Story-telling and Buddhist life: not just how we tell them or live them but where we find them in the very being of things. The sunyata of all things is a kind of story itself, as I see it – a narrative that tells us where something comes from and where it’s going to. Looking deeply into a sheet of paper, for example, we see wood from a tree that grew from soil and rain and sun and time (soil takes time, the sun took some time too, oh yes and the universe…) and space and chemical reactions… and that’s not even the folks who cut the tree down, work in the mill, the paper factor, who buy and sell the stuff on telephones and with computers made by who? What a story. The Story.
I’ll begin with this quote from Shunryo Suzuki:
A wonderful painting is the result of feeling in your fingers. If you have the feeling of the thickness of the ink in your brush, the painting is already there before you paint. When you dip your brush into the ink you already know the result of your drawing, or else you cannot paint. So before you do something, being is there, the result is there. Even though you look as if you were sitting quietly, all your activity, past and present, is included; and the result of your sitting is also already there. You are not resting at all. All the activity is included within you. That is your being. So all results of your practice are included in your sitting. This is our practice, our zazen.