Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Rich Ambiguity

"The Rich Ambiguity" number 53 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Oh, the richness of ambiguity! To this the highest praise. Unless you job is to provided certainty in a chaotic world.

Today, my work life is providing points to practice with. A small patch is being applied to a critical IT system at the hospital where I work. Several people from several vendors are involved. I'm assured by almost everyone that this is a 'uptime' patch.

Yet one peripheral person, after weeks on the schedule just yesterday, said "I've heard of this causing downtime in some cases." That's all it took for ego to start doubting and worrying. One bit of ambiguity and ego has a field day.

'Sesshin' is a term that is mistakenly sometimes substituted with the pedestrian term 'retreat'. Some Sino-Japanese terms are still used in Zen practice today because they have 'rich ambiguity'. Removing the ambiguity, removes the richness.

Words are not the thing, and words used are important. How is that for 'rich dichotomy' to go along with your 'rich ambiguity'?

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on Miniatures of a Zen Master is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance. Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.

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