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Singing and Building Our Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage PART THREE

A Mahayana Bodhisattva trusts without doubt.

After building his new hut next to his temple, Shitou explains to himself and to us that trust is an essential aspect to his life. Sure, he has lived in the hut, relaxed and calm, has seen it begin to change, which is inevitable for all worldly things, and reaches a place of illuminating forms and their nature.

He sounds set, doesn’t he?

…trusts without doubt.

But he goes on to tell us he needs the vision of trust against any doubt that might be within him. A better word is confidence. He is confident in being a practitioner of light – a bright light without uncertainty or hesitation. Hurrah!

And still, he continues to give us more understanding…when he points out that those of us who are still playing around with the material things of worldly life question the validity and truth of this move Shitou has made.

Those who are …middling or lowly can’t help wondering…will the hut perish or not?

The depth of our wondering is an opportunity to those of us who follow this path. When we wonder, doubt, feel uncertain, hesitate, worry about whether our life as it is will perish or not, we are subject to the worldly ego-mind and have lost not only our confidence but our master. This brings to light the question, “who is our original master?”

And if we know who that is, do we have confidence that our original master is ever-present in our life right where we have built our life? A better definition will help us understand.

Our original master that is present in all aspects of existence is unborn, undying, immutable – which goes by many names. There is THAT which was never born, does not die and does not change. So, the things of the world, our worldly life, change and perish and change and change and change and in THAT the original beloved is present. Our problem is that we do not know who and what we are.

We are as Shitou exclaims he is…a being of light, the light that sees THAT. But our tendency is to see the change as frightening and uncontrollable – the ego-self sees THAT as frightening and uncontrollable because we are attached to the worldly things that delude us. We are attached to comfort. And we get frightened by change.

Not dwelling south or north, east, or west…is the line that gives a clue of our unborn, undying, immutable existence. The original master is everywhere, not dwelling in one specific place. But is One consciousness. When we know this…we begin to rest in the confidence of this truth.

Firmly based on steadiness…

Yes, this is what we need. A shift to resting on concentration & focus, a steady hand, a focused eye – a wise and unselfish mind.

Our conditioned mind does not trust without doubt because it has been trained to label and acquire forms which we think and believe will protect us from change. It is the standard fare of “…if only…or if when I do, get, have, keep…I will feel safe, happy, content, at ease, steady, relaxed…” and the list goes on. Unfortunately, this conditioning leads to a distorted view of the delusion we are in.

We have been trained to think and believe that the world is concrete – an actual, substantial thing that is eternal. Something we rely on. And yet, we know the world itself changes.


Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage Part Three





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