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Monday, February 11, 2008

Wet Sleeves

The mind;

Since there is really
No such thing as mind,
With what enlightenment
Shall it be enlightened?"

The mind;

Without end, without beginning,
Through it is born, though it dies
The essence of emptiness.

To write something and leave it behind us,
It is but a dream.
When we awake we know
There is not even anyone to read it.

Ikkyu's message is that thee is nothing to say and nothing to teach. What someone else knows is not your own unique understanding, and that includes the words of Ikkyu himself.

To him perfection is found in ordinary, natural human beings, and in not taking ourselves, or God, too seriously.

A rest on the way back from a leaky road
To the never ending-non-leaky road;
If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not;
But should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

Even if it doesn't rain we all live, grow older and we all die- we all end up traveling with sleeves. It remains a dream. Wake up!! he shouts and you will see it.

It takes courage to look at reality of the situation and few of us are prepared to travel his road, whether it is non-leaky or not. His name written in Chinese means "Take it easy". A rest between activities- a coffee break.

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