Happy New Year! It’s been a lovely week of connections which reminded me of the value of sinking into time and space intimately. It’s also been a very reflective period and I’ve been thinking about how the path through 2012 is going to begin for me. And, without even trying, here it is: a keystroke, a letter, a sequence of symbols that make a word and then a sentence. I make no claims that 2012 will have any more clarity or less pretense to comprehension than did 2011. However, I do find myself exploring what it means to connect with the intimate truth of my life.
Ok, so I’m not even sure what that means but I have been diving deep into conversations about my tendency to speak to the truth of whatever I am connected with – be it a relationship, a situation, a mess unfolding. And yes, I do understand that “truth” can be relative but “the intimate truth” of our experience is not. It is that undeniable moment when we are aligned with our values and fired by the passion of our commitment to live fully.
Well, it should be undeniable, shouldn’t it? But that moment of knowing who I am often shape-shifts around who I think I am in the minds of others. It becomes infused with a fog of fear I then need to step through, asking of me a depth of courage and clarity of realization that to stay lost in the projections of others is a dangerous thing in word and deed.
If all of that is too confusing, simply remember this: it is the year of the water dragon. Nagas (dragons) are intimate with water; it is their truth, what makes them realized. So too, I hope we will gain the water like a dragon diving deep into its true home.
As Dogen taught in Recommending Zazen to All People*, there is no learning this.
It is simply the dharma gate of enjoyment and ease. It is the practice-realization of complete enlightenment. Realize the fundamental point free from the binding of nets and baskets. Once you experience it, you are like a dragon swimming in the water or a tiger reposing in the mountains. Know that the true dharma emerges of itself, clearing away hindrances and distractions.
*Tanahashi, Kazuaki (ed.), Enlightenment Unfolds: The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Dogen.