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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:46

Question: If I do a good act, but with a conscious intention of doing good, does that negate the karma?

 

Answer: There are two dualistic assumptions buried in your question. The first is that we can separate ourselves from ‘our’ experience, so there is an ‘I’ acting in ‘The World’. This is counter to our belief that practice is wholehearted action in the present moment, when our ordinary distinctions fall away, vivifying reality. The second is that our actings take place in linear time, and that good or bad actings in the past have good or bad consequences in the future. But we say that the act and the consequence arise at the same time, the flower and the fruit occur at the same time, and this same time is all of time.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:46
 
32. PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:44

[Commentary on Shinji Shobogenzo, Book 2, Case 47]

 

Master Rinzai said that there was a true human being without rank who went in and out through our face.

 

When we hear ‘face’, we often think of Original face, the face you had before your parents were born.

 

If we pay attention, we can be aware of the musculature of our face; the fixed patterns we hold, the tensions, the habitual moving contours. And if we have this awareness, we can experience our face as a kind of mask. Indeed, we might identify our sense of self with this social face. If we didn’t have a face to present to the world, could we have a self to present to ourself?

 

Rinzai’s person without rank is something in us which is true and alive, and which can never be entirely suppressed by our social face. And so, he emerges. And sometimes, we suppress him. And so, he goes back in. This person without rank is our original face. There is not a true face behind our social face. There is not another self behind the self. There is just life channelled by us, like light falling through windows.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:14
 
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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
 
29. PDF Print E-mail
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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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