This is It!
The koan: Damei asked Ancestor Ma: What is Buddha? Ancestor Ma said, "This very heart-mind is Buddha. Some Chirstian Scripture: Let the same heart-mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. Philippian 2:5 The Search is On For me it came when I was about 15. There had to be something glorious in life. I had seen glimpses here and there - the beautiful sunrise, the color of the leaves in the fall, the way the snow fell silently in January. There is something beautiful in life, something that I had glimpsed, something I can have. There comes a time in our spiritual lives when, truly, the search is on. For me there were meditation classes and yoga, psychological theories and programs, the ways to get there -- to find that bliss. To get there, in my way of thinking, was to escape present circumstances. For me this is what it was to be on a journey. I wanted to get there, understand the true nature of things Missing IT Hakuin Ekaku wrote in his Praise Song for Meditation:
People miss what's in front of them and go searching far from home. It's sad, like someone standing in water and crying out in thirst, or a child from a rich family struggling among the poor.
Another Way It is hard for me to think in one spiritual tradition. Ancestor Ma when asked, "What is Buddha? says, This very heart-mind is Buddha. Paul of Tarsus once said, when asked by the some Philippians, "let the same heart-mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus." I can't hear Paul without Ancestor Ma echoing in my head. Nor can I hear Ancestor Ma without Paul having his say.
Paul, Ancestor Ma. Ancesor Ma, Paul. That's how it is. As if speaking with the same mouth. What happens if the world is not divided up? We have all kind of fault lines: good and bad, right and wrong, true and false. You know the dualities in your own life. And religion can add: Buddha is Buddha. Christ is Christ. And I am me. If A not B. But, it sounds as if Paul and Ancestor Ma have found another way, a way beyond the sadness of someone standing in water calling out in thirst, or a child from a rich family struggling among the poor. This is to say IT is right here! the water you are standing in, the resources always within your grasp. This is IT! "This very place is paradise", says Hakuin in the same poem, "this very body, the Buddha." There is a seamlessness to life, an open heartedness that does not exclude. Here we find the undivided Christ, the one Buddha, and we are not separate from either Christ or Buddha. This very heart-mind is buddha. Yes,and in heart-mind no division, no you and no Buddha. In this heart mind unity, at-one in Christ. We can't grasp this by thinking. This is how it is: The mountains rise, the rivers flow. Maybe with this you could show me the Buddha, the Christ. Blessings,