27 March 2011

The End of the Innocence

There are times when I think I would like companions on the journey.  The road is long, the possibilities of making a wrong turn are always present, and there are times when a little (or a lot) of encouragement is helpful to keep one's chin up and to keep pressing on.

But here's the problem: the path is mine alone to follow.  Even when the path has a name attached to it that others use (Buddhism, Zen, priest), only the woefully naive would think that a shared name means a shared practice. 

I've had a monkey on my back for the last few months, and it is because I have been woefully naive.

Time to grow up, move on and get to work again.  Alone:

In woodlands, haunt of stag and bird,
Among the trees where no dissension jars,
It's there I would keep pleasant company!
When might I be off to make my dwelling there?

When shall I depart to make my home
In cave or empty shrine or under spreading tree,
With, in my breast, a free, unfettered heart,
Which never turns to cast a backward glance?

When might I abide in such a place,
A place unclaimed, by nature ownerless,
That's wide and unconfined, a place where I might stay
At liberty without attachment?

When might I be free of fear,
Without the need to hide from anyone,
With just a begging bowl and few belongings,
Dressed in garments coveted by none?
– Śāntideva

1 comment:

  1. Like the saying of the sufis:

    There are infinite paths, as infinite as the number of God's creation.

    There is unique path for each creation... so we are, truly, alone on our own journeys...