I was awaken by a LOUD boat whistle at 5:AM, this morning. Looking out my window I say the USS Kidd, a WWII destroyer, about fifty yard to starboard in a light fog no less! It was not the Kidd that whistled at me of course, as she is decommissioned and now a museum...I'll board her later this morning. But something whistled!
Our window in our stateroom has been a a Dharma gate several times during this trip. Once we woke to lightening in the distance and fog setting-in like little cats-feet. Long "tows" of barges are my favorite. Now, I have looked for, but not found, what I was told by our "Riverologist," said are the reincarnations of old riverboat captains. It seems that on this stage of the River these ole' Captains have become Blue Herons. These "Captains," then aid navigation by standing on sandbars slightly submerged below the water warning boats not to run aground!
Dharma gates are like that. They are time warps whereby we are propelled into...reality. As in r-e-a-l-i-t-y.
We call this "Thus," as in as it Is-boom the USS KIdd, or the boat whistle, or the Blue Herons. IT is like walking into a bar, no not that kind, but rather a bar across the path we are on. It gets our attention and can make use fully aware. So sometimes we say we are stunned by this, that, or the other. Notice this can be positive or negative. Yet, in Zen we are slow to judgement, even in pain or suffering, because once through the gate we have to live in this other side.
Right View is the first awareness on the Eight-Fold Path. It is not what we see but how we see. Through our practice we evolve our awareness to include what John Tarrant would call the unknown as part of the view. This means we wait for the full effect, the unfolding without a rush to get the viewing over with.
So I end with homage to Huineng..." Do we polish the window or does the window polish us?"