Koan - Viewing the Snow: Layman P’ang pointed to the falling snow and said, “The snow is so beautiful; each flake lands in the same place.”
Yamada's translation is: "Beautiful snow flakes! They don't fall on any other place."
I view “Came to believe” as not something to strive for. Instead, it’s sort of a forecasting of what is to come, predicated on continuing to work the Steps. It’s like building strong muscles. I’ll never simple wake up one day with stronger muscles. Only after I have worked my muscles with exercise and lifting weights will my muscles become stronger.
Each flake … falling, swirling, updrafts, eddies, totally at the whim of wind and temperature, completely powerless over its destiny and not in control of anything. Does it know when or where or even if it will land? No. All each snowflake can do is fall and wait and see what happens, falling only on the place where it lands.
I’m that snowflake falling, completely powerless over my destiny and not in control of anything. The falling is the coming to believe part. Coming to believe that I will cease falling and land in a place. Where or when, I don’t know. All I can do is wait and see…and enjoy the ride.
This reminds me of a story from a Buddhist teacher; unfortunately I cannot recall his name -- You are falling from a great (un-survivable) height. As you fall, spinning and rotating toward earth, what a shame it would be to not enjoy the spectacular view in all directions.
I’ll know I’ve landed in the right place when I have come to believe in Step 2. This may happen as soon as I embrace Step 3? Or later on…
The evening went a little differently for us this time. I learned earlier in the day from a note that my wife had left, that Dale (who seldom misses 12 & Zen) would not be attending. He was in the emergency room at Memorial Hospital.
Of course he was on my mind and in my prayers. There was nothing I could do for him and I remained sane as I went about the rest of my day. Concern yes, but no worries. He was being taken care of where he was and I am being taken care of where I am, because I trust in a Power greater than myself.
We missed Dale's presence yesterday evening.
Today I paid him a visit. He smiled as I walked in. His recovery may take months. Beautiful Dale has landed in the same place.
"As the koan slipped into my body, I did not need to find a meaning outside of this very moment and this very place."*
* I just swiped this from something my friend Jon Joseph Roshi just sent. It seems a fitting closing here.