Posted inHenry's Messages, Koans

Message from Henry: Sit. See. Serve.

May 17, 2016

…we are not the center of everything…earth is but one dot in an infinite cosmos.


It’s a comparable shift to that for Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy. We watch the beauty of stars fading in the dawn sky, of a moon rising over the mountains, and think: what a show, put on for us, the inhabitants of this planet. But then we find… Oh no, it’s not a show for us, we are not the center of everything…earth is but one dot in an infinite cosmos.

But then along comes quantum mechanics, and major shifts in physics, saying that every dot, and even every space between the dots, is the center of the universe. There is no center. Everywhere is the center. Right here, this phone, this table, this floor, this hand, this thought, is the center of the universe.

Maybe this is a bit like the map of our journey in zen training.


It’s hard to know this at the time, but through koan training we are developing great versatility of perspective. By loosening our grip on, our allegiance to, one fixed perspective, we are gaining great freedom. More freedom than could show up merely as more mobility or choice.


How can Unmon say, Every day is a good day? How can Julian of Norwich say that all is well and all manner of thing shall be well?

We get bruised and battered and torn and heartbroken, and so many are wronged, and our efforts toward the good mostly come to nothing. But we don’t know that all along we are operating on one level only, and that there are others, equally real. The whole drama is a projection, it’s skin deep. It’s so hard even to contemplate, while caught up in the thick of it all. But it is.


Sit. See. Serve.

That’s zen.

Message from Henry taken from our May 16, 2016 Newsletter
Image: Space, by Tom Bud, CC0 Public Domain, from

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