People go to wild places to search for their true nature. When you do this, where is your true nature?
~ Doushuai’s Three Barriers, Gateless Barrier, Case 47
The above koan is a wonderful and important one in the Pacific Zen curriculum because it really does ask for an embodied response, a “show”, rather than a “tell.” Like most koans, the answer is actually in the question, and for me at least, this koan affirms that the act of searching is itself our true nature. We don’t have to go far afield to find out that the wild places are right here, and that the high holiest truths might be to find our glasses, or car keys. True nature is simpler and closer, and grander, than we can think.
Recently, one of our Pacific Zen members (thank you Kirsten L!), posted on PZI Talk, a google-chat group for hundreds of our members (become a member, and you too can share in this amazing collective wisdom and sharing!), the following short newspaper article:
Missing Woman Mystery Solved
A group of tourists on Saturday spent hours Saturday night looking for a missing woman near Edgjá Canyon, only to find her among the search party.
They group was traveling through Iceland on a tour bus and stopped near a volcanic canyon. Soon, there was a report of a missing passenger. The woman, who had changed clothes, didn’t recognize the description of herself, and joined in the search.
But the search was called off about 3:00 am, when it became clear the missing person was accounted for and searching for herself.
The original report probably ran about seven years ago in the Toronto Sun, but was recently tweeted and picked up by CBS News, and thus gained a second life in the blogosphere. A few details from the older and newer story vary slightly, but the message is archetypically beautiful and touches something basic in our hearts: we are all feeling lost at times and are searching for something of great value ~ a life, a treasure, an awakening. And in the end, we come to realize that we were found from the very beginning. (Yes, Dorothy, this is Kansas.) What the heck, let’s send out another search party!