous “just” of Zen means. Zen often says: Just sit. Just walk. Just eat. But “just walking” doesn’t mean: keep your mind only on walking and  don’t think about anything else. It means: there is no mind to put on walking. There is only walking. There truly is just walking.

Right now, it’s just seeing, just breathing, just hearing.

What a relief. What heaven, to be gone!

“Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond,” say the Heart Sutra, a core scripture of Mahayana Buddhism. Beyond what? Beyond all.

Space collapses. The wall, the cushion, the night outside, the carpet, the sound of the rumbling boiler down in the cellar–everything is equidistant, no distance at all. One great intimacy.

The wall and the boiler’s rumble turn into a pair of loving palms. The wall–that flickering barrier of light and shade so familiar to the Zen student–and the room, and the thoughts and sensations that arise, the sounds, all these are one single act of love. It’s love that brings the world into being.

The floor, on which you slowly walk though midnight hours in the zendo when you get up for some walking meditation, is itself love. The walking too, is performed by the same simple love, all because there is no one walking. There is only walking.

Message from Henry is an excerpt from Henry’s path of training as recounted in One Blade of Grass.

Image: Beach by sasint, Pixabay License

2 Responses to Message from Henry: Just Zen

  1. Richard A. Mikovsky May 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm #

    I have find no other words other than…Thank you for writing One Blade of Grass.
    Richard A. Mikovsky
    Princeton, NJ

  2. Herbert Monnartz May 12, 2020 at 1:20 am #

    Dear Henry , dear valerie thank you, werry good.
    With your help i see after 66 jears clearer and clearer
    just this , just this , just this

    Herbert from germany

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