Awareness Play

Discovering how we cling, how we resist,
how we turn away, how we forget to ask,
and how we forget to look.

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Bodhisatta Gardens

Take it to the limit one more time.


       "Presence is our natural state. Just being. Very rare. Most of the time we are doing - and don’t realise we are doing. We ‘do’ to escape; to get approval; to avoid disapproval."  
(Paul Lowe)

       "We dwell intimately close to a door of revelation we are afraid to pass through. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are."  
(David Whyte)

       "One can progress to the point, where all desire for progress needs to fall away to make further progress possible. Then all schools are given up, all effort ceases; in solitude and darkness the vast step is made which ends ignorance and fear forever."  
(Nisargadatta Maharaj)

       "It was more like having had a cataract taken off my brain, letting me experience the world and myself properly for the first time, for that dazzling dark radiance seemed to reveal the essence of everything."  
(John Wren-Lewis)

       The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation, he sat.

Suddenly his zazen was interrupted by the harsh and demanding voice of a samurai warrior. "Old man! Can you teach me about heaven and hell!"

At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with each passing second.

"You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?" replied the monk at last. "You who are so unkempt. You whose hands and feet are covered with dirt. You whose hair is uncombed, whose breath is foul, whose sword is all rusty and neglected. You who are ugly and whose mother dresses you funny. You would ask me of heaven and hell?"

The samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high above his head. His face turned to crimson and the veins on his neck stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk's head from its shoulders.

"That is hell," said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its descent.

In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with amazement, awe, recognition and compassion for this gentle being who had dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching. He stopped his sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears.

"And that," said the monk, "is heaven."

Wu Wei

Bodhisatta Gardens