Flowers fall amid our longing. Weeds flourish despite our loathing.
—Eihei Dogen Zenji
Life just doesn’t seem to cooperate. We live life hoping—and even assuming—it will conform to our expectations.
It seems we have a strong desire to know who we are and what our place is in the world. Because of this, we invent an entire structure of evaluation and judgment attempting to comfort ourselves with an identity. We evaluate what surrounds us and measure ourselves against it. We adjust our views about these things, and our self-image, so that our formulas are true. This is all fabrication created to support the belief in a persistent and independent self.
What we don’t realize is, by believing in the fabrication, we’ve traded the fullness of this experience now, for a version that is stifled, painful. We lose sight of what is immediate, vibrant, and complete. Here are some letters from Emptiness to help us realize our folly:
The perfume of a flower can be appreciated even though it cannot be described. Scents are experienced, whether or not the olfactory process is understood. A flower blooms with full effort, regardless of an audience.
Why do we assume we must explain our experience?
Life blooms fully, perfectly, unceasingly, despite any explanations we add. Life is fully expressed right here, right now, whether we are mesmerized by our mental projections or not.
The full expression of the universe can be realized as this here-now experience. Life—fully realized or not—is constantly expressing as just this, which is no particular way. We, however, interpret just this as a particular self jockeying for prime position in what is believed to be a life separate from that self. This doesn’t mean discernment and explanations are evil or bad, for we must rely on provisional evaluations and explanations to navigate through life. But to assume the explanations account for experience, brings conflict and disappointment, because our actions aim to support our investment in identity. This confusion about the human condition can be realized, transforming our everyday efforts.
Life unceasingly expresses as an open invitation to see assumptions for what they are—utter Emptiness. There is only one way to accept the invitation. It is through the effortless effort of Awareness.
© 2011 Bev Forsman and Letters from Emptiness. If you share this material, please include direction to the original content. Thank you.