ZEN – Direct Perception

Tibetan monk walking along Manasarovar - 5

Zen – Direct Perception
“In walking, standing, sitting, or lying down he understands that he is so doing, so that, however his body is engaged, he understands it just as it is.… In setting out or returning, in looking before or around, in bending or stretching his arm, … he acts with clear awareness.”
Majjhima Nikaya, I. 56. (Discourses of the Buddha with his chief disciples)
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“Complete recollectedness is a constant awareness or watching of one’s sensations, feelings, and thoughts–without purpose or comment. It is a total clarity and presence of mind, actively passive, wherein events come and go like reflections in a mirror: nothing is reflected except what is.”
Alan Watts, The Way of Zen, p. 53
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This awareness is without any effort, just as a mirror needs no effort to reflect what is in front of it. t.q.

8 thoughts on “ZEN – Direct Perception

  1. Pingback: Direct Perception and Choiceless Awareness | heartflow2013

  2. From the first quote, – there’s awareness, only consciousness, so who is “doing” anything? Regarding Buddha, there’s no more “self” to act. Like a bird, or the sun, Buddha doing is not the same as our “thought directed, motive driven doing” – it’s “just like that” action… like bird flies in sky, sun rises in morning => witness consciousness. So Buddha does not “act with clear awareness” – Buddha is consciousness and conscious awareness just IS.
    Regarding the second quote, – “recollection” is a mind based reference/ activity. So once again, who is experiencing “Complete recollectedness as a constant awareness”? Consciousness is beyond body and mind. I understand we can relate to our own consciousness by being aware (tune inward), but don’t mentally grasp this “idea of consciousness” as a state to be attained. Again, who is the one doing the “watching of one’s sensations, feelings, and thoughts–without purpose or comment”… only observe the observer, mind disappears and again it’s “just like that”. The mirror is a good analogy.
    WORDS SUCK… they fail to transmit the Tathāgata or suchness of… “just be” or “just do it” or “I am”.
    I concur with the third quote. Perceptive post, thanks for sharing Tomas. Much {{{love & hugs}}}

    • …and it is all definitely beyond the intellect 😉 That may be why using metaphors (such as the mirror) is useful, as they give us a picture that is worth more than 10,000 words. There is no purpose or direction or anything to be attained in the mirror just reflecting what is. Life without purpose…what a concept 🙂

  3. That Alan Watts quote – exactly the way I feel and (try) to engage my surroundings whenever I get “meditative” as it were.

    Thank you, Tomas, for sharing this today.

    Peace, Eric

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