A woman asked Tung Shan, ‘What is Buddha?’ Shan replied, ‘The heart of the Tin Man.’
~ The Blue Cliff Record, Case 12
One PZI teacher said of awakening that it is a matter of ‘opening the heart.’ Sometimes we forget we have a heart, even though it was there from the very first.
I remember years ago sharing the rug with several brothers and sisters in front of our old television, watching the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz. It was frightening and exciting and glorious, with its menagerie of fantastical characters. I knew the flying monkeys would come haunt me in my dreams. We kids chose our favorit characters, and for me, I always liked the Tin Man most. From the very beginning, he had a heart. Only he refused to believe it.
The Tin Man was not like today’s Bots; Google analytics shows the Portola Camp website sometimes gets 50 hits a day, from unknown addresses and each lasting just a second or two. Bots, for sure. Bots seeking enlightenment. Like the Tin Man, these modern Bots are not quite sure how to find the way to their heart. Yet they continue to ping. And like the Tin Man, the woman inquiring of Tung Shan may not be too sure how to find her own heart. Yet she continues to ask.
‘If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard,’ says Dorothy. ‘Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.’ There is no place like home.