O204-5: A Way of Dispossession

Autumn was short, winter is just about here. Beautiful crisp days with blue sky. Time to work in the garden, more time to meditate. Both activities lead me to dig up unexpected things.

#O205

A long time ago, Honghzhi Zhengue said:

Right here, at this pivotal axle, opening the swinging gate and clearing the way – it is able to respond effortlessly to circumstances, the great function is free of hindrances.

The painting below is not really a success, although I have to say the photograph brings out the worst in it – all the deep rich color of the foreground is lost. But I am logging it here for the sake of my painting log:

#O204

We must act with an equanimity that is more important than any action. The question is not what shall we do, but how shall we do. In what spirit shall we act.

[S. Radhakrishnan, Commentary on Bhagavadgita]

On a self-retreat, the mind converges on old familiar themes. The way requires more subtleness, sensitivity than I could ever have imagined. T.S. Eliot knows something about this:

You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.

T.S. Eliot – excerpt from Four Quartets

 

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