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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
 
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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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