Raven 55: Panic and Fear

Context is the practice and is not the practice. In the world but not of the world? What is your focus?

Porcupine came again to Raven for a special interview and said, "A week ago I found that everything was completely open and clear to the very bottom, but last night I woke up for no reason and was filled with fear and panic. What's going on?"
Raven said, "A week ago you realized that everything is completely open and clear to the very bottom, and last night you woke up filled with fear and panic."
Porcupine hung his head and asked, "What should I do?"
Raven said, "The context is not the practice."
Porcupine thought for a moment and said, "I should think the context is the practice."
Raven bobbed her head. "It is, it is, make no mistake."
"You just said it isn't," Porcupine protested.
Raven said, "The context is the practice because your body and mind are engaged, not to mention cedars and the wind. It is not the practice because it is not your focus."
Now the red leaves
Now the snow
Now the dogwood blossom
Always now and present
Always now and gone
The old one resting on a park bench
Sips from her cup.
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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