It doesn't matter. Not the things that occupy our minds and make us crazy with fear, anxiety, obsession, and craving .
What matters is love. And real trust.
The dharma master lives here at Mt. Chiao,First drop of wood is stacked. Moon is full.
and yet, in fact, has never lived here at all.
I’ve come here to ask about the dharma,
but the dharma master sees
through me and says nothing.
It isn’t that the dharma master lacks the words,
but that I do not understand the nature of his reply.
- Su Shih (1073)
At Tuesday Evening Conversation we read the chapter "The Four Limitless Qualities" from Pema Chodron's The Places That Scare You. As people drift in and out from restaurant across parking lot, as Mr O arrives from Pennsylvania to stay a while upstairs, and as six of us talk and laugh through the antics of Border Collie and those he herds in our small space -- we try to unearth what matters and what doesn't in the scary times of these days.
May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
This first line refers to maitri.
May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
And this second line refers to compassion.
May we never be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering.
This refers to joy.
May we dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, aggression and prejudice.
This refers to equanimity.
(--from Maitri, The Love That Never Dies, by Pema Chodron, at Berkeley California, Labor Day Weekend, 1997)
We admit there is some -- no, much -- we don't yet understand. This is ok. We sit together in this practice of conversation to bring together our day, our inquiry, our listening, and our willingness to be present to one another.
The things we've been taught to believe "matter" don't always. What matters tonight is this practice of interactive interdependence. Tonight we look within, look around, and look with grateful appreciation at each one stepping through a circle that is free, open, and informal.
We thank each other for coming. We thank Pema Chodron for her words. And we request that we hold in heart and mind all our brothers and sisters, near and away.