Thus, this mountain monk doesn?t understand at all.
Living here he no longer works to get free.
Who would proudly arrange seats, trying to entice guests?
Mountain monk sounds great. What is it to be a mountain monk? Do you have to live in the mountains? In a way mountains have always captured the imagination of early Chinese ancestors and Dogen had a great like for them, seing them as the ideal place to practice Dharma as well as a great escape form the busy and political Kyoto. In mountains in established the community of Eiheiji. Wanshi means a person that belong to mountain, and this mountain is the shape and essence of sitting itself. By now, you would have understood that this poem provides a collection of guidelines for zazen. In sitting, ome relinquishes under-standing, one does not support anymore the vision and structure that makes the world looks like this or that. As you all know, we live in very different worlds and we all have a different perception of things. We all feed a distinct fiction that we call reality and that has nothing to do with reality. This fiction is possible because of a collection of habits and thoughts that we cling to and believe in, one of the most pernicious and tricky one is the illusion of understanding, of knowing it all. That is why not knowing is the essence of our path, not knowing is not just to be an empty idiot (although, it is not excluded :wink: ), it is the release of any attempt to size, control and manipulate reality. Not to be attached to our belief system and see through the constant attempt to make reality our own, to make it fit the pre-conceived ideas and follow the plans we made. Ad Will says: the thruth is that we haven't a clue, we don't know" (I am quoting from memory). That's it. So acting from that space of not knowing is our way. Sitting not as doing something we know. Zazen should always being practiced as a beginner likewise and life met as a beginner. When one listens to teenagers, they sound so blase, being cool for them is pretending you know. As we grow up, we shed a few skins, a lot of beliefs, peeling away stuff endlessly. What makes this metamorphosis possible, what allows impermanence to just be is beginner's mind. Suzuki roshi loved that so much that teaching of Dogen. Beginner's mind is another name of not knowing. So, we should be careful not to sit with this body and mind as we sat yesterday. Why should we wish for another copycat experience? We could allow a lot of playtime, exploration and be really flexible with the way we sit. Otherwise, our sitting is going to be a another dogmatic statement, a desperate attempt to freeze the flowing nature of this. I would like my first video to be about that, hopefully next week when I can make the d.... thing work :roll: .
Another common misunderstanding and practice is the excess will to free oneself from bondage, illusion and suffering. The idea that we have to work hard to get out of this confusion is only adding to the confusion. One could almost say that the way out is the way in: meeting the mess, getting to know the shadow better and really get to see that it is ok and just fine as it is. Getting to be a close friend of what we don't want to see until these flowers in space become real clear blue, until we enjoy a bite of the painted rice cake. Enlightened activity is found in being happy with what is available now. The hut is poverty but not in the romantic and quite childish understanding, poverty is not about the absence of extras, it is the cessation of gaining and the endless gratitude to be just alive. A king can act in a very poor and humble way, a proud and dogmatic hermit can be a real wealthy individual, too rich to be open to all things passing and vanishing. The hut could be a palace. The cave a golden cage.
As I wrote in a previous post: "What Wanshi says could be something like this: no need to invite thoughts or feed our personnal fantaisies anymore including the so called spiritual ones: the guests he is talking about are not the mates, the friends; they are the old stories and patterns we play endlessly in our mind, the things we entertain ourselves with, the miseries and dramas we enjoy...these guests are also all the fake indentities we have: father, husband, wife, male, female, sucker, saint, junkie, Zen teacher...Ego voices are but illusions. You see, you don't have to get rid of the ego, for it has never ever existed. All you have to do is to open your eyes on the room, the space and understand that the clinging is the issue. The activity of clinging exists but there is nothing to cling to. No guests. Nobody".