By paulcrummay, Mar 23 2014 08:04AM
I hope this will be an opportunity to share reflections and add some points of discussion about the Buddha Way.
It is often said that Zen is the teaching that doesn't rely on words or letters, on scriptures, but on direct pointing. Yes, that is true, as in fact it is true of all experience. I cannot convey to you the taste of an orange in words, yet through poetry, metaphor and equivalents we often try to convey the essence of something to others. Language is part of our reallity as human beings. So is thinking. Our difficulties arise when we imagine we can replace the direct experience with our thoughts about it.
The only way you can fully appreciate and know an orange is go get one, peel it and taste it for yourself.
The Buddha Way is just that.
In the Way of awakening (Buddha), unlike religions ( and I include Buddhist religions here), there is no prior or following-on belief to take up. There is, though, the profound invitation to "take the backward step" by settling the mind down and giving yourself time to directly taste the reality of your own experience as a consious, sensing being. Sitting in zazen is the purest and simplest way to do this.
Just as we take for granted what we think about that orange, when we slow down, really investigate it, where does the taste arise? On the tongue? in the mind? In the orange? And can we just taste without grasping for "I like/don't like"...? And if we do, what do we discover about the world, its permanence or otherwise? Our life unfolds moment by moment within and through our sensorium- the six senses. That is all we can know. The orange, our sensing and our ideas aobut it all arise together instantly, when we see it, pick it up, peel and taste it- in other words when we just act, according to the laws of the universe. There are no ultimate boundaries, no graspable locations except what we create with our discriminating mind- a necessary expedient to enable us to do stuff, but with no ultimate separate reality of its own.
Also what do we learn about how we quickly build our sense of self and a sense of separate-object out of that simple experience? We do that all day long. Even Buddhas do it. The difference is that an awakened mind sees that this is the case and is not fooled to much by the seeming concrete solidity of experience, and is not building a mistaken view of what is taking place.
Very nice website, Tetsudo - and an awful lot of hard work and thought gone into it! Might steal it wholesale.... first white spring tulips coming out in my garden. They know it's time. What do we know without needing to know it?
feel free to steal!