Almost Composed

Meditation and curiosity

Shikantaza in Yoda’s cave

July 30, 2014

What’s in there?

Only what you take with you.

It occurred to me that entering the haunted cave on planet Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back is like shikantaza meditation, which translates literally as ‘just sitting.’ They both seem to be situations in which you cannot avoid facing yourself. The challenge is to bring your attention to whatever is present with you in the moment without getting caught up in a habitual reaction, such as decapitating your delusion with a laser sword. After this experience, Luke learns that the fear he felt in the cave was only projected onto Vader, really it was deep inside himself. The deeper connection between these characters is also hinted at. A skilful scene.

categories: reflections
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