Is it the bowl that rolls around the pearl,
or is it the pearl that rolls around the bowl?
Is it the weather that is cold,
or is it the person who is cold?
Think neither cold nor heat — at that moment, where is the self to be found?
Dogen (1200 – 1253) commentary on Dongshan’s (807–869) koan “Cold and Heat”
Spring has started early in Ireland with some days very mild, blossoms already on the trees and daffodils in full bloom. However, everyday is different and today is forecast wet and windy. A weather that is always in motion, hot and cold…
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche said “there is no cure for hot and cold”. He meant that our lives have periods of good things and bad, things may go well but we still have self-doubt. Our minds seem to be always in motion – a succession of thoughts and emotions, good intentions and petty thoughts, kindness followed by self-seeking.
Pema Chodron used the phrase to encourage us not to struggle but rather relax into life as it is. In this way, we not only can stop the complaining that goes on in our mind, but also be pleasantly surprised by what the weather of a day blows into our lives:
The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.