If your inability to cut off ceaseless thought has ever left you feeling hopeless or inadequate, you’re not alone. Anyone who has practiced earnestly for any length of time has likely wrestled with the thinking mind, motivated by a desire to evolve away from delusion and toward awakening or enlightenment.
But what if our deluded minds aren’t a barrier to enlightenment at all? I stumbled upon the term shinzo, or “ever-intimate,” used by Dogen Zenji. Dogen used the term to address the intimate and dynamic relationship between enlightenment and delusion:
“The ultimate paradox of Zen liberation is said to lie in the fact that one attains enlightenment in and through delusion itself,never apart from it. Enlightenment consists not so much in replacing as in dealing with or negotiating delusion.”
In essence, Dogen was saying that mind, or body-mind, as he referred to it, must be brought into the inherent intimacy between what is illuminated in our lives and what is darkened, that we must fully participate in the dance of these two, continually twirling together and trading places.
The deeper our life is illuminated within delusion, the more clearly we can see our own limitations, struggles, and suffering. This is the true intimacy of Zen practice and the mystical nature of zazen.
~~Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
when we let this mystery ride into the dark nights of our ancestors, we touch on our own delusions in a wise and everlasting understanding….
inquiry for today~ may a simple and divine moment of peace override doubt today…..
Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One winter day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.