Photo by Thomas Rohlfs on Unsplash

A Dharma Talk from Sense Okami

We get something back for our efforts on the ZEN path, even if effort does not help us in the end.

We get something back, even if some teachers say on the way: “Zen has nothing to do with feeling good”.

We get something back for our efforts, even if the effort doesn’t help us, but that’s like salt in soup.

We get something back, even if we sometimes doubt, sometimes feel pain when sitting.

We get something back in abundance, even if we do not find our first opening again, as if it had never been.

We get something back, even if we are sometimes extremely disappointed, and yet at some point discover that this disappointment has made us grow.

We get something back when we walk through the dark Zen night, and when the Buddha / Christ apparently withdraws from us, when we don’t get any feedback and a Black Friday mood sets in.

After all, we get something infinitely wonderful back, if we don’t get confused and don’t let up.

We get something back, like a wage. Perhaps the moment we give up hope that there is something better than “this”.

Maybe when we become beginners again, drop our entire protective systems and open the windows for “all that is still to come” (a German song-title).

When we embrace our fear of change instead of suppressing it and rather integrate it into our lives. When fear, the skeptic becomes our assistant, and turns out to be our Big Heart personal and opens boundaries for us, instead of drawing boundaries.

At some point we sit on our chair, on our pillow and enlightenment does not matter. Perhaps for the first time we feel ZEN peace deeply in meditation, this special peace that we somehow do not even consciously experience because we are the peace. But this peace is more than peace, more than can be described, and yet the attempt to describe is not punishable: security, compassion, peace , Space, divine love, home. Not just “coming down”.

Christians will then perhaps say very quietly only to themselves: God experience or Buddha experience or my honor nature.

It is very clear and true, like an apple in our hand. and it is worth the stony path to experience that this miracle of peace opens into us and nothing is missing anymore. Because there is NOTHING.

Yes, we get back, but not SOMETHING .. but EVERYTHING.

Okami 1.8.2020
Sensei Okami


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