Q. Winter in Canada, fishing with long time friends. Cold, snowing, ever so quiet and still. Learning Spey casting; an art form when done by a master; rhythm, timing and touch; less is more. The masters say it's no longer about catching fish.
Now on the cold snowy river there is a quiet stillness, the river majestically and unceremoniously heads ever onward, I don't know the next bend. Beneath the quiet is a deeper quiet, much easier to hear now….
A. Your email describes a living metaphor. It reminds me of that special silence on a meditation retreat, drinking tea during a break, no speech but openness, the air in the room positively zinging with a quality beyond the norm. The last time I experienced this I thought how blessed it is to know it, and is there anything else one needs to know in this life?
Consider how few people ever encounter this kind of silence and its portent, because it requires special conditions to establish, natural as with your fishing expedition, or formal, but either way rare.
In it is Knowledge, I think, not merely Insight.
What knows? See, there is the fish. You just have to keep throwing the line......
However, it's not silence per se which is important, it's the knowing of it, and the potency hidden in that knowing. That’s why you wrote about it to me, you sensed the potency, which like awareness, has no boundaries. You knew somewhat.
But who knew?-- no boundaries there either if investigated carefully....
So are you still waiting for some flash bam alakazaam?
Of course there's more...there's always more...but recognising the taste is learning. I read a good phrase: the practice of "leaning backwards into Nothingness". It applies as a practice in all activities, not just meditation. Leaning backwards means turning around from 'admiring' 'enjoying' which is outwards to seeing wherefrom it is arising.
The "illumination of the Void". The "fountain of the Void". Phrases from the same source.
I think the Void is what 'happens' after the dots in 'Out of the Zen Garden.....'
The gap between the garden and the marketplace on the way back. Not a bridge it seems, but more like a fall, because there is no bridge and one to cross it.