August 2017

"When the Shoe Fits" by Chuang Tzu


Chu’i the draftsman
could draw more perfect circles freehand
than with a compass.
His fingers brought forth
spontaneous forms from nowhere.
His mind was meanwhile free and without concern
with what he was doing.

No application was needed
His mind was perfectly simple
And knew no obstacle.

So, when the shoe fits
the foot is forgotten,
When the belt fits
the belly is forgotten,
When the heart is right
“For” and “against” are forgotten.

No drives no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs
are under control.
You are a free man.

Easy is right.
Begin right
and you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
is to forget the right way,
and forget that the going is easy.

"Awareness" by Anthony de Mello (edited by Keith Basar)

Self-Awareness images
The student monk had spent seven years of his life learning how to live and embrace a life of being fully aware thus the highly perceptible state "awareness." His confidence overflowed in such a way that it seemed near impossible for his knowledge to fail him under any circumstance.
Now his study time had ended and he was prepared to be tested his many years of diligent effort.

A three week journey led him to the distant territory of Wuan. There he would stand before a wise master for his final test.

Was he ready to become a teacher monk? Had his studies allowed him to understand all the challenges of "being a fully aware person?'

As the student monk entered the monastery, wet from the final days walk, he removed his muddy shoes and then placed his umbrella in the hall near the door.

The Master, quietly and calmly watched the young monk enter the main chamber. It was here that the Master revealed what would be the students ultimate test question, "did you place your umbrella to the left or right of your clogs?"

The monk was taken by surprise.
Why such simple question, from someone so wise?
In fact, the more he thought about it the more agitated he became. The question seemed absolutely ridiculous! But clearly he could not verbalized his frustration. So his only option he had was to answer the question.

To the question itself, try as he might, he couldn't recall where the umbrella rested.
and he finally had to admit to the Master, he had no idea at all.

'Go back to your teacher for seven more years, and learn once more the secret of awareness'.

Obviously too late in the process the young monk finally remembered the position of his umbrella.

The Master then explained, "Awareness encompasses everything. There is no chance of ever really seeing or understanding who you are or living life to it's fullest without it. AWARENESS is the dance of life, the life stream that touches every sentient Being."

Thoroughly dejected, the monk retuned to his monastery, uncertain of himself or his future.

"The Empty Boat" by Chuang Tzu


Who can free himself of achievement and fame
Then descend and be lost
Amidst the masses of men?
He will flow like Tao, unseen…
He will go about like life itself,
With no name and no home.
Simple is he, without.
To all appearances he is a fool.
His steps leave no trace.
He has no power.
He achieves nothing.
He has no reputation.
Since he judges no one,
No one judges him.
Such is the perfect man.
His boat is empty.


"Enlightenment" by Francis Bennett


Often, we think of awakening and "enlightenment" as a very complicated, very esoteric or exotic experience that only happens to very special people who go off to India and sit in a cave for 13 yrs or so! But one simple way of describing enlightenment would be to simply say it is the realization that "past" and "future" are completely in our heads and NEVER in our own direct, most obvious experience.

All we ever directly experience is NOW. We create past and future as a purely conceptual "reality" and then take them to be true reality. They are not. The only real reality you ever NOW! It has always been so. It has ALWAYS been NOW! Obviously, if past and future are illusory, the "self" you have also created in your head is no more real! To exist, this "self" is entirely dependent on past and future. So, it doesn't really exist as anything more than a concept either.