Understanding the heart Leisure

There is no path to disengagement that is not in itself.

Every Vietnamese is familiar with the dao song: "Invite each other to transplant and plow / Now hard work has a rich day". The word "affluent" means happy, comfortable, no worries anymore. Because we feel that we lack many things, with so many comforts that we possess are not enough to be happy, so we always try and remind each other to try to "plow" to accumulate more. Now try to endure hardship and then tomorrow will be enjoyed. But what will we enjoy tomorrow? Having a golden granary will make us happy, but will it be enough to cover all the needs of human happiness? Does it solve loneliness, sadness, betrayal or despair? Not to mention that when we're full, we're more likely to be handicapped, race, or daydream about even more distant happiness. Therefore, the "golden granary" will not necessarily help us to be "rich".

There are so many people who are full of wealth without knowing what "style" is. They are busy, stressed and full of fear all the time. Sometimes we see children flying kites in the fields, village girls picking lotus in the moonlit night, or farmers fishing nets in the river can enjoy every passing moment. They are the real "leprosy". Maybe it's because they always accept what they have. Although they still strive for food and clothing, they never let their work overwhelm their present precious life. Their time and energy are mainly to live deeply, live in harmony and love each other.

Therefore, only when we have such a great need for material comforts do we assume that the "golden granary" is the main purpose of our lives. And when we have absorbed the pain of the loss of separation, we will see that the moment of warmth together is really the reason for life. As the following two verses describe: "In the shallow field, in the deep field/ The husband ploughs, the wife transplants, the buffalo harrows." Having a husband, a wife, and a buffalo as a close friend who always stands shoulder to shoulder in every difficult day, is already a condition of happiness. For them, every day that passes or every job is happiness, is a reason to live. They don't look down on anything they have in order to chase other things, especially things they don't know for sure. They may have believed that the means of life are also the purpose of life.

And we always have many purposes to pursue. When we see the other as an end, we turn away from this one, or see it as only a temporary means to serve that great purpose. Just as when we need to go to point B to do something, point B becomes our destination. Now only B matters. But if we need to relax, learn to walk after a traffic accident, or simply want to walk as a living reality, then walking is the purpose of the process. Go to go, not go to come. There's no need because we're enjoying every step of our mystery. Tomorrow, we may not be able to go anymore.

Isn't it very happy to be able to go? We never seem to see ourselves walking. We have never felt the deep value of someone who can use his or her healthy legs. We always walk in a hasty attitude like being chased by ghosts, as if to grasp something so important that without it we cannot live. What can be done at point B is important, but not so we have to miss the distance to B. The distance to B is just as important as B. Because both can bring happiness value. Both are both means and ends.

People often say to each other: "Settle down." That is, it is necessary to have a stable property, decent material amenities to be able to create a happy life. This notion has deceived countless classes of people that we still believe very much. Look back. Everyone tries to accumulate in the hope that life will be more prosperous, but strangely enough, the more material resources people have, the more deprived people feel. It is very difficult to buy the house we want, but we have to stay on the street or at work all day. Food fills the fridge but we eat every day. I don't remember how many clothes, but I still rush to search the shops. Not to mention that when there are some events such as illness, spoiled children, family disturbances, bad guys, all those so-called "karmic losses" suddenly turn meaningless.

Not finding disengagement in the present, we send confidence in the future. Many people think that they have to wait until retirement, even if they do not want to relax. For them, disengagement means having nothing to do. But in truth, those who have missed the opportunity to live deeply in the present are just days of nostalgia for the past. Without big things to do, they try to do errands to find themselves still there. They are terrified to sit idle. Therefore, only those who accept reality absolutely, without desire, can live freely everywhere.

Just a few decades ago, it was thought that living leisurely was an art of living. Now if we say that we are enjoying every moment of the moment, with nothing important to do, then surely people will look at us with very surprised eyes. We have to always say that we are very busy, then we are the ones who know how to live, to be valuable. In the U.S., people don't say the company is expensive, they say it's busy. Young people also want to increase their busyness, they pride themselves on being crazy about their work at the company. According to them, if not crazy, it is sluggish. It's okay to be crazy and have money to spend. It is because of the misperception between emotional satisfaction and the value of true happiness that they confuse the means and purpose of life. They turn all the mysterious values of life into mediocre means to serve great ambitions. And ambition is never enough. So, it can be said to relax now or never. Because it is not a matter of time, space or external factors. It belongs to me, and only me.

In some spiritual traditions, people always aim for "freedom" or "liberation." That is, we must find ways to break free from the constraints of an object or situation. Sometimes you have to leave this world completely to be free or liberated. Therefore, even though they have chosen their spiritual life, they cannot live much more comfortably, lightly and peacefully than those who still struggle with life. Their hearts are still full of longings, there are still worries, there are still frustrations in the face of adversity. In the name of lofty ideals, they have not really stopped to accept the present absolutely, how can they lead others to achieve peace in their own lives. Unsuccessful in the present, they paint the future with extremely compelling prospects to lure the weak-hearted. Therefore, the policy of seeking a free world or liberation has become a strong trend of those who cannot locate themselves in life.

When we hear that stocks are falling dramatically, we are not scared or worried because we don't invest in stocks. When the economy suddenly has a severe recession and we can still eat and sleep, it is because we are not big businesses. When we read in the newspapers that people strangled themselves because they went bankrupt, we found ourselves very cavalier on a living wage. When we witness other spouses fighting and then going to court to litigate, we feel lucky and free because we are single. When we see celebrities suffering when their private lives are exposed by the press, we smile happily because we have not graced the aura of fame. Obviously, when we don't chase after external conditions and still live peacefully, we are not controlled and bound. Being unfettered i.e. disengaged.

Disengagement just for staying out of such adversities is still conditioned. What will happen tomorrow when the favorable conditions we have suddenly dissipated? Although we are not as engaged in high-end enjoyment as others, we are more or less connected to people and society, so we can avoid emotional reactions back and forth. Even if we flee into the dark paint with a cup so as not to be bound by external circumstances, will we be at peace in the face of the longing darkness that rises in our hearts, or the sweet memories of the past? It's not okay to relax because you're not surrounded by adversity. He who has the courage to stand in the face of success, defeat, loss, praise and still be cavalier is the one who truly achieves true disengagement.

Zen master Tran Nhan Tong, in the 13th century of Vietnam, once warned people: "The house full of treasures stop searching/ Before that scene of nothingness, meditation" ("The middle right protects mediocrity / For heartless scenes of meditation" – The heretical resident). The pinnacle of elaborate meditation is to train yourself to have the courage to be immobile in all situations. Pros and contradictions are fine. When we see that the materials of peace, happiness, and relaxation are all within ourselves, we no longer demand anything from the situation. We don't need to stay in a dark place forever because we are intimately connected to people, to life. We must be there to share suffering and offer joy to others. We must help people find value in disengagement in reality. That is truly the noble purpose of life.

Of course, if we are not good enough, we have not cleansed away all the disturbing dirt, then leisure is limited. There will be times when full when it is empty. But it is imperative that we stand on the path of leisure, and cannot stand on any other path. That is, disengagement should always be present in our every step, not at the end of the path. In truth, there is no path to disengagement that is not in itself.

Sit still in leisure
Exposure to the clouds Let go of the
ego Find yourself everywhere.


Leave a comment