The cat is curled on my zabuton, and stares up at me only long enough to say, “now would be a good day to test Buddha’s advice – that you can sit almost anywhere and still your mind. So look around I have left you the rest of the room and your sitting bench, and if that isn’t nirvana I don’t know what is, but do be quiet for its time for another nap.”
There is much you would ask the Buddha and so little he would tell you. But at the moment that you fall silent, when your last question slips away and you have no request – in that moment the Buddha will speak freely and provide the answer to unthought-of questions.
If you wish to find true wisdom where do you begin to look? Everywhere you look is the wrong place, for true wisdom is everywhere. If this confuses, first look for yourself. Where will you find yourself? If you say in the mirror, all will laugh for the mirror is nothing more than reflective glass. Are you reflective glass? So I ask again, where can you find yourself. The task is easy if you realize there is no self and no-self is yourself, for you then have found true wisdom.
A reflection on case 68 of the Book of Equanimity>
The hardest thing of all
is that there is no one to entreat,
no one who has to sort the infinite
voices, note who requested what
so that delivery of the prayers, the few
that warrant granting, go
to the correct person, particularly
given that there is no system in place
to track the whims of the grantor.
Still, you take to the mat,
fold your legs, or tuck them
under the sitting bench, and unfocus
hoping those wishes will slip away
on a sea of intervening thoughts,
and there will be, just for a moment,
nothing at all, and that, you know,
would be as close as you get to everything.
He was never one to go searching. It took up too much time. It certainly took far more effort than the results usually warranted. And there wasn’t anything in particular he wanted to go in search of. She said she was searching for ecstasy. He said he could buy it downtown, but it had grown rather pricey. She said she meant that state of being, that state of spiritual perfection. He said you couldn’t buy that downtown, though there were a couple of pastors in the suburbs who claimed to be able, for a proper donation, to provide it. She said she couldn’t pay for what was promised in the Bible, she would simply search and wait. She had faith. He said he had searched for faith once, and failed. That, he said, was when he gave up searching for things.
The great blue heron stares at the shirred surface of the pond, paying no attention to the ibis pecking around her, ignoring the traffic passing on the road, pausing now and again to marvel how the humans on foot and in cars cannot see that on a November day the quiet stillness of the water is actually nirvana.