Let the Sea Roar!

Golden Light Ruo Li

This week’s koan comes from the Hebrew Bible, Psalm 98. Many things roar in my life, the sea, my friend when she is angry with me, the traffic on 101. I know the lion’s roar, the bear and jaguar. It seems that cats of all sorts and sizes can be caught mid-roar. The cats that I live with will on occasion roar, though I think that their roar is more like a hiss. I roar from the pulpit. I can roar with laughter. Sometimes the roar crescendos as things get difficult and I am seeking to establish myself, standing firm. But sometimes it goes the other way: I disappear into the roar. As king David stands on the beach, the roar of the waves seem to wash over him. He composes a line, “Let the sea roar and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.!” I know that as I stand on the sandy beach, the roar of the sea behind and beneath me, the rhythmic pulse of the sea, I can get lost. The sea turns over on herself, the waves crashing the shore. Let the sea roar! There is a koan among the Miscellaneous Koans of the Pacific Zen School that goes: You make your way through the darkness of abandoned grasses in a single minded search for your self-nature. Now, honored one, where is your nature? We might say with this verse from the psalms: You make your way through the roar and thunder of life in search of your self. Now, honored one, where is your self?





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