The mind is always at war with the present moment, between thought and what is. The greater the gap, the greater the mind suffers. Just this is our true home. Just this is where the pain stops. Just this is where the exile ends. When we live in the mind as a self, we consign ourselves to living in a space suit as if the earth were mars.
What I am is a pattern; what I think I should be is a static thing. I’m a verb who thinks I should be a noun that doesn’t change. This is all about grammar. We are held in place of suffering by believing our grammar is reality. Reality has no grammar. The pain of the verb is that it cannot be defined as a noun, therefore, there is no certainty of who I am. I have nothing to hold me in place if I’m just action, just motion with no resting place from which to measure motion. I’m a moving train trying to measure the motion of another train passing me. I think I’m standing still. I think I should be standing still….but I’m really a verb in motion. The pain of the mind comes from not seeing this and surrounding to life as motion, as impermanent. I cling to an idea of permanence, the noun, , and avoiding the verb
The verb or motion has to have a pattern. All life is patterns, patterns within greater patterns. All form is patterns of energy, but we can’t see the energy wave because we can only see nouns, things moment to moment. We can’t see a wave of moments.
With music, however, as an analogy, we can listen to note, moment to moment, but we are also aware of the whole song as transcendent to the immediate notes. This is rather marvelous and why we love music. But with the visual sense alone, we can only see moment to moment the forms of the moment, the nouns of t he moment. Everything we see in a moment, if we froze it, could be identified and defined as known. But the pattern is unknown because we can’t see it.
We can sense the pattern when we get caught in a Ground Hog Day, and that is the beginning of Buddha Dharma, the yearning to be free from the pattern of pain.
However, life, all life is patterns, so getting from from a painful pattern is not accomplished by changing patterns. We might go from the pattern of yoga to the pattern of Buddhism, or the pattern of the secular world, and giving up the spiritual pattern…but when exchange one pattern for another, while there may be temporary relief, the pain of the pattern comes back, and we don’t feel we are free from the pattern.
Zen is about seeing that there is no escape from the patterns of karma of life. And all patterns are painful because a pattern is a sign wave of Up and Down, which is a subjective pattern of feeling up or feeling down, on and on….life without end. Samsara.
When we See that there is no escape from being a pattern, being a verb with a pattern, there is a release from trying to escape the pattern. This is the leap of joy, of freedom, not from the pattern but from the effort to escape the pattern. which is really avoiding life, which is patterns.
SNAP….Zen is Buddhism with jokes…with the laughter at the absurdity of trying to escape the inescapable. Now we are free to embrace our particular life pattern, our karma, our personality, our conditioning, our marriage, with joyous spontaneous liberation. While in the prison of our pattern, we can dance.