Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 7: Territory Expeditions (part a)

W'ai-Yun Ch'ai, he's a pretty neat guy. If you get a small taste of the way that he is it'll help the hole that's inside of you grow. He's kind of holey himself you see and if you open an empty place inside yourself he'll be glad to sit in for a hand or two any time you need a hand. Me, I've been keeping connected with him in an empty way for years and years. W'ai-Yun Ch'ai, he's one of the members of the Empty Circle and they're a big part of the Territory story, a very big part of it actually, so big in fact that they're hard to see if you don't have some help. So that's why I thought it would be a good plan for you to have a taste of his essence before we continued on.

But before we do let's take a moment to quickly review some of the things I've been telling you about the Territory. An overview of its basic shape and qualities might go like this if we wanted it to. Initially there's me and you and the other guys too, with boats in hand we cross the Border and enter in to the Territory to see just what is and what's not. First we encounter the islands and seas, the waves and the wind and the sailing ways that make up the form of the Territory. We boat, we sail and come into port to report and exchange the topology. After a bit we begin to see that the Territory has a seemingly strange dimensionality that's not quite like what we thought it might be. Paths and tunnels, space stretches out and back in on itself; time has a way of conducting its day that doesn't quite fit on the dial of your watch.

There's a whole different shape to the Territory than you've been led to believe from the mapmakers' maps. It's all very fluid and hard to pin down, the mapmakers try to control it for you, but the way that it happens it doesn't quite work that way even if they convince you it does. The Territory has an empty source that shifts into form as a matter of course and the form disappears from time to time going back into emptiness. But after a while that becomes the norm and as you boat you can find you can float with whichever thing happens to be on the sea or waiting on the horizon.

The Territory is inhabited though, and the next thing you know there are all these roles that involve themselves in the things that you do. The emptiness of the Territory is an active thing that invites us all to enter in and play in a much more conscious way. Ghosts interact, Pirates intrude and you find the emptiness coming to you through the Territory is something that you can take part in too. You can take on a role and disappear, fall through a hole and begin to come near to the emptiness that informs the form of everything. There are holes in the islands, holes in the sea, some holes are kept open specifically by the Ghosts and the Hags. All these holes everywhere where you look, and if you have courage or dumb bunny luck you can climb down inside some without getting stuck. And then you can know in a non-knowing way the emptiness that underlies and is one with the form of the Territory.

When you are in the Territory you'll see its form and its emptiness; not just one, not just the other, not even both of them both together or neither of either one. Form is only emptiness, emptiness only form; form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form. The Territory simply is, just this, just that, just just. Still even so you'll be bound to see it in one form one way, in another another way. And after a while you'll be able to see the emptiness too on the flip side of form; emptiness this way, emptiness that. It's hard to describe because it has no form, it's empty right? No words can cling to a thing that is no-thing, but still it is there in the very same way that form seems to be, only different of course because the Territory is neither one or the other or both or either. And if you keep boating and floating free, the disturbance of seeing the Territory in its form and emptiness drops away and you can be there with it completely complete just as it is without any fuss.

But that takes a while and sometimes in between you'll need to see the form of it all just the way the form is. That's where the boating and mapping comes in as a way to see form quite specifically, without being told by yourself or the others just how that form should be. Now the odd thing is this: the emptiness can be specific too! That was a big surprise to me and it may be to you when you see that it's true. Not specific the way form is, emptiness is empty you know, it really is, but still, even so, its emptiness is really empty in a specifically empty way.

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