This week from March 1st through the 4rth we will be engaged in the retreat/intensive “Like a Dragon Returning to the Sky, Like a Tiger Returning to the Mountain.”
I think we can all find the desire to return in ourselves. The desire to return evokes images of rest, peace and perhaps, above all, a sense of self acceptance and belonging. We sometimes refer to this longing to return home as the practice of returning to the “true self.”
Another way we can frame this intensive’s theme is as escape rather than return: while our map of home may be vague and remote, our feelings of being stranded may be close. Our discomfort can be a reliable guide even if all it’s telling us is to get out of town.
We will be practicing our methods of escape together this week – sitting, silence, oral teaching. The Lost Coin Clan is getting out of town, heading home.
From one point of view life is a story. When we forget the story life is music. In music no note is more important than any other – it is all song. In the same way, in our lives, every moment is as important as any other and no moment will ever be more important than any other.
We search for meaning, engagement, fulfillment. This is the story. When we forget the story there is no need to search. Meaning, engagement and fulfillment are just names for this moment.
Meaning is specifically meaningless. Meaning is all around us. The point is pointless and the Way extends everywhere and everywhen.
Photo by Daniel Doen Silberberg
In early morning rain,
it has become invisible,
the little path.
Yosa Buson 1716 – 1784
Would we prefer it if the little path were more visible? Would we like it if we too were different? And then there is our very life and death that we might like to alter the nature of.
How will we change this little path? With Gods. with Buddhas, with heroes and villains?
Or can we join Master Buson and appreciate this little path just as it is?
The path that transcends all descriptions.
The path that is always in front of us.