Monday, March 23, 2009

Because somehow one must begin

Let me begin with a quote from Dogen, a 13th century zen master, from his teaching "Tenzo Kyokun."

"Under no circumstances allow anyone who happens to be drifting through the kitchen to poke his fingers around or look into the pot."

Now, let's take yourself/myself. You and I, we probably enjoy entertainment, right? In fact, we probably are more than willing to let someone drift into our world if they will entertain us away from our problems, our suffering. And isn't it probably also true that, when faced with another who is suffering greatly and in need of someone who is willing to just listen, to bear witness to that suffering, and maybe make a pointed comment or two when necessary - we, well I anyway, is often more than willing to be that person that meddles with the situation by entertaining, or excessively agreeing with what is being said, or by simply "poking my fingers" into something that needs to stew awhile yet. And why? Because there is such a strong desire to be rid of the misery, to have a "happy" or at least "ok" friend, or lover, or co-worker, or even stranger. Maybe it's time we face up to this fact, our desire to turn away from life as it is. What do you think?

Continuing the "cooking" theme of Dogen, he said "A dish is not necessarily superior because you have prepared it with choice ingredients, nor is a soup inferior because you have made it with ordinary greens." I ask you all this: if we cannot embrace the "ordinary greens" of our lives, then how can we be but ghosts chasing after something superior that never quite comes?


Jess said...

Welcome to blogland.
It is so nice to reconnect after these many years since high school, if only virtually.

Nathan said...

Hey Jess,

Yeah, it sure is cool to be able find people after such a long time. I've been thinking about having a blog for awhile, so now here I am :)