29.

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.

 

 
28.

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.

 

 
27.

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.

 

 
26.

My teacher Nancy Amphoux asked her teacher how she should practice zazen. He said “You should practice zazen eternally”. Nancy said that at first she took this to mean that she should practice for the rest of her life.

 

Eternity means timeless, throwing away linear time. So, Now ceases to be a point and instead becomes vast space, containing everything. We could call it the eternal present. It is not that it is undifferentiated, rather that everything is vivid and whole. Things do not cease to exist, but they do not exist in the usual way, and so we call it Nothing, No-thing.

 

Time is the cornerstone of the house of delusion. If the stone is removed, the house must fall.

 

 
25.

Zen is sometimes described as “the mountain still state”, and we are often admonished to sit like a mountain. Monasteries were frequently named after mountains, Teachers too.

 

At the most obvious level, the mountain can be seen as representative of equanimity, imperturbability. Whatever storm is raging, the mountain is undisturbed.

 

We can also see the mountain as the expression of something eternal. So, when we enter the mountain still state, we enter the same state as the ancestors and patriarchs.

 

But fundamentally, the mountain is the ground made visible, unavoidable. Whilst the ground beneath the feet of our thoughts is overlooked, the mountain is the ground thrown upwards. And the ground is being.

 

 
More Articles...
<< Start < Prev 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Next > End >>