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It’s Right There

From early on in life each of us without exception become entrapped in the notion, a kind of Ego-Delusion, which takes the form of the “pursuit of happiness,” convincing us that what we need is always somewhere other than where we are, and certainly not already “right here” within us. The Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi wrote, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it,” which prevent us from seeing it right here right now.

For Buddhist’s the process begins with cultivating “right view”. My “point of view is always informing my experience including how I see myself, my environment, and my place in the world. Our “point-of-view” literally determines for us not only what we will experience in any given moment but, what we are permitted to experience. “The Mind sees only what it is looking for,” therefore it follows that a fearful man sees only a dangerous world; or a jealous man sees a world to always be suspected, and the man or woman who views themselves as not good or capable enough sees a world to combat or be conquered by.

Early in life we are conditioned to have the point of view of “not enough”. From there we develop the habitual behavior of pursuing or seeking in the world what so often we already possess. One of those inherent possessions is our ability to naturally face challenges and find peace in conflict. Each of us are “hardwired” not to just survive, but to thrive (to know peace of mind and body). We possess natural abilities, witnessed often in small infants, to calm ourselves when uncertain, and to find joy within ourselves and with the simplest things. As Rumi suggests, “We don’t have to go looking for happiness, or peace, they are within us.” We need only to “change” our “point of view”.

In Zen, we understand that one cannot discover this basic truth about themselves simply by reading my words or the teacher telling us, we must “experience” it for ourselves. This can be very difficult however for most because, “Our point of view of ourselves may not allow us to even consider the possibility.” So we have a practice at Pine Wind I call, “Nike Buddhism” or “Just Do It”. You will have to “Just Do It” until you “Just Get It”. (The wonder of the Truth however is that, if it’s really true, you will get it as long as you really want to.)

So tomorrow morning when you wake up make your first thought, “Yes, this is enough.” Throughout the day whenever you feel like something is missing, take a breath and as you exhale say to yourself, “This is sufficient.” Then go back to just taking care of business. Stay out of the narrative “Not enough,” and the story you’ve been telling yourself for a lifetime, and write a new one, the true one, the one you forgot and now can begin to remember; If you really want to.

I love you.

Seijaku Roshi is the founder of The Center for Spirituality and Contemplation, and spiritual director of Pine Wind Zen Community, at 863 McKendimen Rd., in Shamong, NJ. He is a Zen-Buddhist Monk, parent, author, life coach and Abbot. For more information, visit PineWind.org.  

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