You go to visit a family crypt. It is a stone mausoleum in the cemetery. You go at night when there is no moon. You decide to open the gate and go in to be nearer your ancestors. It is pitch black. A fierce gust of wind blows your candle out and you hear the heavy gate slam shut behind you. There is no one around. There are no windows and the door is locked from the outside—how will you get out?
– PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 20
So, rather than thinking a predicament is something we’ve got to get rid of, it’s just life—and it has its own dynamism. Maybe we have to walk through it, not run the other way. It’s all right to weep about it, or be frustrated and angry. You can’t be someone else, you are who you are. The gateway is yours, not someone else’s. From recording at Summer Sesshin, July 11 2013, Santa Sabina.
And so you go out to the cemetery and you find your family vault. It looks a little bit overgrown; you haven’t been there for a long time. But you’ve got a key and you put it in and you pull the big stone door and it opens, just like that. It’s great. So you walk in just to kind of pay your respects; you haven’t been here for ages. And a sudden gust of wind….