#2070 - Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Nondual Highlights Issue #2070 Wednesday, March 2, 2004
- mixed media painting by Mark Otter
I wearied myself searching for the Friend
with efforts beyond my strength.
I came to the door and saw how
powerfully the locks were bolted.
And the longing in me became that strong,
and then I saw that I was gazing
from within the presence.
With that waiting, and in giving up all trying,
only then did Lalla flow out
from where I knelt.
- Lalla, Naked Song translated by Coleman Barks, posted to MillionPaths
The Master claimed that the world most people see
is not the world of Reality,
but a world their head creates.
When a scholar came to dispute this,
the Master set two sticks on the floor in the form of the letter T
and asked, "What do you see here?"
"The letter T," said the scholar.
"Just as I thought, " said the Master.
"There's no such things as a letter T;
that's a symbol in your head.
What you have here is two broken branches
in the form of sticks."
- Anthony de Mello, posted to The_Now2
My mind was a mirror:
It saw what it saw, it knew what it knew.
In youth my mind was just a mirror
In a rapidly flying car,
Which catches and loses bits of the landscape.
Then in time
Great scratches were made on the mirror,
Letting the outside world come in,
And letting my inner self look out.
For this is the birth of the soul in sorrow,
A birth with gains and losses.
The mind sees the world as a thing apart,
And the soul makes the world at one with itself.
A mirror scratched reflects no image
And this is the silence of wisdom.
- Ernest Hyde, Spoon River Anthology, posted to Panhala
The Whole Universe is Plastic
One Sunday, while Seung Sahn Soen-sa was staying at the International Zen Center of New York, there was a big ceremony marking the end of one hundred days of chanting Kwanseum Bosal. Many Korean women came, with shopping bags full of food and presents. One woman brought a large bouquet of plastic flowers, which she presented smilingly to an American student of Soen-sa's. As soon as he could, the student hid the flowers under a pile of coats. But soon, another woman found them and, with the greatest delight, walked into the Dharma Room and put them in a vase on the altar.
The student was very upset. He went to Soen-sa and said, "Those plastic flowers are awful. Can't I take them off the altar and dump them somewhere?'
Soen-sa said, "It is your mind that is plastic. The whole universe is plastic."
The student said, "What do you mean?"
Soen-sa said, 'Buddha said, "When one mind is pure, the whole universe is pure; when one mind is tainted, the whole universe is tainted." Every day we meet people who are unhappy. When their minds are sad, everything that they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is sad. The whole universe is sad. When the mind is happy, the whole universe is happy. If you desire something, then you are attached to it. If you reject it, you are just as attached to it. Being attached to a thing means that it becomes a hindrance in your mind. So "I don't like plastic" is the same as "I like plastic" -- both are attachments. You don't like plastic flowers, so your mind has become plastic, and the whole universe is plastic. Put it all down. Then you won't be hindered by anything. You won't care whether the flowers are plastic or real, whether they are on the altar or in the garbage pail. This is true freedom. A plastic flower is just a plastic flower. A real flower is just a real flower. You mustn't be attached to name and form."
The student said, "But we are trying to make a beautiful Zen center here, for all people. How can I not care? Those flowers spoil the whole room."
Soen-sa said, "If somebody gives real flowers to Buddha, Buddha is happy. If somebody else likes plastic flowers and gives them to Buddha, Buddha is also happy. Buddha is not attached to name and form, he doesn't care whether the flowers are real or plastic, he only cares about the person's mind. These women who are offering plastic flowers have very pure minds, and their action is Bodhisattva action. Your mind rejects plastic flowers, so you have separated the universe into good and bad, beautiful and ugly. So your action is not Bodhisattva action. Only keep Buddha's mind. Then you will have no hindrance. Real flowers are good; plastic flowers are good. This mind is like the great sea, into which all waters flow -- the Hudson River, the Charles River, the Yellow River, Chinese water, American water, clean water, dirty water, salt water, clear water. The sea doesn't say, "Your water is dirty, you can't flow into me." It accepts all waters and mixes them and all become sea. So if you keep the Buddha mind, your mind will be like the great sea. This is the great sea of enlightenment."
- Zen Master Seung Sahn, posted to SufiMystic
As one goes further in the soul's unfoldment one finally arrives at the stage of revelation. Life begins to reveal itself, and every condition, every soul, every object in the world will reveal its nature and character to one.
Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid `Inayat Khan, posted to truevision