We had a big group last night, which might account for why we read only about two pages. A lot of discussion. We started with the paragraph about what it is we seek. Hagen ended the previous paragraph with this: “What we’re dealing with here is a qualitatively different type of problem. So let’s take a different approach. For once, let’s not attempt to identify what it is we all need and want.”
So, he calls it “x”—“the answer.” A new car? A job? Success? Peace? What we do know is that the minute we think we’ve found “it,” we find something else to want or need. He says that “What you really need and want will never appear as an object to your mind. Nevertheless, you already know Truth and Reality (what you truly need and want) now. If only you would stop telling yourself what it is, or asking yourself what it might be, or speculating on what it might look like, it would become readily apparent.”
So, as we discussed, we have to just sit. Why? Because we need to watch the craziness of our minds, the coming and going of everything, with as little distraction as possible. We need to see what is actually there. Nothing satisfies except Truth—no books about Truth (although they may be helpful), no creeds or rituals (although they may, also, be helpful.) These may furnish us a raft to bring us to the other shore, which, ah ha! isn’t another shore at all.
Reality is unfrozen. Right view is seeing reality in all its fluidity. So, then, how do we know what to do? We spent quite a while talking about that, how the more we actually see, without interference, the more we “know” what to do.
It’s easy to give up this fluidity in favor of something that feels comfortably fixed in some way. Something to hold onto. That’s why sangha is so helpful. About the time we think we “get it,” someone reminds us of what we may be leaving out of the picture.
Don’t forget about the December retreat at Sokukoji Buddhist Community in Battle Creek Dec. 4-8. For information, go here.
See you next Sunday. If you can’t come, we’re glad you can follow along in this way. Buy the book and keep up with us.