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but … i don’t like … this/that, him/her, you/me.

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There’s this stanza in a Zen chant credited to Chinese lay practitioner Master Seng-ts’an (d. 609):

The Great Way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose.
When preferences are cast aside the Way stands clear and undisguised.

It popped into my mind as I sat on the cushion this morning. It showed up as I was silently complaining about this and that: the delivery truck making those beeping noises as it backed up into our narrow street, the length of time my visiting friend was using the shower upstairs, the way my left leg felt pinched as I sat cross-legged, and, thinking in ever larger circles, how I don’t like getting older, and how, to my dislike, death is looming everywhere (Japan, Lybia, etc.). And on and on … till I stopped chasing thoughts and escorted my awareness to my breath, in this moment, on this cushion.

And then, deliberately, to another line:

To founder in dislike and like is nothing but the mind’s disease.
And not to see the Way’s deep truth disturbs the mind’s essential peace.
 
Ah! Stay right here, right now. Everything else is thinking, fabricating, daydreaming and, more fundamentally, beyond my control and ever-changing. So I sat for a while longer, breathing in and breathing out, sensing my bodies sensations (pinched leg and more) as they came and went, neither preferring nor avoiding that moment’s peace.
 
source: Click here for several translations of “Affirming faith in mind.” image: empty meditation cushions at Fernwood Zendo.
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One response »

  1. As Osho would say, “Say, “Yes” to everything and surrender to what is.

    Reply

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