The Snow is the Mountain

“Nothing in my life has left a trace of the path.
Lost between the true and the false.
Long days the snow has covered the mountain.
This winter the snow is the mountain.”

After years of wholehearted practice, the Zen master Eihei Dogen voices his doubt. What has his life added up to? Has he left any tracks substantial enough for others to follow? So often we feel lost between truth and illusion, unable to distinguish one from the other, especially in the realm of our own thoughts. Our delusions seem to obscure reality as snow covers a mountain. Yet Dogen says nothing is hidden. Snow doesn’t hide a mountain; snow is part and parcel of the mountain. Just as delusion doesn’t obstruct enlightenment; it becomes enlightenment.

I read about learning to snowboard: “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”