Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 2: Territory Boats (part e)


The view from the boat, that's something to savour. Take the stern for instance, I always do. It's so easy back there. You can see the whole of the Territory and the Territory can see the whole of you. In your everyday life in the everyday world you have to work with your gumboots on, you're bound to stumble to and fro wherever you go. You work so hard for just a glimpse of the Territory just as it is. Monks sit for years staring at the wall like galley slaves clenching their oars while they try to feel an ocean they never quite see. Monks they sit still, row upon row till they finally know, and all things considered, it's not such a terrible pastime. It's not bad at all to sit that way whenever you can. Eventually you'll see the ocean and be the sea, you'll be a good monk, but you won't be a boater. And you, you're probably just like me, you have more of the boater inside than the monk, and you want to be the sea just as bad.

Sitting back there in the back of the boat, that's the best place of all for a boater. Just open your eyes while you ride the waves. The whole boat is there in front of you, rolling on through the limitless sea. The crew looks more like the boat than themselves, their individual peopleness blurs and all there is left is the boat itself. And the boat seems more like the sea all the time, one wave sailing along on another. It all becomes only just one single thing, and it's hard to see how the boat can be separate from the sea that it sails. And then there's the Territory. If the crew and the boat and the sea are all one then the Territory is the nothing they all arise from. And you, you're there wearing your boater's cap, rolling and sailing your turn in the stern. So let the boat take your body along while the rest of you is completely free to disappear into the Territory.

The view in the bow is pretty good too. You don't see the boat or the rest of the crew, but you have a completely unimpeded view of the way to go. In the stern you can be with the way it all is, in the bow you can be with how it becomes. The oneness of the boat cuts with it's bow into the nothingness of the Territory. Events and feelings and thoughts arise as the waves of the sea slice and part. Whirlpools swirl and rocks intercede, the bow has to steer and create the wake that allows the stern its serenity. If the back is Buddha then the bow is the Dharma. You have to see and act with your sight. Oh I know I just said a few moments ago that the back of the boat is the best place to be. But the bow of the boat is the best place as well, you can read the events that swirl in the swells as you steer through the spray from the crest of the waves and see the whole sea continually.

If the stern is Buddha and the bow is the Dharma, then Sangha must be betwixt and between. The rest of the places throughout the boat have the very best views of the whole boat itself. When you take your place between bow and stern you can be the boat instead of yourself. You don't just see the ocean the way you do when you ride the stern, you don't just see the way to go through as you do when you work the bow. You give yourself up to just sailing the sea. Oh the best place of all for a boater to be is surely the mast or the middle poles. You are the sea as much as you are the boat that sails its way through the waves. You don't see what, you don't see how, you can only just be.

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