Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shobogenzo: Ch 11 (II) Uji – Existence-Time – Living in the Absence of Doubt

The doubts which living beings, by our nature, have about every thing and every fact that we do not know, are not consistent; therefore our past history of doubt does not always exactly match our doubt now. We can say for the present, however, that doubt is nothing other than time. We put our self in order, and see [the resulting state] as the whole universe…Practice, and realization of the truth, are also like this. Putting the self in order, we see what it is.

About a year ago I began making some pretty drastic changes in my life and the birth of this blog was a celebration of that decision. In a lot of ways things haven’t changed that much, much less than I’d imagined at the time – for now anyway.

The reaction of family and friends has been a bit out of proportion to the actual changes, often making me feel buffeted by some pretty strong winds and weather. There have definitely been moments when I’ve felt disoriented by changing circumstances and the sometimes stubborn and seemingly deliberate misunderstanding of others. Which is funny because my mind has been perfectly clear for a long time now. Funny in a way that sometimes makes me laugh and sometimes makes me cry, probably more than ever in my life…

The reality of that sense of clarity and certainty has only grown though, even in the face of uncertainty about the specifics of ‘tomorrow.’ What I can say is that the‘true self’ or ‘universal self’ and the fullness of‘emptiness’ that is there when I drop off during sitting seems to be there more and more, not just when I sit, but as I meet and move through each day.

It is the deepest sense of trust I have known. When I sit I realize and know that trust. And it comes from being grounded in the moment and knowing that nothing has really changed as I keep getting in touch with Now on a moment-to-moment basis.

So I’ve stopped doubting. I recognize that in terms of conditions and circumstances there’s a lot I could have doubts about. External things might not turn out the way I would most like them too. In fact, in some ways I can say that’s already been the case over the past year or so, not to mention the rest of my life. But my trust has only grown and if I follow my past doubts and fears back in time, none of them has amounted to much. That sense of ground is going to be there for the rest of my life one way or another.

After reading the above quote and recognizing the immense trust in the Universe I feel during zazen, I asked myself, why not let go of doubt? Doubt is something that has to do with circumstances and not this sense of ground and trust I feel. When I do that in life, as opposed to just during zazen, I see what is… And its what IS. I don’t need a picture to see it. 

Just this moment, this
Now, these colors, this hush -- ground
That I know so well.

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