From a journal entry I made on 7/28/21…
In a "One on One," meeting a student asked Zen Master Joshu, "What is Buddha (What is Universal Identity of Loving Presence)?" Zen Master Joshu replied... "Who are you as YOU?"
Joshu as ever... clear... decisive... direct. Like a compassionate sherpa... he points to the reality that what is being sought is the one who is seeking. We cannot give someone that which we already are. In Zen training... recovery... as a monk, sherpa and guide to the inner terrain of heart and mind, the responsibility is to help a person see through the way that they've folded themselves into the reality of who we actually are... Buddha rather than one who is hopelessly "Broken," and in need of endless repair, like an old jalopy or Harley that needs endless tinkering to keep running.
So here's Joshu asking "Who are you as You?" Whatever pops in your head or comes to mind... sorry... that's not "It." That's "Like It."
The mind thoughts about who we authentically are or what our experience is, is like a fold in origami paper. Though an observable fold, that not the true essence. The fold is an aspect of something... some one... that's much much more profound.
Zazen practice is unfolding what's not foldable. It sounds paradoxical but if we sit long enough, we will discover the reality... it takes zero time to get out of a place or to stop being a person that we've never actually been.
Today I am grieving the loss of my sponsor and mentor: Ruth from a 12 Step Fellowship I attend. Who and where is dear Ruth Now... as I used to joke... whose name rhymes with "Truth?"
Was the "Real," Ruth the body that endless dimension Universal Loving Presence folded and manifested into her body in that particular Way like origami paper? Or now that her essence has unfolded from the body, something different... more? It can be difficult for us to discern. What about both? What about when it happens to us as US?
Right now there are many of us grieving her loss. I myself have many tears and indescribable dislocation. She means a lot to me. Relationships with mentors and teachers... spiritual benefactors cannot be dissembled like Lego blocks. There's a lot of merging and entanglement that goes beyond ordinary ways of understanding. I still can notice it, from my first sponsor in NA. Bly died in a car crash, when I was just 7 years clean. Bly is still within me and can operate through me somehow. My current NA sponsor who was his sponsor notes it when it appears clear as daylight. Humans have human experiences. Zazen Zazen Zazen.
一Dignity and Grace