"And if all the thoughts and stories in your head - as Zen seems to suggest - are equally meaningless, then so are thoughts about Zen and the thoughts of Zen. Of course, that is a conclusion that most Zen masters would willingly accept, but it leaves them in a dangerous place, where anything can be said because everything is equally senseless. And that seems to bring Zen perilously close to nihilism, an association that [D.T.] Suzuki is eager to fend off. It's true, he says, that Zen declares that everything is empty, but what emerges when that is realized is joy in the present moment. But isn't joy in the present moment empty too, bringing us back to nihilism?"These are deep things to be grappling with; the way I feel this in my life now is that awareness of emptiness does not lead to nihilism, but rather a rootedness in unrootedness. There are no 'stable individual identities' as the author understands and accepts, and being able to accord with this reality does bring a certain ease and joy, which is 'empty' only in the sense it does not have a stable inherent existence, and which is often countered by the stuff our brains starts coming up with to assert otherwise. So which do we trust? The longer I practise, the less I try to listen to constructs of the mind. 'Thoughts about Zen' are basically meaningless; nonetheless they do exist as part of the reality we are experiencing. The trick is being comfortable with both of these things at the same time.
Just in case you have glazed over, some sky pictures from last week, as the sun and fog meet and balance each other: