Monday, February 09, 2009
“Wouldn’t it be nice,” Chozen said, “to step inside a moment?” I’m considering that now, how it would be like stepping inside a cathedral, a great space soaring above and around you, filled with light from windows of many colors. And the sounds inside a moment would be rich as a symphony, a heartbeat, traffic, a sigh, a melting sound. The odor of something sacred, human and warm, a lingering aroma of a meal just cooked. Then too the sensations of the skin against the air, against these clothes, a casual itch and a bit of tightness in one shoulder. How full-bodied and wholehearted would our experience be! And how might we fall down in profound gratitude for the splendor we are witness to. Our yearning, the grain of wood in the floor, the mysterious light of the streetlamp, the moon, a passing car’s headlights. The gods envy this moment of a human life, torn as it is by suffering, anxiety, impermanence, and yet, inside this moment is timeless and complete. No worry left in it, no other place to be, nothing to do but look, and feel, and listen as long as we like. Could you ever grow tired of it? Did you forget to notice the dead ant in the corner, the subtle shading of the rice paper in the wooden frames, or the silent figures on the altar, the incarnations of great activity, great wisdom, great compassion, right here in this moment? Did you hear that? The refrigerator turned itself off, once it was cold enough, and a piece of paper rustled as someone turned a page. If you are longing for life eternal, please simply step inside a moment.