Saturday, November 12, 2011

All Responsibility, No Control

A bodhisattva takes full responsibility while seeing that there is no control. No control is a fact; taking full responsibility is a choice.

The fact of no control arises from the reality of constant change and interdependence. Everything arises as innumerable causes and conditions come together; everything passes away when the causes and conditions fall apart. There is never a single cause, and never a controlling agent.

The bodhisattva sees how struggle and suffering arise when change is resisted or ignored. From knowing comes the natural wish not only to free oneself from suffering, but to free oneself and others from the confusion and turmoil that lead to struggle and suffering.

The bodhisattva's aspiration is neither a blind craving for pleasure, nor a naive belief that experience can be made to order. One can choose to take responsibility, to respond to the constantly-evolving situation, in ways that tend toward balance and happiness and freedom. Response-ability requires stability and clarity, generosity, patience, and all the rest: a never-ending and joyful training and extending of compassion, capacities, and skillful means.

May all beings be safe, healthy, happy, at ease in their bodies, at home in the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sky and Water Merging

Vast and spacious, like sky and water merging during autumn, like snow and moon having the same color, this field is without boundary, beyond direction, magnificently one entity without edge or seam. Further, when you turn within and drop off everything completely, realization occurs. Right at the time of entirely dropping off, deliberation and discussion are one thousand or ten thousand miles away. Still no principle is discernible, so what could there be to point to or explain? People with the bottom of the bucket fallen out immediately find total trust. So we are told simply to realize mutual response and explore mutual response, then turn around and enter the world. Roam and play in samadhi. Every detail clearly appears before you. Sound and form, echo and shadow, happen instantly without leaving traces.

~ twelfth century Ch’an master Hongzhi
    from Cultivating the Empty Field