Friday, January 8, 2010

The Prickly One

Down, down, in the subterranean layer, I found the old prickly nut again.

No cracking of that one, though. Only patient seeing, and feeling. Casting aside the reluctance, the wishing away for the sake of smooth niceness. That's wisdom speaking.

There is another part of me, that wonders about bringing the prickly nut into the public light. Ayya Khema quickly dismisses doubting voice:
In order to get to know oneself, one needs to probe into unknown depths. There are many hidden crevices inside oneself. We don't like to look, because we meet the not-so-nice aspects of ourselves. But that's why we are human beings, otherwise we might have wound up in the deva realm. We might as well acknowledge our failings. Only what we bring out into the light to see, can we clean up. The dirt under the carpet never gets cleaned unless we take the carpet away. The Buddha compared our defilements to wet hay. If it's kept in a closed barn, it will rot. But let the light of day shine on it, it will soon dry out and become useful fodder. Let's look into the hidden crevices and thoroughly examine our intentions. 
What do you see when you go down, down inside yourself?


  1. Your posts speak to me so deeply. You talk here of the "transparency", the willingness to expose the dark underbelly of "little self". This was one of the true gifts I received from my Zen teacher, watching her do this in order to offer it as help to others. It is for this reason too that I am willing to share the not so pretty parts of my little self out here.

    We all have this "not pretty part" as a consequence of being born into the human realm as the writing by Aya Khema points out. It does bring up those doubtful and self protective feelings, though. It is all good because we get to peel that onion one more layer.

    bows to you!

  2. Thank you, and deep bow back! It has been interesting watching the flow of 'Buddhist' exchanges of Twitter, and noticing how much people are 'hiding' under veneer of niceties. I tweeted about that yesterday. Not to say, that one should not share all the goodness. It just needs to be balanced with the 'dark underbelly' (your words), in order to be authentic.

  3. what do i see under prickly self?
    a smooth chestnut...firm and nourishing.
    tough skin and palatable pulp within.

    everyday i find that another friend of mine has been practicing some level of Buddhist learning.

    though i walk mindfully through time, i still am not ready to enter an active learning phase.
    prickly? perhaps..

  4. To each his or her own time . . . From what I know of you, chere amie, you are more Buddhist than most!

    Deep bow to you.

  5. I'm much more relaxed now then I was 5 minutes ago. I could have chosen not to read this and I would not even have known how much I missed.

    I'm new to all of this, but then again, I guess that's the way it's supposed to be.

    Deep bow all the way back up ...

  6. Welcome, anonymous one! and may you dwell in beginner's mind . . .

  7. Marguerite,

    Flawless as sunlight that shines on your face.

    With Gassho,


  8. Thank you Seiho! It's a paradox isn't it? The perfection of imperfection. . .

    Deep bow to you.