Dogen

‘Spring has the feeling of spring, and autumn has the look of autumn; there is no escaping it. So when you want spring or autumn to be different from what it is, notice that it can only be as it is. Or, when you want to keep spring or autumn as it is, reflect that it has no unchanging nature.’ (Shobogenzo Yuibutsu Yobutsu)

I was reflecting on the concreteness of Dogen’s analogies (see also here), and here he sums up the whole of human longing very simply. We want it to be different now, or else we want it to remain the same forever. It’s as true now as it was when he wrote this, eight hundred years ago. And it’s especially worth reflecting on in this spring of sickness.

IMG_4804The feeling of spring in San Francisco on Monday morning, as late rains came and went.

 

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