This afternoon is self’s Vinyasa Flow class.
It is soooo relaxing.
Self has been pondering taking a course on Buddhism.
For, as Japanese sage Hakuin Ekaku (1685 – 1768) once said:
To study Buddhism is to study yourself. To study yourself is to forget yourself in each moment. Then everything will come and help you. Everything will ensure your enlightenment.
– Nakahara Nantenbo (1839 – 1925)
She did actually ponder learning more about Buddhism, but there are so many things going on in her life at the moment.
Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying was a Buddhist, and a gentler soul never lived. When she died in Tel Aviv, in 2008, self was heartbroken. Her ashes are in the family crypt in Manila, but some are in a temple in Bangkok, per her instructions.
Ying! She was so proud of self that she would carry around a copy of self’s books, and when people would ask what she was reading, she would show them.
Now that self is contemplating the Buddhism thing, she also remembers hearing about Shari Epstein, a former classmate at Stanford, who was said to have founded a city on the northern California coast. A Buddhist, peaceful city. What was its name? Drat self and her horrible memory. The City of 10,000 Buddhas? Something like that? In Ukiah?
She recalls, too, a teacher named David Nivison (whose books are all available on Amazon) who taught a class called Zen and Nothingness. Can you believe actually taking a class like that? Self recalls the first day: there we were, Chinese Studies and Asian Languages students, scattered around the small classroom. The professor enters: a very very tall and a very very skinny man. Without preamble, he opens his mouth and begins the lecture.
We students look at each other in dismay. The teacher’s mouth is moving, but no one can hear anything. Slowly — and as surreptitiously as possible — a few students begin moving closer to the front of the classroom. By the end of that quarter, this is how the chairs were arranged: Prof. Nivison seated at his desk facing the class, and all our chairs circled around his desk, some even touching the desk, and everyone straining their darndest to make sense out of this Zen and Nothingness which — don’t ask self to explain the concept, it’s something like the sound of one hand clapping. She knows there was a midterm and a final, and she passed both. But she has no idea what she wrote, what she filled her Blue Book with. Her grade, she recalls, was a B. Which was extremely kind of Prof. Nivison.
Back to the Buddha Mind!
When we are trying to be active and special and to accomplish something, we cannot express ourselves. Small self will be expressed, but big self will not appear from the emptiness. From the emptiness only great self appears.
Now synapses are firing like crazy in self’s brain, for she remembers the Abnegation faction in Divergent, which she made yet another attempt to read last night, before giving up and going back to re-reading Mockingjay.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.