With another new year well under way, many of us cannot help but wonder when – and even whether – the world will return to normal. By now, though, many of us have come to accept that any semblance of what used to be normal may be long gone. Instead, we must adjust to a world that has changed and will continue to change.
Rather than expend energy fighting change, in Zen we learn to cultivate the Immovable Mind, which is the mind capable of infinite movements. It can move forward and backward, left and right, up and down. Though this may at first sound like an oxymoron, instead, it is the mind that is like a pivot point that is also continuously moving.
This Immovable Mind is synonymous with Immovable Wisdom (Fudochi). It is a mind that is not on any one thing, therefore it can be on all things. It is a mind that is not anywhere, therefore it can be everywhere. Where and when it is needed, the mind is there.
Zen Master Takuan Soho, in his book Fudochi Shimmyo Roku, describes this as freedom of the mind to move and says:
This Immovable Mind, with its Immovable Wisdom, is not attached to how the world was before the pandemic. Therefore, it can – and does – accept the world in any way it has developed, does develop, and will develop.
This doesn’t mean we like – or don’t like – what is happening. Instead, the world just changes. And we change, too.