Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bubbles in the wind

Gazing at my two-year-old son in the backyard yesterday, while he blew bubbles in the wind, I was suddenly struck by the realization that THIS WAS IT. This child was the entire universe. Not one atom or moment in the entire history of the cosmos was absent from this boy.

He was everything. All of the conditions in the universe were coalescing at this matrix that I call my son.

His being is a miracle.

All of the countless factors that had to exist--fall into place perfectly like cogs in a fantastically tuned machine--in order for him to exist were vividly apparent to me at that moment.

The birth of Jesus, the discovery of the atom, WWII, they were all present.

And not just for my son. But yours too, and your daughter. And the apple tree in your front yard. The rusty bicycle in your garage. A beetle in Japan.

They're all it.

One of the things I find must beautiful about Zen is its acknowledgement of the phenomenal world; in fact, its insistence that we constantly return to the world around us. The Absolute in Zen is immanent, not transcendental.

We're all it. Me, you, your dog, even that bubble that my son blew. Even though it burst, it hasn't gone anywhere at all. For as the "Heart Sutra" says, "There is no old age and death, and no end to old age and death."

It was a magnificent moment while it lasted. And then, paradoxically, like the bubble, it vanished.

Photo borrowed from Creative Commons flickr user: zzub nik.

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