Thursday, March 25, 2010

another view on not knowing

There is a verse in the Gateless Gate, by Wumen, that begins: "Zen students do not know the truth. They only know their consciousness up until now."

We spend so much of our lives speculating about what the future will bring, and for those of us who practice meditation, what our future mental states will be like. We imagine we know what enlightenment is, based on our reading and our fantasies. How could we know something not yet known? When will we recognize that everything we are looking for is already here, but not seen?

Here is a koan response from T.S. Eliot, taken from his poem East Coker:

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope for hope
Would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

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