Not The Wind, Not The Flag
Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said to the other, “The flag is moving.”
The other replied, “The wind is moving.”
Huineng overheard this. He said, “Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.”
There has been quite a bit of talk around here about the subject of Death. It is funny to me that we somehow feel in control of a Force that moves in the most peaceful way. As we all know, many people are not actually afraid of Death itself, but more about what happens to them when they “go beyond.” Or, even deeper, there is this fear that their loved ones will forget them or fall in love with another.
Mr. The Mister and I had some pretty deep conversations about dying recently. The way we speak about life with each other is always beautiful – even in disagreement – and I value my time with him. Despite all the odds, we have come to be in positive relationship with each other.
So after I said, “When my body leaves this Earth, I only wish happiness for you. Please do not fret over what I would do, or how I would want you to live. I’m gonna be dead, and will hopefully be on the way to a new Journey.” Mr. The Mister says, “Well, most likely I’ll got to a Buddhist Monastery…”
WHAT!! THAT WAS MY IDEA!! (but neither one of us had ever spoken these plans to each other until our talks about what lies beyond this realm)
“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”
― François Rabelais
We laughed about our mutual unspoken decision. Then we agreed that we would first make sure the children had what they needed before going to live our cloistered hermitage.
But then as we always do, we took it a step deeper…aren’t we already sort of living in cloister? Haven’t we made our home to be a refuge, to provide sanctuary for those who need it? And, in doing so, haven’t we embodied that which we would engage upon entering the monastic life?
Yes. And also no. It is the Gateless Gate, our personal Zen koan on Mind and how it walks around in our world. Sort of like this…
MTM: What is the sound of one hand clapping.
Y&Z: Lego pieces under my foot.
MTM: It could be the sound of a clean bowl.
Y&Z: Or the quiet mind.
The world will always be spinning, and it will have consistent change. We, the tiny human beings that inhabit this sphere, try our best to make sense of it all. Sunrise/Sunset, with all the finest trappings to make us happy. We work. We sleep. We love. Our hopes are that one day we will find rest, true rest, and that all will be as it should be. Each day we will strive to walk the middle way, helping others as we go.
On this day I give thanks for all that is, and all that shall be. May my days I spend in cloister bring me greater peace of mind, allowing me to be in deeper service to others. May all be fed. May all being be free. May all find rest.
Om Shanti Shanti Om,
keu/Yarn and Zen