The spring practice period opened today with a peregrination to various altars, including one atop the roof, at sunrise, sans bees. Standing in the cool breeze under a softly glowing, partly cloudy sky, forty-two participants – some residents, some commuters – agreed to spend the next six weeks exploring the theme of “Dharma Friendship.”
The idea of the good friend, the path-partner, prevails in Buddhism. Without it, sangha fizzles. “Only a Buddha and a Buddha,” Dogen surmised, could understand reality – because only through others do we see reflected the reality we’ve made. And only with others do we have a prayer of changing it. No one goes it alone. The self-made (wo)man is the epitome of delusion. Nothing that’s you was made by you, not even your idea of who you are. Tozan’s jeweled mirror isn’t a piece of glass, it’s other people – in truth they are you.
So, we’ll spend six weeks exploring we, muting I. The metaphors are legion – front and back foot in walking, light and dark, boat and shore, inquiry and response. The point is so profound and so astonishingly simple: Our life is an “and.”