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Nothing to lean upon at all

She saw that all phenomena arose, abided, and fell away.
She saw that even knowing this arose, abided, and fell away.
Then she knew there was nothing more than this, no ground, nothing to lean on, stronger than the cane she held.
Nothing to lean upon at all, and no one leaning…
And she opened the clenched fist in her mind and let go, and fell, into the midst of everything.

Teijitsu, 18th century abbess of Hakujuan, near Eiheiji, Japan

Comment: What I like in this elegant piece of writing is that it seems to point toward an interface between impermanence and emptiness in an experiential way.
The noticing that phenomena arise and pass away is followed by the realisation that this noticing too must pass. What then is left? Nothing to hold onto, and yet still we find ourselves ‘in the midst of everything’.

Contributed by James

 

It’s doable!

Abandon what is unskilful. One can abandon the unskilful. If it were not possible I would not ask you to do it. If this abandoning of the unskilful would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to abandon it. But as it brings benefit and happiness, therefore I say, abandon what is unskilful.

Cultivate the skilful. One can cultivate the skilful. If it were not possible I would not ask you to do it. If this cultivation were to bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to do it. But as this cultivation brings benefit and happiness, I say, cultivate the skilful.

The Buddha
(Anguttara Nikaya 2.19)

Contributed by Mike