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Thread: Mind as Mirror

  1. #1

    Mind as Mirror

    .


    A cherished, ancient image of the mind in Zazen is that of the clear mirror, boundless, extending everywhere. This mirror holds within and displays whatever comes, accepting all without preference or rejection: both the beautiful and the ugly, the welcome and unwelcome, scenes of war and peace, friends and enemies, moments of life and death, the whole world all embraced and enveloped by the mirror without resistance or judgement, in thorough peace and equanimity. The mirror does not prefer sweet over sour, sunshine but not rain, here instead of there.

    Even our stormy emotions are shown in the mirror as just passing images: moments of fear and sadness, loss and longing. Some may think that the mirror only shines when all such distress and despair is removed from it, when the mirror is wiped perfectly clean, but the mirror does not distress and despair. It neither pulls the pleasing in, nor pushes the displeasing away. Its light and clarity holds and reflects the shapes of whatever comes, both the light and the dark, which are somehow --all-- the mirror's very illumination. Mysteriously, by this very acceptance, even the darkness somehow contains a light. Mysteriously, all life's broken pieces are known to be whole.

    In other words, the mirror does not need to be made free of the ugly, shielded from the hard to witness, our problems and worries, the times of a broken heart, tears and terrors which we may be feeling. Rather, even those may sometimes appear in the mirror, and they shall be welcomed and embraced as just more passing scenes. So powerful is this peace and equanimity that the glass embraces all the smooth and all the broken things of life just the same. Scenes of lightness are the mirror's light, but scenes of storm and darkness are the mirror's light too. Not only while sitting Zazen, but when we go back out into the world, our eyes can be mirrors, as we see all the world's struggle and chaos. We will sometimes be blind to the fact, but the endless separate things and scenes of this world are all, always, the mirror even when we forget this truth and cannot see the light.

    Of course, we should try to make this world better, turning the ugly into the beautiful as best we can, cleaning the rivers and seas, planting flowers, trying to end the wars, searching for cures to diseases, comforting the lonely and afraid. We put down our own greed, anger, jealousy and the like. We do not ignore the suffering, we must not tolerate the earth's filth, we do not stir up or wallow in the mud of our own mind. When we sit Zazen, we let all rest and all be, but rising up from the cushion, we set to work to help this world: As best we can, we should try to bring lovely images to the mirror, polishing away the dirt and dust. We are not complacent. Master Dōgen said that the very act of polishing is itself the mirror, is Buddha polishing Buddha, is enlightenment polishing enlightenment.

    But the mirror reflects all of it, even our act of polishing is met with its equanimity and welcome, as was the dust met with complete equanimity and welcome too. Though we polish away the grime and dust, be aware that even the grime and dust are the mirror's light, the light is the grime and dust, the polishing is the light and dust ... for the light is everything.

    In his Shobogenzo 'Ancient Mirror,' Master Dōgen reflects on this old story:

    A monk asks, “What is the ancient mirror like before being polished?” The master says, “The ancient mirror.” The monk says, “What is it like after being polished?” The master says, “The ancient mirror.”

    Remember, the ancient mirror under discussion now has a time of being polished, a time before being polished, and a time after being polished, but it is wholly the ancient mirror. This being so, when we are polishing, we are polishing the ancient mirror in its entirety. Our polishing is not adding anything [] to the ancient mirror that is not the ancient mirror. Our polishing is not the self's polishing nor the self being polished. Before being polished the ancient mirror is not dull. Even if someone calls it stained, it can never be dull: it is the ancient mirror in its vivid state.


    Gassho, J

    STLah

    tsuku.jpg
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-24-2022 at 11:36 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2


    aprapti

    sat

    hobo kore dojo / 歩々これ道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice


    Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

  3. #3
    The memories are shadows of what I have experienced, they are not the experiences.
    The experiences have gone, but the memories remain. - 安知 Anchi


    STLah

  4. #4
    "Mysteriously, by this very acceptance, even the darkness somehow contains a light. Mysteriously, all life's broken pieces are known to be whole."

    "Though we polish away the grime and dust, be aware that even the grime and dust are the mirror's light, the light is the grime and dust, the polishing is the light and dust ... for the light is everything."
    Beautiful explanation of Emptiness is Form, Form is Emptiness and a key point that the mirror is not some sort of background merely reflecting passing phenomena, as that would still be a subtle dualism.

    Thank you.
    Gassho
    Sat

  5. #5
    Wonderful teaching and wisdom.

    Reading your teachings has helped me to reinforce my zazen.

    Deep bows
    Gassho
    Van

    Sent from my SM-G998B using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Beautiful! Thank you, Jundo!

    For those wishing to read it, Dōgen's 'Ancient Mirror' fascicle is Kokyō: https://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachi...o/019kokyo.pdf

    The mirror imagery is also used in Dongshan's Hōkyō Zanmai (Precious Mirror Samadhi)

    Like facing a precious mirror;
    form and reflection behold each other.
    You are not it,
    but in truth it is you

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  7. #7
    Thank you for the Lesson,Sensei
    its i fits perfect with one of the beginners lesson i saw yesterday!

    Gassho
    Diana
    SatToDay

  8. #8
    Thank you for this, Jundo.

    Gassho
    stlah
    Shoki

  9. #9
    Thank you for this teaching


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Beautiful! Thank you, Jundo!

    For those wishing to read it, Dōgen's 'Ancient Mirror' fascicle is Kokyō: https://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachi...o/019kokyo.pdf

    The mirror imagery is also used in Dongshan's Hōkyō Zanmai (Precious Mirror Samadhi)




    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    Thank you Jundo and Kokuu.



    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  11. #11


    Juki
    sat today and lah
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  12. #12


    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  13. #13

  14. #14
    [20]

    KOKYO 古鏡 The Eternal Mirror is fascicle #20 in Book #1 of Nishijima / Chodo Cross authorized version of Shobogenzo'
    You can download the ebook here

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

  15. #15
    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

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  17. #17
    Read this to my mother this morning because she was having a hard time grasping the concept of equanimity. This post cuts straight to it in a very friendly way for those who aren't well read on Dharma material. It was very helpful, thank you.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  18. #18

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by matzukaze View Post


    M
    st
    Tricycle Magazine just wrote me to say that they will run this in their online edition in May or June.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20


    Gassho
    Bobby
    SatTodayLAH
    🙏🙏🙏

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