My zen teaching has deepened to encourage people to really plunge into the world, into life. I want them to enter life, to embody their practice, tend it with their hearts. To attend to life, to this body, is to love it and bless it. Particularly we need to find a way to bless our wounds and the darkness we find ourselves in. It takes patience to bless our woundedness, because we haven’t been taught a respect for it. But if you do bless your body, you notice that you find what is right for you. You have the kind of pains that are right for you, as well as the kind of joys that are yours, the experiences that you have honestly earned…..Zen master
nourishing the soul is also nourishing this woundedness and this sacred longing as one in the same…..not to be confused with wallowing or hollowing out life to its bare bones….rather, it is connecting heart to soul, breath to life, and pain to insight…..be gentle with unfinished business and haunting memories……
What is it that draws a person to spiritual life? From as far back as we can remember, we can each sense a mystery in being alive. When we are present with an infant in the first moments after birth or when the death of a loved one brushes close to us, the mystery becomes tangible. It is there when we witness a radiant sunset or find a moment’s silent stillness in the flowing seasons of our days. Connecting to the sacred is perhaps our deepest need and longing. Awakening calls to us in a thousand ways. As the poet Rumi sings, ‘Grapes want to turn to wine.’ There is a pull to wholeness, to being fully alive, even when we have forgotten. The Hindus tell us that the child in the womb sings, ‘Do not let me forget who I am, but that the song after birth becomes, ‘Oh, I have forgotten already.’ Still, as surely as there is a voyage away, there is a journey home. Throughout the world we find stories of this journey, images of the longing to awaken, the steps along the path that we all follow, the voices that call, the intensity of the initiation we may meet, the courage we need. At the heart of each is the original sincerity of the seeker, who must honestly admit how small is our knowledge of the universe, how great the unknown……Jack Kornfield
in her pockets; she wore nice cotton gloves,
kept a handkerchief box, washed her undies,
ate at the Holdiay Inn, had a basement freezer,
belonged to a bridge club.
I think when I wake in the morning
that I have turned into her.
She hangs in the hall downstairs,
a shadow with pulled threads.
I slip her over my arms, skin of a matron.
Where are you? I say to myself, to the orphaned body,
and her coat says,
Get your purse, have you got your keys?