At what point are we done?
As far as I can see it, even with death we are only done with our physical existence of what we realize as now. What about all of the lives we touch, the young and old we converse with, we spread our energy with? What about the habits we pass on? The memories that are kept or recorded? What about what we’ve created?
Sure, the tree may be planted, but every year after it must be pruned and harvested. Same goes for inner work. I may have worn my muscles out with age, but I am sure that by not being able to run around sowing seeds at the speeds I’m used to, there will be a new type of anxiety and helplessness to overcome that even my sore knees can’t help me escape from.
There is no break from the self, from the now, from the struggle. There is nothing to hold on to because the thing grasped at is moving along at the same speed as we are.
And further, if we are done, if we are reaching out for something to hold on to while we catch our breath, what happens to the path and energy flow we were flying upon?
Even an overgrown and gnarly trail can be approached with enough patience and awareness. Just have to keep moving.
~ mantra ~
My true self is wide awake. I can appreciate the joy of simply being here.
“Zen is like looking for the spectacles that are sitting on your nose.”
— Zen Proverb
While out walking today I came upon a tiger, and I asked the tiger: “Dear sweet Tiger, I see you have only one tooth in your mouth, and I see you are not hungry. You must still have fight inside of you?” “Well well well,” Tiger said, “Do you think such a thing would kill the tiger inside of me?” I smiled and bid Tiger adieu.
A few moments later, I came upon a tree, and I asked Tree: “Dear beautiful Tree, you have been beaten by winds that have taken half of your branches off, and another tree has fallen into you. Your poor trunk is twisted and nearly folded over. Yet, here I see a new water shoot with vibrant green leaves on it! Clearly you must still see the light high above?” “Oh my, yes, yes I do! I see it so brightly! You see, my roots are so deep that anything short of completely uprooted me and I would still try to grow taller and thicker.” I tickled Tree under it’s leafy green and was on my merry way.
I then sat upon a rock and watched the leaves blow this way and that. I spotted an eagle very high up in the sky. Ten minutes went by, and still, Eagle was circling. An hour went by, still it circled. Finally, I called up to Eagle: “Dear swift Eagle, you have been circling for an hour and haven’t stopped nor diverted from your path, yet you do not find anything. Are you not tired, do you not want to perhaps take a rest?” “My friend, you see me at heights only I can get to! You see me effortlessly gliding through the air! You see me calculating my moment! You see me living! I wouldn’t dare think of resting! This is life!” “Now that you put it that way,” I said, “You are indeed living with purpose!” And with that I waved and continued on my walk home.
“Hello brother! I see you are up. Did you have a good sleep?”
“No. I did not.”
“Oh, well, that is too bad, entirely.”
“Oh? Why does it matter to you?”
“Hmm. I guess I like to see you in a good mood and sleeping well.”
“Oh, I’m plenty happy enough once I get my coffee into me.”
“Yes, that will surely work. Would you like to sit on the patio with me and enjoy the midday sun?”
“Not today, there’s a TV show on I’d like to watch.”