Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where does the rain come from?

Of course all the conceptual answers are obvious. But what if I were to say, the concepts, essentially, are doubt? Why do we feel like we need to categorize the rain? Where it comes from, or where it's going. Can we actually experience the rain, without all of this doubt? If so, we can answer this Koan easily.

The purpose of Koans are, to make us aware of our own conditioning. Then open up to an all inclusive, Raw Mind. All of us are refined in our own significant ways. Being refined will not lead us from suffering, but embed us more deeply. Awakening to our own Karma, then finding our way out, is the purpose of Zen. So when sitting with this Koan, and all other Koans, we are not trying to reach some far out, or more conceptual answer. But see the answer we already know. The answer of course, is rooted in our experience. That is, experience its self.

Zazen is difficult, some may say. OK, I'll bite......Why? Its the refined mind that makes it so. Looking for more, or wanting to abandon sitting all together. As if leaving the zendo is something entirely different, or more satisfying. Sitting without the refined mind, is just a body sitting in a room. That's not difficult at all. Of course it can be difficult at times. A lot of pain, physical and emotional. But it can also be very intoxicating. And hopefully, that blissful state is accompanied by wisdom. For me, that direct knowledge that occurs when on the edge, is the meat of the practice. I have heard some talk about meditation as a tool to reach enlightenment. As if sitting, or a cup of tea, or chanting, or mowing the lawn is not Raw Mind. Putting a goal in front of oneself will only hinder us further.

An Ancient said, "Crushing your bones and dismembering your body would not be sufficient requital, when a single phrase is clearly understood, you leap over hundreds of millions." It's true. But the first answered Koan is not always clearly understood. Good thing there is plenty more. More than the answer, I enjoy the arrival to the answer. If I were to tell you the answer to this koan, you might think its pointless. But arriving, is quite an eye opener.

So I leave you with this. JUST be with the rain, be with it until your sense of self encompasses it. Then you will see it clearly.