Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seasons and Life

There is no I and there is no other.
How can there be intimacy or estrangement?
I recommend giving up trying to get there by meditation,
But rather, directly seizing the reality at hand.
The message of the Diamond Sutra is:
Nothing is excluded from our experienced world.
From beginning to end,
It inevitably exposes our false identities.

Layman P'ang (740-808)

This is quite a jolt of a poem, don't you think? I have been reflecting on this whole "exposure" process lately. How every spring, the snow melts away and reveals both a round of casualties and, also, a round of new life. Body of a squirrel. Barren tree. Rotting couch cushion. Tulip blooming. Burst of bee balm. Newborn robin. Shiny bicycle.

I think there is a place for hiding in, for holding on to those identities, those parts of yourself that aren't completely right, integrated, alive.

And yet, at the same time, it's foolish to either stay there very long, or believe that you can stay there very long.

Winter comes to all of our identities, and everything that we do.
And spring brings in what's next.

I tend to be afraid of directly seizing some of the realities at hand. Perhaps a snow will come to that fear soon enough.


Kris said...

Shokai at Water Dissolves Water, shares this translation:

No self, no other,
Then how could there be intimate and estranged?
I advise you to cease all your lectures.
They can't compare with directly seeking truth.
The Diamond Wisdom nature
Erases even a speck of dust.
"Thus I have heard" and "Thus I believe"
Are but so many words.

Nathan said...

Ah, that's excellent! Thank you.