A Better View of the Moon

AA47697B-20B9-4C93-99DE-71EFDDAE66B0Zen is the way to a better way.

Consider this zen story:

Now that my house has burned down, I have a better better view of the moon.

Most zen stories are about “no self.” I never understood what that meant until my first sesshin, where we woke at 3:50 a.m. for a week and sat zazen (meditation) all day (with breaks). The first day my knees were sore, the second day my back, and soon all of my body was sore and falling apart. On the fifth day, you could say I fell apart – without a role, my narratives, or distractions, and with days of just (trying) to count my breath, the “me” of me disappeared. I was just a consciousness.

I had entered a state of “no self.”

Two realizations followed: the “self” is a temporary, fragile construct; building and defending the “self” is a futile campaign and often harmful to others.

So, let go.

Returning to the zen story:

Now that my house has burned down, I have a better view of the moon.

The story is a metaphor. Literally, this is the story:

Now that I have realized “no self,” I am awake and can see clearly.

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s