This morning I came across a comment by Master Yanqi. He was asked:
“when Bodhidharma arrived in China from India he sat for nine years in front of a wall. What does this mean?
Yangqi replied: He was Indian and didn’t speak Chinese “
What a marvelous reply. But it is said that it is humerous and yet full of significance.. Was Yanqi’s intention more simple perhaps than those who search for deep significance believe.
As a psychologist I am always surprised and even dismayed when I come across wordy texts explaining the deep significance of “The Heart of Darkness, Moby Dick and Alice in Wonderland. I ask myself why they can’t smply have been a delightful story. From the Darma point of view nothing has Significnce, nor permanance, nor divine order, nor real independant existance.
We can’t even allow Dharma to just be Dharma. And, of course a flower to just be a flower. More than that even, we need to call a flower “a flower” to differentite it from that which is “not a flower”. I find it difficult to believe that a child who has not yet learned to say “mama” or “papa” is unable to distinguish a flower from a tree.
The name “flower”, has no significance for him or her, and later when we, theoretically as wise adults, give it a name, differentiating a daisy from a tulip, does that enhance the flower.
Is its true nature changed?
Yet, names are useful in communication, but we have, in clinging to the words, lost an essential part of each flower. The flower becomes its name.
We too have allowed ourself to become our names.
Who are you? You will undoubtedly reply “Peter” or”John” or whatever your name is.
Is that who you are? Those names ara a horrible handle and Peter or John quickly become soon after birth, a “naughty boy”, an “angel” or something else. All based naturally upon the vision of the viewer, external circumstances and external trappings. These labels hide the fact that you are living creature with wonderful attributes. But you have allowed yourself to become the labels that are appended to you.
Who are you really? The best answer to such a question is the silence of Vikimlamirti.
The best way to look at a flower is to simply allow it to be what it is; a natural experience that you have the privalege to share. .. Do you allow yourself to be what you are?