‘If you are free from life and death, you will know where to go. When the four elements (of your body) scatter, where will you go?’
~ Gateless Barrier, Case 47, Tou-shuai’s Three Barriers
‘Uh, honey, slow down a bit to 65, signal right, look and then change lanes.’ I was recently on a white-knuckled ride with my 16 year-old student driver, and she was urging the car to the right. ‘Um, you have a blue truck next to you. You’re not gonna make it,’ I offered in a measured tone. A little
firmer now as our car continued to drift right: ‘You’re not going to make it!’ She yelled back: ‘I know I’m not going to make it! You think I’m stupid?!’
Isn’t that grand, I thought, none of us are going to make it! What is so dumb about that?
Recently we held a memorial for one of our members who passed away. At a recent koan soiree, we talked about his passing. I expressed my strong belief that his light had not passed from our lives, but that our friend, known for his impishness, had gone into hiding in the mountains and streams, the trees and zendo cushions, and even into us, looking to spend more time with us. Where will any of us go when our bodies scatter? The morning crows will carry us in their call, I trust. The stars will shine us in their twinkling, I suspect.
‘Relax Dad, go do your zen,’ my daughter said as she turned off the turn signal. ‘Uh, ok,’ I answered.