21 Oct Is That So?
Mercy is the radiance of living in forgiveness. ~ Siraj
I offer to you a parable of true humility. This wonderful Zen story touches the Soul and awakens the importance of living mercifully. It portrays how “living mercifully” looks and how the emotional nature of our pride comes leaping out in the arrogance of “self-defense.” As you read it, observe how your pride reacts to it…how offended it gets or how it tries to ridicule the story with thoughts of how ludicrous it is.
This story often reminds me of Jesus before Pontius Pilate and how he dealt with the matter, not from a worldly point of view, but rather from the spiritual. If you “get” this story you will be deeply moved. If you are a prideful person, there is every chance that this will not touch you at all….
Muso, the national teacher and one of the most illustrious Masters of his day left the capital in the company of a disciple for a distant province.
Upon reaching the Tenryu River they had to wait for an hour before they could board the ferry. Just as the ferry was about to leave the shore a drunken Samurai ran up and jumped into the packed boat nearly swamping it. He tottered wildly as the small craft make its way across the river. The ferryman, fearing for the safety of his passengers, begged him to stand quietly.
“We’re like sardines in here,” said the Samurai gruffly. Then, pointing to Muso,”Why not toss out the Bonsia?”
“Please be patient,” Muso said, “we will reach the other side soon.”
“What!” bellowed the Samurai,”Me be patient? Listen here, if you don’t jump off this thing, I swear I’ll drown you!”
The Master’s calm so infuriated the Samurai that he struck Muso’s head with his iron fan, drawing blood.
At this point Muso’s disciple had had enough and as he was a powerful man, wanted to challenge the Samurai. “I can not permit him to go on living after this,” he said.
“Why get so worked up over a trifle?” Muso said with a smile.” It is exactly in matters of this kind that the Bonsai’s training proves itself. Patience, you must remember, is more than just a word.”
Then he recited an extempore Waka; “The beater and the beaten – mere players of a game, ephemeral as a dream.”
When the boat reached the shore and Muso and his disciple alighted, the Samurai ran up and prostrated himself at the Master’s feet and, then and there, became a disciple.
The Waka presented in this parable is the key, read it once again: The beater and the beaten - mere players of a game, ephemeral as a dream. ~ Siraj
There are many distractions in this world that can overtake you and bring you to a place where only hate can thrive. You must ask yourself this question: “Do I want to merely survive…or do I want to live as Love?” This is something you must feel for yourself. No one can talk you in to or out of any of this – it is a very personal revealing. But whatever you choose, it will be your life in this world and the many to come…no matter what you believe or what you do.
Find your destiny through living mercifully.
It is very difficult to teach people anything outside the realm of their sense of “justice” because they like to believe that everything revolves around the ideal of fair play rather than equanimity. Many things are “brought to our door” in this world that seem unfair to our sense of “justice.” We prefer to think that the premise of what we deserve in this world is based on our biased opinions about how “good” we believe have lived. In actuality, the real meaning of our life is found in how mercifully we greet every event we are presented with in order to learn how to live in a manner that promotes Love. This, my dear ones, is MERCY.
Achieving a sense of equanimity through meditation results in a profound sense of inner tranquility and presence of mindfulness, through which we receive whatever is given and freely release whatever is taken as the path of “right living” that the Buddha taught.
We are here to live with what is happening now. ~ Siraj
To live “unarmed” is very difficult for most people due to their excessive opinions about what they believe is “right” and “wrong.” To live “unarmed” is to live in the blessed state of innocence that allows us to freely experience everything in absolute wonder! Wonder is a state of mind that is present enough to no longer allow emotions to hammer us with fear and desire, which allows a state of living to be revealed beyond the limitations of what our “eyes” and “ears” can see or hear.
When we no longer live from strategic methods aimed at merely “getting what we want,” we begin to realize that everything is PERFECT and exactly as it needs to be. This is living “unarmed.” We are here to to find the meaning within everything and to do so, we must be willing to follow whatever is happening at any given moment with a sense of wonder, compassion and mercy.
All of this is portrayed in the few beautiful words that follow. This Zen story has been told many times, but few appreciate the insight it offers…
There was a Zen Master who was very pure, illumined. Near the place where he lived there happened to be a food store. The owner of the food store had a beautiful unmarried daughter. One day she was found to be pregnant with child. Her parents flew into a rage. They wanted to know the father, but she would not give them the name.
After repeated scolding and harassment, she gave up and told them it was the Zen Master. The parents believed her. When the child was born they ran to the Zen Master, scolding him with a foul tongue, and they left the infant with him. The Zen Master simply relied, “Is that so.” This was his only comment.
He accepted the infant and began nourishing and caring the child. By this time his reputation had come to an end – he was an object of mockery. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. But the young girl was tortured by her conscience and one day she finally disclosed to her parents the name of the child’s real father, a man who worked in a fish market. The parents again flew into a rage. At the same time, sorrow and humiliation tortured the household. They came running to the spiritual Master, begging his pardon. They narrated the whole story and then took the child back.
The Master’s only comment: “Is that so.”
Emotional attachment and possessiveness create a mean-spirited mindset that is very destructive. ~ Siraj
The equanimity of the Master was enough for him. He did not have to fight with himself or the young girl’s father for truth or justice. Though all of what was being said about him was untrue, he remained “unarmed” by living from the equanimity of his presence. His students and friends assumed the worse of him (which speaks more about them than of the Master), yet that did not bother him…nor did he question: “Why me?” He simply lived his life taking care of what was in front of him – which, at the time, was an infant.
He fed and cared for the child as if it were his own. This is authentic generosity and the result of a person who is not emotionally attached to anything in this lifetime.
We are here to learn how to EXPERIENCE LIFE as it presents itself to us in various forms each day that we live in this body. ~ Siraj
We are not here to have a normal, easy or good life. It is a matter of learning to trust what Life offers us, and how to be blessed by and transform the energies that live within us into mercy so that we may be of service.
Much of what happens to us in this world is a matter of Karma due to living ARMED with emotions that are angry and self-righteous. Sadly, most people never realize that Karma is a divine medicine to help them become less and less attached to outcomes in this world. The Zen Master in our story was not concerned with anything other than what he could to do to help the child.
When we are willing, when we are tranquil enough from our inner experiences, we find that many painful situations in our lives arise to help us heal through equanimity. It is all about Love. So the next time you have a metaphorical “baby” dumped on your doorstep, which your mind and emotions tell you is “unfair”…take pause for a moment to consider living “unarmed.”
The true meaning of life is the great accomplishment of living mercifully and Loving deeply. ~ Siraj
If you do not recognize this great truth of Life, you have already lost your life. And until you once again become willing to no longer betray the Love that lives within you, there will be many things to help you along the path. Trust me…..much will happen!
To live ``unarmed`` is to seek Truth more than wanting the emotional mischief of the human heart
Sit within yourself and practice being indifferent to the aspects of biased assumption that define the life you live
Meditate so you may HEAR that which speaks without words
Allow the blessed state of mercy to stretch you beyond the confines of your genetic and human preferences, and create space for you to mature into Love
Authentic spiritual awakening is only accomplished through the simplicity of innocence - pause throughout your daily living to return to the state of innocence…to become “meek,” teachable and pliable to the Way