This Human Life

Image result for pictures of humans and spirits


“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human –  in not having to be just happy or just sad  – in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.” 

C JoyBell

Yamaoka as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He then called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realisation, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.”

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

“If nothing exists,” inquired Dokuon, then where did this anger come from?”

No matter how disciplined my practice is, I still feel doubt, anger, fear and stress.  My practice definitely helps me in many ways, however, we exist in life as a human being, and with that comes fluctuating emotions, feelings and ego.

Understanding and accepting this humanness, helps limit the pressure of perfection we place on ourselves and others.  That we can be both broken and whole.

When we live in this compassion and truth, we create peace within and in those around us.

26 thoughts on “This Human Life

  1. “The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realisation, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.” I know to my bones the truth in this statement. The emotions we have come to learn from – for this must be the case, as they exist and are so powerful – are perhaps the ultimate test in learning to transcend illusion. Aloha, Karen. < 3

  2. At the end of the day this is always the truth Bela. As a counsellor I see so many people pressuring themselves and believing their emotions should not be there but they are, and I let them know it is okay to have these emotions because we are human. We may be broken at times, but we are also whole and light and empty too. You are right, this is how we learn. Aloha 🙏🏻

  3. You hit upon the very thing I’ve always struggled with in Buddhist writings. Pema Chodron encourages us to empty and just allow. But I don’t ever see a state as a human being where there is emptiness. Not sure I’d even want it. The calm, I’ll take:). But not sure about emptying the vessel completely–although I realize that is supposed to be making room for the sacred, right?

    1. You are right Kristine. I believe the “empty” is about letting go each day to allow space to receive, but yes empty of it all is like having a lobotomy! We need our human emotions to connect with each other. 💕😃

  4. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for sharing this truth.
    I’m certainly not alone in being both broken and whole.
    You remind me of that, and always enjoy a lovely parable to illustrate how quickly
    we want to make everything ‘disappear’ into ’emptiness’ and arrive at that permanent place of wisdom.
    Well, so much for that…
    Aloha, Ka

  5. I love the concept of being broken and whole at the same time, Karen 🙂 Learning to let go every day to make room for the new, as you say in one of your comments – that’s it!

  6. Karen being human is hard and like you say even with a sense of self awareness, gratitude, meditation and yoga I still fall short some days and I must forgive myself and get back on the path. I am starting Karate with the kids this term, something that scares me and challenges me. It will bring with it a new awareness for sure.

    1. Karate will be great Kath!! It’s so good for the kids to find strength and control within them. I agree, I am saying yes to more in life as I get older, it’s good for us. Happy Easter. Hope you are having a good break 💕😉

      1. Karate is great I see my son and daughter smiling at me as I attempt the first carta. But I also see that they love that I am with them on this journey. But oh boy my knees are aching so I try to use my yoga stretches to help my body to evolve Karen. Hope life is treating you well too xxxx

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