Sunday, December 28, 2014

I'll Have the Rhinoceros, Please.

Today I took the trouble to comment on an interesting article in the NYT titled Against Invulnerability.  I do this partly to get a female voice into these things.  There are so many intelligent men interested in debating online, and too few women.  Here's what I said, feeling that I was speaking to the author:
As I understand the Zen I practice, I want to enter each moment vividly, fully, and without being shaken about by the desires and preferences of my conditioned self. In meditation practice, I practice letting all that flow through me without taking action. This does entail complete vulnerability to the feelings that arise, and can't be done without compassion. . . You might have some interest in the ancient text, "Trust in Mind" in this regard. A learned book about it recently came out.
The book by Mu Soeng is of the same title, and would probably not interest anyone who isn't of a somewhat scholarly bent.  The ancient poem itself is bad enough, I mean lo-o-ong.  But it is important enough to be chanted in sesshins, especially its first line, for it portrays exhaustively the Zen Way.  Here's one version of that line ~
The Great Way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose.
The Way being human life.  When it's called The Great Way, I think it means living as a Buddhist.  Just accept whatever presents to you, whether it's a delicately carved rhinoceros fan or the great hairy beast itself parked in your kitchen.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Just eat whatever is put in front of you, right?  Everything, all the time?
just accept the distant mother, the dependent father, the mean sister, the lazy husband, the noisy neighbors, the gift that is. not. my. colors. Yes, that's the idea.  In addition, as the Dalai Lama admonishes, Try to be nice.  Actually, that's the hardest part sometimes.
A rhinoceros iguana, here photographed with insight by Dennis Daubney.

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