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Sunday, 17 September 2017 17:41


Dogen said that the path of all buddhas and ancestors is prior to the myriad things. That being so, it cannot be understood or explained by conventional means.

When we hear 'path' or 'way', we might imagine a path made up of the sutras, the words, the heads, the hearts, the hands of the ancestors.

And because there is such a path, here or somewhere, we can walk it.

Creation myths often take unpicturable chaos, which is then ordered into a pictured world.

It's as if we can't see the swirling of time without the picture of a clock. Or the surge of the ocean without a picture of it, first. But isn't this picture world a loop? Isn't the picture not a door, but a wall?

This life is not a million pictures. Our practice is not stepping onto this pictured path.

But rather, stepping from the hundred foot pole. Not falling

the words, the heads, the hearts, the hands.


 

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 September 2017 17:44
 
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:15


In the Mountains and Waters chapter of the Shobogenzo, Dogen talks about how various different beings see what human beings see as water.

When we see water, fish see palaces. Gods see strings of pearls, hungry ghosts see blood or pus.

Dogen didn't say that the fish, the Gods and the hungry ghosts are all mistaken, that they are mis-seeing water.

What we see as water is just one window, and there is an infinity of windows.

But for us, just one window. But looked through with which eye?

The eye that gives life, or takes it?

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:20
 
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Thursday, 07 September 2017 18:22


At the end of The Diamond Sutra we are told that we should view all things as "a flash of lightning, a bubble, a phantom, a dream"

At first blush, we think the first two are real, but momentary, and the second two are illusory.

We need to understand that having our face pressed tight against the unyielding glass of 'Reality' is a root cause of suffering.

All four are real, because all experience is real. Real, but not separate. We can see the lightening and the bubble as the momentary action of the whole universe, but likewise the phantom, likewise the dream.

If we can break this glass, we can discover the glory and beauty of our lives. Not in some future moment, but this moment.

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 September 2017 18:24
 
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Friday, 25 August 2017 10:32


Buddhist language is often quite abstract.

And so it is often difficult for us at first to understand the feelingness underneath.

So for example in the Surangama Sutra there is what appears to be quite an abstract discussion about perception.

We are told that false perception is like the moon in water. So in other words we imagine that each thing is a kind of concrete reality.

But every thing is just dependent on the causes and conditions of everything, from moment to moment. Were the water to be disturbed, the image of the moon would be shattered into a thousand shards of light. All things are like this.

The Sutra then talks about a second moon. It's as if a person with cataracts looking at the moon sees another moon next to it.  And by this - I think -  is meant awareness of perceiving.  So I see something but I am aware of the act of perception, and hence aware that my 'seeing' isn't just noticing what's there already. It's a creative act. But I'm still going astray, somehow.

The real moon is unmediated experience itself, which is a description of our sitting.

When we sit, we are not concerned with inside or outside, identifying or classifying our experience. And when identifying and classifying arise, they are not meta phenomena, they are just aspects of experience.

We are simply experience.

It takes a little while to realise that this ocean of experience, this something rather than nothing is a miracle.

Is a miracle.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 August 2017 10:34
 
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Sunday, 20 August 2017 18:39


Our lives do not exist in time. But in our lives, time exists.

Likewise, space. The budding tree births the sky.

Buddhist language is not a description of 'reality'. It is a provisional language, aimed at liberation.


My first teacher said that we can't break the mirror of the self with the head.

But if not with the head, then with what?

What.


Last Updated on Sunday, 20 August 2017 18:41
 
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