Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Boring Buddhism

Road Kill 19

Quads burning like fire
And still no one rides no bike
The wheel spins and spins

Too tired to write much, but one more thought along the lines of yesterdays post.

Walking the path is harder than it appears at first, i think. While it may seem murderously hard to give up the trappings of a materialistic life and move to a simpler life of introspection and inquiry, it can be almost as difficult to keep yourself from swinging to the other extreme once that move has been made.

For a long time, even as you walk the path, there is still a sense of 'I,' 'someone' who is 'walking' 'the path.' And because this path leads to that mystical place called enlightenment and that magical thing called nirvana, everything is an adventure. The path is a journey of discovery, seeking new states of mind, new identities, new rules to live by.

But the truth, as i said yesterday, is in that boring flatland lying between these two views. That place with nothing to see, nothing to do, no definition, and nothing to find. And this is hard to see because there is still that piece of ego firmly entrenched inside who is telling us that it has to be more than that; there has to be something i can find and define.

When i talk about giving up the search, surrendering, and giving up the chase for answers, i mean exactly that. Giving up. Surrendering. That doesn't mean giving up, but keeping a small portion of your mind working to study the current situation in order to find how it works. That doesn't mean surrendering, but keeping a small portion of your mind working to find a possible escape route. This means no more and no less than giving up. Surrendering.

Sit on your zafu and let yourself melt into all of reality as it is. Don't think about it, don't analyze it, don't try and define it, but know that as you sit there reality, all that is and all that isn't, what is before is and isn't, ... that reality is manifesting as that body you call yours on the cushion you call yours, in this time called now and that place called here. Reality is manifesting. Period.

Thoughts may come and go, but that has no bearing on what you are doing. Let them come and go without dwelling on them. Sensations may come and go. Let them come and go. Perceptions may come and go. Let them come and go. That is all part of reality. You are reality. Sitting is reality. Your zafu is reality. Everything and nothing is reality.

This path isn't about discovery and adventure, it's about letting go of discovery and adventure just as it is about letting go of me, mine, and all those things i used to define myself with. The path is about coming to understand that even though no one is riding no bike, my quads were killing me on the final couple of hills today. The path is about coming to understand that while reality is all there is when sitting on my zafu, reality is all there is when i'm calling that jerk with the dog an asshole and losing my temper.

And this is exactly why i love the henro trail on Shikoku as much as i love the henro trail on a zafu. They may seem like different places but they aren't. Shikoku for me is a two month walking meditation retreat. It's a chance to give up my ordinary life and step into reality in its wholeness. It's a chance to give up adventure and discovery and step into reality in its oneness.

The henro trail is a chance to see each moment of the day as everything. To see everything as empty yet obviously there. To see existence from outside the normal confines of time. The henro trail, for me, is that boring place where i can Be, and no more. Where Being can manifest as me, one step and one breath at a time.

There's no room for emotion here, whether that's anger and pride or exhilaration awe.

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