Moths and the Flame of Zazen

Don’t worry about what is going to happen next or what you expect should happen next. In Zen practice we learn through experience and intuition. Through repetition, trepidation and constant stumbling we become more familiar with this practice. We enter into this practice and by doing so enter into this life. We enter life and enter practice. Don’t follow the crowd as much as follow what your intuition helps you to uncover. While preparing for and settling in after the practice of zazen you focus on intuition. Our intuition directs us to emptiness. The form is secondary to this emptiness. This emptiness is peripheral to form. 

Like finding a spot next to a fire – too close and you shed layers while your beard burns. Too far away from the flame and you feel the chill of night.  But look around, it is not a competition. Some view it like a race but a race with all the horses equally hobbled by delusion while running a round track. Look deeper and what you see are others doing exactly what you are doing – finding their spot next to the flame of zazen. Some sit close and others further away. Each display the same intent and the same fear … like moths around a flame we hover until, near or far, our wings burn up in reentry.


Moth & Flame Niles L. Lund, 2007


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