Sunday, February 7, 2010

Peace It Together

"Peace it together..." reads the bumper sticker. Why does the mind so enjoy these little devices of insight? Just like a Kong-an or its better known Japanese counterpart, the Koan, it gives us an opportunity to explore, expand, embrace and enlighten... this is insight.

A joke can do the same. Humour is often an awakening call, a Zen hit on the shoulders. Words can and do often hold us captive in their invisible conceptual cages but they can also set us free. In words we can lose ourselves but in words we can also find ourselves. In an instant we are transported from where we are to the other side of the universe and back again... "You are the Eternal Vastness" ... how much of This can your mind hold?

"Peace it together"... In an instant I see John Lennon crusading in the sixties singing "Give Peace a Chance" coupled with the Beatles singing "Come Together" and am shown the profound truth that only in unity, in true unity beyond the opposing conflicts of dualistic thinking can we ever hope to find real and lasting peace. And, doing so individually, we hook in collectively, as in the Buddhist declaration:

May all beings be happy
May all beings become enlightened
May all beings find peace

For the good of all..."Peace it together." There is nothing that isn't unified anyway... even our ignorance and conflicted notion of separation is a wave in the ocean of unity. There's no escaping this blatant, blaringly obvious truth. Take a few deep breaths, go within, stop, look, listen... who is there? No, not the "Me" that's always so evident... go a little past that... soften, open, expand and go deeper... who is there? Keep going... don't look for a "me" in there. Just allow for "what-is" to surface, to become available ... to be seen. In this you will discover not a sign of the me that you believe yourself to be. Keep going... deeper... Keep looking... but don't look back, you won't get lost. Don't worry, the little me will return... just keep going deeper... What do you see?

Ah... thought settles. Calm is what's here... yes, peace... that's a good word for it! And, are you alone in this peace?... You're not separate but there is still this uniqueness .. this Presence... this "I AMness"...

But are you alone?

Well, there's no other... there's only one yet, all others are included in this... how to say it... Oh... "Peace it together" that's it.
And all is just as it is, exactly as it should be... nothing to add, nothing to remove, nothing to change.

The great sages shared their insight and knowing in words, hinting & pointing out This that each and every one of us already is. This that we're so desparately seeking, we already are. This... this ordinary life, just as it is. Nothing new ever discovered, no matter how far back we go, every sage only ever discovers or realises This... the same This that we are all swimming in together.

Dogen said:
If you cannot find truth where you already are... where else do you expect to find it?
Any time is this time. Every moment is this moment. There's only ever This... vast, radiant, eternal... This is it... and, oh so ordinary... extraordinarily ordinary.

Zen Master Buson said:
Nobly, the great priest deposits his daily stool in the bleak winter fields.
Could it be more ordinary than this? Buson could see... really see that no matter what it is, if it is, it's surely This.

Another insight shared in words:
If you understand - things are as they are.
If you don't understand - things are as they are.

Once again, only words, yet more than words... words not only pointing to, but away from. It's all about dropping out of where the words land and looking into the words' source. Where do words come from? We are so immersed in words, our heads are usually very full of them, even in our silence our thoughts ramble on and on and on...

Go beyond words into This that always is. The purpose of words is to mirror back their essential emptiness, the wordless... the unspoken, just like life itself.

And here we are...
You... Me and This...
Can we dare to "Peace it together"?

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