Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.
Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”
The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.
Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”
(from book ~ Zen Flesh, Zen Bones)
it’s challenging in a consumer/acquisition culture, but if and when we are able to step outside of the stories of comparison we tell ourselves, we may discover that in many ways we already have enough.
the comparison story we tell ourselves – where others are, or what they may have, is an illusion to some degree beyond basic needs being met (a home, food to eat, some level of health and safety). it isn’t reality. we each have our own path where life is uniquely living within and through us, expressing itself. we can’t live another’s path. it isn’t authentic. so we find our own way through curiosity, hearing/receiving wisdom from those who have traveled before, and a love for life itself.
here’s how I know in my life that this is true: when I get stuck in my mind comparing my path to others, where it looks like they are succeeding better at this life, I begin to feel a sense of failing, inferiority, loss. oppressive emotions that can way me down. however, if I simply step outside and go for a mindful walk of paying attention to nature, its sights and sounds, and the silence that nature carries, or likewise if I sit on my cushion in my room placing my attention on my breath, all of a sudden there is simple joy, a deeper, fuller, resonating joy in just being alive. each breath a love letter.
meditation can prepare the ground to simply be present with our attention and open our awareness to the simplicity and abundance available to us. we are life.
#Zen #wisdom #moon #simplicity #joy #meditation #EngagedBuddhism #path #practice #JMWart #JinpaLhaga