Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Gap Revisited (4): Something or Nothing?

My credo:

I love just sitting. I don’t want to get something out of it. I don’t sit in the full lotus posture out of any personal ambition, out of any desire for fame and profit. I am not afraid of being the one who turned out to be wrong. I understand that trying to be right is a delusion. I shall be happy to be a nobody, restricted by nothing, except by enjoyment of sitting in the full lotus posture, with body, with mind, and dropping off body and mind. I wish to devote my life just to sitting like this, and thus to be caught by stillness. I don’t wish to get to the bottom of the Buddha’s enlightenment through the clarity of my own intellectual understanding about the vestibular system et cetera; I wish to devote myself to the very practice-experience which, transcending understanding, gets to the bottom of the Buddha’s enlightenment.

BUT, this declaration has to be real. The person who says it has to really mean it. If when I say it there is even the faintest trace of me not really meaning it, then there is a gap. And if the slightest gap arises, the mind is lost in confusion.

This continues to be my actual experience. Effort to make some sense of this experience leads me back to Master Dogen's fourfold criterion which, as I have argued by now ad nauseam, may have to do with four vestibular reflexes. For example, though I may say "I do not care," when my Moro reflex is unduly excited, I care. Though I may say, "I know where I am going," when my Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex is playing up, I am lost.

In the end, one has to laugh at oneself. What else is there for it? When I introduced myself on this blog as a big Zen fraud, I wasn’t joking.

Now, come on DL: Are you just saying that, or do you really mean it?


Blogger Michael Kendo Tait said...

Hooray and hooray for this post. I wish you nothing and for myself also and I also wish that wish to be true.

Thursday, July 12, 2007  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Thank you very much, MT.

I would like to come back to my favourite three sentences:

Bodily sit in the full lotus posture.
Mentally sit in the full lotus posture.
Dropping off body and mind, sit in the full lotus posture.

“Bodily” means head shaved, body wrapped in a traditonal robe, upright and still.

“Mentally” has to do with wishing. But, in the words of Nelly Ben-Or, “It is wishing that won’t take No for an answer.” And in the words of Marjory Barlow, “It has to be real.”

To clarify our wish for a bit of nothing, and to keep really meaning it: this is a real challenge.

Every time I sit at this bloody computer, I have already failed!

Sunday, July 15, 2007  

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