I wrote this about two years ago, but I’ve always wanted to post it. There are a lot of reflections like this from my past that have never graced a blog before, but I’m debating on putting up a few. In my past I was deeply involved with Buddhism, and I’ve always enjoyed Zen style poetry. I suppose I’ll always have to try to integrate my Buddhist past with my Orthodox Christian present. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it…Hope the few readers I have get something from this…—JD
I keep coming back to the concept of immediacy, the present moment, the place where life unfolds and time intersects with eternity. I’m not sure if years of meditation have done much more for me than give me insight into this ever flowing stream of thoughts, feelings, moods and sense impressions along with a sense that right here in the now there is always a chance to step out of the storm and gain a moments shelter.
I see how there is a link somehow between how I think, what I choose to do or leave undone or what I choose to fill my mind with and inner peace or lack of it. This is the concept in Buddhism of karma in simplified form, this sense that right here,right now in every dimension of my life there is cause and effect that spills out into eternity. What I do, think about or whatever effects the trajectory of my life and effects others as well, and the only place where we can find peace and change tack is here, now.
There is immense power in these ideas and insights, and yet with the truths of our Faith added to them they become even more powerful. Our lives and our destiny are not just in our own hands but in Gods hands, and although our choices are free we are lifted up by grace and transformed and transfigured from within by the Triune Love that created all things.
In light of all this insight it’s easy to see that Ryokans poem takes on new meaning: we are free to step outside the rainy season of our thoughts, moods,feelings and circumstances and step out into the spacious verdant fields aglow with sunlight and refreshed by the cool breeze of the knowledge that we are free now and always, and loved and guided by God in the present moment, that place where time intersects with the eternal.