... Living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, diverting ourselves in just floating, floating; ... refusing to be disheartened, like a gourd floating along with the river current: this is what we call the floating world...- Asai Ryōi, from Ukiyo monogatari
I lifted this quote from wikipedia concerning the philosophical aesthetic of the Ukiyo-e, which as a style, has long appealed to me. It sounds so very Bohemian and so desirable, like an endless vacation.
Lacking the daily structure of a job for almost a year now, I can say it's not all it's cracked up to be.
The flip side of this carefree coin is one of constant unknown which is fine if you don't plan on being a productive member of society. Sure you can benefit others if the opportunity arises, but living in the moment sometimes means making commitments and pre-planning.
|Great Wave at Kanagawa*|
As I am currently seeking employment, I can't make future commitments and jot them down on a calender as I have no idea what my future holds. At this time my role as tenzo has many requests for my services coming into view and as paying the bills rates higher on my priorities, I'm not able to make the commitment now even if I have the time when it is requested.
This is both frustrating and disappointing as I not only take my role and responsibility seriously, my pleasure and generosity associated with it come from a very deep and sincere place inside of me. The sangha needs me and while things can happen without me, the greater burden placed on others will essentially be my fault if I'm not able to answer the call.
In my continuing exploration of non-duality, I see this relating to the polarity of form and emptiness. I see lack of form, and thus a great deal of emptiness in my days. I still get things done, even if it's not always what I should be doing, but moments come and go regardless. To restore balance, I need more form as my current situation is unsettling, like tumbling in the dark, or to return to the above metaphor: floating adrift.
I see the need to recognize both form and emptiness as the world doesn't end if a form falls apart, but right now the world is difficult to start without forms.
Floating is nice, but it's good to have an anchor or two.
*This iconic Hokusai print, borrowed from Wikimedia Commons, is an ukiyo-e image depicting boats of fishermen struggling against the sea. It shows a wonderful example of when it is appropriate to be flexible. These fishermen are brave and skillful, as they must push through the breakers to reach their fishing grounds. But there is a difference between being flexible and flaccid. Without effort, they would capsize and be crushed.