Saturday, March 12, 2016
Not thinking of anything good and anything bad
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Koan: When you're not thinking of anything good and anything bad, at that moment, what is your original face? Show me your original face before your parents were born.
This koan (and Step Three?) is about dissolving duality?
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Our free will works very well in certain situations. Say I’m standing on a corner, a bus is coming, and I choose not to step in front of this moving bus. Good choice!
What are we being asked here, a riddle? “…Not thinking of anything good and anything bad,” it’s a set up, of course, we all judge things. And then the koan asks us to go to a place before our parents were born, which doesn’t at all seem possible.
Oh, now I remember, original face -- this is my true self. It can only be found right here. Not only that, my true self is already completely aligned with God’s will, and it’s not. Said another way, form is emptiness; emptiness is form. The bus I mentioned earlier, we could say that it’s empty of form; but had I stepped into the path of this formless bus, it would have shmooshed me. Form and emptiness happen at the same time – this is life. God’s will and my will are happening at the same time, this is also life.
Since my true self only occupies this present moment, my personal view of the “will of the Universe” or “God’s will” etc., is to notice what is happening in the moment. The Universe is presenting itself to me through my mind and senses. This is God’s will appearing to me. My job is to pay attention and be aware of my surroundings.
When I’m “not thinking of anything good and anything bad” is a pretty good place to be – perhaps we could call it neutral will, and a gate to God’s will. When I’m in God’s will; surrendering to the moment; it’s like going with the flow; there is no inner conflict; my mind is clear. The Buddhist Eightfold Path comes to mind, such as practicing right thought, right action, right intentions, etc.; when I feel in my gut that my thoughts and actions are matching the Eightfold Path (to the best of my ability), I find myself in a place of non-duality and peace.
Continuing from last month with the topic of birth, something much bigger was present. Myriad forces about, working in all directions when we were born. The mother reacts to the elements of giving birth and surrenders to the forces at hand. Mother and child are completely practicing the Way.
Aren’t we being [re] born every second of the day? Each new moment is a birth – this moment, now this moment, now this moment. Isn’t this our only place of practice? This is what I believe in, every unfolding minute is my life. This Great Unfolding is what I’ve come to believe in. And at the same time realizing when I’m in conscious communion with my Higher Power (the Great Unfolding), there is no separation between the Way and me.