Froglessness (From TJB Oct, 2012)

As part of the module I am currently studying for my counselling course we are asked to reflect on Froglessness and what it means. It’s from a Buddhist poem which talks about the urge to leap, to move forward we have in us. The feeling of the desire to be moving forward, of always having to be doing something, acting, jumping, leaping as a frog does. A frog can’t help but leap, it’s in its nature. It can’t not leap. We have that in us and we also have Buddha nature in us, apparently. 
That is, the ability to not act, not leap, not think about moving forward. The ability to just be in the moment and appreciate that moment without thinking about the next step forward. The art of just being. That’s what that the poet means by ‘froglessness’. 
I think it’s about satisfaction with life and tuning into the joy of being alive, of consciousness of stillness and of being free from desire. Freedom from desire, the voice inside that says, I want….
And the “shoulds” we tell ourselves…I should be doing this, should be getting that, should have this and that. Should, should, should. I think froglessness is about being at peace with where you are as opposed to where you think you should be. Because where you are is where you are…and where you are is where you ought to be.
Guilt free. Fearless. Satisfaction. Peace. Froglessness. I think that’s what that means. 

Here is the poem:


The first fruition of the practice 
is the attainment of froglessness. 

When a frog is put 
on the center of a plate, 
she will jump out of the plate 
after just a few seconds. 

If you put the frog back again 
on the center of the plate, 
she will again jump out. 

You have so many plans. 
There is something you want to become. 
Therefore you always want to make a leap, 
a leap forward. 

It is difficult 
to keep the frog still 
on the center of the plate. 

You and I 
both have Buddha Nature in us. 
This is encouraging, 
but you and I 
both have Frog Nature in us. 

That is why 
the first attainment 
of the practice– 
froglessness is its name. 

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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