In the Family of Things

Description

The small self is always trying to hold off the world. But we are really a kind of flow. We feel the warm empathy at the bottom of all things. All things have Buddha nature. Not opposing reality is the beginning of all awakenings.

Summary

Koan:

Does the Loch Ness monster really exist?

—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 11

Life! Can’t explain it—just accept it with gratitude. We feel the warm empathy at the bottom of all things.

We are not separate from things. We rest in the tathagatagarbha, the suchness of things, the mother of everything—the Valley Spirit that never dies.

All things have Buddha nature. Not opposing reality is the beginning of all awakenings. The small self is always trying to hold off the world. But we are really a kind of flow. There is a dreamy quality to life. You can experience mysterious joy even in pain in the emergency room of a hospital.

A verse from Wumen:

Within reality, all things are one family.
Without reality, all things are separate and disconnected.

In Zen you don’t have to believe anything. The first principle of Zen, as told to Emperor Wu by Bodhidharma:

Vast emptiness, nothing holy.

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