When you far transcend all patterns and assessments, and the arrow points meet, without ever having any objective other than Truth, then you receive the marvel of the Way, become a successor of the ancestral teachers, and continue the transmission of the Lamp. You cut off the path of ideation and go beyond thinking and escape from emotional consciousness, to reach a clear, open state of freedom that sweeps all before it.The pattern of day matches that of thought. I wake. Take clipper machine to head, letting fall excess hair from scalp and beard. Re-heat coffee. Try to remove snow. Return through barn. Make circle of lights for front window. Hang Nan Merrill's Friends of Silence from small bungee attached to toilet paper holder. Order business cards online. Eat farina Saskia makes. Walk to brook through deep snow with three walking meditation companions. Bring in Charlotte's footstool from barn. Stoke wood stove.
- Yuanwu (1063-1135)
About thought -- I don't know what to think.
There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.The circle of colored lights in front window replaces triangle from extended Nativity season. This is the circle of emptiness. It is also round crown of thorns this Lenten season. Passersby (at 50 mph down hill) will hardly note the shift. We will -- at each passing, bending bow, enroute up or down stairs, each visit to Cesco in front room. And at morning or evening silence on zafu, the mere light symbolizing whatever mind arrives with, wherever stillness wishes to reside.
But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?
(-- From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council; Man's deeper questionings)
SnowAnd for a brief while, no trace of anything save breath of cosmos exhaling swirls of forgetfulness against everything.
At every hand there are moments we
cannot quite grasp or understand. Free
to decide, to interpret, we watch rain
streaking down the window, the drain
emptying, leaves blown by a cold wind.
At least we sense a continuity in
such falling away. But not with snow.
It is forgetfulness, what does not know,
has nothing to remember in the first place.
Its purpose is to cover, to leave no trace
of anything. Whatever was there before—
the worn broom leaned against the door
and almost buried now, the pile of brick,
the bushel basket filling up with thick,
gathering whiteness, half sunk in a drift—
all these things are lost in the slow sift
of the snow's falling. Now someone asks
if you can remember—such a simple task—
the time before you were born. Of course
you cannot, nor can I. Snow is the horse
that would never dream of running away,
that plods on, pulling the empty sleigh
while the tracks behind it fill, and soon
everything is smooth again. No moon,
no stars, to guide your way. No light.
Climb up, get in. Be drawn into the night.
(Poem "Snow" by Jared Carter, from Poetry)
There will be an eclipse of full moon tonight.
Like us, when everything lines up, something disappears. Earth will block what celestial light gives itself to lunar surface. But only for a brief while. Light will resurface.
When thought goes dark, for however brief a time, rest easy.
Snow melts. Forgetfulness fades. Darkness gives way.
And light, reflecting off snow, will take our breath once more.