Praise is the point in the wind
Where the sounds collide,
the trees whisper,
the water ripples,
And the fish swim with ease.
Where Suchness is all things!
You can hear suchness sung by the birds, barked by the dogs, meowed by the cats, in the laughter of the child, in the eyes of the grandparent, and in the hearts of the teachers. Suchness does not have to be spoken, or sung, or drawn, or written about. It is inherent in every tree, flower, and plant. It is an integral part of every inventor, every poet, every dancer, and every composer. It is the mystery of the moment.
How are you showing praise and suchness today? What are you praising? Where are you when you feel one with it? When was the last time you praised someone or something and felt that connection of oneness?
Do you think that praise and suchness should only be experienced by and with humans? I hope not! My dog, Annie, loves to hear my words of praise. Her ears perk up, her eyes sparkle, and her tail wags so hard that sometimes she knocks things over that are near her. I feel so good along with her that my eyes begin to sparkle and a grin appears on my face and laughter and clapping begin to appear. That makes us both jump with joy, in unison, in the moment of suchness.
Shodo Harada says “The hidden bird is playing with true suchness (page 37).” Suchness or thusness in Buddhism means the way things really are. The Buddha is to have awakened to suchness. When I praise something or someone I am seeing things the way they really are. As the Buddha did when he awoke from sitting under the Bodhi tree and said, “I and all beings on earth together attain enlightenment at the same time.” Remember when you experienced the suchness of a glorious sunrise over the ocean, or the mountains, or the desert? Or during the birth of your child?
We are all enlightened beings. But most of us have not recognized our oneness for more than a few seconds in our entire life. But that does not mean that it does not exit and is not the truth of our being. Harada goes on to write:
If our mind is clear, all conditions are heaven. If we’re not angry and resentful and full of negative energy, wherever we are is always the best season. But when our mind is full of ego and desires, we aren’t able to know this. When we hold on to nothing, we awaken to the wisdom of prajna and widely open our original eyes of Truth. This place, as it is, is the land of lotuses. When we know this very Truth as it is, everything is wondrous (page 37).
Suchness lives in our lives in the mystery of the moment when we praise and know that I and all things are one!
Let me know how it is!
 Harada, S. (2011) Moon by the Window, The Calligraphy and Zen Insights of Shodo Harada, Wisdom Publications: Boston