Not knowing is most intimate...
As long as you are standing in front of the mountain, knowing the mountain, seeing the mountain, admiring its landscape, is but removing yourself from the mountain. As you climb, as you go you become part of the mountain, the mountain beneath your feet is not seen,perceived as such, rather experienced fully, the mountain have swallowed you, you have embraced the mountain to become it.
This is the relationship between self and sitting. From a distance there is Zen, zazen, as you take the shape and form of the mountain state, this state and this form vanishes, as you wear the kesa, you cannot see it. Not knowing is total intimacy with the source, the origin.
So not knowing is not ignorance or behaving like an idiot or a fool. Not knowing is living fully out of the expanse- space before thoughts arise, hishiryo.beyond thinking
In zazen shin, a needle for zazen, Dogen starts like this:
While Great Master Yakusan Kōdō1 is sitting, a monk asks him, “What are you thinking in the still-still state?” The master says, “Thinking the con- crete state of not thinking.” The monk says, “How can the state of not think- ing be thought?” The master says, “It is non-thinking.” Experiencing the state in which the words of the great master are like this, we should learn in practice “mountain-still sitting,” and we should receive the authentic transmission of “mountain-still sitting”: this is the investigation of “mountain-still sitting” that has been transmitted in Buddhism. “Thinking in the still-still state” is not of only one kind, but Yakusan’s words are one example of it. Those words are “Thinking the concrete state of not thinking.
Hishiryo, non thinking, beyond thinking, is the essence and secret of our treasury house. And again in this, thoughts may arise as clouds in the vast blue sky, not knowing is the sky- like, sea- like, state like the sea state as Dogen puts it. But collapse into a thought, believe your thought, become your thought , identify with it and you enter instantly the world of knowing. Entering the word - world of knowing you end up smelling like a dead cat, good for universities and lecturing, writing brilliant stuff or recipe books, useless for cooking your life. You d better be good for nothing. as Santoka puts it,
in the embrace of mountains
I am naked.
A common misconception of Zen ractice is that it should lead to a state without thoughts. Of course not! Thoughts making is a natural process of he brain, the point is not to be brain dead but stepping back, taking the backward step, to appreciate Big mind, to live in and out the Big reality that we are, not merely a few inches of flesh and a collection of random thoughts. As some Zen words say: Born from a hole and ending thrown into another one,
...really???is it really what life is?
IT is as-it-isness, original face, not knowing, call it pepsi or fake plastic gimmick, it IS.
When in the dokusan moment you appear on the screen or enter the room, It comes just with- as- you.
When you wake up and do things and not do things, It radiates. Not before or after. Exactly, precisely as you do. Thoughts? An aftermath effect.
Not knowing, knowing not.
This is the not knowing thing that makes lecturers and writers and philosophers so shallow and vain.
Not knowing is raw, undiluted. Kind of straight to the point, razor blade like, juicy, meaty, not wrapped in much fuss.
Doesn t mean Zen teachers should indulge in rawness.
They pick up whatever works to help you to unload.
In the mountain state, no need for much. It is all complete and full and ripe. The chase has stopped, blossoms and leaves collide, snow and furnace cuddle, the old and new have one face.
This cae is very close to ordinary mind is the way , case 19 of the Gatelss Gate.
Please consider these questions:
When you get up, what happens then?
Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
Does it speak?
How big are the legs?
How far its arms can reach out?
How to know not knowing?
How can it be known?
Where are you in this knowing?
Gassho in not knowing