In Zen, we have a saying that if you haven't seen somebody for two minutes, don't assume he or she is the same person. Maybe that person has changed, or maybe conditions have changed. The important things is to see what I can do now. If you and I are not bound by our past conditioning, we can see things afresh. Then every moment contains a new opportunity.
from Instructions to the Cook, by Bernard Glassman
Recently, one of my long time Sangha members asked if there was a "recipe for equanimity".
In the past few weeks, we've begun studying the 6 Paramitas, as well as the 4 Abidings, so this was a logical question, given my dharma talks. It seemed like a good place to go a little deeper into the foundations of Dharma and personal practice.
(And who has not asked for a recipe over and over and over again, even as life is cooking in the pot?)
However, the question remained.
My own question was added to his; what do we receive and offer others through our cultivation of the 6 Paramitas and the 4 Abidings? What happens if we wear equanimity like a hat in fair weather, as an accessory, and cast it away, entirely forgotten in times of rain/snow/wind, or during the inevitable hurricane?
But as I began my dharma talk, I had a small sinking feeling, because I found myself sticking securely to the shores of my shaky intellect, puffing myself up with the furnace-blast of ego-knowing, when what was really needed for all of us at that moment was a good thrashing with the zendo whacking stick, beginning with my self....!
Or how about:
Laughter, falling on the ground, rolling around laughter.
Or getting up, striding over and pulling his hair.
Singing Hey Diddle Diddle.
Getting up, tipping my chair over, walking out.
Running around our circle of chairs and mats, tapping shoulders in Duck, Duck, Goose.
Farting, spitting, barfing, blowing my nose.
Shouting, "The Great Horned Owl in the White Pine Tree!"
Dogen said, "If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?"