Thursday, May 28, 2009

a trail walked a hundred thousand times

"Meditation is the training of returning to the original self.
It is not something that only happens in a temple or meditation hall.
It is the work of gazing into our inner mind without illusion,
in order to throw the mind wide open,
in order to throw wide open
the mind that has been closed in, fold upon fold, and besieged with entanglements."

-Beop Jeong Sunim (Korean monk)

a dear friend sent me this quote today. upon reading it, something inside of me lurched forward in recognition of the monk's final phrase. it's as if the cells in my body knew the meaning of those words inside and out, like the back of my hand, or a trail walked a hundred thousand times. a knowing from merely this lifetime, or countless lifetimes before, whatever the case, the groove of being besieged with entanglements is deep. i sensed a great weariness in my heart as those words rippled throughout my being, as if recognizing in resplendent clarity, if but only for a moment, that i'd reached a point of finally having worn out that path. could this be so?
pema chodron says that those who have had great pain in their lives, whether they experienced it when they were young or later in life, those people are usually the ones who get really serious about a spiritual path. these days i notice that my relationship to the particular, eclectic spiritual path i choose to engage with isn't just icing on the cake for me. it IS the cake. and since, if i had my way, i'd prefer to eat dessert first, it goes without saying that cake is the full meal deal in my book. spiritual practice has evolved into a way of life, rooted in necessity. "it is the work of gazing into our inner mind WITHOUT illusion." truth. looking honestly at oneself. no bullshit. no blinders. no fancy footwork. recognizing what is true, even in those dark corners of the mind where we are sure our secrets are safe, even from our own eyes. looking honestly again and again and honoring what is true, expressing what is true, and living in congruence. taking that still-point seat in meditation...gazing with pure honesty...ceasing to deny or turn away from the truth, even when it threatens to burn us up inside...gazing with fierce compassion at all that is....a tried and true gateway into the depths of intimacy.

throwing wide open the the vast, spacious sky...where clouds pass by, just as thoughts through the mind....they appear then disappear....appear then disappear....come and then go....come and then go. and so it is. everything moves. everything changes. life in flux. so may we let go. may we let go. may we let go.

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