Conversations in Zen

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A: Do not renounce anything, do not accept anything. What is built upwards is also built downwards.

B: I feel doubt, and I feel loss, and I feel terrible despair.

A: Clinging, or trying to capture and keep things is the source of suffering. This is why the rich man cannot get into heaven, because he is attached to the things and people of the world.

B: How is it possible to walk on water?

A: When one is lighter than water, when one is not weighed down by any attachment.

B: But it is impossible to live without being attached to anything. Should I chose to be homeless, and destitute and without family, work, or friends? Should I chose to starve and burn in the midday Sun? I love comfort. I love people, and I love my shelter and food served every day. I love my job, and I love being loved. I am attached to people, I have desire and need and want, and I can’t renounce, and I can’t let go, and I love and I crave, and I am a storm of desires.

A: Nothing is built up, without being built down also. You must accept that the castles you build in the sand, will be flattened with the tide.

B: But I shall build it out of cement and I’ll build it on a rock.

A: It will last longer, but it will still be eroded and destroyed, and the stronger you build it, the greater will be the destruction of it.

B: I will build my castle magnificent, and its destruction, I will accept and take pleasure in.

A: You will take pride in the creation, because it will cost you your life and blood and bones. And when its destruction comes, you will be desolate.

B: Be it so, I shall be proud and pleased with what I build in this life. And it shall last me until death, and it shall be good, and solid and strong. And I shall suffer to build it and test it and keep it, but it shall be good and it shall be with me, and I’ll not lose it.

A: This is a noble goal. And it shall be your eternal happiness and grief at the same time.

B: I shall build it, because I must, because I desire it.

A: This is admirable.

B: I am unhappy.

A: Why?

B: Because my dream, is still just a dream it is not real, it is a fantasy in the air. I cannot touch it, I cannot feel it, I have no satisfaction from it.

A: What have you got right now? What have you built up to now?

B: I have modest achievements, but in reality it is nothing. It’s not enough, I am a hollow cavern with nothing but all-consuming desire, and I crave my future, now.

A: When your future comes, you shall still feel you have nothing, and that all you have it rot and that you still crave to improve your castle and your dream will always try to reach out into the future.

B: I shall never be content. I am doomed by my desire. I am doomed to suffer eternally for my dissatisfaction.

A: Everything that you want you already have. Everything that you love and desire are in existence and present. You just do not know them properly, you do not know their properties and true value.

B: But, I love… C.

A: And C loves you equally, and with the same force that you love.

B: How can you be so sure?

A: The building loves the earth it stands on, and the earth draws the building towards it. Gravity is the attraction of two masses towards each other.

B: I am still unhappy.

A: You will be loved in exact proportion to your love.

B: But even if I were loved by C, it would still not be enough would it…?

A: Perhaps you are not born to be satisfied.

B: Perhaps it is my destiny…

A: But all are capable of being aware of truth. All are capable of being revealed the real nature of life. Those who have great desire and great suffering, and don’t know, are no different to those that have little suffering and little desire but do not realise the truth.

B: So just by understanding that all things are ephemeral and are in perfect balance and harmony, I somehow am better?

A: You will never cease to suffer and to desire. But in understanding you may be able to achieve harmony.

B: Harmony then. A balance between up and down?

A: Build your castle in the East of the land, and you will be balanced by a castle in the west.

B: But I thought that the balance was “creation and destruction”?

A: You are the East. And you will be balanced by West, and you may love West, and marry West, or you may hate West and go to war with West.

B: But should I not suffer then?

A: Only if you chose to.

B: No, I chose to build and I chose the path of peace.

A: But you must prepare for war, because if you are peaceful, West will be aggressive and angry with you for it.

B: This is not fair. I chose the path of peace, and I chose equability.

A: Then you shall be balanced by fire and in-equability. Your order will be balanced by its equivalent and you will have to continuously fight in order to maintain it.

B: I wish for contentment and peace. I wish for security and happiness. But I also wish for excitement and fun, I wish for change and movement and dynamism. I wish to have my desires, but I wish also to be happy and content with those desires when they are fulfilled.

A: Your wish is already granted.

B: I am eager and impatient to have my wish.

A: Your wish is in existence already, all you had to do is to imagine it and conjure it, and it will materialise.

B: I wish also that I will one day realise that everything I ever wanted I got. I wish my life to be like the sweet smell, touch and glow of a ripe peach in the autumn Sun, I wish for it to be golden-red and deliciously sweet, dripping with sweet juice. I wish it to be a shared experience.

Snake: Your wish is already true.

Adam: I love God, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t have money does it?

A: Yes, this is the truth of the path. However, there will be no peaches on your tree come winter.

B: But, there is a different beauty in winter, there are different shades of colour and different pleasures.

A: The path is narrow dear student.

B: Yes, sometimes I forget all about the balance…

 

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