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Thread: Zazen Realization...

  1. #1

    Zazen Realization...

    Okay, so today I was sitting zazen and thoughts were racing through my mind (like most times), and I had a realization or thought that I cannot shake. I was sitting there and the sound of the cat cleaning herself, the sound of the clock ticking, the sounds of my wife walking around the house were all entering my consciousness, then suddenly I thought "everything is exactly as it is." What I mean by this is my cat was being just what she is, a cat. The clock was being just what it is, a clock. My wife was being just what she is. Nothing more, nothing less. In addition, I thought, these things that were happening all depended on me for their existence, but I also depended on them for my existence. In other words, my cat was just a cat, but she was living her existence because of me, and I was in my existence because of her. She would still be a cat without me, and I would still be a human without her, but she wouldn't be the same cat, and I wouldn't be the same human. All the books that are in my office (where I sit zazen) would still fundamentally be books, but they wouldn't be the same books without me and I wouldn't be the same human without them. Everything in this world is what it fundamentally is, but this very existence is dependent on each object in our shared existence. I think I might be confusing, so I'll try a different approach. The clock that I heard ticking is just a clock and nothing more, but without me it wouldn't be the same clock, and without the clock I wouldn't be the same person. If someone else bought that clock instead of me, it would be the same clock, but it would be on a different wall in a different house, so ultimately its existence would not be the same. I experience the noise of the clock, so without that noise, I wouldn't be the same. Without my reading the books in my office, I wouldn't be the same person. I would still be a person, but not the exact existence that I am now at this moment. Those books wouldn't be the same books if someone else possessed them (different room, atmosphere, different hands holding them), but they would still be books. We are all dependent on each other and the world around us to exist every moment of this life. Without our experiences and interactions with these objects we would not be the same person (animal, book, clock, sound). I hope I'm making sense, but when I had this thought, it seemed to be the truth. I can always expand on this thought because I don't believe that I'm doing it justice in this post, but I just felt like sharing with the Sangha. I do not understand the full scope of everything, but I cannot help but feel that I stumbled on some truth today.

    Gassho,

    Adam

  2. #2
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Zazen Realization...

    Conceptual interdependence!

    But...what is all of this when you aren't thinking about it?

    Chet

  3. #3

    Re: Zazen Realization...

    Hi Adam,

    We don't sit Zazen trying to have such realizations ... but that was a Wise realization. Truly, insights arise through sitting, and such an insight as you describe seems in keeping with the Buddhist teachings. Savor it. Cherish it. Learn from this insight into the world, seen in that fresh way. Ponder it some more while "off the Zafu".

    But, now, get back to just sitting ... and I do not mean sitting there thinking these great thoughts, lost in trains of thought ... wise or not. I mean "just sitting", seeking to not be caught in trains of thought. Some days, there will be such realizations, some days something else.

    You have had an valuable insight the water is just H20 and all the ocean too, and that is true, but now go back and just dive in.

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Zazen Realization...

    Hi Adam,

    These kind of realizations are quite powerful and can hit you like a ton of bricks, but Chet and Jundo are right that there is a time for contemplation and a time to just get back to sitting. I say this not because I've achieved some state you haven't, but because I have gotten caught up in such things myself.

    Fetch water, chop wood before; fetch water, chop wood after.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Zazen Realization...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    Hi Adam,

    These kind of realizations are quite powerful and can hit you like a ton of bricks, but Chet and Jundo are right that there is a time for contemplation and a time to just get back to sitting. I say this not because I've achieved some state you haven't, but because I have gotten caught up in such things myself.

    Fetch water, chop wood before; fetch water, chop wood after.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    It is a somewhat important principle in Zen - interdependence. You could also say that impermanence is an important concept in Zen. At the same time, Nagarjuna has basically stated that in reality, impermanence doesn't even exist because nothing comes into existence as an independent entity to be impermanent.

    When someone asked Dogen what he had learned in China, he answered that he had learned that eyes are horizontal and the nose is vertical.

    Here's a hint. Study the edges of what you know! Try to find the boundaries! You will find that if you are totally honest with yourself, you cannot. This is what is meant when it is said 'Hear with your eyes and see with your ears' (I'm probably mangling the specific quote there...but the point is the same). Find the boundaries of your actual perceptual existence - when you grasp an object, try to find the edge of the 'grasper' and that which is grasped.

    What happens to the ego's quest for security and comfort when you realize that you really aren't sure what the heck you are even talking about when you say 'I'?

    Chet

  6. #6

    Re: Zazen Realization...

    It's not that intellectual understanding or thinking is good or bad, it's just that it can't save you when the train is coming at you. So its probably better to just let it go and pay attention to what is in front of you. Like just sitting, just fetching water, just chopping wood. There is also a time for just thinking but I don't know how to explain that. Words get in the way.
    /Rich

  7. #7
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Zazen Realization...

    That sounds great, Rich.

    thank you


    gassho

    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: Zazen Realization...

    Thanks everyone for your replies on this post. I believe that the realization I had yesterday was just one step on the path. I've heard interconnectedness explained countless times in books, videos, and even on Treeleaf posts, but I couldn't really grasp what it meant. Then, yesterday, it hit me out of nowhere. I know one truth, but that doesn't mean I'm done. I do cherish the moment that I had yesterday, and thought about it for a little while, but then I just let it go (like everything else). I don't want to get caught up in one aspect of this life, or hold on to a realization that I knew in the first place. Both lead to suffering, so there is no point. For now, I'll just go on sitting. Thanks to the Sangha for hearing me and understanding.

    Gassho,

    Adam

  9. #9

    Re: Zazen Realization...

    Hi Adam,

    Yes, I think you had some insight into a fundamental Buddhist Truth ... and this is something which you can explore and deepen day by day for a lifetime, and truths unfold. It is a bit like exploring the ocean, also something vast and interconnected and whole. .

    Let's say you had the experience of sailing out in a boat onto the ocean, and realized a little that you and the sea and the vessel and fish and rocks are not separate ... everywhere the ocean is wet and tastes salty ... and you are just that. That is good, a profound discovery, yet there is still so much to explore, hidden depths, uncharted lands and constantly changing sea conditions ...

    Master Dogen wrote ...


    ... when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round or square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only look circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this.

    Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water.


    Good sailing!

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