Enough

If the great ocean thought it was full enough, the hundred rivers would flow backward.

Dogen, Eihei Koroku 3.242 (Leighton and Okumura 2004, 240)

7 thoughts on “Enough”

  1. Me neither. But throughout my life I’ve *sought * enlightenment. In my 20’s I thought I’d reach some sort of breakthrough via zen practice, that I’d have some sort of total satori. I didn’t. Then, perhaps on the average of one a decade or half decade I changed practices. Never had a breakthrough. Maybe a number of mini-satoris and a few life changing ‘mystical experiences’. But no Satori with a capital S (perhaps a number of little satoris). So now I’ve returned to my Christian roots and am working toward a contemplative breakthrough there. It’s likely that what I’ll finally breakthrough into is death.

  2. My reflection is: When one of those things happens that feels like a breakthrough, how do we know whether it’s what somebody else would call “enlightenment” or not? How do we assess whether it’s a big one or a little one? I guess for pragmaticists like us it would depend on how deep or long-lasting the habit-change will be (or has been), but how do we assess that? Maybe enlightenment is just not worrying about such silly questions!

  3. GF “How do we assess whether it’s a big [satori or breakthrough] or a little one? I guess for pragmaticists like us it would depend on how deep or long-lasting the habit-change will be (or has been), but how do we assess that? Maybe enlightenment is just not worrying about such silly questions!”

    GR I earlier referred to what I called my “mystical experiences” (although that’s probably not the best expression for them), the strongest of which occurred in my mid-20’s. It (and the subsequent ones tending to reinforce it) has certainly stayed with me and brought about profound habit-change in the way in which I have since looked at my life as having cosmic meaning , the sense that Tat tvam asi was revealed to me once for all time in that brief opening of the curtain on that cosmic meaning of life.

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