The Accomplishments of Worldly Life are Like Toys in the Playpens of Children

David's full quote on page 13 of his book, Beyond the Place of Laughter and Tears in the Land of Devotion is:
"There is a kind of spiritual madness that is known only by the greatest Lovers of mankind. For, them, the accomplishments of worldly life are like toys in the playpens of children."

I was reading David's book prior to the September 22nd event at the San Fransisco Zen Center and that quote it touched me deep down inside.

After considering the quote for a few moments I realized two things:
1) I am profoundly caught in the daily demands, temptations, delights and terrors we call life.

2) David's heroic spiritual strength is unfathomable not only because he has cut though the phantasmagorical display of his own life to find the Truth, but, I believe, because he also freely gives the power for us to do the same (have we the courage to accept that power).

In those reflective moments, I saw the thick illusion of my life and all its contents as a heavy "crowding in" of stuff into the space of my mind. In the middle of all this crowding was a spot or thread or doorway of empty vastness (hard to explain really). This empty vastness was a "punching though" of the crowded room of my mind by David's Luminous Consciousness. This luminous empty spot had kind of an easy "falling intoness" quality which was activated simply by placing my attention on that empty area. It was a lifeline in the midst of a stormy and chaotic ocean.

It was all very subtle but had a powerful effect. I've been considering that quote all day as I'm working away earning a living trying to accomplish something in this world. Life is demanding and loud but thinking about my accomplishments as "toys in the playpens of children" has reminded me of what is really important and as I did this remembering I noticed, stronger and stronger, that my heart had been aching to see David again.



Dear Friend,

Thank you for sharing something of your process with us. Yes indeed, this dichototmy between the crowding in of wordly demands, and the inner magnetic pull towards the tender and dynamic transparency of our being seems to be one of the great puzzles that have to be worked out along the way. I would like to share with you one little piece of the puzzle that I have discovered: saying 'Yes!'

Introverted strategies of attention seem to be essentially incompatible with the demands and activities of daily life. Instead, it seems to me that we need a form of self abandonment that moves with the energy of life, rather than pulling our attention along the opposite vector. Karma yoga has much to teach us here: where we use the spirit of offering everything to our Beloved, to be free from moment to moment of the very act of doing. But even this seems to me to be a bit klunky. So now I am learning to just say Yes! to the movement of life, to move with it at all levels, and to hold nothing back. I believe that this is what is meant in Zen by making of yourself a good bonfire. At times in this way, the realm of will and action become, if only for a few moments at a time, the outward expression of that inward intensity of being. This is still new to me, so I lack real certainty in my words, but I share them with you in case they might be helpful. And as always, anything I say here, I place before David for correction or comment as he sees fit.

with much loving-kindness


By TF (not verified)

Excellent TF. Thank you for that.

By paul