Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just This


Lots to think about here but thinking won't get us anywhere.


ALTHOUGH THE FORM OF THE QUESTIONS MAY CHANGE, THE PATH OF TRANSFORMATION REQUIRES A CONTINUING FOCUS ON THE EXPERIENCE OF EMPTINESS BECAUSE IN ORDER TO CONTINUE DOWN THE PATH, ONE LEARNS THAT ONE MUST DIE. AT SOME POINT ALONG THE PATH, ONE COMES FACE TO FACE WITH ONE'S OWN DEATH, IN TWO WAYS. THE FIRST WAY ONE CONFRONTS ONE'S DEATH IS LITERALLY IN COMPREHENDING THE FACT THAT ONE WILL INEVITABLY DIE. WHILE EVERYONE KNOWS THIS INTELLECTUALLY, ITS SIGNIFICANCE IS LARGELY IGNORED BY MOST PEOPLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A PERSON ON A PATH OF TRANSFORMATION TRAVELS WITH THIS FACT AS A MANTRA, A KOAN OR A MYSTERY, USING THAT FACT AS A FOUNDATIONAL REFERENCE POINT TO JUDGE AND EVALUATE ALL DECISIONS, ISSUES AND EVENTS. THE SECOND WAY IN WHICH ONE CONFRONTS ONE'S DEATH IS IN THE DEATH OF THE EGO...
From Journeys Into Empitness by  Gunn





The following lengthy quote, written by Merton just before his death, echoes with the insight into the true self. The quote serves as a fitting conclusion of this small book and the message it has tried to convey: 

The Three Doors  (they are one)

1. The door of emptiness. Of no-where. Of no place for a self, which cannot be entered by a self. And therefore is of no use to someone who is going somewhere. Is it a door at all? The door of no-door.

2. The door without sign, without indicator, without information. Not particularized. Hence no one can say of it "This is it. this is the door." It is not recognizable as a door. It is not led up to by other things pointing to it: "We are not it, but that is it---the door." No signs saying "Exit." No use looking for indications. Any door with a sign saying "Not-door." Or even "No exit."

3.The door without wish. The undesired. The unplanned door. The door never expected. Never wanted. Not desirable as a door. Not a joke, not a trap door. Not select. Not exclusive. Not for a few. Not for many. Not for. Door without aim. Door without end. Does not respond to a key---so do not imagine you have a key. Do not have your hopes on possession of the key.

There is no use asking for it. Yet you must ask. Who? For what? When you have asked for a list of all the doors, this one is not on the list. When you have asked the Numbers of all the doors, this one is without a number. Do not be deceived into thinking this door is merely hard to find and difficult to open. When sought it fades. Recedes. Diminishes. Is nothing. there is no threshold. No footing. It is not empty space. It is neither this world nor another. It is not based on anything. Because it has no foundation. Because it has no foundation, it is the end of sorrow. Nothing remains to be done. therefore there is no threshold, not step, no advance, no recession, not entry, no nonentry. Such is the door that ends all doors; the  unbuilt, the impossible, the undestroyed, through which all the fires go when they have "gone out."...This one door is the door of the Palace of Nowhere...Come with me to the Palace of Nowhere where all the many things are one."

From Merton's Palace of Nowhere

Bows to the Great Mystery,
Alan

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