The Immovable Spot
by Jody Hojin Kimmel Osho
Featured in Mountain Record 31.3, Spring 2013
The Resting of the Streams and Tides
Just resting is like the great ocean accepting hundreds of streams all absorbed in one flavor. A practitioner of the way follows movement and responds to changes in total harmony. Moreover, haven’t you yourself established the mind that thinks up all the illusory conditions? This insight must be perfectly incorporated. Discontinue leaks and do not act on them.
— Master Hongzhi
Cultivating the Empty Field
Each period of zazen, our practice is moment-to-moment trying to be where we are. Every aspect of our training basically boils down to this. Consider all the forms we use in training—these forms are offered so that at each moment we know exactly how to fill ourself. They simplify things for us; we can just fold right into the form and within that form, see our minds clearly.
When we come into the zendo, in a sense, we take up the question, “Where am I?” Although our bodies are clearly here in this space, in a big way, we’re not here—we’re somewhere else, often lost in our fantasies, memories, and ideas. Hongzhi says, “Haven’t you yourself established the mind that thinks up all the illusory conditions? This insight must be perfectly incorporated.” We need to see where we are and be aware of what we are feeling.
What does it mean to be totally and completely here, with the whole body and mind, all the senses, the intellect, the passions? It’s incredible to see how uninterested we are in where we are. We just want to think, to figure life out, to worry or indulge our fantasies. Before we know it, we are somewhere else. This is not a sin—we’re just lost in our thinking mind at that moment— but the problem is that we’re unaware. The freedom of our mind is that we can go wherever we want to—we can fantasize, we can daydream, we can go to the past, to the future—in a way, this is the beauty of our mind. But for us to put our mind where we want it, when we want it there, for as long as we need it there—this is very difficult. That’s why we’re in training: to learn how to stop running away from where we are.