This morning I wrote a short note in my Yahoo 360 blog:
We are at the end of the first month of the new year. Most of us have, by now gotten used to the 06, then again, there is me. I am slow to notice the outward manifestation of change. I think that is because I am change itself, mostly dwelling in the moment, not looking at the horizon so much to see where I am. On the other hand, maybe 05 and 06 do not really exist. Maybe it is only this key pressing to making contact that exists, but only for a moment. It is an odd sort of dance this absolute and relative tango.
In Uji, one of Master Dogen's Shobogenzo essays, he uses a boat slipping along against the shore as a way of teaching the interrelation of Time and Being. And there is an old koan that addresses a similar issue: two monks pointing to a flagpole arguing (always two monks arguing). Which is moving, the flag or the wind?
We have talked about the two truths of Buddhism, the absolute and the relative. These truths are not independent. Buddha taught that all things are interdependent, this includes time, being, and space. Our "moment" consciousness interacts with our "ever" consciousness. When the interaction is choppy and stilted, we have a dance that is in dukkha. When we have an interaction that is easy and flowing, seamless, then we have a gracious waltz, no suffering. We do a sort of tango with these dances. Sometimes easy, sometimes difficult.
It is important to recognize they are both dances: dukkha and the absence of dukkha, samsara and nirvana, relative and absolute, time and being. Both exist, both do not exist. Only together is the universe made.Only together is it understood. Only together is it attained.
So, what does this mean in terms of Zen Living? Do not let your mind be an obstacle.