Trusting and entrusting are quite different. We can trust things will be ‘okay’, but this is not the same as entrusting things, which means we must have a sort of faith or positive mind, believing things will be as we would expect them to be, or want them to be; “right” or, “tolerable”. Can you see how careful I am being not to say ‘as we want’?
In reality, do we have any logical or spiritual right to think or hope things will be as we wish, in any spiritual practice? When I have prayed, I’ve often been careful not to impose on The Divine, by saying ‘please give me this/that’, and in meditation, I do not entrust believing I will get my way either.
May I say, entrusting should be; about letting things be, and realizing they will work out as they must, according to all component causes and interlocking effects…in turn, becoming causes again. But we entrust with the hope that things will go our way, don’t we? I am asking you, members of the sangha. Entrusting to Juingong with any expectation; isn’t it not like having a ‘please, let this be, won’t you, Lord?’, in Buddhism, or Zen practice?
The American comedian, George Carlin once said-in his tirade on religion-‘what’s the use of prayer; ‘God has a plan’, right; who are you to pray and ask him to alter his plan? He’s God! What’s he gonna do; give in to every two-bit Shm*^k with a prayer book?’ Carlin’s comedy was humorous not only because of his vast knowledge-base, his talent with linguistics and the vernacular, his wit, and his facial and speech abilities, and his deep (in my view, hidden compassion); it was due to his ability to shock, so taken out of the context of comedy, his words seem a little extreme, but the point is actually valid.
Though I have heard all my life that The Divine wants to give us what we ask for, that point goes counter to any sort of sense, because It cannot possibly grant everyone his wishes, and so It necessarily must disappoint a vast number of people praying. If that is so in the theistic faiths, then Zennists and Buddhists have to be ready for a lot of disappointment, since they have no God. The devout adherents of the theistic faiths supplicate in the hopes of divine intercession. In the non-theistic practices, the same is done in another way, isn’t it? Juingong sort of resembles The Divine, in its all-encompassing interconnectedness, like a sort of omnipotence. Whether that is right or wrong, I think is not so much the point, but the way zennists may relate to Juingong is;sometimes it could be interpreted as a way of having hope for what they want.
Recently, I heard Thich Nhat Hanh say, “If you don’t have a problem now, you don’t have a problem.” He went on to say that ‘worrying about the future and the past is nonsense’, and that we have to ‘come home to where we belong’, to the present. I found ‘entrusting value’ in this statement; if I am worrying about the future, and the past, and I’m trying to accomplish tasks in the present, I am doing three things at once, aren’t I? And so, since it is a major idea in Zen that we only have the present, we can entrust our worry someplace else! Since we cannot do three things at once well, we might as well….
Entrust your worry to the realm of fantasy, because it is history or dream, as a function of the past or the future. Focus your energy on the present, which doesn’t involve hope, so much, but reality…and how you deal with what is around you and happening right now.
Dae Heng Sunim’s ingenious focus on Juingong is a priceless component of the teaching of the oneness of all things, interwoven into our inherent natures.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching is priceless in helping us realize that Juingong should not be used as a tool of hope for what we want, so much as afocus of all that is interconnected in reality right now, that may aid us. We should entrust in our nature and do what we can in the present, leaving the past to memory, and the future to dreams. The result should be a better acquaintance with reality. My grandfather used to say, mind your pennies; the dollars will mind themselves. I thank him and alter that statement by saying, mind the present, and the future will mind itself.