The moon in the pool, delusion and disillusionment: the disaster of the mediate.
Old Cheng’s short visit had stirred up quite a commotion within me. How was it possible that he had suddenly appeared on my doorstep, when nobody from my old monastery had ever seen him again? After leaving the monastery eighteen years ago and wandering around in the world for a bit, I had settled down in the Netherlands. After the realization of the Original Spirit, I lived by the day, without any plans for the future. All I had was my immediately lived reality. In the meantime I had fathered four children and I was mainly dedicating myself to raising them. In spite of the maelstrom of daily life, everything took place in a lively clarity and openness which I shared with my partner and children. Recently I had moved to the woodland of Lage Vuursche. But how on earth had Old Cheng managed to find me here? When I left home the next day, I was surprised to see Master Cheng once more waiting for me at the end of the street. Without even saying hello, he continued where he had left off the day before:
“The illusionary promise of seeking appears in many forms:
- The illusion of spiritual growth, - the promise of getting rid of something, - transforming, - projecting, - referring, - impressing or expressing, - purifying, - improving, - changing, - meditating, - dialoguing, - therapy-ing, - psychologizing, - practicing and putting into practice, - eliminating, - waiting, - suffering…
…all just ripples in a pond. Illusionary attempts to keep the Moon’s images in the water smooth, clear, undisturbed and intact. Once the ‘carrot’ of mind-deepening is tasted, it becomes a magnet for people’s
most unexamined standards, values, intentions, motives, goals and longings. Keeping yourself occupied with these not only keeps the search alive, but even offers a confirmation and strengthening of the mirage that is seeking, clearing up, practicing and so on.
Old Cheng calls this the adoration of the moon in the water: falling into the trap of ‘adoring the glitter of the reflecting mind’. Old Cheng calls the adoration of the moon in the water ‘the sickness of the present time’, which is causing the psychologization of Satsang, Advaita Vedanta and Zen. It is reducing the essence of such fundamental traditions to the personalization of beingness or to becoming anchored in Being...
...nevertheless, thanks to the Immediate, it was possible for you to ‘awaken’ out of that coma.”
The wind was whispering through the trees. Old Cheng took his long walking cane to poke around in a pile of leaves. Suddenly he swished the cane through the air. A rain of colorful leaves fluttered whirling to the ground. When I looked again at Old Cheng, I could just see him disappear into the woods across the street.