Message from Henry: Understanding

…when “understanding” no longer has its claws in us, and we are free…

It can be tempting to go through life at the leading edge of our understanding, always thinking that we have seen and understood all there is to understand.

The Zen way is best followed with a different attitude – that most likely none of us will ever understand very much, though even that we can’t be sure of. It’s just possible we might have always understood all there was to understand, and never even known it.

It may be that understanding itself is not the process we take it to be. It may be that a different kind of understanding, of knowing, is going on all the time in and around us – but just not in our minds. And that to find it, to join it, all we have to do is give up what we call our understanding.

Then something quite magical can happen…

What we may then find is not just the peace that surpasseth all understanding – it’s the peace we fall into where there is no understanding, when “understanding” no longer has its claws in us, and we are free – free to become something unnameable, unknowable, something our “understanding” will never know, yet which we have miraculously been all along.

This is what Bodhidharma is referring to when the emperor asks him who he is and he answers, “I don’t know.”

Maybe the true warrior for peace doesn’t even know that that is what they are. In a sense, they are blind, with Zen’s “fifth kind of blindness.”

In this blindness, what else would there be to do but tend to what needs to be done? What a glory – to do only what needs to be done, there being no further need of anything.

Let’s support one another in our great joint venture of tasting the true Dharma of Zen, learning to surrender to it more and more and then helping to maintain it and pass it along.

Message from Henry is from our March 1, 2021 Newsletter
Image: Circle by BrianSarubbi97, Pixabay.com

One Response to Message from Henry: Understanding

  1. Matt Logan March 6, 2021 at 11:04 am #

    It is too easy to dismiss these types of insights as overtly paradoxical and esoteric concepts, something I likely would’ve done not so long ago. Instead, they are powerful glimpses of how one can experience life. Thank you for providing various ways of doing so.

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