The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Holding This Gently

The attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.

--Alan Watts

The koan process is just that, a process and for everyone it is different. I think that the real challenge is being able to observe the process for yourself and stay gently as you go through it. It is likely that you are approaching this as you would any other challenge, so maybe you are beginning with staying in your head, then swinging a bit the other way and trying to just act. The answer will be somewhere in between and remember that it's not so important to find a correct answer as to learn from the experience. As with most problems, the solution is often much more simple than our minds try to create. By trying to enjoy the process the answer will become more clear. I would also say that often the action to express the answer is not often about yourself but includes sharing your experience with the teacher.

--T.J., my Dharma Brother and Sensei

As always, in my head is where I find myself.
Unless I am practicing yoga or walking kinhin or simply walking, I tend to be here in my head.
Sometime lodged like a stone, sometimes loose like a handful of pebbles...still in my head.

Where is the balance between in my head and simply in love, in the flow of love, which is outside head, body, habit, identity, attachment and frustration?
Where is the balance of simply being love?

I feel it in moments of un self conscious being, and then get whiplash as I'm being jerked back into ego land by invisible bungi cords. Habit conditioning is elastic and likes to snap noisily, back into place.

I had a dream that I asked a group of women to assist me with my koan.
They were mute, but I understood them to say yes. They moved around me, their bodies pliant and clothed in the most brilliant patterns and colors, all sorts of variations of color that I had never seen together, and I just watched their bodies moving in and out of my perspective.
In fact, the bodies were talking. I could not even see their heads.

When I woke from the dream, I had an instant idea of how to proceed with the koan.
If I had gotten up from my bed to appear in Dokusan, I could have answered this question without hesitation.
But there is a separation now between dream answer and mind answer.
Do I trust the dream?

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