Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bamboo and Zen

------------------------------------------------photo by Elaine Russell

"The name "Zen" is Japanese. It derives from the Chinese Chan'an-na, which is a corruption from the Buddhist Dhyana, meaning Meditation. Zen means waking up to the present moment. That is, perceiving this moment exactly as it is, rather than through the filter of our ideas, opinions, etc.
You can learn from an ordinary bamboo leaf what ought to happen. It bends lower and lower under the weight of snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. Stay like that at the highest point of tension until the shot falls from you. So, indeed, it is: when the tension is fulfilled, the shot must fall, it must fall from the archer like snow from a bamboo leaf, before he even thinks it. "

I've been thinking a lot about peace, zen...openness of being. Not being trampled on by other people and their ideas, and yet being open to possibilities. Which brought me to thinking about the bamboo plant I have in my meditation area.... which led me to the passage I quoted above.