Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Body Exposed

The teacher last night gave us the "Golden Wind" koan, Case 27 from the Blue Cliff Record. This is the koan we use for Step Three.

A student of the Way asked Yunmen, "How is it when the tree withers and the leaves fall?"

Yunmen said, "The golden wind is revealing itself."

There I was, a slight smile on my face, ready to let this familiar koan engulf my meditation when my thoughts suddenly got thrown for a loop. He gave a different translation of the last line:

Yun Men said, "Body exposed in the golden wind."

"But, but, but," my mind chattered. Back and forth I went between the two translations, then my smile returned as I sat with "body exposed".

I like to think that in Step Three when it says, "made a decision," that this is really a prediction of things to come. Lord knows all the stories we've heard about three frogs on a lily pad and that we don't have to make the decision right now. But there comes a time when we become vulnerable to our Higher Power. We expose ourselves fully. It just happens one day ... that time where we stop trying to shield ourselves. OK God, let's begin to work things out together. I'll stop resisting and let you do the heavy lifting.

And later on in my meditation, the word "golden" brought to mind something beautiful, elegantly timeless, and warmly rich. "Golden wind," something that I can become completely and comfortably wrapped up in.

I have to be willing to allow my Golden Wind in. This can happen only when I'm fully exposed to this very moment.

As you may recall, it was this koan (the first version) that started my process of discovering how koans can affect my 12 Step practice. Now I can see how this different translation offers a deeper meaning to Step Three.

Bill K.

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