Rikuko Taifu said to Nansen, “I have a piece of stone in my house. Sometimes it moves and has its being, sometimes it lies down. I would like to carve it into a Buddha, can it be done?” “It can, it can!” said Nansen. Rikuko asked, “It can be done; is that certain?” ” It can’t, it can’t!” said Nansen.
From Zen and Zen Classics (very old edition) The wording has been slightly changed.
Somebody recently sent me some writings about his feelings of inadequacy/insufficiency with regards to functioning generally. Thoughts about himself that had dogged him all his life. His feelings of inadequacy had coloured everything. What to do what to do? Then he extrapolated, in his writing, that this inadequacy coloured the deeper, could call it spiritual, levels of his inner life. Rather than being perceived as the joyous call of liberation, “going, going, going on beyond” (The Scripture of Great Wisdom) can at times sound rather relentless when one feels ill equipped.
Right at the very end of the ponderings on inadequacy came a really interesting insight. He saw that the feelings and thoughts of inadequacy had become a place known so intimately that there was a certain comfort and safety which he was loathed to leave. Who wants to leave a home lived in all of ones life, known so intimately? That’s even when one knows the roof is leaking, there is dry rot under the stairs and the doors and windows are hanging off their hinges. Who’s to convince one such as this (and that includes all of us to some extent).
This post is for the chap who this morning sat with something he usually avoids. In the intensity of what was there he found himself taking refuge in the Three Treasures, over and over again. (Yes, he just silently repeated the Three Refuges over and over in his mind.) And what was there, washed through. There is no formula for this.