Thursday, March 8, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - March 8
My Unripeness in a Peace-Filled Luminosity
In a Zen koan someone said that an enlightened man is not one who seeks Buddha, or finds Buddha, but just an ordinary man who has nothing left to do. And yet mere stopping is not to arrive. To stop is to stay a million miles from it, and to do nothing is to miss it by the whole width of the universe. Yet how close it is, how simple it would be to have nothing more to do--if I had only done it. Meanwhile I am more content than I have ever been here with this unripeness, and thus I know that one day it will ripen, and one will see there had been nothing there at all, except an ordinary person with nothing to do in the first place.
The evening light. Purple coves and holes of shadow in the breasts of the hills and the white gable of newton's house smiling so peacefully amid the trees in the middle of the valley. This is the peace and luminosity William Blake loved. Today after dinner a hawk, circling the novitiate and the church steeple, designed a free flight unutterably more pure than skating or music. How he flung himself down from on high and swooped up to touch lightly on the pinnacle of the steeple and sat there, then fell off to cut lovely curves all around the cedars, then off like an arrow to the south.
March 10, 1963, IV.302