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Thread: Flying Air Buddha

  1. #1

    Flying Air Buddha

    Soto Zen teachers like to say “Practice is Enlightenment Itself.” In other words, we sit Zazen and practice Buddhism, not to realize Enlightenment, but because Zazen and practice are already Enlightenment fully realized! What’s more, totally piercing and bringing to life the meaning of that is…. finally realizing Enlightenment!

    Sounds complicated, but to explain the meaning, I sometimes say that our Practice is like piloting a plane that’s already arrived with every inch of sky…

    Most people think that the reason to fly the plane is to get to the airport over the horizon. Most people are flying flying flying to get to that airfield of realization, where the runway is lit up with enlightenment. Once they get there, the trip will be complete… and they will have finally arrived!

    But in Zen Master Dogen’s view, the point of flying the plane is to fly the plane. Each moment by moment of flying is a constant arriving at the destination — right here and right here and, now, right here. Every inch of the trip is complete in itself, nothing to add to it or take away. Nonetheless, the constant moment-to-moment flying must be done skillfully and with care, diligently.

    The plane has no place to get to, yet the skillful pilot keeps the plane in the air in fair weather or foul, while the deluded pilot runs into unnecessary turbulence and, perhaps, puts life into an out of control spin. We must keep flying diligently, not taking our eyes off the instruments for a second… yet each instant is Total Arrival, fulfilled and complete… no terminal from which we first departed, no goal over the horizon that is not right here.

    If you think that “the destination is distant,” well, it always is. On the other hand, if you just rest complacent and take your hands off the controls now “because we are already arrived,” the plane will crash! Quite the high-flying Koan!

    What’s more, from time to time we see clearly that the plane is Buddha, as is the pilot, as is the air and the clouds, as is the flying: going going going, yet ever arriving --and-- arrived at the port of perfect realization.

    Turn the plane left, Buddha goes left. Turn the plane right, Buddha goes right. Up down up down; Buddha. Keep it level and balanced; Buddha. Lose balance, fly while drunk, go into a spin, run out of fuel, hit life's mountain; Buddha.

    Oh, sure, we have a far off destination to get to called "Buddhahood International" ... and it may take long flying, maybe countless lifetimes of flying to get there. Yet this Practice teaches us that every inch of sky along the way is "Buddha" too ... and that we just arrive back where we left, and where we never left ... but also better than we were and closer to our goal than before.

    Thus we fly with Captain Buddha, and seek to avoid the mountains. That is practice-enlightenment.

    Have a good flight.

    A Sit-A-Long video follows. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdDmuKyju8A&feature=player_embedded[/video]] ... r_embedded

  2. #2
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Maybe I missed the point, but, if I am on the runway waiting for take off, then I am on the runway waiting for takeoff. Just sit and wait for my turn. Then when it is my turn to take off, well then please put up the tray and fasten you seatbelts and pull your seat to the full upright position, turn off and put away all electronic devices and hold on. Then when I am flying, well then we are flying. And when it is time to land, (we all know the routine, just like take off). I dunno maybe I am overthinking (or underthinking, depending on how you look at it).

  3. #3

    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Thank you for this Jundo!
    Maybe it is also important to insist on the fact that sitting-realization doesn't mean that just dreaming on our cushion is sitting... it is so easy to drift from thought to thought during 30 min without noticing it... no bad zazen because we finally notice it... but still a bit "sad". In this case an effortless effort is needed... In order to experience "we see clearly that the plane is Buddha, as is the pilot, as is the air and the clouds, as is the flying: going going going, yet ever arriving --and-- arrived at the port of perfect realization."
    But please correct me if I'm wrong ('cause it is so frequent!).

    Could you say a word on this ?

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  4. #4

    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    Thank you for this Jundo!
    Maybe it is also important to insist on the fact that sitting-realization doesn't mean that just dreaming on our cushion is sitting... it is so easy to drift from thought to thought during 30 min without noticing it... no bad zazen because we finally notice it... but still a bit "sad". In this case an effortless effort is needed... In order to experience "we see clearly that the plane is Buddha, as is the pilot, as is the air and the clouds, as is the flying: going going going, yet ever arriving --and-- arrived at the port of perfect realization."
    But please correct me if I'm wrong ('cause it is so frequent!).

    Could you say a word on this ?

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Hi Jinyu,

    I think what you are asking is if we pilots can ever just cruise on auto-pilot?

    Even though there is not place to go, and no place to fall ... we have to diligently keep on flying forward, our eyes open, or we may crash into the hills.

    Something like that.

    We do not do "just sitting" Zazen by "just sitting there". We diligently, sincerely sit with "nothing to attain".

    Gassho, J

  5. #5

    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I think what you are asking is if we pilots can ever just cruise on auto-pilot?
    Yep! that was exactly my question! Thank you Jundo!

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    ps: The guy must be a REAL Zen master he reads my mind better than I do ;o)

  6. #6

    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I think what you are asking is if we pilots can ever just cruise on auto-pilot?
    Yep! that was exactly my question! Thank you Jundo!

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    ps: The guy must be a REAL Zen master he reads my mind better than I do ;o)
    Highly developed Psychic Powers! 8)

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Thank you Jundo;

    What a wonderful anaology but, do I remember seeing somewhere that you yourself are a self-proclaimed white knuckle flyer?
    Or was that just fallout from a weaker moment (hey,who turned the BBCode OFF?)

    gassho, Richard

  8. #8

    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by richard409
    Thank you Jundo;

    What a wonderful anaology but, do I remember seeing somewhere that you yourself are a self-proclaimed white knuckle flyer?
    Or was that just fallout from a weaker moment (hey,who turned the BBCode OFF?)

    gassho, Richard
    Oh, good memory, Rich. I still don't quite understand what holds the wings up. :shock:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with ... lying.html

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    aIR AND RIVETS !!

  10. #10

    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Hi Jundo,
    What keeps it up is pressure differential i.e. 'The sky sucks' (consider a winking smiley if the BBCode was on)

    Gassho

    Joe

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Flying Air Buddha

    Thank you Captian Jundo! Humm no mention of a copilot?! I would say that is the role of a Zen teacher. Someone who is there to make sure you are on course and pushing all the right buttons. Just being there to help out when storms brew in the skies.

    Gassho,
    John

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