Skip to main content

Shaken By The Wind


Proverbs 4:1-27

The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom!
And along with all your getting, get insight! (CJB)

At first, I thought it was a typo, and then I realized it was pretty darn Zen: “…along with all your ‘getting’, get insight!” It made me think of phrases like, “What do I get out of it?” and “Don’t you get it?” and “What you give is what you get.”

The beginning of wisdom is the intention to get wisdom. Alrighty then!



1 John 4:7-21

18 There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love. (CJB)

The person who keeps on fearing……. Hoo, boy, do I know somebody like that! The thing is, when you go to practice loving-kindness toward such a person, it’s as if they are oblivious. There’s no space for anything but fear. In cases like that, the love circles aimlessly, like a bee around a silk flower. Nothing to be done.



Matthew 11:7-15

7 …………… “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? (RSV)

Well, yes, sometimes I do. I know that’s not the point, but on the other hand— maybe it is. This passage makes me think of the famous koan, “Mu” about whether a dog has buddha-nature:

A monk asked, "Does a dog have a Buddha-nature or not?"

The master said, "Not!” “[Mu]!"

The monk said, "Above to all the Buddhas, below to the crawling bugs, all have Buddha-nature. Why is it that the dog has not?"

The master said, "Because he has the nature of karmic delusions".

***

 7 …………… “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind?”

(Matthew 11:7; RSV)

“If you cannot pass through the barrier Mu then you are like a ghost clinging to bushes and grasses.”

(Mumonkan; Mumon’s comment on the koan ‘Mu’.)

***



The Koan “Nope!”



If you can’t pass the un-passable, you’re a ghost clinging to bushes and grasses.

Nobody can pass this impassible gate, it has no latch; no hinges. It just sits there not suffering.



Clinging to the gate of “Nope!” Does that make me a nope-body?



Not stuck, not free—Nope!

No going through, no going back, no lounging halfway through the door.



Barriers, gates, doors, entrances, exits, thresholds, verges, brinks, beginnings, endings— Nope!

Sitting on the nope-fence; swinging on the gate— that’s me.



Don’t mind me, I’m just a ghost clinging to dried grass in the mist, and off in the distance there’s a gate with rusty hinges creaking in the wind. Don’t go looking for it.



Blowing dust, clouds on the horizon, foggy mountain passes, and vague shorelines grudgingly revealed.

Cold caves with tiny fires, for brewing cups of tea one at a time, and cooking miniscule pots of rice.



I sit endlessly watching this reed shaken by the wind, but still— there ain’t no bugs on me!



Nope!

Popular posts from this blog

Apples and Carts

Acts 11:1-18 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 The emissaries and the brothers throughout Y’hudah heard that the Goyim had received the word of God; 2 but when Kefa went up to Yerushalayim, the members of the Circumcision faction criticized him, 3 saying, “You went into the homes of uncircumcised men and even ate with them!” 4 In reply, Kefa began explaining in detail what had actually happened: 5 “I was in the city of Yafo, praying; and in a trance I had a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it came down to me. 6 I looked inside and saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, crawling creatures and wild birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!’ 8 I said, ‘No, sir! Absolutely not! Nothing unclean or treif has ever entered my mouth!’ 9 But the voice spoke again from heaven: ‘Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled back up into hea…

Potter's Field

Matthew 27: 1-10

3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself. 6 The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury, because it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners.

Wow. Just….wow.

Blood money.  The priests seem to have been unaware of the irony that it was their own actions which tainted the money in the first place. It also seems that it never occurred to them that their own agent would repudiate them by returning the money. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

‘Dirty’ money; ‘blood’ money; ‘tainted’ money; ‘toxic’ money; money ‘laundering…

The Straight Path

John 1:19-28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
20 he was very straightforward and stated clearly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 “Then who are you?” they asked him. “Are you Eliyahu?” “No, I am not,” he said. “Are you ‘the prophet,’ the one we’re expecting?” “No,” he replied. 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? — so that we can give an answer to the people who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23 He answered in the words of Yesha‘yahu the prophet,  “I am  'The voice of someone crying out:
‘In the desert make the way of Adonai straight!’”  (Isaiah 40:3)
English Standard Version (ESV)
23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight *the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
*Or ‘crying out, ‘In the wilderness make straight’


I was caught by the difference between “A voice crying out in the wilderness,” and “a voice crying out, “in the wilderness make straight”.”
I thought, “What difference does it make?” but I kept feeling that somehow it did.