Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Study Hall

"Usually, when we want something, instead of looking at the desire itself - the pure energy of longing or craving - and connecting to that experience of mind, we fall into ordinary patterns of thought. We miss the original moment, the opennesss, energy and brilliance that precedes the start-up of our habitual patterns. That happens over and over, whether our desire is on a grand scale, or we simply long for an ice-cold Coke. Thanks to all our thoughts of good and bad, before we even reach for the Coke, we have denied ourselves the pleasure of drinking it. It has too much sugar and too many calories; caffeine is bad; this soda wasn't bottled locally, and so on. Our head says, 'Don't drink it', but our taste buds are going 'Mmm'. The point is to see our neurosis in all its fullness, in its rawest and most fundamental state, just as it's arising - when we're looking at that can of cold Coke and our whole being is drawn to it. Our passion for that Coke lights up our mind, and there's a moment of wakefulness, pure pleasure, and satisfaction before the onslaught of thought begins. We can fall back asleep in that moment to get away from the intensity and brilliance, or we can back away and pick up some organic carrot juice. Or we can join that moment with enlightened pride, the wisdom of emptiness. Whether we drink the Coke or not is somewhat beside the point; it's a question of how we work with our mind when the desire strikes" - Rebel Buddha, Dzogchen Ponlop.
I am not aware of Dogen using Coke as a teaching tool anywhere in the Shobogenzo, but I suspect if it had been around in his day, he might have made a similar point to the Rinpoche.


Renee said...

I'll remember this next time we have roasted carrots! ;)

Shundo said...

Tee hee