Dale S. Wright

 ‘Zen masters are said to reside in a state of “no-mind” or “no-thought,” a relation to the world that is less hesitant and more immediate than more intellectually sophisticated comportments. Having trained long and hard in the various disciplines of mindfulness, Zen masters live in an intuitive grasp of their circumstances that allows them to function easily and extemporaneously where the rest of us hesitate and falter. With a profound sense of unity – the simplicity behind the complexity of the world – Zen masters are pictured as acting out of an intimate connection to the world that has been earned by following Buddhist meditations on “emptiness” down to the level of embodied, practical wisdom. Manifestations of this character transformation are a sense of ease and fluidity, a sense of being at home in the world, and a kind of spontaneity that features unmediated movement and action.

Each of the foregoing traits – the ability to see patterns within divergence, the sense of ease and fluidity of life lived through cultivated instincts, and the cultivated quality of simplicity – are grounded in a background of peace and composure. Indeed, it is hard to imagine any form of wisdom – not just Buddhist that does not derive from an embodied state of calm and composure. States of character that are fearful, greedy, anxious, compulsively busy, jangled, or nervous tend to diminish the scope and depth of human vision. They do not provide the conditions under which our minds can gather themselves, stepping back from the throes of activity to see where we are and what is going on.

When our minds are in turmoil, we lose track of larger perspectives; we push ahead unaware of all the ways the immediate situation we face is framed in more comprehensive perspectives. Composure and equilibrium make that awareness possible and are on that account fundamental components of wisdom.’ (The Six Perfections)

We can aspire, can’t we?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s