Tonight, if all goes well, I will be a monk in a good-sized Buddhist temple. I am hoping it will be in Nara, at Todai-ji perhaps, or Asakusa at Senso-ji, or better still somewhere in Kyoto, although it might well be in the Myanmar jungle or somewhere deep within the Laotian highlands.
One problem with that world is that I have no control over it, which, come to think of it, leaves it like the waking world which has never hewn to my direction.
I’ve had this desire for weeks on end, and I suspect tonight will be no different, and I will spend eight hours sorting files, writing cease and desist letters and trying to convince myself that even that is a form of mindful meditation and abiding kensho will arrive in the next rapid eye movement.
He arrived this afternoon, but she stayed only briefly and then departed silently. I did not see her arrive, did not sense his stay but am certain he was there, just as I am certain he has never been here. When she is here, you cannot see her, when she is gone, your memory is a mere delusion, and grasping it is graspng air. Breathing in, the air is his breath, and breathing out the breath is hers, and this is kensho.
She curls in my arm, head on my chest, offers a gentle smile which melts me and I stroke her small shoulder, as Sid the Sloth and Manny the Mammoth, two bodhisattvas,
smile back at us from the TV screen. Enlightenment isn’t something you seek, it’s a five-year old who sits next to you on the sofa on a warm evening in July.