Maelstrom

23 Mar 2015. By Christian Grobmeier
At one evening the old Zen Master asked me what the “One” is.
It made me think for a long time, even after he died.

There is no you and me.

There is just “One”, my Master told me one day. There is no you and me; it all is just “One”. It was late. I didn’t understand him. “What do you believe is the One?”, he asked me.

“I don’t know”, I said.

“You need to start to think!”, he said a bit harsh.

I thought about it. I said the “One” was maybe a ball. I don’t remember why the image of a ball came to my mind. I could see he doubted my answer. “Because the ball is almost perfectly balanced. Everything inside has the same weight, maybe. There are no corners”.

My answer sounded silly even to me.

“You need to start thinking”, he said again. Then we paid for our drinks and went home. It was 2am already. We all were tired. Except the Master. The Master was 77 but never felt tired.

Two years later I can’t speak to my Master anymore. I have to find out about the “One” on my own. Sometimes I feel there is no riddle behind the “One”. We are all the “One”. Then I watch the news. I doubt we all are “One”. But who am I to doubt?

thoughts on one.

If we all come out of the “One”, then the “One” is like flowing water. First you just see the water, and there is no identity. There is no “you” or “me”. But if you look carefully, water never flows straight and silently. There are these tiny Maelstroms. If you see a Maelstrom you can point at it, give it a name and say:”Hey you, what are you going to do today?”.

For some reason, life is born. Something forms out of the “One” and gets an identity. Like Maelstroms. You start to suffer as soon as you as your mother gives birth to you. There is a sickness. There is an age. There is death. For some reason, we all seem to forget that we were part of the “One”.

When young we live as there is no tomorrow. When old and close to dying, we cry as we have never lived, Kōdō‎ Sawaki said.

What if we would remember that we are “One”? What if I would remember?

For sure I wouldn’t be depressed any longer when work is hard, and I can’t go out to enjoy the sun. I wouldn’t have so many sorrows on tomorrow. I could only sit outside, watch the stars and enjoy a glass of beer.

But I don’t do that. I still work like an idiot on my Startup. I think every day about my money and if it is enough (it always is). I consider agreeing to contracts which are just stupid. Only because they would bring a few bucks, which in most cases I don’t need.

You could say, I think about the “One” and have an idea, but my Master is right. I didn’t start thinking about it. I know what it is, what it could mean and how it would affect my life. But honestly, I didn’t think about the “One” because I should know that my life needs careful reconsideration.

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body and soul.

Today is one of these days when I didn’t have a chance to work a lot. I am always depressed when I am not in the “workflow”. I listen to a rock band: Girlschool. I know all Motörhead songs from the mind, time for something different. It’s a great group. I could not work so I watched out the window and counted the stars.

Suddenly I thought about the “One”. I realized I was a Maelstrom, which will die some day. Maybe somebody remembers my words, but nobody will remember me. I wondered why I should carry on and make music. Why should I play the Shakuhachi? Or one of all the other instruments I play? There is no glory to achieve.

I misunderstood music and art, in general. It is no senseless nonsense when you know about the “One”. Art is not here to achieve glory. Art is the remembrance of the “One”. When you perform Art with your body and mind, your body and mind remembers what you were inside the “One”. Art brings out the origin of the Maelstrom. Art is expressing the deepest emotions you can have — and this is the “One”.

I now know, people who want to be famous are not doing Art. They are doing business. But people who express themselves purely through Art without expecting anything in return are showing us the “One” through a little window.

Now I know the Master was right. I must start thinking. I do this with practicing Suizen. It reminds me the “One” and that my business is nothing compared to the stars.