Monday, March 1, 2010

Between the Rock and the Hard Place

At a speed of 24 hours per day, a tsunami approaches with immanence, appearing larger and larger every day.  At the speed of 60 seconds in every minute, the land behind you crumbles away into an encroaching abyss. The paths to the left and to the right appear the same, stretching outward toward the horizon...

The pounding of your pulse: tick, tock, tick, tock, ...

The space shrinks, and the details ahead and behind become more frighteningly clear...

The roar of the ocean, no break in the wave to be seen...

The rumbling of the ground breaking away behind your heels...

Hurry, tell me now! What will you do?

Would your answer change if your family and friends were beside you, counting on you?

In the time it takes for the Zen student to derive a clever response, he is crushed between the rock and the hard place. In the time it takes for the Aikido student to consider his technique, he is cut in two.

But what of you, sitting comfortably reading this?  There is no Zen master ready to scold you, nor is there a villain ready to run you through; yet, one heartbeat--passed, one breath--expelled.  You sit with a screen in front of you and chair beneath you, but like a meteor hurdling through the atmosphere toward the ground with a flaming trail behind it: Every moment is like this---until you stop.  Then this is where it begins.
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