The path meandered more than he remembered but he was the first to admit his memory was never his strongest suit. It didn’t help that he had consumed two margaritas at lunch, and even he didn’t believe the excuse that this was a slow day for him, still sober at two in the afternoon. But he wandered the path, for that is what paths were there for he was certain. He had no idea where he was going, and realized that he would have no idea when he got there. Still he had great faith in mathematics, that was his training, his brilliance,such as it was, and he knew that if he merely wandered aimlessly without thinking, he would eventually cross his own path, bump into his former self and they, together, could devise a plan to find their way precisely they were intended to be.
In many ways thoughts are very much like cats. By that I mean that they are known to wander in and stay as long as they like and never a moment longer. If you feed or stroke them they may linger, but please rest assured that if you really want them to stay, try though you might, they will find an open window or door and be gone the next time you look.
There are those desperately searching, who stumble along the way, tripping over the dharma gems lying in their path. Others proceed slowly, pausing to examine each pebble, each twig uncertain if it, just possibly, was the key to enlightenment. I wander along, going nowhere, knowing that is where the path must lead, and I am always where the path and I must intersect in time and space. A young child seeing this merely smiles and returns to his seat beneath the Bodhi tree.
How far must you wander to taste the pure essence, hear the pure note, see deeply into beauty, smell the first flower of spring, touch another heart? Will you grow tired from standing still in total silence contemplating this?
A reflection on Shobogenzo Case 65 (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)