Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Theoretical or abstract thinking creates a gap between what we are and what we think we are. What we think we are is not real. What we think is not real, it's thinking. Our life is not what we think it is, it is what it is.
The past has gone, the future has not happened yet, all that we can verify is this moment of consciousness. This is not the kind of moment we can imagine which is static, it is dynamic, kinetic. Like walking next to a river, we're out of step with the flow. Practising sitting-zen, the river buoys us up and carries us along, we don't have to worry.
One can imagine the qualities of a good Buddhist but a Buddhist has no qualities. The moment has no qualities, it is. Fear is like this, we can only be afraid of something we think exists, not of something that really exists. A shark for instance is frightening in imagination, in the real world it is something completely different, a real shark. Paralysed by our imagination, we fail to simply swim away and get consumed by what is real.
Whether we live for a day like a Mayfly or ten thousand years like the eternal Buddha of imagination, reality remains indivisible in this instant - 'One Bright Pearl' as Master Dogen puts it. Both life and death have the capability to frighten us but like the shark of imagination, real life and real death exist in a different dimension to that of thought.
Our true existence is so rich that nihilism has no place in it. Emptiness, the world without qualities is immense, boundless. We have the tools to inherit it but our precious little minds would keep us in fear. In sitting, discard all tethers and allow yourself the freedom that is the natural state of existence.