What makes you whole?

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  • AlanLa
    Member
    • Mar 2008
    • 1405

    What makes you whole?

    That thing you want won’t make you whole. You might think so, but probably not in those terms. You probably think it will make your life better, that it will improve you “somehow,” that it will take you “somewhere,” but those are all just masks for trying to become whole. Because where you are, what you are, is whole already; you just don’t know it. You see, it’s not about the chocolate cake, the girl/boy, the new job, the old neighborhood, or that “thing” you’ve been meaning to get for forever. Nope.

    Here’s the thing: You are whole! There is nothing you can acquire to make you any more whole than you are already. I realized this the other day and it has been blowing me away every day since then. Of course, I forget it for a while and start to suffer, but then I remember and I go through the whole blowing away process all over again. Nice, really, nice! So simple, so complete that I thought I was done, but I was wrong.

    Here’s the other thing: Your wholeness includes things like desire. We know that desire for what you think is external to you creates separation between you and it, but denying that desire creates separation within you, and that might be worse. So what’s the answer? Accept your desire; embrace it. I would go so far as to say act on it in accordance with the precepts, because being truly one with it means interacting with it. This is the middle way dance, the mystery that we sit with every day, the stillness within the movement of our lives.

    I’ll be 53 in a few months and it’s been a really revelatory time recently, truly ground-shifting in terms of who I am and what am I doing here. Stuff that’s been troubling me from “out there” for about as long as I can recall I have come realize is really “right here” and has been all along. But that amazing discovery has not made life any simpler at all. If anything it’s even more complicated, but you know what, complication is not a bad thing. As my burden gets lighter my Path gets curvier, and so I settle in for the ride.

    I was walking the dog last night and looked up and stared for a while at the moon shifting in and out of the fast moving clouds. I could just as easily describe it as a chaotic or orderly sky, but what I said out loud was this: “It all fits.”

    Words are like bones; they frame the body but are not the body.
    I leave this body of words to be bleached in your bright sun.
    Gassho….
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today
  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    #2
    Re: What makes you whole?

    Thank you Jigen,


    Very remarkable and cristal-like words.

    I might suggest another way to put it, making yourself whole is loosing every single unecessary bit, or even better, give up the attachment to the unecessary. So chocolate cake there is, new job or new girlfiend or boyfriend... but all experienced as blossoms, happily opening and falling away. But once we grasp the thing, it grasps us. We are caught. And something is missing.

    Being complete is to say no, not to the object or situation or people, to say no to the belief system that underlies our so called vision of the world. Dogen coins it: "to forget the self"

    gassho

    Taigu

    Comment

    • Seiryu
      Member
      • Sep 2010
      • 620

      #3
      Re: What makes you whole?

      Originally posted by AlanLa
      I was walking the dog last night and looked up and stared for a while at the moon shifting in and out of the fast moving clouds. I could just as easily describe it as a chaotic or orderly sky, but what I said out loud was this: “It all fits.”

      Words are like bones; they frame the body but are not the body.
      I leave this body of words to be bleached in your bright sun.
      I bow to your words of wisdom!

      *Deep Gassho*


      Seiryu
      Humbly,
      清竜 Seiryu

      Comment

      • Risho
        Member
        • May 2010
        • 3179

        #4
        Re: What makes you whole?

        Thank you!

        Gassho

        Risho
        Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

        Comment

        • Rich
          Member
          • Apr 2009
          • 2602

          #5
          Re: What makes you whole?

          Originally posted by Taigu
          Being complete is to say no, not to the object or situation or people, to say no to the belief system that underlies our so called vision of the world. Dogen coins it: "to forget the self"

          gassho

          Taigu
          I can relate to that sometimes.

          Alan, I'm happy for you.
          _/_
          Rich
          MUHYO
          無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

          https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

          Comment

          • AlanLa
            Member
            • Mar 2008
            • 1405

            #6
            Re: What makes you whole?

            Wow, thanks folks. I came this morning prepared to defend this, but I guess I just let it sit.
            AL (Jigen) in:
            Faith/Trust
            Courage/Love
            Awareness/Action!

            I sat today

            Comment

            • Heisoku
              Member
              • Jun 2010
              • 1338

              #7
              Re: What makes you whole?

              Thanks for sharing AL.

              I came this morning prepared to defend this...
              That's your age talking!!!

              I saw this on a T-shirt that may help;
              Youth and talent are no match for age and treachery. :twisted:

              Enjoy your realisation... best wishes.
              Heisoku 平 息
              Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

              Comment

              • nadia_estm
                Member
                • Jul 2010
                • 38

                #8
                Re: What makes you whole?

                thank you for this post, it is enlightening. And full of hope
                gassho

                Comment

                • Stephanie

                  #9
                  Re: What makes you whole?

                  Thank you Alan and Taigu, for your beautiful and instructive words. I have "nothing to add" :wink: Gassho!

                  Comment

                  • Nenka
                    Member
                    • Aug 2010
                    • 1238

                    #10
                    Re: What makes you whole?

                    Thank you for that, Alan.

                    Gassho,

                    Jen

                    Comment

                    • Risho
                      Member
                      • May 2010
                      • 3179

                      #11
                      Re: What makes you whole?

                      I have nothing to add, but I've been thinking about this all day, and I really like how you word this point. I think it's an important one; it's something I get caught up in a lot. I suspect most of us feel lacking because we are trained to feel lacking; what I mean is that in a capitalist economy most marketing relies on creating a false need, that you are not "whole" or complete without the product being sold.

                      The trick for me, and this I think is my personal hangup with the balance required to be on the Middle Way, is that although I am whole right now, it doesn't mean that I should do nothing. Hey the dishes need to be washed, the laundry needs to be done, etc..

                      I guess what I'm trying to say, but poorly articulating, is that I need to just do and not create this idea that there is fulfillment based on doing. I don't know if that makes sense, but the way you articulated really hit deep.

                      Gassho,

                      Risho
                      Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

                      Comment

                      • AlanLa
                        Member
                        • Mar 2008
                        • 1405

                        #12
                        Re: What makes you whole?

                        I think that's very well said, Risho. I think it's impossible to do nothing while being whole; by definition, I believe to BE whole means to act, to DO in accordance with the precepts. Too often I think we get caught up in the "experience is delusion" aspect of zen and we end up ignoring the other side of the coin, which is that experience is also reality. That the dishes are dirty is a delusion, but they are also a reality and so you better do them. Thinking that new job will make your life better (more whole) is delusion, but that new job might really make your life better, so go after that job! And so on... BUT don't get caught up in it, as Taigu said in his response.

                        One other thing in response to Taigu. Yes, my post was all about non-self, but I never even once considered using that term. I have come to think that in order to make zen our own we need to find new ways to express old ideas. We hear about non-self and various other ideas over and over again, and they are all fine, but I think they take on the comfort of an old security blanket that we just wrap ourselves in without giving it much thought other than how nice it feels, so comfortable that you forget all that went into it. I think it's important to find new and personal ways to say these old things, new ways to make them uniquely meaningful to each of us. We need new images, or at least new ways of putting together old images, or maybe mixes of old and new images. (BTW, I used the moon in my post because I really was staring at the moon, not because I was falling back on an old image, though undoubtedly all my reading about the moon influenced my out loud comment).

                        Zen is about dropping concepts, but I think coming up with new ways of expressing those concepts can be just as good a practice. It's boring to drop the same old stuff all the time, so maybe thinking up new stuff as a way of dropping the same old stuff is good practice, too.
                        AL (Jigen) in:
                        Faith/Trust
                        Courage/Love
                        Awareness/Action!

                        I sat today

                        Comment

                        • Myozan Kodo
                          Friend of Treeleaf
                          • May 2010
                          • 1901

                          #13
                          Re: What makes you whole?

                          Great!
                          Thanks.
                          Gassho,
                          Soen

                          Comment

                          • Shokai
                            Treeleaf Priest
                            • Mar 2009
                            • 6391

                            #14
                            Re: What makes you whole?

                            Nigel wrote:
                            I saw this on a T-shirt that may help;
                            Youth and talent are no match for age and treachery. :twisted:

                            Enjoy your realisation... best wishes.
                            Somewhere in my drawer there is a T-shirt I wear sometimes that says,
                            "So far, this is as old as I have ever been."
                            And in our backyard is a stone that says,
                            "Ware tada tarui wo shiru."
                            Translation: I know only sufficiency

                            Thank you; Jigen, Risho, Taigu-oso et al
                            合掌,生開
                            gassho, Shokai

                            仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

                            "Open to life in a benevolent way"

                            https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

                            Comment

                            • Heisoku
                              Member
                              • Jun 2010
                              • 1338

                              #15
                              Re: What makes you whole?

                              Shokai ... I like the quotes..all good fun.

                              The idea of acting within the wholeness of non-self seems only tricky if you are looking at it within thye perspective of self. Action and non-self together become something else...I'm not sure what as yet as I need to get over the concepts that create this notion of self.... but it may be tied in with 'no hindrance of mind'.
                              I think we all have some expereience of acting 'intelligently without thought' to a situation where the 'right action' presents itself. This action would be 'enaction' whereby we and the environment are so entwined cognitively and consciously that our actions are difficult to separate into we/it.... a wholeness that is right, where everything 'fits' and flows but is not attached to.
                              Most of these moments for me seem to be in my younger unattached days where contraints of daily routines were more flexible. I guess the trick now is to develop this within a more structured life...to let it flow and hopefully appreciate the moments as Al has.
                              Heisoku 平 息
                              Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

                              Comment

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