Orientation: This talk is the first of six from our April 2013 sesshin. Click here for the full playlist from this sesshin.

About this talk: 

So your moment
of impatience must bow in service to a larger story,
because if something is in your way it is
going your way, the way
of all beings; towards darkness, towards light

Alison Luterman

“It’s my fault” is an everyday life koan. It’s a kind of koan that gives us the great good luck in every encounter with the other or with ourselves that seems to leap up at us. “It’s my fault” turns that encounter into a chance to see much more. Greed hatred and ignorance rise and rise endlessly but they come to our notice one offer at a time and each time we have to recognise in ourselves the stuffed-shirt aspect and choose to take the multi-coloured ball and take it into the woods and play

It’s playful, it’s not a heavy koan, it lightens the situation very rapidly.

It’s what Uncle Max would call taking your own inventory, don’t worry about taking the inventory of the other. That’s a lovely, generous move.

Something very interesting happens to even the word fault. It turns into something like obstacle -“It’s my obstacle” – and it’s then completely opened to be examined…. But even the word obstacle is an obstacle.

It is the lovely gesture of just allowing what is, to be what is, rather than to be a fault.

Not only does ‘fault’ disappear but ‘my’ – my is already a kind of question: Who is it that placed it there? My fault starts to disappear into something bigger. So it’s a process of becoming clean.

“It’s my fault” is a beautiful way of letting the matter die in this moment and step forth born in the next. So when you feel put out or when you see something wrong or, in the spirit of Torei Zenji, when you receive abuse, suspect yourself first. At the end of doing so it actually turns out to be hard to find anyone to blame, or to find any good use for blame.

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