Friday, March 07, 2008

Baby Gonna Come Out

Sarah came home with a copy of the latest Shambhala Sun yesterday. "This - this is a Buddhist magazine!" I cried in surprise. It had been lent to her by a co-worker, for a couple of articles on psychology.

Noticing a tease on the cover about "the koan of parenting," I had a look inside and found (along with an ad for a Buddhist dating service!), an article by Karen Maezen Miller, a student in Maezumi Roshi's lineage - "A Cypress Tree, A Kiss Goodnight." It was beautiful and genuine and doggone it, said what I knew what she was going to say because this is so (in her words): "Through your own eyes, animated by your own intuitive action, the course becomes clear. Any parent, regardless of their beliefs, awakens to the whole of Buddha's teaching by not knowing what it means."

Or, as Paul Haller once whispered to me warmly at a sesshin on Cape Cod, "It's gonna happen the way it happens."

At my own office, a man named William is anticipating the arrival of his son as soon as next week. Yesterday I asked him if he and his wife had been taking birthing classes and we got to wondering how prepared anyone could be in advance, how much one could ever figure out about becoming parents, with all the information and advice fizzing in the atmosphere. William summed it all up by saying, "Doesn't matter. Baby gonna come out."

Zen Buddhism is a practice, it's not a philosophy or an aesthetic. This why the koan analogy is apt. Koan practice, the question and answer practice unique to the Zen tradition, when it sinks into your bones and gets underneath the mask, is indifferent to all of the mind's precious darlings. Here is your situation - what is the relationship? How will you act? Baby gonna come out.

1 comment:

Lorianne said...

Do you read Karen Maezen Miller's blog? It's wonderful.