Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Cruel Truth

The right direction is inherent in all energy, and it manifests itself spontaneously, unless prevented from so doing. This is the fundamental law of the Universe: how could it rely upon our practice and experience of Zazen?

If, however, we misunderstand this law even slightly, then our Zazen is far separate from accordance with this law. If, for example, we are proud of our understanding that it is necessary to pull in the chin to straighten the spine to balance the autonomic nervous system, and even if are able truly to say that “I have sacrificed everything in my life for studying Buddhism,” the cruel fact remains that, if we have misunderstood this law even slightly, we have never realized it at all.

In reality, a happening is either spontaneous or not. If it is not spontaneous even slightly -- even if the principle of pulling in and straightening is very subtle -- then it is not spontaneous at all. As the English proverb says, “A miss is as good as a mile.”

2 Comments:

Anonymous lafayette said...

thank god no one ever takes english proverbs seriously. or english zen masters for that matter.

Sunday, July 02, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Sometimes there is real truth in proverbs, both English and Japanese.

For example: SARU MO KI KARA OCHIRU -- even monkeys fall from trees.

Or RAKKA EDA NI KAERAZU -- fallen blossoms do not return to their branches.

But I agree that our pursuit of such real truth should not be taken seriously -- it is too deadly serious to be taken seriously.

And, yes, God forbid that anyone should take seriously English Zen Masters.

But if there were any Englishman who claimed to have mastered the 2nd law of the thermodynamics, primarily by investigating the teaching of a 13th century Japanese Zen Master, maybe it might be worth meeting him, just to be sure that the consensus opinion is correct -- that he is indeed a kind of madman who turned without reason against his own Buddhist Master.

Sunday, July 02, 2006  

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