Beyond the Coffee

This morning, while about to take a sip of coffee, I awaken from daydreaming. In an instant, everything that was the dream disappears. The image, taste, smell, and feel of the dream, all vanish. The spell has been broken by the aroma of coffee and the heat of the mug in my hands. No longer was the emotion and feel of the dream the container of experience.

Sitting on a cushion in the meditation hall, there is a return to simply what is happening—posture, breathing, the view of the wall in front of me.

In both scenarios—the return to zazen or the return to the coffee—what was described was provisional. Describing is used within the relative world of what looks like this&that, self&other, now&then, here&there, right&wrong. Explanations such as these, are helpful and necessary for accomplishing our day-to-day activities. Regardless of the conventional explanations, however, Reality is carrying on, constantly tumbling out of itself. This blooming is nothing in particular, is complete, and empty of solid or persisting objects. Reality carries on perfectly and totally, regardless of our ideas about it. This can be realized viscerally with a return that can be more expansive than the conventional understanding of this life unfolding. This return is identical to the dropping away of ideas and formulas that arise immediately with the belief in a separate and abiding self.

This return, might happen spontaneously without the introduction of the Teaching of the Awakened, but what is required—without exception—is the openness, curiosity, and interest that is simply noticing. Notice how the formulas and beliefs of selfhood (me), don’t correspond with what is actually going on. No need to judge. Simply be open to what is being constantly being expressed.

As my Teacher’s Teacher was fond of saying…

Things are not as they seem. Nor are they otherwise.

—Dainin Katagiri

© 2011 Bev Forsman and Letters from Emptiness. If you share this material, please include direction to the original content. Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Beyond the Coffee

    • suvinita says:

      Thanks Wanda. Cappuccino, courtesy of Royal Grounds Coffee, 42nd & Grand, Minneapolis. Thought, courtesy of Reality…


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