09 December 2012

No Agenda

Here's one to chew on:
Jayata said, “I do not seek the Way, yet I am not confused. I do not pay obeisance to Buddha, yet I do not disregard Buddha either. I do not sit for long periods, yet I am not lazy. I do not limit my meals, yet I do not eat indiscriminately either. I am not contented, yet I am not greedy. When the mind does not seek anything, this is called the Way.”
Jayata's words were brought to my attention in teisho today.  I'm so glad to have heard them.

How many times have I kind of tossed an identity, an experience or something like that down the field and then spent untold amounts of energy and effort making it come to pass and feeling bad about myself when it didn't?  How many of us all construct identities – even "Buddhist" ones, for those of us who practice – and then think that fitting into them is the highest order of business?

Heck, just today I was catching up on some internet interests when it hit me: all these other traditions have priests and teachers that are founding centers, taking part in this that or the other thing, writing books, giving talks, etc., and here I am doing none of that.  I thought to myself, maybe I should set about accomplishing something, too!

But then I got a phone call from a friend and sangha member whose marriage came to its clear and definitive end over the weekend while I was in sesshin, and he wanted to talk.  So we went for a beer and a veggie burger.  He filled me in, we talked, we laughed, and then we went to get some of his grocery shopping done before he dropped me back off at home.

Without looking to make it so, I ended up being the priest and friend he needed me to be, despite any ideas I'd earlier entertained about what it meant to be a priest or a friend.  Funny how that happens.

To tell the truth, Dharma gates are opening wide everywhere all the time.  There is no end – literally no end – to them, and all I have to do is walk through them.  I cannot even begin to walk through the ones opening up in the present moment, let alone those that will open in the fullest expanse of time.  And here's the thing: all I need to do is keep moving, not looking for anything particular.  Whatever comes next is the only thing to attend to.  In the end, I may not have made much of myself, perhaps, but I will have done what was mine to do.   And who could possibly gainsay that?

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