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Naturally Sacred

All-of-a-sudden there was a hush to the hum of my world and I sunk down into the floor. It sounded like someone closed the door to a loud room but it was 5:40 in the morning and completely silent. I felt like I was floating but grounded, wide awake yet asleep. Dogen called it "mind and body drops away."

This kind of feeling is a normal phenomenon when practicing zazen.

I usually sit for two periods in the morning. During lazy times it feels like that is enough for the day, but, I know it's not. It's not enough to really "penetrate" the truth of this moment. It's not enough to discover the Silence and Stillness of who I really am. I need to sit midday and evening too, at least.

The practice is then to embody and carry the silence all day. To be the Silence. Then constantly give it away to the world (both inner and outer) throughout the day. Every single being and every single thing is free to be exactly who and how they are.

I forget sometimes and right now I am being reminded that I am one of those sentient beings. I can also experience all my own mistakes and misdeeds without judging and pushing away, or, I can experience my own successes and generosity without clinging and seeking more.

In this state, my mind is silent and is just observing all the phenomenon of the world, inner and outer. It feels like everything is glowing light.

I still know what things are and I have all my memories and stories but I have no need to change anything because I can see I am everything. There is no separation, no good and bad, no right and wrong. It's a true joy to see the world in this way. Not one thing missing, not one thing extra!

That stillness this morning lasted for only a few minutes. I noticed myself looking for the timer and I wondered when Mushin would ring the bell.

It was a very subtle split second in my mind and the world came crashing back in. Everything became closed in, my neck bothered me a lot, I got caught in the thought loop of buying an old Jeep, I worried about the front page photo for tomorrow and all my usual stuff. All the 10,000 things of the world as Zen masters past have called them.

This is also a normal phenomenon in practice. It goes back and forth like the tides of the ocean.

My vow is to keep practicing. Not to give up when I'm caught in delusion and feel despair and also, not to cling and to seek more of the light when it lets me go.

So, keep sitting. Try sitting. Try just going somewhere you love, get comfortable, smell the air and listen to the sounds. I know we all do this stuff. But, if we intentionally make it a sacred time and a sacred space and we do it enough, then all times and all space naturally become sacred.

The 10,000 things are always distracting us from who we truly are. The idea is not to push them away but to practice.

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