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Friday, January 12, 2007

Bodhidharma Spirit

It's two weeks into the New Year, and already I've been hearing from people disappointed that they've fallen from their resolutions. Whatever our intentions, in setting resolutions, we are bound to have plenty of opportunity to practice Bodhidharma Spirit. But first, before explaining what that spirit is, a few words about intention, vows and resolutions.

It's natural that as the calander changes from one year to the next, we take stock, reflect on the old year, and determine what we'd like to be different this year. In fact, in reflection there is already the intention to recommit. Why else would one reflect? Reflection and dedication are like the palm and the back of your hand. Not-two.

When my daughter was first learning to walk she'd take two or three faltering steps, the glee obvious on her face as she moved forward. Then there'd come a wobble, she'd teeter a bit, and then plop right down on her bottom. Without hesitation, she'd hoist herself up again, take another few steps, and plop right down on her bottom again. She'd do this over and over, delighting in the whole process...the pushing herself up, the walking, the teetering and the plopping!

So what happens? We get older, and with knowledge and experience we become blinded to the truth. We get jaded. We all, like my daughter learning to walk, once saw life freshly, able to know and not know, and delight in that not-knowing. With knowledge, we forget that we still don't know. So when the sun rises, we fail to see that it is not yesterday's sun that rises, but today's sun.

"Fall down six times; get up seven. Fall down 99 times; get up 100," my teacher, Samu Sunim says when describing Bodhidharma Spirit. It really ultimately doesn't matter how many times you may fall. All that matters is that you get back up. Just this time. Each time. Let go of what preceeded getting up now. And what I really find inspiring, is that when we look to the whole picture, we see that what Bodhidharma uses to get back up is what he fell down to. He uses the ground to which he fell to get back up. We use whatever we've fallen to in order to wake ourselves up... again and again and again. And we, like my daughter, like all of us when we first learned to walk, can delight in the process.

Because we know and we don't know.

And we're still learning.

May All Beings Be Peaceful.

frank jude

.: posted by Poep Sa Frank Jude 4:04 PM


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