As I start, here are some not quite fully formed thoughts (which is appropriate given the not quite fully formed topic) that are somewhat tangential to Taigu's being the flower blooming thread along with some other unclear stuff. Can I be more vague? I will not try.

We spend a great deal of our lives wanting to know stuff. For example, I am addicted to the weather radar. Now that I can view it online, I want to know what the radar says about the weather more than I can actually know (as in experience) it by looking outside my window. In our lives, I think we often substitute knowledge for experience, and this does not seem to be compatible with Zen. Yet we want to know where we are on the Path; we want to know if we are doing zazen correct; we want to know what this sutra or koan means, and so on. Even when we experience something, we come here to find out (know) whether it was important, or not, or what it meant, if anything.

It's not that there is anything wrong with this, because there isn't, but knowledge and experience are two different things. Let me go back to the weather radar. It has been sort of rainy here for the past few days, so when I hear thunder and am on the computer (and sometimes when I am not) I go to the radar to see where's the rain. "Is it here? Is it close? How close?" I want to know! So may times lately I see the radar showing that it is raining and then I go look out the window and see that it is dry on the pavement. "But wait," I exclaim, "the radar says it's raining. What's the matter? Is it the rain or the radar?" I wonder for a second or two or more. Where is the reality? In the radar, in the clouds, on the ground, somewhere between the two, perhaps. I don't know. But I want to know, and that desirous separation leads to some suffering, not much, not bad at all, but expectations dashed into the unknown is dukka.

As a college professor, I am a knowledge geek. I want to know lots of stuff in my field as well as any other field I am interested in. Rather than just experiencing the blooming flower, or this unusual tree near my house that I am curious about, or the rain, I want to know about them. What are their names? How do they grow? What's the radar show? But the more I only grasp for that knowledge the more I miss out on their experience.

As I said, it's been rainy here, so today I sat outside for about a half hour while it was raining, some of that time actually in the rain. It took a lot of effort, but I did NOT look at the radar before I went outside. While out there was just soaking in of the rain; like the ground, so was zazen. But just putting words to that spoils the experience somewhat, a lot like the Path.


What path?