Kusen
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:42

[Commentary on Shinji Shobogenzo, Book 2, Case 5]

 

In this story, Kanzeon’s hands and eyes are manifold. She does not have 84,000 hands and eyes. She does not have inexhaustibly many hands and eyes. They are manifold. And so, we can equate them with all existence. The whole world is one of the functions of Kanzeon. And these ‘hands and eyes’ suggest an interfolding of doing, being, perceiving and intuitively knowing, within the one vivid whole.

 

It is as if what has been on the butcher’s slab of western rationalism has abruptly risen up, illuminating everything.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:43
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:29

[Commentary on Shinji Shobogenzo, Book 2, Case 62]

 

Some people say that everything is one, but if that is so, how do we explain the obvious differentiation that we see?

 

If we say everything is one, the temptation is to think that there is a true world standing behind this world, which we need to get to. And so, we reconstitute the ego, this time as a battering ram.

 

Or, we take the familiar metaphor of clouds and sky, and imagine that the sky is somehow behind the clouds, that the clouds are an obstruction. But where does the sky begin, or end?

 

Our practice is not the eradication of anything. It is not breaking down the door of an empty house. It is the actualisation of space.

 

In vast space, each thing can have its own place.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:30
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:28

Stillness is not the ceasing of activity; stillness is suchness. When we see being direct, our normal categories fall away. Because linear time falls away, we call it timeless, and so, it is still. Because causality falls away it is vivid, not a waystation to or from anywhere else.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:28
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:26

The dream state and the waking dream state. In dreams we imagine –at least later that what we see is unreal, although really it is just our fractured heart taking on one form after another. We feel fully. We exert ourselves fully. We are always implicitly asking “What is this?”. How can we dismiss it so easily?

 

In the waking dream state, we cannot say that what we see is unreal, but why? We concede easily that what we see is what our culture and our language can see, and concede –less esily- that our emotions are flung randomly onto this thing or that, like paint falling from high windows. And the same question: “What is this? What is this?”. And thus a false world created. How different? How different?

 

In our dreams what we feel cannot be doubted. In our waking dream state what arises cannot be doubted. And the whole waking world conceals itself in the heart. Should the heart open, a world will spring out. The only true one.

 

Demons are the creators of false worlds. Equanimity is walking on the heads of these demons, partly in tenderness, partly in scorn.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:27
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:25

Because zazen is wholehearted action in the present moment, it breaks down the false distinction between physical and mental. For example, we will often come to zazen tired, or anxious, or distracted. We put our body into balance, and our breathing comes into balance. We breathe like a baby; from the belly, intercostally. And what we thought of as our mental process changes too.

 

Our heart sits on top of our breath.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:26
 
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