Zen speaks of “expressing a dream within a dream”, acknowledging that we never quite rid ourselves of delusion and confusion, yet we can be present and fundamentally kind. There is so much bounty, so many tangled and twining vines, as well as so much lostness. Practice isn’t abut escaping any of it. It is about putting our feet on the ground, feeling the moist grass, knowing the wet stream of tears on a cheek…and not wandering off, looking for something better. “Here is the place; here the Way unfolds”, Master Dogen wrote.
Summer asks that we not confuse enlightenment with distraction. Where there is a dream of intractable pain, Buddhas show up to be a salve to that suffering. They show up for you. They are not other than you. “Just as cages and snares are limitless, emancipation from them is limitless” Dogen also wrote.
Bonnie Myotai Trace, A Year of Zen