n Zen they say: Before you meditate rivers are rivers, mountains are mountains; when you meditate rivers are no longer rivers, mountains are no longer mountains; and when the meditation is completed, when you have attained it, rivers are again rivers, mountains are again mountains.~
To this statement I received the response; “then, what is the point?”
After contemplating for a while I realized that there is no point. That’s the beauty of it, that there is no point. Our whole lives we are brought up to look for the point in things, to constantly look for some future moment instead of looking at what is in front of us now. Normally we look at mountains and rivers and think “how beautiful” or “nah, the mountains over there are prettier” we occupy ourselves with thoughts such as these. The practice of Zen lets us see mountains and rivers for what they are, outside of any thoughts of past and future. To see the mountains and rivers of the present moment is to truly see mountains and rivers. To see the present, to see the now, is to truly see the world we live in, not the world we think we live in.
The great Zen master Daido Roshi once said; “Words and ideas are a description of reality, silence is a negation of reality. What is the reality itself?” You cannot reach it merely by thinking about it anymore than you can think your way to truly tasting an apple. To see it, you have to experience it. By experiencing it, it is no longer an idea, a belief, it becomes real, it becomes true. To live and breathe fully in the present moment, is to see the world through the eyes of the divine. It is to see the world through the eyes of your true self.
If want to see the mountains and rivers of the present moment, you must first drop your ideas of mountain, and no mountain. Drop the idea, and let yourself fully embrace the moment. Then you will be able to see unobstructed and clearly. Then you will see mountain, river, self and other as part of this whole we call the universe...