"Right now, whether you're
walking, standing, sitting or lying down,
responding to circumstances and meeting people
as they come --
Everything is the Way." - Master Ma
Everything is the Way. Everything is the Tao.
I had a dear friend who was fond of saying, "Everything is practice." This Koan elicits that for me. No matter what I am doing, feeling or imagining, it is the path, the way, the Tao. It takes a lot of pressure off me. It doesn't say "The Right way is the Way." It says everything is the way.
I am aware of the still small voice inside of my head measuring and assessing whether I am on the path or not. Am I walking, leading my life, responding to my life in the Right way - the Zen way - the Spiritual way?
I am also aware of how often I get unsolicited advice on how I should lead my life, walk the path, be a good Zen practitioner. The great thing is that even that - even the unsolicited advice, the inner critic, the still small voice that measures and assesses - that too is the path. The awareness of myself and the ten thousand things is the practice.
I've noticed that my emotions have matched the earth's response to the world these past several months. The West Coast, Montana, Canada all were on fire and I noticed that my temper and my passions were a bit out of balance too. The Hurricanes and Monsoons in the US and Asia delivering so much water. This too matched my emotions and how tender and vulnerable I felt. Then an Earthquake in Mexico - the shaking of the earth resonated with my struggle to deal with my body, my back and muscles spasming - all feeling out of balance just like the Earth. This noticing is the path.
It is natural to look for the things we want outside of where we are right now. That seems like the whole point of the journey, doesn't it? Yet this moment is all any of us actually has. So, if freedom, love, beauty, joy or whatever else is desirable are to appear, they have to appear in this now moment.
The marvelous, the fun, will have to be right here in the room where someone is reading, someone is sick, someone is coughing, two people are arguing, where the earth is shaking, where the house is flooding, where someone is yelling at a dog. It will have to appear in the moments of what is actually our life.
If we are willing to turn toward the life we have, the life we are living, then we are living the Tao, the Way. And when we are resisting, fighting, distracting ourselves and running from our life - that too is the Tao. Everything is the Way. Great freedom is found in this for me. You?
Illana Berger - Director of sharing the moon Meditation
I have built a private practice rooted in the mystical, shamanic teachings of ancient Judaism, indigenous practices and Zen. Her work is targeted to help individuals expand their personal awareness and consciousness of the mind, body and soul. Illana is devoted to assisting people in discovering how the tapestry of their life story influences their relationships, spiritual path, creativity and life purpose.