Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Hermit / Bodhisattva Coin

Being like most people, I imagine it is very easy for me to become intoxicated by my own opinions and convictions, not noticing that they are conditioned responses to the truth. Therefore, I conclude that I might not be the best judge as to whether my cynicism is realism. This is why I do not completely embrace the life of a hermit. A true hermit should become empty. I think there is a still danger I would become full - of myself.

* * *

To me, vow and direction are very much part of Zen practice, and I see our participation in a democratic society as a vow. We choose our lawmakers and our Chief Executive, and if we do not participate, that is also a choice (a choice that helps lead us to entrenched incumbency, the two-party monopoly, and leaders like George W. Bush). So we get what we are choosing. We are responsible.

We can impeach Bush or not; we can blame Bush for the damage his policies have done, or not; yet either way we are responsible. The bodhisattva way is about taking responsibility for the entire world.

* * *

Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them all.

Preposterous.

Yet, when there's a fire, there is fetching water.

When a certain little girl visits me in my office, there is the question: "Have you got any homework to do?"

When it seems like voting is meaningless, and probably is: voting happens.

"I can't go on; I'll go on." (Becket)

Infinite vow.

Try again. Try again. Reach.

Kwan Seum Bosal, Kwan Seum Bosal, Kwan Seum Bosal.

1 comment:

Ji Hyang said...

A Zen Master once said,
"Trying means to just do your best in each moment and then ...do a little extra."