"Only Go Straight"

The saying was popularized by Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen master that was quite prolific around the world. Reading this, I always just sort of skimmed over it, "well isn't that a cute phrase", and moved on. But it hit a bit harder last night during sitting. The random thought comes up and WHAM!

There is nowhere to go but straight. We think we can go left-right-up-down-back-forward but we can only go straight. I think the phrase means something like Uchiyama Roshi's "everything I encounter is my life". You can only go straight and face life. Turning this way and that, thinking that by going down a side alley you can somehow avoid what life gives is a delusion. Even then, you are only going straight. By embracing this fact, by realizing that life meets us every moment of the day, you can see life as it is, rather than how you think it should be. So, when your directions say "turn here, turn there", only go straight.

A few thoughts.