Fall Sesshin 2021: The Stone Drenched With Rain – Your Own Awakening

Description

Whatever conditions you find yourself in are your own awakening appearing, not something you need to “get over.” This is the key: We can let experience soak us without knowing what will come of it. As recorded Saturday evening, October 23, 2021, at Fall Sesshin.

Summary

KOAN:

This is the stone, drenched with rain, that points the way.

—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 19 (from a poem by Taneda Santoka)

What does it look like to be drenched in rain? In sesshin, letting yourself be drenched with your experience, both inner and outer—letting it pour through you. Stop trying to get out of the rain.

What are the drenched-in-rain moments?

If something comes up in you again and again, then awakening is calling you. What arises as the specific form of your own awakening may not be what you would have chosen, but that is it. 

Obstacles can appear in many forms: comparing mind, rage, self-blame. Whatever conditions you find yourself in are your own awakening appearing, not something you need to “get over.” They are the current form of your awakening. Beneath the obstacle is our helplessness, a vulnerability. This is the key: when we can let it soak us without knowing what will come of it. It takes courage to stay with your inner experience without “doing something” about it.

To enter the moment is to be drenched. Being drenched in your experience—and finding more of your life there. A small move is all that may be necessary.

Having great joy can feel exposed and unsettling. It is possible to be as afraid of joy as pain! Turning towards the joy, to drink it in. And once we have entered there, and are changed, there is no way to know how our lives will touch and change others—but they will.

Story of the tsunami survivor who liked to play the accordion when she felt afraid.

Readings from John Muir’s autobiographical writings: His restless, wandering spirit; how he could not get enough of the wilderness. In the Sierras, sitting at the top of a tree in a storm, drinking it in. “Trees are travelers too.”

Readings from Dostoyevsky’s War & Peace.

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