instrumentative

The instrumentative: a useful, if currently unavailable, distinction.

We say, constantly, that one is to sit with various afflictions and arisings. It’s hard not to consider this in the inflection of patience: to sit with, to bear with, to put up with.

“With”, in other words, making a choice for us. The original semantic sin of the Latins, compressing the instrumental into the ablative without our being consulted.

Reconsider, then, the instrumental case, and sit with your various afflictions and sensations; make them the instrument of your sitting, just as surely as your body is.


just sitting

This is a difficult phrase.

The “just” feels like it’s a process of continuously excluding. Cutting down anything that’s not sitting as soon as it arises.

Perhaps we can reorient this “just”, into a “completely”, or “whole-heartedly”:

That the act is to continuously include into sitting. That whatever arises, knead it into your sitting.

As when you are chopping vegetables, and you dedicate your whole being to chopping vegetables: you include every part of yourself into it.

Sit with your body and your mind; with in the instrumentative case. Whatever arises, sit with that, instrumentative, too.