Healing our wounds

Looking down into my father’s
dead face
for the last time
my mother said without
tears, without smiles
without regrets
but with civility
“Good night, Willie Lee, I’ll see you
in the morning.”

And it was then I knew that the healing
of all our wounds
is forgiveness
that permits a promise
of our return
at the end.

Alice Walker, Collected Poems

 

Solid and loose

Things arise and pass away. Our natural tendency is to make them solid, to get stuck in our perception, the form, to come to definite conclusions about what is happening. However,  all the images and inferences we have in our mind can be very deceptive. Sometimes. we need to hold things lightly, to wait until what is happening reveals itself, rather than getting caught up in the sign before us.

Whenever something can be distinguished by signs

there is deception

The Diamond Sutra, discourse of the Buddha to the monk Subhuti

Always close to this

When we are willing to be intimate with what actually is here now, to look directly at all of our experience, we might recognize that this is our life, however different from our thoughts and ideas about it. It is as if we hunker down and actually get very real, recognizing that our thoughts of gaining and losing, good and bad, happy and sad, are what distance us from ourselves.

Once Dongshan was asked, ‘What is the deepest truth? What is the wisdom that liberates?’

His response was, ‘I am always close to this.’

It is the closeness itself – the intimacy with what is here with us now – that is the truth that liberates us.

Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Most Intimate: A Zen Approach to Life’s Challenges

The dance

Mystery is so ever-present that no one can know for certain what will happen one hour from now. From mystery’s vantage there is no fixed path. In truth there is no path at all, for that would be to place it into the realm of space and time. To awaken is not to fix or hold but to love whatever is here. Knowing this truth releases our hearts from grasping. The mystery that gave us birth becomes a dance

Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry