Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Basking in the now

"It's no use to seek truth,
just let false views cease.
Don't abide in duality
and take care not to seek,
for as soon as there is yes and no,
the mind is lost in confusion."
   --Seng Ts'an, in 365 Nirvana

One of the many attractions of the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is their rain forest biosphere.  As you near the top of the rain forest, there are lots of lovely butterflies.

This was the only butterfly I was able to successfully capture with my camera, and I remember feeling a bit disappointed at the time because the butterfly and the flower were the same color.  But that very feature makes it a perfect illustration for today's quotation, "Don't abide in duality." 

Why, after all, do I need to distinguish between the butterfly and the flower? Why, for that matter, do I need to distinguish between myself and the butterfly?  Or between myself and anything?  And as I ponder this, I realize I've always been a seeker, and that very act of seeking really does divide the world into yes and no.  Because as long as we're seeking, everything we see and do is being evaluated: "Will this bring me closer?  Is this what I'm looking for?" -- which is, essentially, continually dividing the world into acceptable/good and not acceptable/bad.  If we're looking for something better, the implication will always be that now is not good enough.

Which is sad -- because now is truly wonderful.  And can I stop here and appreciate that?  Drop my shoulders, stop planning for what comes next, and just breathe?  And if not, why not?  Why is that so hard?  What dreadful fate would befall me if I were to release that search and bask in the Now?

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

When you find the answers will you let me know please. I've been seeking that very answer myself!