We like to surround ourselves with that which is familiar. We believe that we can count on the familiar to take us through life. One thing that I have noticed is that in trusting the familiar I often disengage from what is happening around me, just counting on what is usual -- the same old, same old -- to carry me through. I can phone it in. I am lost to the life that is all around me, lost to the surprises that are welcoming me into each moment.
Things are different as I deal with what is not known, with the unfamiliar. When I am in unsual sorroundings I feel alive, I am aware of what is around me, of how I am in relation to the world as it comes. With koans we cozy up to the unfamiliar, to the unknown. We welcome the surprises. There is a koan that gets to the heart of this:
Fayan comes to his teacher who asks him, Where are you going?
Out on pilgrimage.
How is that for you?
I don't know.
Not knowing is most intimate.
We will sit with this koan tomorrow, Wednes