Saturday, January 11, 2003
- Hopelessly lost, a businessman approached a local in a country village.
"Excuse me" he said, "Can you tell me the quickest way to York?"
The local scratched his head and asked "Are you walking or driving?"
"Driving" was the reply.
"Hummm", mulled the local " Well I'd say that's definitely the quickest way."Dave Mason LiveJournal
David Hodges LiveJournalI've been talking with a friend about Zen Seeing.
This happens over and over to me. I go out for a walk with my camera. I come to a place (any place, in nature, or the city, a coffee shop, a street scene, whatever) and I stop there for a while. After a while I start to see in a way I didn't just moments before and soon an image reveals itself, which I snap with my camera. In that moment there is a heightened sense of awareness, but awareness operating on its own.
Its that self-revealing that I am talking about. The image revealing itself to the camera.
Thinley Norbu, in "Magic Dance", refers to "the pure nature of the manifestation of self-secret invisible wisdom display".
You can't see that with your daily Eye.
Self-revealing shows us that the Seer and the Seen are one.
As a human being it means you're in the flow, you're doing what your supposed to be doing at that moment.
Alan Watts said: "Such awareness is a lively attention to one's direct experience, to the world as immediately sensed, so as not to be misled by names and labels." He also said, "Zen is seeing reality directly, in its suchness. To see the world as it is concretely, undivided by categories and abstractions, one must certainly look at it with a mind which is not thinking---which is to say, forming symbols---about it."
Sokei-An talks about five Eyes:
The Physical Eye
The Deva Eye
The Wisdom eye
The Dharma Eye
The Buddha Eye
What we're talking about here is the Wisdom Eye. The Deva eye is the one most of us use all the time. It is completely and profoundly infomred by our mental constructs. It is relative seeing. When we develop the Wisdom Eye, he says, "all differentiated human forms and the forms of nature will disappear from before your eyes and you will see only one form and one nature, which is emptiness" (Sokei-An, "The Zen Eye", p. 143)
There are artists who see , there are poets who write and dancers who dance, with the Zen Eye of Wisdom.
Sometimes when I am doing photography I have the Eye. When I don't it is painful, I experience it as a loss. The good news is, it isn't hard to get it back, with intention. When I am Seeing, everything flows. Same with writing.
In my essay "Haiku and Empty Space", I referred to the Emptiness of this state (except it isn't a state, its reality). In that essay I quoted R.H Blyth's list of "the characteristics of the state of mind which the creation and appreciation of haiku demand":
3. Grateful acceptance.
If you're in the Zen Eye, then you in all these as well.matthew files NDS
.......and a little bit of the eloquent Da Free John: ............We chronically consider our individuation, our birth, our mere bodily existence, to be a form of separation. We use events such as coming out of the womb and the conflicts of childhood to elaborate this fundamental philosophical point of view. The inherent vulnerability of our apparently independent existence, even the most primitive movements in the womb, as a kind of rejection. When we look out into the universe we feel insulted, rejected, unloved. And so we make philosophy out of our apparent independence. Thus, the primal event of suffereing is not some circumstance that happens to us. It is not an event within our objective experience. It is not some thing that we concieve to exist in relation to us, or over against us. The primal event of suffering IS us. Our suffering is not recognized as separation from something else in particular. It is our own appearance, our own independent existance, and we interpret this present event as separation on that basis. That interpretation is our first philosophical gesture, the first time we feel or say "you don't love me". Fundamentally, it is not our experiences in particular relationships that tell us we are not loved. Some people surely do not love us, but nonetheless we are simply, always and already philosophically disposed to believe that we are not loved. It is our interpretation of existance, not on the basis of any relational experiences we have had with other human beings, but on the basis of our apparent independence itself. Our sense of independent bodily existence means separation to us, whereas, you see, it is really only the sense of independent bodily existence. If you ever can become truly strong-autonomous, able to take a deep breath, then you stop interpreting the universe as a form of rejection, as a great parent from whose company you have been expelled, under whose dominion you live, who has rejected you and does not love you. Everyone is simply born into the conventional condition of independence and everyone interprets that condition as "you don't love me". There is a fundamental disposition in us to be contracted in our feeling. It is not really the result of experience, whatever our experience. It may be reinforced in all kinds of social and other chronic ways, but it is not the result of experience. It is the presumption we make in the instant we recognize our functional independence. Birth, or the recognition of one's independent existence, is interpreted by us to be separation. It is interpreted by us as an instant, proplonged through time, in which we are essentially unloved. And all that interpretation is based on the feeling that we are not sustained. In other words, independent existence itself is felt as separation from the ultimate food source.
quoted in 'Dialogues with Emerging Spiritual Teachers'
The sensitive mother presents various preparations of fish to her
hungry children -- plain and bland or rich and spicy, depending on
their tastes and their powers of digestion.
Meet as many adepts from various paths as you can. Love these
persons, receive their initiations, and passionately practice their
disciplines. But enter your own inner chamber of primordial
awareness to enjoy selfless peace and delight.
Everyone will attain God-consciousness and be liberated. Some receive
their meal early in the morning, others at noon, still others not
until evening. But none will go hungry. Without any exception, all
living beings will eventually know their own true nature to be
Whether you follow the ideal of the Personal God or the impersonal
Truth, you will certainly realize the One Reality, provided that you
experience profound longing. The same cake tastes sweet from every
Blessed is the soul who has known that all is one, that all jackals
howl essentially alike.
I just can't get over the thought that I think you are so blessed to live
in Illinois and to have had a governor like George Ryan.
On Friday Governor Ryan pardoned 4 death row inmates and they were
released from prison. CNN reported that their confessions had come after
being tortured by the police. Today, he took an even more unprecidented
step and commuted the sentences of all the other 183 (I think) to life in
The Governor spoke at Northwestern University today and his comments and
views very much reflect those of my buddy Abe Bonowitz who heads up the
anti-death penalty section of Amnesty International. There are just too
many very good reasons to be opposed to the death penalty and I won't go
into them here.
I have a t-shirt that says: I opposed the death penalty. Don't kill for
me. Lots of people comment on this shirt but I think the only negative
remarks I ever got were from my own friends. Their comments were that
since we don't really believe in the existence of death what should we
care? I'm sure even they would be singing a different tune if one of
their family killed somebody or one of their family was brutally
murdered. But that's not the point. I just wonder where in the world
people's compassion is sometimes. To be indifferent to pain and
suffering doesn't mean that people aren't out there suffering somewhere.
I have worked in a prison for 18 years now. I feel so much compassion
for all these criminals. They are just as human as anybody who isn't
here. They deserve better than they get, I think. They deserve to be
treated with respect and they seldom get that even. How can anybody
possibly expect a person to treat them with respect without that person
first treating the one they want respect from with respect? One
statement that comes around here all the time is "there is no correction
in the department of corrections" and it's absolutely true. The
correctional officers are merely baby sitters.
Anyway, it's a happy day for us "abolitionists." Another friend who is a
meditation instructor visits a death row inmate and that man is due for
execution very soon. And yet another friend just lost her inmate friend.
It is certainly easier to hate people when you don't know them personally.
Yesterday, when I saw those guys walk out of the prisons I saw something
in their faces that lots of people might not have seen because I work in
a prison and I know what kind of life these guys have. I saw well
dressed black men carrying luggage. They certainly didn't look like
inmates anymore. Voila! Instantly transformed for all those TV cameras!
I saw the faces of men who had given up on the idea that justice existed
and somehow they had been given another chance--a miracle. Tears flood
my eyes now as it did yesterday.
Suzancornelius meditationsocietyof america
Summary of Nisargadatta Maharaj1. There is only One Substance.
2. What you know about you came from outside of you, therefore
3. Question everything, do not believe anything.
4. In order to find out who you are, you must first find out who you
5. In order to let go of something, you must first know what it is.
6. The experiencer is contained within the experience itself.
7. Anything you think you are --you are NOT.
8. Hold onto the I AM, let go of everything else.
9. Anything you know about you cannot be.
NDhighlights #1316Saturday, January 11, 2003Edited by John