Thursday, March 19, 2009



1 And he said: Whoever finds the correct
Interpretation of these sayings
will never die.

2 Jesus said: The seeker should not stop until he
finds. When he does find, he will be disturbed. After
having been
disturbed, he will be astonished. Then
he will reign over everything.
The Gospel of Thomas

Notice the tension created in the mind by the title Find and Seek. Doesn’t seeking come before finding? Are seeking and finding two? Have you ever wondered why so few seek? Of those who do seek sincerely, why do so few find? How do we seek in a way that might lead to finding?

In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says: “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Seems promising, but how do we go about seeking? Some guidance surfaces in Matthew 7:13: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Be assured: of those few who find, all sought first. You must truly seek with all your heart, all your mind, and all your spirit.

Finding depends on seeking. Seeking and finding, finding and seeking. Are they two? Ask yourself at this moment sincerely "Who is the seeker? Who finds?" One calls out, the other responds. In the Mumonkan, the classic book of Zen koans compiled in the 13th century by Zen Master Mumon, we find Case # 12: Zuigan Calls "Master". The challenge is presented: “Every day Master Zuigan would call out to himself, “Oh, Master!”and would answer himself “Yes?” “Wake up, wake up!” he would cry, and would answer “Yes, yes!” “Don’t be deceived by others, at any time, day or night.” “No, I will not.” Zuigan was not deceived, but how about you and I? Call and response; are there two Zuigan? What about these “others”? Are they really other, or is it just more of me talking to myself and pretending that there are two?

Seeking in a persistent, determined manner-the kind of seeking that might even lead to finding-does not come easily. Like Zuigan, we might say to our self “Remember to seek! Stay present! Be vigilant! Pay attention! Time flies by!” and answer confidently “Oh, don’t worry, I will!” I am often told, "I’m having trouble staying present". I usually say something like “Really? Where else could you be?” If I’m feeling particularly feisty, I might say “Who is the one that is trying to stay somewhere?”

Confusion is the stock and trade of a real teacher. Do you want to be comfortable, and feel in control? If so, you are in the wrong place. You cannot enter the Kingdom with your beliefs intact. In my view, this is where Mother Teresa was stuck. Reading her posthumous biography, which she never consented to have published in her lifetime, I am startled by the searing pain she felt at her perceived separation from God. Equally amazing is the persistence of her devotion to her calling, even though she felt stranded and bereft, apparently until just before her death.

When does seeking end? It ends when you end; simple as that. You end when you are thrown up and spit out by the seeking. Or on the other hand, as they say in AA, when you grow sick and tired of being sick and tired. When you can’t stand to be you for another second! Affirming Faith in Mind, my touchstone to which I return repeatedly states:

In this true world of Emptiness both self and other are no
more……the wise in all times and places awaken to this primal
truth. [i]

A calling one and one who answers; one who seeks and one who finds. One who previously sought, but now has found. All ask plaintively: “What do I do?”

To enter this true empty world, immediately affirm “not-two”….
….Not only here, not only there, truth’s right before your very eyes.

Somehow, we must summon up the courage/desperation to join Abraham in his willingness to slay his deepest attachment. Like Arjuna, terrified and totally freaked out, we must pick up the sword of truth and wisdom and deconstruct all that we are. The real miracle is that we can actually do what is required.


Davies, S (2003)The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated and explained.Woodstock, VT: Skylight.
Thompson, Charles. (1990). The Thompson chain reference Bible. Second improved edition: New international version. B. B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc.: Indianapolis, IN.
Low, A (1990) The world; A gateway. Commentaries on the Mumonkan. Rutland, VT: Tuttle.
Rochester Zen Center Chant Book (2005). (New Ed.). Rochester, NY: Rochester Zen Center Kolodiejchuk, B. (Ed.). (2007). Mother Teresa: Come be my light. The private writings of the “Saint of Calcutta”. New York: Doubleday.

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