Reality

With palms together,
Good Morning Sangha,

From Cheng Li's Tales of Kwan Yin
Adapted by a friend from a translation by John Blofield


Transcendence
Now I have done with Su-tras
and pious practices.
Day and night I recite the Bo-dhi-sat-tva’s sacred name,
rejoicing in the beauty of it’s sound.
NOT for me it’s recitation in multiples of One-hundred and Eight,
as though it were a duty.
Does the runner count his breaths, the poet his words,
or the stream it’s ripples?
You sentient beings who seek deliverance,
why do you NOT let go?
When sad,
Let go of the cause of sadness.
When wrathful,
Let go of the occasion of wrath.
When covetous or lustful,
Let go of the object of desire.
From moment to moment,
be free from grasping
at the illusion of a permanent
or separate “self.”

Where there is
NO separate “self” to grasp,
there can be NO permanent sorrow,
NO graspable desire;
NO causally-separate “me” to weep,
NO compositionally-separate “me” to lust,
NO circumstantially-separate “being” to die
and NO perceptually-separate “being” to be reborn.
The winds of circumstance
blow across the infinite expanse
of NON-graspable emptiness.
Whom can they harm?
____________________________
This is the essence of the source of compassion. In the Heart Sutra we chant "No hindrance in the mind, therefore no fear." Once we are able to see through to the other side, be the other side, having never left; that is, realize this side and that side (birh and death, heaven and hell, samsara and nirvana, God and Me) are the same, two sides of the same coin, then there is no hindrance, nothing to fear, no self to be harmed. Nothing left but the vast processes of the universe and our vast compassion within them.
We establish our reality through our perceptions and these perceptions flow through our senses. While "objective reality" exists without our presence, it depends upon our perceptions of it for its definition in human terms. So, no human contact, no defintion. Some may say, themn, no existence. In this we must ask what is existence? Whast does it mean to be real? Does the tree falling in the forest make a sound? What is tree? Forest? Falling" Sound? Are these all not human concepts? No human, no human conceptualization, then?
Zazen.
Be well.

Comments

jeff said…
Wonderful post Sensei.. "letting go, to be free of grasping at the illusion of a permanent separate self. This is the essense of compassion."

Thank you. I asked you about compassion before on march 30 and what you say makes sense to me. how could we not feel compassion for all if we saw all as just a passing manifestation of ourselves.

"You sentient beings who seek deliverance,
why do you NOT let go?

Why not indeed? I believe it can be done. I know what needs to be done. I need to sit. But right now it is a little maddening to be stuck between worlds. To see a little but to continually stumble along being less than compassionate, less than awake.

All of my perceptions tell me I'm separate from my environment. I can't figure out how to change this perception. But maybe I'm just being impatient. I know that expecting anything is not helpful.

Like you said.. Zazen
Hello Jeff, As I sip some coffee, the coffee and the cup, the tongue and the air, all are "me". At the very same time, in exactly there very same moment and space, they are exactly "not me." One is experience before thought and perception, the other, after. As you say, patience on the cushion. Be well.

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