Ummon said, “The world is vast and wide; why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?”
(Gateless Gate Case 16)
This is such a beautiful Koan, for I feel it is pointing at a fundamental and beautiful point.
Why do we practice?
Just why is it that we sit?
Why do we face the wall?
What drives us?
What motivates us?
What brought us here in the first place?
What was the trigger?
Was there a trigger?
Does there need to be one?
Why do we vow to save all beings?
What does that actually mean?
Are we sincere when we vow this?
Or are we just flapping our lips?
Who are you?
Who am I?
Is an answer necessary?
Is there one at all?
Just sitting. Facing a wall. Just this. Cool breeze coming through the window. Sounds of sirens sneaking in. Dog barking. Smell of incense. Just this. Just on a cushion. Facing a blank wall. Questions and answers dissolve. Whats left? Sitting on a cushion. Facing a blank wall. Not just me sitting. Life sitting. Every being sitting.
Sitting with the horrors of the world, tears arises. Sitting with the beauty of the world, smile appears. Sitting with you. You sitting with me. Me sitting with me. You sitting with you. All answers and all questions merge.
Bell sounds. Bows. Rise. Each step. Each breath. Each action. Complete and perfect. Yet, within it, so much room for improvement. Even more room for more sitting. Never ending action.