Edmonton doesn’t know if it is coming or going. The continuing mild weather has most of us on tender hooks. We’re waiting. We’re waiting for the other boot to drop; for the snow to fly, for the mercury to fall, for double digit below zero temperatures. And none of that’s happened, yet. It’s hard to accept the situation and be warm, since it is warm. Difficult to not mentally crouch in anticipation of the punishing winter weather to arrive?
A monk asked Great Master Tozan Gohon,
‘How can we avoid hot and cold?’
Tozan said,’Why don’t you go somewhere that is neither hot nor cold?’
The monk asked,’Where is a place that is neither hot nor cold?’
‘When it is cold, be completely cold;
When it is hot, be completely hot.’
Zen Master Dogen, Shobogenzo.
The monks question amounts to “how do I live beyond the opposites”, at heart it’s a spiritual question. Any problem, however mundane seeming, can be turned into a spiritual question that can lead one deeper. That’s if one is willing to listen to the answer! Zen Master Tozan’s reply points to the heart of practice, of being completely present no matter what’s going on and, above all, not to try and escape ‘what is’. There is an article on the internet by Rev. Master Kinrei of Berkeley Buddhist Priory which expands on the above quote. He is my older brother in the Dharma, I have much reason to be grateful for his wise council over the years.
You’ve got to admit it, the Berkeley web site is really neat!