Thursday, December 8, 2011

BECOMING

Today is bodhi day -- remembrance of the Buddha becoming the Buddha while sitting (nothing but sitting) under a pipal tree some twenty-five hundred years ago. When the morning star rose, he was finally and utterly Awake.

What is this -- Awake?

One of my teachers, Terry Keenan, liked to retell the story of Huston Smith asking his Zen teacher, and the answer was (a teaching wrapped in a teaching wrapped in a teaching): Infinite gratitude for all that is past; infinite service toward all that is present, and infinite responsibility toward all that is in the future.

Susan Jion Postal changed the first line, skewing it perhaps towards the active, perhaps for the better:

Infinite kindness to the past,

Infinite service to the present,

Infinite responsibility to the future.


(In other words:)


What is the price of happiness? -- Pay attention!

The simplest and hardest thing in the world: To be in it, fully; to be turning the wheel aware and focused -- mind and heart (one thing) (purely) (plainly) (wholly) what they are.

To be a bronze bell ringing of and with the vast plenitude of nothing.

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