Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: Awakening-The Enemy of the People? Part 2 of 3

December 20, 2016

The eye of a true practitioner envelops the entire world.
So where would there be a single thing left for you to see or to realize?
This transcendence! This miraculous state! Why don’t you investigate it?
-Gensha

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If you missed it, read Part 1

Here are some points…. Awakening is clearly seeing:

  1. that self and world are totally empty and boundless and one.
  2. that our very self is none other than this world, with all its creatures, processes and phenomena. Our self is not lurking within this cranium or skin bag, but is one and the same as all phenomena.

From these two clarifications, which are really one, compassion naturally flows, at times light and joyful, at times like a deep responsibility, a tide of unquenchable love. And likewise from them the whole Zen tradition flows.

Clearly, these are easy words to say. But their import is staggering. As Gensha put it in the late ninth century:

The eye of a true practitioner envelops the entire world.
So where would there be a single thing left for you to see or to realize?
This transcendence!  This miraculous state!  Why don’t you investigate it?

How do we come to get clear, and in a consistent way – there’s the rub.

The idea, expressed in the teachings of some modern western teachers, that after a glimpse of the “absolute” we must return to the “relative,” is missing the point. It’s a long way from the Zen I personally have been guided in: which is precisely that the absolute and relative are one and the same. And recognition that the “essential” and “phenomenal” are one is not an abstract proposition, it is a vivid, lived reality: basically that’s what Zen training is for.

Next week, how it works, how it happens, according to the map of Zen’s Ox-herding Pictures…

Part 3 will be published here on our website and in our Newsletter on December 27.

Message from Henry from our December 20, 2016 Newsletter.
Image: Yellow Wave, by Pacheco, CC BY-ND 2.0, from Flickr.com

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