‘No Place To Sit, Nowhere to Rest’

Once his visitors have mentioned the absence of any possibility to sit, as they come to meet Vimalakirti, he asks the the following question : ‘Have you come here to sit or to meet the Dharma’ ? (1)

Thereby, he underlines the mutual exclusion between reality and the quest for psychological comfort (chairs) supposedly provided by our conceptual tools.

Vimalakirti, in these lines, is not differing in any way from a certain passage pronounced by Jesus :
‘The Son of Man has no place to lay his head ‘.

This sentence is generally understood as a manner to highlight the absence of refuge for Jesus (as opposed to foxes and birds, who are granted dens and nests, respectively.
Yet, it is also possible to read this as the assertion of the specificity of the Nature of human beings :
The possibility to enjoy a form of inner nomadism.
The Son of Man has, in reality, no place to settle. He is opened to fluidity and the welcoming of Life.
Thoughts and other emotional material stirred by our minds are not solid, not real and can never supply a reliable refuge.

The Encountering with True Wisdom (the Dharma, the Kingdom of Heaven) is made possible through joyfully giving up on shape-shifing mental illusions.
This is a peaceful renunciation, a secret surrender.

(1) Vimalakirti Sutra
(2) Matthieu 8, 20

Franck Joseph
©FJ Feb 2021- All rights reserved.
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