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Thread: Zen and Nature

  1. #1

    Zen and Nature

    Hello,

    I recently spent the 4th of July holiday in the US hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I thought that I might try to practice some of what Jundo has taught and basic zen teaching that I could recall. Whenever a thought would come up regarding....hmmm..I am really hungry and tired....I wonder what I will have for diner? I would try to watch it pass like a cloud. Luckily, I was outside so I could look to the sky for an example of passing clouds. Doing this when I was aware of the wondering mind was great. When I reached the destination of the hike I sat by the lake and just realized how good of a teacher or example nature is. It seems that much of what zen teaches is written everywhere. There were bugs everywhere fighting to see who could bit me first. Were they being malicious or just doing as they always do and have done? When the storm or avalanche comes up over the peaks....is it out to get Dave? Why do these things happen to me? Ahh....but there is no secret motive or motive at all. Walking in silence with my friend being at peace with my burning legs and rumbling stomach....out it the woods were things just go about there day. It was pretty amazing. It really was a reminder to me about the ego and helped me see a little more of how the drama or theatre we create in our head really hides reality from me. Does anybody else feel that nature and zen can really mirror each other? Or not?

  2. #2

    Re: Zen and Nature

    Thank you, D.

    Rocks, trees, clouds, migrating birds ... wonderful teachers. They need not ask where in the world they belong.

  3. #3

    Re: Zen and Nature

    Nice post smartt!

    I think zen and nature are not two different things, so one cannot be a reflection of the other. I think we can have helpful analogies to improve our understanding of the world we live in. I do believe observations of nature provide us with many of these analogies. Also, I think mankind needs to look more towards nature and how we could live with it more harmoniously... because mankind is natural after all. Interconnectedness knows no bounds. Man has created such terrible destruction of the environment and taken life away from what was historically natural and towards the artificial. We too, as individuals, can create destructive and artificial environments in our minds which take us away from our "true nature" :lol: . But in the end, these are not two different things. Unbalanced states of mind, greed especially, have created the great mess on Earth left to the younger generations to clean up. It will take balanced, thoughtful, compassionate minds to return nature to a more natural(harmonious) state. So, I think, we enjoy nature and learn from it, but there is still work(and sitting) to do.

    Cam

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Zen and Nature

    Very cool!

    To me, nature is the mountain and the trees...Zen is the reflection of the mountain and trees in the lake.

    G, D

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Zen and Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Thank you, D.

    Rocks, trees, clouds, migrating birds ... wonderful teachers. They need not ask where in the world they belong.
    And in the end, neither do we. It really is quite simple.

    Gassho.

    Chet

  6. #6

    Re: Zen and Nature

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing this perspective. It was timely for me, since I just spent several days hiking in the Cascades. I ended up with a real sense that I was surrounded by so much life, and that I was doing zazen while appreciating that life surrounding me. Now that I'm back in civilization I am working hard to remember that I am surrounded by life here as well, in my fellow human beings, insects, plants and animals.

  7. #7

    Re: Zen and Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Thank you, D.

    Rocks, trees, clouds, migrating birds ... wonderful teachers. They need not ask where in the world they belong.
    And in the end, neither do we. It really is quite simple.

    Gassho.

    Chet
    indeed - Simple but not always easy!

    Very nice post Dumm and nice posts everyone.

    Gassho, Shohei

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