Chortle! Chortle! Non Merci!
Don’t be fooled. This stew is obviously of my own recipe, my own, not some orthodox fare. It is steeped to make you gurgle, to get your juices flowing.
But chortle, Non Merci!
These people express the Way beautifully, being portals to be looked through deeply, as on this looking glass not one spec of dust can abide.
So chortle, non merci
This life of eating and shitting is, if we would only realise it, the dynamic life of receiving and giving back with no holding on to anything
“ to sing…dream…laugh…move on…be alone…have a choice”
So chortle, non merci; non merci
I was sleeping, and being comforted
By a cool breeze, when suddenly a grey dove
From a thicket sang and sobbed with longing,
And reminded me of my own passion.
I had been away from my own soul so long,
so late-sleeping, but that dove’s crying
Woke me and made me cry. Praise
To all early-waking grievers!
Buddha proclaimed countless teachings,
Each one revealing the purest truth.
Just as each breeze and every drop of rain
Refreshes the forest,
There is no sutra that does not lead to salvation.
Grasp the essence of each branch
And stop trying to rank Buddha’s teaching.
This is not mere theory it is to be practiced…
A half understood martial art is a dangerous thing. The demands of any serious endeavour are universal, requiring exhaustive practice, training, discipline and forging, because simply your life and that of others is on the line.
It is inconceivable that people placed with such a duty do forget or are small-minded. It is the ability to transcend aiuchi (mutual killing or striking down) to that of ainuke (a term created, by Harigaya Sekiun, that expresses “going through” unhurt).
In Zen training if you think everything is dualistic (self and other), there will be tension, and you will never be able to achieve enlightenment. You must transcend dualism and enter the realm of ainuke. But there is a problem. It is no good just to intellectualise about this realm of ainuke. This is a very important point. If you do not have the background and strength of aiuchi, you cannot enter the realm of ainuke. Your Zen will be empty. If you have not mastered aiuchi, it is impossible to learn ainuke.
Omori Sogen p73.
The Way of Strategy employed for one, is employed for many. This is no small undertaking. Win first, fight second. We have to commit Body, Intelligence and Spirit (Shin, Gi, Tai). The secret of fulfilment is also universally acknowledged - constancy and sincerity.
“Whatever man is desirous to attain skill in any art, unless he observes the rules and orders of the best masters of that work or science, is indulging in a vain hope to reach by idle wishes any similarity to those whose pains and diligence he avoids copying.”
John Cassian, Christian monk (ca. 360-440)
A man who is not at peace with himself necessarily projects his interior fighting into the society of those he lives with, and spreads a contagion of conflict all around him.
Our being is not to be enriched merely by activity or experience as such. Everything depends on the quality of our acts and our experiences. A multitude of badly performed actions and of experiences only half-lived exhausts and deplete our being. By doing things badly we make ourselves less real. This growing unreality cannot help but make us unhappy and fill us with a sense of guilt. But the purity of our conscience has a natural proportion with the depth of our being and the quality of our acts: and when our activity is habitually disordered, our malformed conscience can think of nothing better to tell us than to multiply the quantity of our acts, without perfecting their quality. And so we go from bad to worst, exhaust ourselves, empty our whole life of all content, and fall into despair.
p108 Thomas Merton “No Man is an Island”
“Go and sit in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.”
Abba Moses, one of the early Desert Fathers of Egypt.
To be continued…