Skip to main content

The Narrow Gate

Luke 13:18-30

Do your best to enter through the narrow gate… many will try to find the way in, and won’t be able to. Once the head of the household gets up and shuts the door and you are left outside, knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open to us!’ —then he will answer you, ‘I don’t know you or your hometown.’ Then you will say, “We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets,” and he will speak, declaring to you,  

“I do not know you, or where you come from!  Back off! Employees of injustice; workers in falsehood!”

From the Zen rodeo:

Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope.

Moving freely vertically and horizontally without obstruction is the way of outsiders and the nightmare army.

To preserve the heart mind and to purify it by letting impurities settle to the bottom in quiescence is the perverted Zen of silent illumination.

Neglecting the written records with unrestrained ideas is falling into a deep pit.

To be awake and not ignorant is to wear chains and shoulder a cangue. (a pillory, or yoke)

Thinking good and thinking evil are the halls of heaven and hell.

A view of Buddha and a view of Dharma are the two enclosing mountains of iron.

A person who perceives thoughts as they immediately arise is fiddling with spectral consciousness.

However, being on a high plateau practicing samadhi is the stratagem of living in the house of ghosts.

To advance results in ignoring truth; to retreat results in contradicting the lineage.

Neither to advance nor to retreat is being a breathing corpse.

Just say, how will you walk?

You must work hard to live in the present and, to finish, all the more. I do not advise the unfortunate excess of continual suffering.

                                    (Mumonkan— the Zen Caveats)

Narrow gates; gateless barriers; the impossibility of achieving anything through awakening. Mumon says, “You can’t get there from here!”

I think this is exactly what Jesus is talking about: to try and try to get in through the gate that has no opening.

What gets in our way? Only all the things we think we know!

“Let us in!”

“Nope! Don’t know you!”

Crying at the gate gets us nothing

but turning away gets us even less.

Maybe getting nothing is the whole point.

Maybe it doesn’t matter what we know.

Just keep on doing our best; that’s it?

That’s not it,

But carry on anyway…….

Popular posts from this blog

Heigh Ho

Psalm 142
By the road that I am walking
they have hidden a snare for me.

Numbers 24: 1-13
“I summoned you to curse my enemies. But here, you have done nothing but bless them — three times already!"

Romans 8: 12-17
15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear...

Matthew 22: 15-22

“You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me?

The Way:
Snares, contrariness, fear, and traps. That’s samsara, is what that is. The literal meaning of “samsara” is “continuous flow.” If you want a synonym for ‘samsara’ maybe “flux” would do.

Necks in a noose, getting the opposite of what we expect, being betrayed by freedom, and hearing our own double-dealing words echo in our ears. There’s no escaping it, until we stop trying to escape it. That’s when all the sticky tangles just dissolve without even a sizzle. Where did they go? Who cares?
There are so many clues embedded in our language that tell us what we already know:
“There ya go.” —  “It is what it is.” — “Even so.” — “Can’…

The Time That Is Given Us

Readings from Sunday 8-19-2018
Proverbs 9:1-6
To those without sense she says,
“Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.

I’m all over the map today. At first I thought my role might be that of Wisdom, building a house and calling to “those without sense” to come in. Then vertigo set in, the world whirled sideways, and there I was standing there stupidly trying to figure out where the voice came from that was calling to me. How about this?— “Without sense” might mean someone “who’s got no sense” but it might just as well mean someone who just can’t make sense of anything. How many times have we heard someone say that “nothing makes sense anymore”? Hello.

Psalm 34:9-14
13 Keep your tongue from evil-speaking *
and your lips from lying words.

But what if my words aren’t a lie? What if my words are not evil in intent, but instead lay bare the truth of an evil? Is that what I’ve been doing, shutting my teeth on honest words for no better reason than because I do…

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…