Friday, May 31, 2013

Have Patience & Keep on Truckin'!

     Hui-neng, an illiterate laborer, on accidentally hearing the Diamond Sutra, had an immediate profound awakening. He immediately inquired about the Sutra, and sought instruction from Hongren, the 5th patriarch of Chan Buddhism.
     Most of us take a much slower, more circuitous path - gradually (instead of suddenly) awakening. I read about Zen for 30 years, finding it captivating, but really understanding nothing. Then I slowly got into a sitting practice. It's been a very slow 15 year journey so far. Unlike Hui-neng, it's quite remarkable how slow many of us are catching on, and to what extent it happens.
      We're repeatedly advised to focus on the process itself, not the goal - awakening. Doing so becomes easier, the further one is down the path. Impatient zeal gradually transforms into infinite patience, persistence ...
     Initially, our priorities are egocentric AND we're so unaware of our egocentricity, that we would argue vociferously to the contrary.
     Gradually we see present reality with increasing clarity, gradually we let go of self-cherishing, and gradually we open our heart-mind to what is. Clarity and ease come very slowly, but they do come, and it's well worth the effort. Slow and steady wins the race. "Keep on truckin'!"

Studio 21 Art Gallery, Halifax, NS

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