On the other hand, why not pick up A Course in Miracles?
When there is a sense of seeking – and of one who is doing the seeking, who is in charge of the seeking – then means and methods will appear as well. This is natural and availing oneself of those means and methods is okay. It’s more than okay.
Attachment to the means and methods – this is the way and the only way – begets conflict. But resisting means and methods when one is naturally drawn to them also begets conflict.
It is not necessary to take a stand for or against that which appears. So we are students of A Course in Miracles – so what? We could as easily be Zen acolytes or Catholic novitiates or sparrows on a tree in somebody’s yard.
Abraham Joshua Heschel said that “simply to live is holy.” This is such a lovely statement! It makes clear that holiness is uncontingent and unconditional. Heschel does not qualify “live.” He does not say to live “rightly” or according to the tenets of this synagogue or that church or as a vegetarian or anything else.
Being itself is holy. It is all the holiness there is. Nobody and nothing is required to complete it, just as nobody and nothing initializes it.
Perhaps seeking does not end when one finds what is sought, or learns the answer to some deep and complex question, but rather becomes comfortable with not knowing, with resting in peace with the impossibility of conclusions. Means and methods come and go; goals and outcomes come and go.
Somebody recently shared a saying from Shunryu Suzuki. He said that if one begins zazen with a goal of getting something – enlightenment, say, or inner peace – then they are involved in “impure practice.”
Perhaps. But can we also see that the possibility of an impure practice necessarily begets the possibility of a pure practice? The two are not separate. Can we see how Suzuki’s well-intentioned and compassionate directive implies that a pure practice is more desirable than the alternative and so itself becomes a goal?
There is no way out of this duality! That is the mystery, the joy, the paradox, the confusion and the utter, almost annihilating, frustration. There is only this. Not getting it is as impossible as getting it because there is nothing to get. Not seeing it is as impossible as seeing it because there is no “it” to see. Nor is there some central being or self for whom all of this might resonate or make sense.
There is nothing either correct or incorrect with saying or writing this, nor with reading it, nor even with adopting it as a stance against the inexpressible puzzle of existence. But please see that whatever one does can never obliterate the fundamental truth: what this is I cannot say, but that it is is beyond question.