Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


The Only Truth is the Only Refuge

During the Dharma talk tonight after zazen CB told us that in Zen we take refuge in the very thing that scares us, the truth of impermanence. The very nature of the unsteady ground upon which we stand, which is the very thing our small protective mind is fearful of, is the only truth we have so it is our only refuge.

I found myself smiling when CB said this to us. I've been discussing what the Truth is with someone and just last Thursday. I had said them that I still think the Truth is caught up in the uncertainty thing. Our only constant is change.

This had come t to mind last week as I was preparing to chant the Great Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra, reciting some of the chant aloud in the car. My mind and body really feeling the words, "Form itself is emptiness. Emptiness itself form".

Change is in the whole of that. It is because of the constancy of change that form is empty. Everything is in constant change, each moment, at some level therefore, that which we think of as form is empty.

Hearing CB say that this is where we take refuge was like coming around on this same treasure again, in full circle. Especially since change is truly so constant for me right now. The stillness of a home and mostly-certain career, the support of my beloveds, creates the container for the unsteady shifting in my soul. The memories and thoughts that come up, the constant agitation of them. They're able to be there, I'm able to be present (mostly) for them now. The stillness I've found helps me feel more capable.

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