“Contemplation is any way you have of penetrating illusion and touching reality.”
Parker goes on to say that you don’t have to sit cross-legged or chant a mantra and that one of the most contemplative people he knows is a woman who cares for her severely developmentally disabled child. She has to live her own life and be so deeply connected to her child that she has penetrated all of the illusions that modern society suggests make a person valuable. In this way she touches reality. (source)
A man from times past is the hermit-sage Han Shan, also known as the poet from Cold Mountain. He spent much of his life wandering freely through the T’ien-t’ai Mountains of Chekiang Province in China, living off what he could forage. This was his way of penetrating illusion and touching reality. At one point he expressed this ‘touching reality’ in this way: Continue reading
I am going to the nearby VA facility for hernia repair surgery tomorrow, September 21st. It seems like it is not going to be a major event, but any surgery with full anesthesia is a big impact. I will therefore not be posting for a while during my recovery, I hope you will make use of the archive to click on some previous articles to enjoy. Continue reading
My Comment: Today is a day that finds me just drifting from one thing to the next like in a dream. At some point I felt how all is one moving swirl of activities and I am one center of perception among many. Yes, there is also at times the sense of these various centers being like options for the universal activity to look through, to feel through, like channels on the TV. This post then showed up and was comforting in a simple way: just allow the universal movement as I and then also as you to move in its own natural way, whatever that may entail at the moment. I believe most of this excerpt from Alan Watts’ “The Way of Zen” are statements by Linji, but when I made these notes I didn’t keep track of ‘who said what’ – and, after all, it doesn’t really matter.
It (Zen) enters into everything wholeheartedly and freely without having to keep an eye on itself. It does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
“…the many you’s of many thousands of years, the many, many generations that have produced the present.”
This conversation with a group of young people could have taken place yesterday in New Delhi, Berkeley, Rome or Johannesburg. Continue reading
There is only one irrefutable fact and it is an integral whole. The parts that we perceive are purely idea and idea is not real. Idea is a function of our nervous system, or one could say, of our psycho-physical stream of existence. This stream takes form as our person, among other things.
Idea is like a magic mirror that reflects to us the pictures of name and form that we perceive as the world. These pictures are put into a frame of reference by idea and thus they take on particular meaning in reference to our person. Idea can thus be understood as the connection between what we perceive as the world and our center of perception which we call “me”. Continue reading
We have become accustomed to satisfying ourselves with trivial pursuits. We watch one dimensional personal dramas on TV or on videos and habitually behave as if that was what we really wanted to do. We allow ourselves to be offered so-called food that is more often than not actually fraud, or worse, poison for our bodies. We engage in relationships that trickle along on the surface and offer no real connection to the essence of the other. The list goes on and on and this is what we call life. These are all surrogates for the true essence that lies available in all actions and objects that we take in. Continue reading