A Life Lived as a Vow

“At times it seems like we’re allergic to ourselves. Do you ever want to literally leap out of your body, out of your skin, out of your mind? What is that? And where does that part that’s leaving want to go? How about taking that energy and allowing it to return to the source? Not chasing after the next moment, but truly coming to rest in the precision, the exactness, the vastness of this reflection of the moon in the water. All of us want to break free, to cut loose from the net, yet some of us return to sit amidst the ashes and the coals.” A Life Lived as a Vow, Posted on April 5, 2013, Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

I feel like the part that’s leaving wants to go to someplace stimulating, seeking something new to experience. To me, that’s what boredom is: the feeling that there’s got to be more than this. It reminds me of the comic strip showing two robed and sitting monks. The older one says to the younger one, “Nothing comes next. This is it.” Such a statement is anathema to our pleasure-seeking culture.

What is “returning to the source”? I think it’s pure acceptance, the essence of Zen. Acceptance is just one step short of love. Acceptance is a primary ingredient of love, whether of a person, a moment, or your life in general. Acceptance is not looking for something additional. Is the moon in the water insufficient?

We cut ourselves loose from the net and then find ourselves unmoored. Our ultimate grounding is found within the present moment, no matter how painful. Pain is energy and can be used as a motivator to relieve our own suffering and that of others. That is the bodhisattva way of life.



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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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