As so how often happens on this here Church of the Churchless blog, a comment to one of my posts diverts my stream of consciousness in a fresh direction. In this case, one that I'd already been meandering toward.
Edward's response to my "Flowing with waves while sitting on the beach" made me think Oh, yeah, so true. His comment had a delightful Edwardian neo-Zen flavor to it that led me sit up even while I was lying down (on the sand).
Lately, I have been having difficulty seeing some thoughts as unworthy, ("get out of my way,") and others as worthy. I read a NYT interview with Russell Simmons, and he said something to the effect that living in permanent satori was the ideal. Dismissing parts of my internal life is somewhat akin to growing a beard and declaring that my chin has been subdued by spiritual discipline.
Which is a wave and which a rock? I don't want to push the metaphor too far, (water feeling like concrete, etc.); I don't think that there is an imperative to have an opinion on each interior stimulus.
The feelings come unbidden, thoughtlessly, and the thoughts come numbly. I perceive some connections, but they are like the coincidences that happen in a dream.
I have the experiences, and just as importantly, the immediate creation of now wants me to have experiences. The five colors, the five tones, the five tastes can all be taken in. The stomach is not separate from the eye. "Therefore the sage discards this for that," is an expression of arrogance, a Laoism that is part of a dualist canon.
Can you discard the parts that are not your original face? Say it now!!
Yes, which is a wave and which a rock? Which is a worthy thought and which an unworthy thought? What should be discarded from the thought-stream and what embraced?
This morning I was in my usual shade-spot under a palm tree on Napili Beach, trying not to try to want larger waves to enter the bay, frustrated that I was feeling frustrated that my boogie board had been gathering dust sand the past few days.
Two couples walked by. I heard a loud "Shit!" It had come from an overweight man wearing tennis shoes with socks. He'd been trudging along the waterline and was shocked, absolutely shocked, that a wave rolled over his feet.
"Duh," I thought, "what do you expect when you walk on the beach? Dry pavement?"
Apparently, because his New Jersey accent (which sounded remarkably like what I hear on "The Sopranos"—plus the guy looked a lot like Mafia, which is why I was careful to just think what I thought rather than blurt it out aloud) continued to echo over the beach.
"I've got mud in my shoes. I'll meet you at the caaar!" he boomed in a pissed-off voice to his companions, who had left him behind. "Come on, get over it" they yelled back. I had the feeling that they were used to putting up with his nonsense.
So what was I supposed to do? Not be affected by this astounding display of beachy ignorance? When someone wearing socks and tennis shoes is offended by the ocean doing what it does naturally, make waves, "Duh, what do you expect?" is a fitting response.
But a momentary one. For this was just a moment among many moments on the beach today. To linger on it after the moment had passed would have distracted me from what came next. And after that. With more to come.
From Thomas Cleary's Soul of the Samurai.
The basic mind is the mind that does not stay in a particular place but pervades the whole body and whole being. The errant mind is the mind that congeals in one place brooding about something; so when the basic mind congeals, focused on one point, it becomes the so-called errant mind.
…To make an analogy, the basic mind is like water that does not stagnate anywhere, while the errant mind is like ice that cannot be used for washing your hands or your head. When you melt ice into water so that it flows freely, then you can use it to wash your hands or feet or anything else.
I'm bringing home a print of this marvelous "Wave Sculptures" photograph by Victoria McCormick. It's amazing. And not retouched. It's what a North Shore wave actually looks like, if we could see with the eye of McCormick's camera.
Complex. Edgy. With many surfaces. Not only smooth and flowing. Also sharp.
Rocks and waves do blend.