Saturday, October 9, 2010

no more leftovers

After one particular sesshin, or Zen Buddhist retreat, I remember talking to a fellow who had been doing the same thing everybody else has -- paying attention, focusing the mind, sitting still and addressing the flotsam and jetsam that floated up in the mind.

Anyone who has tried sesshin can tell you that it can get pretty intense -- pretty sad, pretty happy, pretty usual, pretty unusual, pretty clear, pretty confused. Sitting in silence facing your own life ... well, it can be pretty intense. Deeper and deeper the focus seems to go, more and more focused the focus seems to become and bit by bit there is less and less to hold onto.

And it was out of that frame of mind, the fellow I was talking to said, almost as a wail, "It's got to leave you with something!"

It's sort of funny -- but not much fun being there -- when things we have assumed and loved and hated and clung to seem to disappear and there's "nothing" left. A good friend dies and there is no way to speak clearly about it: The mind tries and tries to find meaning and solace but, well, everything is just wubba-wubba ... real as air but no where to find a handle. Or love wells up as big as a house boat and yet it cannot be contained or defined, no matter how sweet the poetry.

Somehow, what disappears cannot disappear. "It's got to leave you with something!"

I think of this when I think of spiritual endeavor. How beloved. How intense. How frightening. How enfolding. And during a time of great and good effort, there does seem to be something to it, something concrete and consoling and reliable. In Buddhism, there is Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In Christianity, there is God. In Taoism there is ... well, Tao.

In practice it comes closer and closer, as it seems until it's still there, but it's too close for the eyes to focus. And then, it disappears but there is still a sense of loss and the willingness to reassert ritualistic praise or recitations. After all, it's got to leave you with something! It cannot just go "poof!"

It's got to leave you with something and of course it does, but like love or death, it cannot be named, whether by shouts or whispers. "Something" usually has a name, but where the names disappear ... what's that like? Maybe it's a little as if things disappear all the time and nothing can possibly disappear. Things cannot disappear, but I can. :)

And that's "something," right?


  1. There is "nothing" left? Correction. There is NOTHING left. Question is what? Obviously here is something left (out). The rest is right. Consentrate about doing right stuff and there is ... umm... more to do. Even more if you try harder.

    I'll need quote something from the Quran. Why you wonder and I have my reason for that. Not exactly doing so for ... well i am having a little fun. Thanks Counselor Genkaku.

    [16.48] Do they not consider every thing that Allah has created? Its (very) shadows return from right and left, making obeisance to Allah while they are in utter abasement.

  2. One looks for some substance from within a desire to please, faults are let go of, until the will is converted over to a righteous freedom of judgments.

    And so the desires fail, to keep up a front of endless conquests over fear, the fear of losing, touch with reality, from the past. The future is based in the past, or so we thoughtless believed, believing is in things seen before now.

    When we are welcomed into the world of the unseen, free of the desire to return to a previous knowledge, every thought can become valuable with whatever is happening in the present moment, opening, up, like a flower converted by the sun within, and without boundaries, or doubts arising.

    Doubts only fall away, like clothing, covering what is within, all, to receive equally well. Equality equals wellness.

  3. Haha. I like watching
    I do like it, but ... uhmm... i fear Allah.
    Allah provides no porn to desire.
    Fear wins over desire. Fearful ones loses in the front of desires. Allah fears noone and loves me though he cannot say it. Our father as Christians says are more loving than strict.

    Right now, i would have watched some (Eva Angelina?) but there is no appearance of desire.

    Allah is awesome. Has he brainwashed me? Cool. Contact though intellectual has been established. The intellect can't grash HIM.