It is late however I do like to nip over to Japan and Little House in the Paddy to see what Iain is writing about. Turns out that we are on the same track. Words. Or how it came to me today: This is not what you think. This being here now, all that is encountered.

Words are just a code, quite inadequate for this task, bit by bit that is the other discovery we make. Words are fine to create a facsimile of the original but they never come close to replicating it, they really are a finger pointing at the moon. As we grow older we seem to feel this ‘newness’ less and less but no reason why we should. When did you last say to the person next to you on the train “Look at that amazing cloud over there! It looks like a horse!”

And isn’t it the way of things. Here is Andrew down in Cornwall talking about another theme which I am currently contemplating, fear and anxiety.

Please don’t, what ever you do, feel sorry for us! The longer you go on in this business, the deeper you go and the more intimate one becomes with this. I just want to say that fear and anxiety are better not regarded as problems to fix. The more one thinks and acts as if they are the more real and fixed they become. I have to say it again: This is not what you think! It’s not that it is something else, really. That there is a deeper ‘reality’. That if you thought differently this would be better appreciated. Or, please not, if I think positive thoughts bad things will go away and good things happen.

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10 thoughts on “This”

  1. Perhaps wanting to KNOW what THIS is and or to KNOW a deeper REALITY is the problem. But at the moment I only know that I DON’T KNOW. Is that a problem? Or just a sign that my training hasn’t worked? Or my practice isn’t deep enough (however you measure it).

  2. Faulty thinking problem Ian. What exactly is it that you know that you don’t know?! Not getting all ‘mental’ here, it is a simple question. And sending me an email on this is fine…I can’t guess which Ian I’m talking to so that limits or generalises my response.

  3. Ian’s comment made me recall this:

    Which is about tring to remember that it’s about now, not some future that I will always keep out of reach. Not to invent some goal to aim for. It’s probably enough for me just to be aware of the dharma and try to keep to the precepts.

  4. After our exchange of e-mails I am reminded of this koan:-

    Great Master T?zan Ry?kai was once asked by a monk, “When
    cold or heat come our way, how are we to avoid them?”
    The Master replied, “Why don’t you proceed to the place where
    there is no heat or cold?”
    The monk then asked, “What is that place where there is no heat
    or cold?”
    The Master answered, “When it is cold, my acharya, * give
    yourself up to the cold; when it is hot, my acharya, give yourself up to
    the heat.”

    from Dogen’s Shobogenzo chapter Shunju translated by Rev’d Hubert Nearman.

  5. Thanks Ian. I always liked this koan. Judging by the forcast we are going to have a really cold night, so when cold….etc.

  6. Mia, how wonderful to see your name here. I want to put in a plug for people to leave comments. Two people at Throssel this week-end who read here. I asked them to leave something to signal they are there, reading along. Glad you like that last sentence. You are right it is so much of what we find in the common ‘wisdom’ package.

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