Friday, October 9, 2009

If You Wish to See the Truth

First off, great bows to John Daido Loori Roshi, who died a few hours ago. Thank you to Barry for delivering the news on his blog. We all have a short time here; what are you going to do with the rest of your precious life?

I am continuing to study and reflect on Master Sengcan's dharma poem "Trust in Mind" or the Xinxinming. Here's another line that caught me, and a few others in my sangha over the past week.

"If you wish to see the truth,
then hold no opinions for or against anything."

Take a look at those first words - "If you wish to see the truth." How often do you truly wish to see the truth? And how often do you do anything in your power to turn away from it?

This line seems to point at the choice that's required of each of us in every moment to want to see the truth. We have to aim ourselves in the right direction - or, more accurately, allow ourselves to be aimed in the right direction by life itself. If we're too busy being obstructionists, propping up sham arguments about ourselves and others, there's no room for the truth to seep in.

In the second part of the line, the word "hold" stands out in my opinion. Last night, I was in a conversation about politics, and felt myself holding on to an opinion about the current leadership here in the U.S. I noticed how there was a tightness in my body, and also an increasing sense of shutting down occurring for the guy I was talking to. So, I decided to pull back, and let go of the point I was trying to make. We continued to talk, and I was very aware of the calming that came to my breath and body after letting go, and how I was still able to talk about what I thought, but in a more open way.

What would it be like to have all opinions be like this? Like birds floating across the mind's landscape, accessible, able to be conveyed, but also free to pass on through at any time?

A powerful aspiration, and one worth working towards realization. Bows to us all for our efforts, however great or small.


Adam said...

A very timely lesson. Many thanks.

Barry said...

Wonderful description of the life of practice. Thank you.

Algernon said...

That's it in just a couple of sentences: letting it go, like a shooting star.

An actor acquaintance of mine and I were once talking about the "problem" of learning lines. We talked about how people sometimes think of the lines as something you cram into your head, that takes up space inside your mind, and how false that was.

Then he said, "You should forget your lines. If they're the truth, they'll come back."

How wonderful. There is no need to hold onto anything, least of all the truth -- that takes care of itself.

spldbch said...

Yes, we tend to become very attached to our opinions!!!