In a famous metaphor, Mahayana teachings like the relationship of delusion to enlightenment to that of a wave and the ocean. The wave is delusion, full of motion and drama. I rises up, crests, breaks, dissipates, and gathers strength to drive again. With my eyes on the wave, I see it as real. But the wave isn’t anything. There is no such entity as “wave.” There is only water, in motion or not. Without wind, the water is quiet and deep. But even when wind activity is strong on the surface, deep below water remains quiet.
Mind is like this. It is deep, pure, and silent. But when the winds of delusion blow, its surface stirs and what we call suffering results. But the waves of my suffering are nothing more or less than mind. And even as I rage, the depths below remain quiet. Life is the wind. Life is the water. As long as life appears as phenomena there will be stirrings of delusion. Delusion is in fact the movement, the stirring, of awakening. My ocean mind is inherently pure and serene, always. When I know this, I can navigate the waves with grace.
~Zoketsu Norman Fischer
when I lose myself, I look to the ‘other’….completely outside of my world to shake me up and remind me I am not who I think I am…..
inquiry for today~ we can gain such perspective and grounding by remembering our home is not always about comfort and knowing……the waves continue…..
You ask why such things happen, why hearts break, and why we hurt each other. I don’t know. And anyone who says they know is pretending in order to avoid the tidal wave of Mystery that surrounds us. We are cast about as soon as we wake, every day, and this unpredictable surge, this sweep as soon as we enter the street, is something we crave and fear. I only know that this surge is sometimes disguised as surprise, and sometimes it covers us with a veil we call sadness. Now leaves are falling and someone is playing Brahms in the park, and the surge is rising in my throat to meet the music mixing with the leaves. I only know that this surge keeps reaching through me, as it has since the beginning. And that asking why never brings us closer. Now I’m coated with a thousand acts of care that began in difficulties that took place before I was born. Such nameless care comes through when we don’t rush to close. How I unfurl when my heart aches beyond myself. As in this moment, wondering if all that we feel is music just waiting for hands to play it.