Monday, November 14, 2016

Listen

Good Morning Everyone,
Yes, it's true, another day dawns on us. My question to myself is this: In light of my vow "Beings are numberless, I vow to free them," what can I do today to fulfill this vow?
First, its an impossible vow on the surface. If beings are numberless, how can I possibly free them. Second, how can I free anyone? Third, what does it mean to "free" a being?
"Free" was in the past written as "Save," but I suspect that word had too close an association with Christianity's use of the term. To "free" has specific meanings in Zen. Zen Buddhism believes that we are prisoners of our mind, a mind that keeps us from viewing the Absolute and wants us, in a sense, to remain in the relative view of life. We practice to free ourselves so that we might abide in the Absolute, which is to say, a non-dualistic view of the universe where all is one.
The Relative Truth is that we are all separate beings. We may be interconnected and interdependent, but we are separate from each other and all other things. The Absolute Truth in Buddhism is that we are not separate; we are completely one with everything else. In this realization, there is no "me" separate from "you." Or no "me" separate from, say, "God." Buddhists argue that our task is to free ourselves from the bonds of the relative and live in the truth of the Absolute. 
When we realize the "Absolute" those boundaries that divide us fall away and when they do and we are all "one," One itself dissolves and there is just "thusness." We are then "beyond the other shore, having never left." 
Like a koan, we must move away from the words as the words are traps that bind us to the relative. The power of this vow is in the resolution of the apparent contradiction. When we try to enter non-duality we must fail because we are attempting to enter through the relative which keeps us stuck. 
So? How, then to honor this vow today? 
Listen.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

That Place

 Gassho,

There's an old koan about a student practicing meditation. The student comes to the Master and asks how to escape the heat and cold. The Master simply says "Go to that place where there is neither hot nor cold."

What is that place, I ask? Notice I don't ask "where" is that place. Why?

Simple. That place is everywhere and nowhere. It is not a place. Hot and cold, like comments on social media, are perceived and interpreted by mind. This comment is good, this comment is bad. This one hurts me, that one makes me feel good. In themselves they are neither good nor bad. Just so hot and cold.

So what is that place? Ask the duck floating on the pond.