Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bodhidharma and Wu

We all remember the good old story of master Bodhidharma meeting the emperor WU, it goes roughly as follows:"What is the highest meaning of the holy truths?" asks the emperorBodhidharma says: "Vast emptiness, nothing holy"The angry monarch asks: "Who is facing me?"Bodhidharma answers: "I don't know"There is, in my limited opinion, nothing more relevant to the actual debate. These two voices can be heard now, in you-me-everybody. They arise in the same being. One is the voice eager to get a good catch, to fish a good answer or a good zen teacher, that voice is led by the sole agenda of comforting itself, it is looking for anything that will just legitimate it. The voice of blind reaction. Arrogant, and when challenged, angry. Sounds familiar to me. The other voice is not trying to serve a plan, play a part,folllow a pre-established pattern, "nothing holy" means nothing can be taken for granted. Nothing to claim, no past to worship, no idol to carve in space and time, no posture cast in stone. The emptiness is also the space that allows reality to arise. This is the voice of action, humble, open, dynamic as opposed to the voice of reaction full of itself. And as soon as we hear and notice in our life-sitting the voice of Wu, the other voice is not far away. Quite close actually. But it is not up to us to decide, otherwise, we instantly kill its freedom, freeze its natural spring and flow. As soon as we think:" I am getting close" the patriarch crosses the river and sit without us.As long as we keep an eye on Wu (who), we don't have to worry about the other guy. true action takes place when these feet cross the Yangtse and this body-mind faces the wall.


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