Not Knowing Isn’t Necessarily Not Doing

Gautama mentions extending the mind of compassion in the ten directions to infinity, and says the perfection of such an extension is the realm of infinite ether (the first arupa jhana, or immaterial trance).

Lately I’m on a lot about proprioception in equalibrioception– “with no part of the body left out”, a singularity in the sense of location and a freedom of the sense of location to move.

More correctly, though, it’s got to be all of the senses including touch “with no part left out”, where “with no part left out” is the extension of the mind of compassion in the ten directions to infinity. An openness to all parts informing a singularity in the location of awareness.

Sitting shikantaza is the place itself, and things. …When you sit, the cushion sits with you. If you wear glasses, the glasses sit with you. Clothing sits with you. House sits with you. People who are moving around outside all sit with you. They don’t take the sitting posture!

(Kobun Chino Otogawa, jikoji.org “On Zazen”, “Shikantaza”)

And a relinquishment of volition in activity, with self-surrender the object of thought, so that when the wind blows from the realm of infinite ether the limbs can move, so to speak.

Or not. I guess the relinquishment of volition is a matter of well-being, the well-being that draws us all as a source of non-material happiness, and whether or not the windy element moves the body is hardly significant. Except to me, because of the lack of doubt I experience in being drawn along.

It gets complicated when people like Sasaki claim that they did their misdeeds as a matter of ishinashini, that their hand was will-less. Belief is involved, so although a lot of folks see Zen as somehow beyond reason, the fact is that reason doesn’t go away and belief is involved, even when volition ceases.

More significant maybe is the way that people on the other side of the wall sitting the posture gives me faith, that it’s alright to return to not knowing, because not knowing isn’t necessarily not doing.

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