If you go in search of Buddha should you see him, do not stop or speak but run away. If you do not see the Buddha run away from that place. If you stop, to take water from the edge of a still pond look carefully, for the Buddha is there just above the water’s surface.
A reflection on case 80 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
You are still there. You have a patience that I will not know in this lifetime. I know I can always find you, even though you never reach out to me except in my dreams. There I tell you my life story and you listen intently. You have no need to ask questions, knowing I will tell the whole story in due time, And time is one thing you have that I, increasingly, lack. So I’ll be back for another visit soon and you will be waiting for me, mother.
The gods have ceased to care about us, too busy with other more important tasks like fighting their pending evictions from Olympus and Asgard.
And the demigods have never given a damn about us, always preening and imagining their elevation, so we are left to muddle along and we know how that has worked through history, so we have turned away, anointed ourselves, declared we are holy and built a heaven and hell as a final middle finger to the once gods who can all go to hell.
The person I see each morning looks vaguely familiar, perhaps someone I once met in passing, or maybe a distant relative. But he was so much older so he was difficult to place.
I do say hello each morning but get only a nod, a gesture in response, as if the person is mute, for he smiles back so it is not a silence born of anger or displeasure.
I will of course keep trying for I know that I will one day recognize his all too familiar face, and I need to act now for he is aging quickly so my time is limited, and in any event the mirror does need cleaning.
Sitting in stillness, the silence is at first shocking, deafening in a way unimagined but there. Within the lack of sound lies a thousand sounds you never heard in the din of life. You hear the young monk at Senso-ji approach the great bell and pull back on the log shu-moku, straining. You hear the laugh of school aged children hand in hand walking through the Temple grounds as pigeons gather. You hear the cat, sitting at the foot of Daibutsudan, staring out and the deer waiting at the gate. You hear your breath and that of a million others as they sit on their cushions sharing what is.
The utter and complete absurdity of living in Florida can be ever so easily illustrated.
Last evening the neighbor’s dog decided it needed to express itself and did so in clear and loud terms.
The limpkins and gallinules in the wetland behind both our homes shouted back and based on my admittedly limited vocabulary of bird there were several four letter words and at least one upraised middle claw, for that language is universal.
And all of this was once Native American land and I am certain they would not be pleased at what we have created and the birds would agree.
I still have grave doubts about designers in general, clothing houses in more particular, and above all furniture.
You have to ask if the person who designed this chair was somehow incapable of sitting, or simply wanted something that looked artistic, to hell with the comfort of its occupant.
And some designers take this to extremes, hoping perhaps for some measure of eternal recognition. Take for example the Adirondack chair, found throughout the northeast on porches and in yards, in a myriad of colors, that no one ever seems to sit on, for good reason.