Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One word is enough.


There are koans of few words and koans of many words. It doesn't take much for a koan to stick to a Step -- one word or short phrase is enough. Koans work so effortlessly when we let them.

When thoughts arise telling you that the koan you are sitting with seems
a perfect match for "Part A" of a Step but has nothing to do with "Part B," that's the time to pause, take it easy, and let this notion go. This is a good example of how we critically think things to death; the quicksand of duality rearing its ugly head; the conflict between subject and object. If there is an answer here, it's no subject, no object, just practice.

This is how the koan I've assigned to Step Two came about -- a better way of saying this is how little Jade came to believe.

Koan: Little Jade

A woman calls out to her maidservant, "Little Jade, Little Jade," not because she wants something, but just so her lover can hear her voice.

We were given this koan at our January retreat (sesshin). During the week-long sesshin I'm working on other koans, too; but this one seemed to filter in and out during the day. The
evening talks by teachers usually revolved around little Jade.

Step Two we "Came to believe ...." Believing is an interesting concept in that it doesn't have to be backed up with facts. For me it's a feeling rather than a thought. Two phrases came up for me and began a dance ... "came to believe" and "lover." And yes, my thoughts tried to take me to the part of Step Two that says, "... could restore us to sanity" and begin a dialog about how could Little Jade have anything to do with restoring me to sanity... blah, blah, blah.


This brings me back to "came to believe" and "lover." I thoroughly believe (there I go again) that my Higher Power loves me. I also recall the time when I realized that I loved the person I was dating and she loved me (my wife, now). Just knowing that, in my heart was enough ... that I was loved. My wife's name is Beth. Seeing her, thinking about her, hearing her voice, hearing someone else say her name, all has the power of connectedness, a goodness from the heart that all is well.

For some of us then, isn't this the feeling of coming to believe? I don't think we can make ourselves come to believe in a Higher Power of our choosing; but we can allow for this belief to happen when we give it space to grow in our heart.

And the "could restore us to sanity" part? Simply put, that happens, in various degrees, heh, heh, heh, after coming to believe. Little Jade knows what I'm saying here.

Bill K.






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