we are the embodiment of truth

breathing and freedom

“So it is absolutely necessary for everyone to believe in nothing. But I do not mean voidness. There is something, but that something is something which is always prepared for taking some particular form, and it has some rules, or theory, or truth in its activity. This is called Buddha nature, or Buddha himself. When this existence is personified we call it Buddha; when we understand it as the ultimate truth we call it Dharma; and when we accept the truth and act as a part of the Buddha, or according to the theory, we call ourselves Sangha. But even though there are three Buddha forms, it is one existence which has no form or color, and it is always ready to take form and color. This is not just theory.

“This is not just the teaching of Buddhism. This is the absolutely necessary understanding of our life. Without this understanding our religion will not help us. We will be bound by our religion, and we will have more trouble because of it. If you become the victim of Buddhism, I may be very happy, but you will not be so happy. So this kind of understanding is very, very important.

“While you are practicing zazen, you may hear the rain dropping from the roof in the dark. Later, the wonderful mist will be coming through the big trees, and still later when people start to work, they will see the beautiful mountains.

“But some people will be annoyed if they hear the rain when they are lying in their beds in the morning, because they do not know that later they will see the beautiful sun rising from the east. If our mind is concentrated on ourselves we will have this kind of worry. But if we accept ourselves as the embodiment of the truth, or Buddha nature, we will have no worry. We will think, ‘Now it is raining, but we don’t know what will happen in the next moment. By the time we go out it may be a beautiful day, or a stormy day.  Since we don’t know, let’s appreciate the sound of the rain now.’

“This kind of attitude is the right attitude. If you understand yourself as a temporal embodiment of the truth, you will have no difficulty whatsoever. You will appreciate your surroundings, and you will appreciate yourself as a wonderful part of Buddha’s great activity, even in the midst of difficulties. This is our way of life.”

Source: Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, p. 117, 118

My Comment:

Whatever concept we like that allows our mind to open up to the great mystery of that universal force which goes into form moment by moment in an infinitely intelligent way, is useful. Trust, faith, total functioning, adamantine particles, law of attraction, divine providence, etc. – all are equal. To see myself as Buddha nature that out of nothingness continues to arise as form as needed in each moment – this appeals to me today.


Related Article: freedom and concentration – Shunryu Suzuki





live your lives in a very natural way – zen


From The Record of Master Linji

Linji Bright Clarity pin

Dear Friends,

The first part of this article consists of some short passages from a text by the Zen master Linji with my comments. The second part is Linji’s complete text of #11 in The Records of Master Linji. The passages that I comment on are the ones that caught my attention most strongly. Of course, as with any text from the sages, there are many pearls to be found throughout the text. My intention is to make this text more accessible for those readers who may not know of Linji.
Continue reading

the depth of the present moment

My wife Alia and I are helping her sister re-organize her house, painting the interior etc. I happened to discover a can of Turtle Wax that her sister got to polish her car. This reminded me of my own Turtle Wax experience a couple of years ago that I recorded in a post. Enjoy!

All of the wonderful spiritual teachings about living in the present moment finally come down to one thing: how do I live? As so often when I am delving more deeply into a certain aspect of Reality – sure enough – I find myself in a situation that gives me a real-time experience of that aspect. The last couple of weeks I have been noticing the repercussions of leaving the present moment in some very vivid ways. I posted my reflections on “Purpose” and how I notice that, in a certain sense, following a purpose tends to pull me out of the present moment. On the other hand, the mantra that came up for me while writing the post “ZEN: Purpose” has spontaneously arisen in my mind several time over the past week and has proven to be quite effective. The mantra is “I am my own purpose”. This brings me into a frequency of being enough just as I am and that no action or purpose or indeed anything at all is needed to fulfill or complete me.
Continue reading

what is consciousness?

nisargadatta_maharaj_51Nisargadatta: The Absolute is unicity, by Itself, but it is expressed in manifold ways and forms. As Absolute I have no experience of myself. The devotion without another is devotion to the Self, where there is no duality.

Once the duality comes, the devotion is divided between subject and object. Before birth we were not conscious of ourself; only when a foreign element, the birth, was introduced, did we become conscious of ourself.

Apprehending this is awakening and for this there is no path or technique. This is so subtle that I would like to speak more about it, but it is physically impossible for me to speak more than a few words. Understand what I am saying. The consciousness arises spontaneously. Once I am conscious of myself I know I exist, and I love this beingness; I do not want this beingness to depart from me and it is this that makes me strive all the day till sleep overcomes me, in order to keep this love of beingness satisfied.

Then the Guru tells me the true state of affairs, that this consciousness which I love so much is only an illusion. It is the basic cause of all unhappiness and my true state is before this consciousness arose.

That is beyond all concepts and any name given is a concept. Understand it thoroughly, intuitively, beyond words, but also understand that that understanding can be of no use to you, because it is at the level of consciousness, and consciousness is illusory.

What is being recorded and transcribed here will be of unimaginable value in course of time when the basis of understanding will be broadened and people will want to know what the state of affairs is. At that time, when this is exposed on a wider scale, there will be wonderment. These words will be few, but those who at a certain time will be proud of their own achievements, when they hear these few words their own knowledge will evaporate so suddenly they will be wonderstruck.

Questioner: I don’t understand the way the word consciousness is used here. I thought consciousness was pure awareness, the Ultimate reality.

Nisargadatta: This consciousness, which depends on the food body which is born, is time-bound. That which is prior to consciousness is the Absolute, and when consciousness is without a form and not aware of itself, it is the Absolute. We are nothing but this consciousness.

You come here and I talk to you but I am not concerned whether you come or go. I am totally independent. I, as the Absolute, do not need the consciousness. Total independence is merely to apprehend and understand. My apparent dependence is on this consciousness which says

“I Am.” It is this sentience which enables me to perceive you. This concept I did not have but even then I existed. I was there before this consciousness appeared.

Whatever you want, desire or worship, can only be concepts. Have you heard what is conceptual existence and what is existence prior to concepts?

Many people have come here purely for spiritual purposes and they have professed great love for me. Subsequently some good fortune happens to them and they prosper and in their prosperity they have no time to come here. All the earlier love is where? This is the province of maya (the power that creates the illusion). A person comes with the sincere intention of spiritual search, then this maya shows him a little bit of temptation and off he goes.

This maya does not operate independently – we are partners. Will he dare divorce himself from this maya? No, he will accept that maya. That ego (that I am so and so) is very difficult to get rid of, but the ego cannot touch one who really understands what I say.

You will continue coming here as long as the concepts remain; once you go beyond concepts there will be no need to come here.

Since when and because of what, is what you think you are?

Source: Nisargadatta, PRIOR TO CONSCIOUSNESS, p. 80, 81


genjo koan and the mind


Genjo Koan:

Actualizing the Fundamental point

By Zen Master Dogen Zenji

[My thoughts while contemplating these lines are below.]

“As all things are buddha-dharma, there is delusion and realization, practice, and birth and death, and there are buddhas and sentient beings.

As the myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death.

The buddha way is, basically, leaping clear of the many and the one; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas. Continue reading

the mind and consciousness


Investigating the mind, I ask myself “What is it that I really know first-hand about what I call ‘the mind’?” Everything that forms part of the appearance in the Self known commonly as ‘the world’ is identified by the mind with name and form. That means that the continuous stream of apparitions in my field of awareness is divided up and put into separate ‘boxes’, so to speak. Here is a keyboard, here is a laptop screen, here is the word ‘mind’ and here is another, distinct word ‘thought’. Are they really distinct? Is there mind without thought? Look to the thought ‘I’, we are told, and investigate its reality. I ascertain that every moment of my waking consciousness is connected to the sense of ‘I’. Never is there a conscious moment without the element of the ‘I’. Continue reading

I Could Get Used to This…


I had one of those exceptional dreams a while ago – the kind that when you “wake up” you realize that the dream was a real as where you are now.
And hearing the view recently that the dream quality of experience is how emotions manifest into a dimension of their own (some call it the 4th dimension) – I let my senses linger with this particular dream vision/experience a few times during the day so as to let the quality solidify itself more deeply into the cells of my psycho-somatic organism.

Continue reading

Into Thin Air

thin air davegoldman.net

thin air davegoldman.net

Artwork Images Copyright Dave Goldman

We interface into this world out of nothing

Like a hand into the glove

We fit inside it like we were made for it

Made of it and we are but

We come from somewhere else

That is not this world Continue reading

out here

This deeply wonderful poem is by my fellow blogger and blog-friend Marga T. Please check out her uplifting writing on her blog here LIFE AS IMPROV.

rice field

out here

The crispy shells of the rice stalks

stir up

in the breeze,

murmuring as as I pass by.

These tall brown ancestors of last year’s crop

stand by to guide the green shoots rising up –

I listen to the rustling

of a whole tribe  – Continue reading