“Truth is Dancing” is a series of contemplations on truth and love. More specifically, these are contemplations on my experience of the reality that is truth and love. Truth is the ultimate lover. These contemplations initially arose in me while drinking several cups of Earl Grey tea at the White Raven cafe in Felton, California on July 25, 2014. They concluded in my room at Jikoji Zen Center later in the evening the same day. Although written from a largely Advaita/Zen non-dual perspective, I have at points incorporated dualistic aspects of religious devotion.
– Michael Sudduth
Truth is dancing.
Watch her move to the rhythm of your heart.
Truth is singing.
Listen to her in your silence and hear your voice.
It walks upon the mountains and echoes in the valleys.
It falls from the sky and drowns in the sea.
The dharma is never really “conveyed.” It simply unfolds, and this unfolding takes the form of the teacher and student. Ultimately, there is no teacher to convey the dharma and no student to receive the dharma. What is happening here, in this moment when all else is forgotten, is simply truth dancing.
When the unthinkable happens and you’re utterly broken, know that truth has just kissed you and is inviting you to enter her.
It’s not so much that the truth is within you; it’s rather that there’s nothing really outside you.
When you begin the search for truth, know that she has already found you.
The sound of a crying baby disturbed my zazen. But this was illusion, for I came to see clearly that the crying baby was my zazen, and it was I who had thrown up the obstacle.
Truth is like a tiger. To tame her, give her all the space she needs. Don’t try to contain the truth. Don’t even try to feed the truth with your own interest and ideas. Let the truth contain you. Let her feed you. This is called “surrender.” Surrender to the truth.
Sometimes truth appears as Krishna, sometimes as Jesus, sometimes as the Buddha, but if you’re really lucky you’ll see it as the dog laying in the shade, the teardrop rolling down your face, and the ground upon which you walk.
Truth is simultaneously a love maker and a heart breaker. Embrace all of her.
If you wish to know the truth, stop looking for it. It will find you and make you free.
If you see things separate from yourself, know that truth is always moving towards you. Just empty yourself and she goes right into your heart. If you don’t see things separate from yourself, there’s no distance between yourself and truth. You are the truth.
If you step into shit, just be aware you have stepped into shit. To step into shit with awareness is actually to have stepped into truth. The person who steps into shit unaware or who consciously steps aside to avoid the shit succeeds only in stepping away from the truth. So if you wish to enter the truth, step into shit with absolute clarity.
It’s impossible to give truth because it’s impossible to receive truth, and it’s impossible to receive truth because no one is ever without it.
Truth is the masculine. Truth is the feminine. Truth is that which is beyond masculine and feminine. Truth is Shiva-Shakti. Truth is Radha-Krishna. Truth is sat-chit-ananda (being-consciousness-bliss).
As I look back on my life, I see that God has always been my companion during the dark nights of this journey called “life,” for though lovers and gifts have come and gone, there has always been a song, and I’ve always found rest in music as a place I instinctively know to be “home.” This is just another way of describing the ultimate truth. What is it that never leaves you?
In devotion to God, truth is the dance of two becoming one. This oneness is the essential emptiness of the two, the essential emptiness of lover and beloved. In Zen, devotion is just as present, not as two becoming one, but the dance of oneness as duality. This is the essential emptiness of the one, such that it may become many.
In Zen devotion is the one manifesting as the heart of everything. This one is your breath, which becomes everything. This one is your posture, which becomes everything. This one is your chant, which becomes everything. The one is the mudra, which becomes everything. This one is your bow, which becomes everything. This one is the wall before you, which becomes everything. Truth is dancing, and this dance is life as it is.
The sages say that ‘God is truth,’ but, then again, so is everything else.
Truth resists being adequately stated in propositions because propositions can’t dance.
Truth is a dancer,
Spinning you around,
Tossing you aside,
Taking all your breath,
And at long last
When you think
you’re about to die,
You fall blissfully
into her tender arms.
Truth is a lover.
Truth is a dancer.