January 10, 2009

Emptiness cares...

Saturday morning's study circle continued with our reading of Hee-Jin Kim's, DOGEN ON MEDITATION AND THINKING: A REFLECTION ON HIS VIEW OF ZEN.  This is strenuous reading that requires deep focus and listening,  but it is very rewarding for the hearty ones who stick with Kim's discourse.  It is a particularly good exercise for those (older?) ones in the group who need to make effort to maintain brain stamina. 

One appreciative student this morning expressed gratitude for Kim's observations of Dogen's teachings which point out that the realization of Emptiness is a yeasty movement in our lives and not a static, fixed state.  In order to find balance, we have to weigh and negotiate each moment through myriad daily life transactions and confusions.  In this living process, Emptiness cares about the things of the world and how those things differ so that we can use the truth of every situation in order to bring about fairness and equilibrium.  Our own existential dilemmas are part of a fully engaged life and require us to be vigorous in our critical understanding and analysis.

This discussion came after a period of Zazen during which a song bird, perched in a nearby tree, let forth the hope that maybe....maybe, maybe.....spring is on the way, albeit the month of January.  How wonderfully the heart leapt out at the song just as light came over the lake.  But, oh, winter keeps its grip on us and the urge to hibernate is strong in these dark, ominous woods.  The bears are sensible because they know enough to sleep through winter.  There is nothing more lonely than to see a forlorn and solitary coyote make its way on a deer trail through the snow.

The weekend comes and we pray, and we also send out bits and pieces of household goods to the ones who have lost so much in the floods.  Emptiness cares about the things of the world.