In the dream of leisure, time and the timeless forever meet at the horizon. At the horizon which has always been. Yet we need only see that there is no end to the journey to the horizon for our hearts to turn us back. Even so for the search of the spirit, the search for truth and love. As soon as we set off in search of the truth then it will flee from us, just as the horizon will recede at every step.
Instead we must plant ourselves in the ground and wait. We must be like the tree at the crossroads not like the wanderer walking by.
Even remaining here if we travel with our ideas they will only blind us. Our books must wait at our destination. They must wait hidden under our bed.
When we travel not into the world or into the world of our minds. When the world comes instead to us. We will arrive at knowing through inner silence and the Buddha sitting as still as a mountain will be our highest symbol. All this we gain from our willingness to stay at home and to continuously listen to life. Then there is only knowing, all knowing is the same and there is a peace and satisfaction in that knowing which has no equal.
There too we will find the body. Not the body used by purpose, the tool that we feel and that we want to feel the world, not the grasping, wrestling body but the body opening to the world and into the world. The world will pass us by as if looking out from the windows of the great bus of the body and the windows of our eyes will not be forgotten. We will know sights as sights and our sense of self will vanish as we see the receptive mind as knowing and not as being.
If we can remain only here our journey will come to us with every step.
We will see too that all our travels are travels also in sensuality. We will come to see sensuality as a journey already and another journey to be abandoned. For this too will be the journey which never ends. The timeless love and the things of time will never really touch on the horizon. For the timeless is nothing in this world, truly nothing. It is not merely the space of the sky but the nothing beyond everything and yet the nothing that is not elsewhere but penetrating all things and found through the release of the mind in truth.
So we must abandon all our journeys and our searching and wait. Wait at home for the world to unfold before us. Necessity will drive us far enough. And to be driven so by necessity is to be driven by reality, not by the dreams of space and of leisure. It is in the workplace where we will find the truth but this must be the work of listening too of hearing and meeting the call of necessity. Then our knowing consent will be our freedom. The knowing of our place. The embracing of our toil and our suffering which is also the end of that suffering.
This will be our joining of the greater order and pattern we one time sought in the philosophy of the armchair but joining only with our body and mind while the soul remains at rest. This is staying at home.
And through the window will be the world. Generations will pass in this remote place. And still the view will be the same through the kitchen window. The sun will always rise and bless the bedroom with its first dawn light in this house of awakening. This awakened house.
Then, only then, will we open the sermons and the scriptures of the Holy Ones. They will place their words on our ready lips and we will have found faith too in a place, a temple, long awakened. A lineage will reach down beneath us and root us to this place. This here, this now. Not this sometime when thought or feeling reaches out from theory to fleeting confirmation but the bed-rock of the pure and open attention of stillness. An intelligent stillness that sees the order of the world through not interfering with that order with its own fabrication. Seeing time in the present not through the passing or the journey. Seeing the cracked window and the flaky paint. Seeing the bones and the rusty metal. Seeing the wrinkles in the twinkle of an eye.
The seer a stillness, an observer and a recorder, a witness looking not for stillness or permanence in itself either but in the truth and from this truth a stillness ever more stable, cool and sublime. A memory more perfect by the absence of the watcher. A knowing true and truly sublime.
And the order of the world will appear to us in all its glory and our joy will be in that order, in the symmetry and grace of order and in being part of that order. And in joining that order we will be nothing. A nothing that can never die.
So paint not the picture of a spiritual truth of leisure but one of work. Recount not the journey but the staying at home. The suffering will only be wrong if we think it is wrong. And thinking it is wrong we will grasp at it just as we did the happiness. Nothing is wrong. The truth is calling us home.
When there is no dream the truth will not contradict that dream. Only the romance that never began will never end. And the truth will be our greatest love, our true love. The truth of suffering and the truth that the mind that sees the suffering will not have the suffering but the joy of release everlasting.
Beauty is the trap that holds the mind into this suffering. A beauty that we cannot simply deny. To instead see beauty as order and to find a greater order in a greater truth is to find a greater beauty. Then we will see a beauty in all things or a beauty in nothing, just as we please to find our ease. For beauty will lie beyond things. The world does not charm us with beauty, only then to sting us with truth as if drawn onto the sword by a song. The world only demands of us that we see the order and the whole. To see the order we must see the whole. As the butterfly bounces on the wind its disordered flight can look like so much suffering. But that flight is seen anew if the breeze is also seen. The disordered flight is then seen as necessary and the flight is skill and the suffering of the earth is hence reconciled in the stars.
But there is a greater reconciliation yet in truth as near as our nose.
When we see the butterfly as the lasting truth it contains and expresses rather than as its fragile wings then we do not mourn the loss of the insect to the beak of the bird; we see the sacrifice of the insect, the lesser consciousness to the greater. We see the evolution of the mind in nature's hierarchy. We see the importance of such mind, such truth over the forms by which it is carried.
This is seeing Dhamma and seeing ourselves as Dhamma.
Everything will have its answer.
And this life of Dhamma will be a life real and raw and peeling. Not the abstract life of an idea or of the dream-light darkened. But a life blazing with the light of love and truth. Or love in the answer to truth. For it is not that truth is an end, a conclusion. It has its answer too and its climax in love. A perfect love that responds completely to the perfect sight of suffering.
The world will come to us as the obligations and duties of love and yet the love will always be the greater...
The body tingles at me gently from its edges. There is rest here in its weight won by a day's labour. The warmth of the room and the food in the belly are well earned. And this day is the same as every other. Just as every day the salary we earn is spent on the fare that takes us to our work. Such is our life of necessity and obligation. We are servants only and as servants we learn. This is the real prize of our labour.
Until, fallen amongst the fallen trees, the body, having been properly composed will die and decompose. Then the music of our lives will wait, as we have learned already to wait in nowhere, for the rhythms and notes of the world to come around again and call us back to life. For the truth will call us again to its service.
The late summer brings the dragonfly hovering triumphantly over the waters of its birth and flashing as blue as the heavens. There is glory and celebration in its freedom to fly in the warmth of the sun, here in the climax of summer. Then as its darts to and fro the scene seems to change. The dragonfly can seem unsettled as if, so full of life, there was simply nowhere to go.
Such is the story in the language and eyes of becoming, of the journey.
But in the world of meaning, where everything has already been said, we see another chorus of a truth which never arrived because it was never absent. A chorus echoing back to the beginning of time and to the beginning of meaning. For meaning is there with time, meaning as the carrier of the present into the future.
Take this soil beneath our feet. The death of so many carried into the future. Waiting for the seed. How can we deny the value of death and yet we do so. How can we deny the significance of our very foundation yet we do so. Imagine the gratitude of a heart that realises how many have died so he may live. Of one who sees the meaning of substance to the future and how this substance can be reclaimed to play again the melodies of life.
This substance our memory between the fleeting sparks of consciousness. Important not in and of itself but serving a higher purpose.
If we but detach our minds from its earthly form and see and feel only memory, within and without then we know all there is that has ever been truly known in this present truth. There is no loss or change to the meaning, only to the substance. If we attach to the substance we will die with the substance but if we know the truth of that substance it may serve to call us to play its tunes, to sing its song for the sake of truth and love, and for that only.
And it will be our task only to await for that joy and honour.
Coming from nature
Coming from nature will be as if coming out from behind the long grass, its wild wide blades streaming behind him like a head-dress. Turning back to nature will be as if a child were peaking humbly through the grass playing hide-and-seek. And there will be a moment only between the coming and the return. The return first a composure, then a caution, then playing in a safe place firmly on the ground.
And there on the ground there will be the turn around, the beginning of our own creation within the character of our surroundings.
Our curiosity asks us to dwell in detail, to notice the subtle change of the winter light or the breeze, while it is the whole that holds the truth. This truth is in every part for sure but seen in the perspective of a whole which remains and remains whole we see not ending but transformation. We see the deeper process. And the whole is right there in the truth as the mind and space of realisation expands indefinitely. And the key to this opening is to see the suffering and let go. Not to let go and go elsewhere but to let go and stay. Then to see suffering will be full of freedom and joy.
I offer this for your reflection.