Friday, April 17, 2009

things I don't know

-- With the dawn not yet quite obvious and a half moon hanging in the sky to the east-southeast, I sat on the porch this morning and wondered again how the birds knew to wake up and start making a racket. Why not earlier? Why not later? Every morning seems about the same -- 4:30-5 rolls around and their delicious clarities begin again. I doubt that the birds wonder about it, and bit by bit, I wonder less as well.

-- Where would spiritual life be without ego -- without that puffed-up or subtle sense that I am important? Important, but unsure? Sometimes I marvel at the self-centeredness of others. How selfish! How selfish I can be. And yet without that selfishness the whole mega-industry of spiritual life, whether within or without, would fall flat on its fanny. In a gadget-cluttered life, I guess it's another gadget, but I don't really know.

-- Imagine imagining that some other person or circumstance was "holy" or "enlightened." It's such a rich and humungous tale, rife with sorrow and delight, and yet ... what for?

-- I wonder if the difference between altruism and compassion is that compassion knows there is nothing to worry about.

-- The dawn has come now and the half-moon is gone. The birds, once insistent in the darkness, are silent in the light. They have done their best; they do their best. I imagine I should do the same. "It is enough," as Suzuki Roshi once observed, "to be alive."

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