all within mind

The house finch looks like it’s been dipped in a bucket of raw grape juice.  They don’t tend to come by much.  The larger birds might be keeping them away.  Yet every so often, at dusk, there will be one or two that swoop down to the feeders.  In some lights, they appear red, in others they take on a bluish tinge.  In all lights, they exude a sense of having just surfaced from a great depth, dripping colour from crown to chest.

When I see them, I feel as though they are part of a vast red-blue-ness that sometimes separates away in little fragments and the colour is a direct transmission from some boundless ocean.

Mind as the directly transmitted buddhadharma is used in the sense of mind extending throughout all things, and of all things being included within mind.  When we speak of a zazen based on the innate oneness of mind and environment, it should not be understood that zazen is a method of psychic concentration or of trying to still one’s mind.

Kosho Uchiyama writes in The Tenzo Kyokun and Shikantaza (in The Art of Just Sitting, edited by John Daido Loori) and goes on to ask “What, then, is the meaning of mind extending throughout all things and all things being included within mind?” 

What is the colour of a house finch?

last words

A few weeks ago, a police officer was killed in the line of duty.

He was in the parking lot of a local hospital emergency room when he was attacked and stabbed.

Paramedics nearby rushed to his aid.

It is reported that he said two words to them as he died.

“Thank you.”

Fundamentally, no matter what kind of circumstances we may have fallen into, we are always in the midst of enlightenment.  To the extent that we live in the world of letting go of all our own puny ideas, we live in the middle of enlightenment.  As soon as we open the hand of thought and let go of our own insignificant ideas, we begin to see that this is so.

from Opening the Hand of Thought by Uchiyama

Thank you for practicing,