Today is a day off work. Slept in, started laundry and set dirty dishes to soak, then sat.
Really, there’s not much to report from today’s sitting. Nothing really new or different. I sat, did body scan (now tied to breath), and then Wandering Mind and her family, Thoughts, Equanimity, Chakras, Pain, Curiosity, and Moments of Emptiness, came to visit.
I thought about last night’s class on the Diamond Sutra. Sometimes things seem funny to me that no one else is responding that way to, and I keep my mouth shut. The way Subhuti and the Buddha spoke to each other sounded exceedingly formal to my ears, and some mischievous part of me wanted to insert the word “Dude” in there. So pardon this indulgence.
“Even so, Dude, if a noble son or daughter should set forth on the bodhisattva path, how should they stand, how should they walk, and how should they control their thoughts?”
“Well, said, Dude! Well said. So it is, Dude. It is as you say.”
I am probably not cut out to be a scholar.
The gist of it is a paradox, which in my admittedly limited familiarity with Buddhism, seems most characteristic of Zen. “…I shall liberate [all beings]. And though I thus liberate countless beings, not a single being is liberated… And why not? Dude, a bodhisattva who creates the perception of a being cannot be called a bodhissatva. And why not? Dude, no one can be called a bodhisattva who creates the perception of a self, a being, a life, or a soul.”
Who creates the perception? See, this is something people struggled with in 400 BC too. Maybe creating a perception means interpreting experience. Maybe creating a perception means naming. We did an exercise in knowing and softening to not knowing.
Flint Sparks, the Zen priest who taught this class, brought up Jill Bolte Taylor’s video and book, My Stroke of Insight, and her description of right-brain awareness, as a way, in my perception, of helping us grok the shift in awareness from ordinary left-brain thinking that the Dude is pointing to.
But I could be wrong.