Wide Open Spaces

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  • lora
    • Jun 2008
    • 122

    Wide Open Spaces

    "Wide Open Spaces

    We can talk about “oneness” until the cows come home. But how do we actually separate ourselves from others? How? The pride out of which anger is born is what separates us. And the solution is a practice in which we experience this separating emotion as a definite bodily state. When we do, A Bigger Container is created.

    What is created, what grows, is the amount of life I can hold without it upsetting me, dominating me. At first this space is quite restricted, then it’s a bit bigger, and then it’s bigger still. It need never cease to grow. And the enlightened state is that enormous and compassionate space. But as long as we live we find there is a limit to our container’s size and it is at that point that we must practice. And how do we know where this cut-off point is? We are at that point when we feel any degree of upset, of anger. It’s no mystery at all. And the strength of our practice is how big that container gets. . . . This practice of making A Bigger Container is essentially spiritual because it is essentially nothing at all. A Bigger Container isn’t a thing; awareness is not a thing. . . . "

    -Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen

    My container appears to be kind of leaky these days, absolutely everthing's getting on my nerves!

    Back to the cushion!

    Many blessings,
  • Keishin
    • Jun 2007
    • 471

    Re: Wide Open Spaces

    Hellos to you Lora:

    Leaky containers leak into yet bigger 'containers.' You might even say 'it's containers all the way down.' (After the famous exchange between Bertrand Russell I believe and an unnamed woman who attended a lecture--She : 'The world rests on the back of a turtle.' He: ' And pray tell madam what does the turtle rest upon?' She: 'Why, sir, it's turtles all the way down!')

    Sounds to me like your zafu might be the 'container' for any 'leaks' you might have.

    Aren't metaphors fun despite their limitations?

    I always find them helpful, even if they are ultimately beside the point or can only be their very own point. They are like that balancing pole arial performers use when walking the tightrope: useful.