Zen Master Genshu Watanabe (1869 – 1963) in his last years called to his bedside a monk who had recently become a disciple. The master asked, “How can one go straight on a steep mountain road of ninety-nine curves?” When the young disciple replied “I don’t know”, he was told, “Walk straight by winding along”.
When told to walk straight, we stupidly think we have to cross mountains, hills, rivers and the sea in a straight line. Ignoring traffic lights, we dash off like a race car, looking neither left nor right. But we only deceive ourselves into thinking we progress as we lurch forward. Instead, “Go straight by winding along”
It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in-between…..Being in-between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but were not. We’re standing at the in-between place. It’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination. We are moving forward, even when we’re in-between. Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in-between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.