Message from Henry: Simple

Whenever craving arises, it’s an opportunity. Whenever aversion arises, it’s a chance – to accept, allow, surrender, release. To taste liberation, the reality of this moment, and to step through the gateless gate.

Practice is better simple. It responds better (so to speak) to simplicity than to sophistication. Great practitioners may be able to respond spontaneously with great subtlety, as needed, yet they are simple.

One example of this simplicity is a readiness to accept and follow the teachings in a pragmatic way, without second-guessing them. Great masters have been able to shelve their own questioning of the teachings, and instead to apply them in an open-minded way – open-minded more toward ways of applying them, than to their validity. That goes unquestioned.

In some quarters this might be considered naïve. But I guess I’m questioning that attitude. There has been a tendency in contemporary western Zen to question the teachings, and to regard it as simple-minded and even quaint to accept them gullibly. But actually that may be the best thing we can do. And instead to reserve our questioning for the attitudes in ourselves that the teachings reveal we have previously been holding without question.

Not sure if I’m making this point too complicated, but I hope not… In sum, simple is OK. Simple is good. Let your practice be simple.

*****

Whenever craving arises, it’s an opportunity. Whenever aversion arises, it’s a chance – to accept, allow, surrender, release. To taste liberation, the reality of this moment, and to step through the gateless gate.

 

Message from Henry is from our September 26, 2017 Newsletter.
Image: Tree by Ben Hamiti, Public Domain CC0 1.0, from Pixabay.com
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