black friday zen

November 26th, 2010

Being and doing
may seem to be different
but they really are the same.
There is no such state as just being.
even for inanimate things.
See, here is a saucer,
but there is activity in it.
You know how matter exists.
Particles are in motion –
protons, electrons, neutrons –
and they hold things together.
They are active.
They are doing something.
It is energy.
We are living in that samadhi to begin with.

–Maezumi Roshi, Teaching of the Great Mountain

I am sometimes asked the difference between being and doing, or at least a question that implies a difference between being and doing, such as “How do you ever get anything done?” Here Maezumi Roshi answers that question so simply and clearly. Most of us imagine that being is to exist in a state of paralysis, disengaged and inert. Oh the trouble we create by trying to understand something to mean something else!

I create a good bit of trouble for myself trying to understand Maezumi, to listen and transcribe and convey his teaching, and he does it himself so well. I was unaware of this little book, Teaching of the Great Mountain. It is a series of talks, some of which I’m delighted to recall I was present for! What is different is that his words are arranged in verse form, and seeing them that way they are suddenly so simple.

I bring it to your bargain-hunting attention today because like most treasures, it is found in the junk bin. You can buy a used copy on Amazon for as little as $1.49. I suggest you buy all your wisdom that way: well-worn and low-priced. Then you have the rest of your money to be foolish with.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jack Daw, Karen Maezen Miller. Karen Maezen Miller said: Buy all your wisdom cheap so you have the rest of your money to be foolish with. My post on Black Friday Zen http://t.co/gogBhlZ […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention black friday zen | Karen Maezen Miller's Cheerio Road -- Topsy.com — November 26, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  2. […] read this post by Karen Maezen Miller two weeks ago and it hit me like a 2×4 between the eyes. I have often […]

    Pingback by Action | Life After Benjamin — December 14, 2010 @ 6:20 am

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