SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Clear Skies

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Yesterday trains, now planes ... My family and I are heading back to Florida for a few weeks. We have to pack up things, say farewell to a few friends, after many years of splitting our time between there and Japan.

Plane trips always are particularly good times for Zazen, in part due to an irrational fear of flying that I sit with. That fear, despite having made the Pacific crossing over 70 times.

Our lives, from a Buddhist perspective, are actually much like a mysterious airplane flight: We are born, we find ourselves on a strange trip ... not sure of the point of origin or the destination. Perhaps this plane goes around in endless circles. In life, we are not even sure who, if anyone, is at the controls ... but certainly we are not, ultimately, at the controls (our choices pretty limited to food and drinks and trips to the bathroom). So, the plane goes up and we go up, the plane goes down and we go down. Turbulence come and go, and so we bounce bounce bounce. A movie, a work of fiction, passes before our eyes on a screen.

Perhaps, from a Buddhist view, the only true difference between an actual plane ride and our life ride is this: In our life, we do not merely ride the plane ... we and all the other passengers ARE the plane.


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