Sunday, December 30, 2007

Don't care too much about sitting Zen.

It's easy to be caught by ideas of how special or important sitting is, of how beneficial it might be to 'all beings.'

All beings are not served by the self-serving sitter with such ideas in mind.
To do this is to believe that one's knowledge of a thing is as valuable as the thing itself.

Apprehending a butterfly, we have created an illusory butterfly of conception, we do not experience a real insect. It's only when pre-conceptions are dropped-off, of butterflies, of seeing, seer and seen that something real can flutter away unimpeded.

Sitting Zen has a beneficial effect throughout the universe, I know this so I will do it, simply do it, without thinking.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sometimes we say 'I've got nothing to lose.' It seems to free us to make a decision to do something.

If we feel we have something to lose, we often don't do whatever we are considering for fear of being diminished in some way. The more we feel we have to lose the less we do that might put it at risk. We become paralysed by our ideas.

But it's the unknown and unexpected that moves the world forward. Spinning the wheel of chance is in every instant, it's the joy of life, the blossoming in each moment of billions of causes, billions of effects in an unknoweably brilliant pageant.

When we act with nothing to lose we have cast off impeding ideas. We may have our lives to lose but what is it, our life? What is it, losing? This doesn't mean acting stupidly or without sensitivity to what we experience, it means not to be afraid, we only had an illusion of control after all.

Is it possible that in this instant, what I am experiencing may cease? Of course but not now, perhaps in the future but not now.

As life ends, what will happen? It is ceasing, it is ceasing....

Monday, December 10, 2007

The target has already struck the archer.

The spirals of samsara are an arrow in flight

but what from and what to?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Consciousness of a seperate self doesn't really exist, its illusory, like cats, roads and clowns. You can touch something, smell something, watch something but what is it really, beyond our massively limiting conception? Can we free experience from our self-imposed perceptual limitations?

To notice that the 'self' is constructed is just like this. To experience a non-dual state forces the question of what our constructed life is and we discover that 'everything that we see or seem' to coin a phrase is constructed. That what remains is shunyata / emptiness or Dogen's 'One Bright Pearl.'

There is a clear undivided state which we are not really aware of, which excludes too much of the kind of 'thinking' that constructs an imaginary agent of the self and keeps us close to the middle where opposites disappear. This is a state maintained by zazen and the middle way between extremes. But the truth is we wobble between states all the time. Just as in zazen we are dynamic and 'consciousness' shifts between dual and non dual states. We wiggle along and that wiggling maintains the state of balance. But do we maintain it or not?

The analogy of the bell with zazen is good. We strike the bell in the morning and the sound is loud then diminishes slowly until the evening when we strike it again then it dimishes again overnight then bong! But taken over a lifetime this striking and diminishing doesn't sound like notes struck then their diminuendo, it sounds like one continuous note.

The only moment in which we can actualise the teaching of Buddhism is in this moment. A lifetime of moments in which Buddhism has been actualised is a Buddhist life.

Not doing wrong, right is allowed to do itself.