Without giving much thought to my intention, I left this blog in suspension for awhile. Then I picked it up again. Did it stop? Did it start?
Before this item was posted, what was there?
You might say, « There was the previous item. » But before that previous item, what was there?
You might say, « No items for a long time! » But before that long absence of posts, what was there?
Another post, and another and another. But before that, and that and that?
The « farther » we go, the « farther » we have to go! Until we come to before the before. And at that moment, what we call « not knowing, » there is nothing and everything. Then if it’s raining, it’s just raining, it’s neither good nor bad. Or we’re just sick, neither good nor bad. Or enjoying a coffee break, neither good nor bad.
A Zen master in ancient China said, « From the beginning, not a thing is. » Or in the opinion of the contemporary American Zen master Bernie Glassman, « Our job in Zen is to experience that beginning, that place before there’s anything. »