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    WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 4 - Awakening

    Good Morning! Time to Wake Up!

    I think we will stay with this chapter for a couple of weeks, just to give some folks a chance to reflect or catch up a bit.

    The topic is "awakening," and some interesting insights from Norman Roshi.

    I sometimes use my "whole bus trip" analogy, which I feel is much as Norman describes ...

    The best analogy I have for this is a universal "bus trip to visit the Grand Canyon" ... Experiencing the boundless vistas of the Grand Canyon is wondrous and insightful, but not really the point of the trip. For Soto Folks, when we realize such ... every moment of the Buddha-Bus trip, the scenery out the windows (both what we encounter as beautiful and what appears ugly), the moments of good health and moments of passing illness, the highway, the seats and windows, all the other passengers on the Bus who appear to be riding with us, when we board and someday when we are let off ... the whole Trip ... is all the Buddha-Bus, all Enlightenment and Kensho, all the "destination" beyond "coming" or "going" or "getting there", when realized as such (Kensho). This ride is what we make it. The bus just us and us the bus.
    ... or the hike up and down Buddha Mountain ...

    Each step up and down the mountain is a total arrival, each inch cross the finish line, yet we keep pressing forward to live this life (just doing our best to avoid the mud holes and poison ivy).

    In fact, while trying to get to the peak of "Buddha Mountain", one might say that we realize that the whole mountain, from base to summit, was Buddha all along, and you and I are the Buddha, and the hike itself is Buddha ... so your climbing the mountain is actually "Buddha Buddha-ing Buddha". All of it is the "Summit".

    Even reaching some "peak experience", we do not stay there long, but keep moving. Soon we realize that the whole trek, with sunny weather or rainy, is the point of life.

    Something like that.
    He also speaks of "suffering without suffering." In this practice we can feel many seemingly conflicting emotions as transcended without the least conflict. I am working on a book that puts it this way ...

    I sometimes describe the sensation as experiencing life simultaneously from two angles at once through Zen Practice. It is as if we see the world one way out of the left eye (accepting, with complete equanimity, the borders of self/not self dropped away) and also out of the right eye (very human, not pleased, a bit fearful etc.), while both eyes open at once provide the clarity of Buddha Eye. We can experience both emotions at once, as one, each perfuming the other. As mysterious as it sounds, we can learn to be totally free and fearless even as, simultaneously, we remain within the confines of this often scary and disappointing, up and down, good and bad human life. ... [T]his Practice allows one to encounter a Peace and Wholeness beyond all sense of loss, even as the tears roll down one’s cheeks. Loss, yet no loss at once, as all just flows back to and as the Sea. It is, again, much like that “seeing life two ways at once, with two eyes”. Both eyes open together bring a Buddha’s clarity to this world.

    Through our Buddha Way, we encounter a Peace and Wholeness, transcending birth and death, a Joy which holds both the happy days and sad ... yet at the same time, there is birth and there is death, happy days and sad. I hope a little of that Light can shine through your moments of darkness and grief.
    Anyway, a short but rich chapter.

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 08-07-2018 at 02:56 PM.

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