With palms together,
Good Morning Sangha,
Do not trust your point of view, it is as shaky as you are. Our points of view are all relative to our senses and the clarity with which they perceive. Even with the clearest perception, the result is a few chemical reactions in our brains which create a picture for us to see. A point of view is just that. It is not the thing itself.
What is the thing itself? In Zen Buddhism we call it suchness. That which is before perception. It has no name, desires no name. It is vast emptiness manifest. Emptiness refers to lack of substance, lack of permanence. Some might "name" this "God."
Names are odd, really. They tend to be nouns in the English language. As such they can be very misleading. We often think because we name something, we either understand it or control it. This is one of the psychological truths of biblical times. God tells Adam to go out and name all of the animals, suggesting that he will then have dominion over them. Today, in many forms of psychotherapy, naming a problem is a tool employed to enable the patient to feel some control in their lives over against a problem. Yet, these are devices only. Tools of the trade, really. And they have limited value.
At some point in our spiritual development, such devices not only lose their value but become actual hindrances to our growth. To understand God as a noun is to miss His true existence entirely. To understand God as a verb also misses the mark. So if not a noun and not a verb, then what? God and Vast Emptiness are beyond our ability to name them.
Here's the thing: there is no place where God is not. When we attain this then we see clearly. There is no thing that God is not. There is no voice that is not God. Not one place where God is not.
In Zen Buddhism, we practice to realize such things, regardless of whether or not we are theists. The reality of God is not important. In whatever His form, He is, or is not. Like the universe itself, we can take His existence for granted or not, it changes nothing except in ourselves. Call it universe, call it God, but appreciate it fully.
To understand ourselves as human beings misses the mark completely, as well. We too are works in progress. Not nouns, not verbs. In both cases we are left in boxes with tight lids on top.
The point of Zazen is to blow the lid off. Blow the lid off until we realize there is no box, nor a lid to blow, nor a blowing itself. There is just this.
It is *this* that is *suchness*.
Harvey So Daiho Hilbert
May All Beings Be Free From Suffering
On the web at http://www.daihoji.org/
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