Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Being the blue mountain and the cloud.

The thought of not being a 'perfect' Zen practitioner used to drive me nuts. I wanted to be a fully fledged monk, maybe even with my own temple in Japan. The robes, the knowledge, lifestyle and all of that were important to me, but now they're not. They're not because I have a better understanding, and that's infinately more important than all of those things I just listed.

This understanding is not of what I am. It's of those things that pose as myself, this ego and this thinking mind. They are not me. For years I lived under their total influence, their total power, thinking that they were me and I was them. They are no more me that this hand on the end of my left arm, or this arse at the top of my legs. Now, very often throughout each day, I find me beyond these things, observing the rambling of the mind. A space opens up between this awareness which is really what I am and the mind. My relationship with these things is becoming more balanced. They are being reigned in little by little.

Some have said that this sense of awareness can be experienced to such an intensity that we come to see that we do not exist independently of all things, that we and everything else are one. This I can grasp and understand on an intellectual level, but I have yet to experience this. I still experience myself as being seperate, but I understand that everything is all just a part of one reality, one entity, one great, big, energy soup.

"The blue mountain is the father of the white cloud. The white cloud is the son of the blue mountain. All day long they depend on each other, without being dependent on each other. The white cloud is always the white cloud. The blue mountain is always the blue mountain."
Zen Master Tozan

This I understand on an intellectual level, but not yet through direct experience of being. But I have begun again to experience this awareness which is the core of what I am. Now the task for me is to keep this awareness always, so that I can understand it better through direct experience.

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