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Posts Tagged ‘Zen’

Rivers Are Rivers

There is a wonderful Zen saying: “Before I began Zen practice, mountains were mountains, rivers were rivers. When I had some experience, some more intimate understanding, I saw that mountains were not mountains; rivers were not rivers. Now that I have come to the very substance and am at rest, I see that mountains are mountains; rivers are rivers.”

In our neurotic compulsion to think, think, think, we interfere with our true seeing. For example, when we are going to meet someone, our minds are full of all kinds of unnecessary questions: Will this person like me? Will he not like me? Will it be a good thing for me to meet her? Will she like the way I dress? Will he approve of what I say? With such preoccupations, we completely miss the reality of the person we meet. The face, the name, the interests of that person may be entirely lost because we are so full of ourselves. Once a friend of mine was about to go to Italy. I asked her if she had been there before. “Yes,” she said, “but I didn’t see it. I was too full of myself. So I’m going back, and this time, I hope to see it.”

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The Red Cap and the Seeker After Eternal Truth Descends into the Low Country

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We leave the wilderness behind and travel west down the coast towards the Cape of Storms, not our final destination, but perhaps an apt description of things to come in our quest after truth.

We travel fast on the highway winding downwards towards a place called Little Brakriver, a lesser destination on our arduous, questing way to transcendence. It seems that we must first descend into the low country of sensual existence, before we can move into the high country, there perhaps first to meet Jung’s “burning one and growing one” before entering the void.

“Most of spirituality is a construction project. But enlightenment,” says Adyashanti, “is a demolition project.” This deconstruction project is nothing like Dirida’s deconstruction philosophy where he took things apart piece by piece to examine them and then tried to put them together again (He did it with Philosophy and couldn’t put it together again. He did it with religion and the church embraced him with vigour, and now, after the devastation, they are still trying to put it all together again). No, Adyashanti’s demolition is a deliberate breaking down of structures of knowledge and thinking, to rebuild it from scratch into something completely new, something that has always been there, even before time began.

Little Brakriver is not much of a town, but it is quiet and right next to the sea with a beautiful, unspoiled beach and not many people around. Being a town consisting mainly of holiday homes of rich upper-middleclass people, most of the houses stand empty for most of the year, which is of course a terrible waste, but regarded as normal in our abnormal society. The result is you have to drive to the next town (Great Brakriver) to get supplies, which is a bit of a bother. Our accommodation is a small flat called “The Beach Cottage”, which is quite a misnomer; it should have been called “The Cottage far from the beach”, because it is situated next to the railway line more than halve a mile from the beach. But we are not complaining, it is nice and clean and the owner is a friendly, helpful old lady, quiet and graceful in a country sort of way.

We unpack and then we walk down to the beach for a refreshing swim (says my moron); for our seeker after wisdom’s first serious session of meditation while the sun is setting in the west (says TZ).

We get to the beach and sit down on the sand, catching our breath after the brisk walk. After a moment my moron jumps up excitedly, pointing to a young girl coming out of the sea. “Just look at that,” he says. “Have you ever seen such beauty, such gracefulness in a girl in such a small bikini in your whole life? I think I will walk down there and talk to her, maybe I’ll get lucky,” he says smiling from ear to ear and start walking in her direction. “You stay here, I’ll be back shortly,” he says to me and chucks me down in the sand with his other belongings. Me, the famous Red Cap in the sand, on the beach! What utter disgrace!

“Don’t be stupid,” I shout after him. “She is young, she could have been your daughter. Come back here you moron and start acting your age!” I shout furiously after him, but he walks on, ignoring me. The desires of the flesh are a burning fire, and it drives the fool to his final humiliation, and onwards toward the inevitable dark night of his soul.

The fool struts down to the beach, tucking in his protruding middle age belly in a futile effort to look young again. He walks up to the young lady and start talking to her, no doubt flattering her and making a fool of himself. She smiles shyly, laugh at his stupid witticisms and then they start walking off down the beach and disappear behind some big rocks, still chatting and laughing. (meer…)

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Zen Wisdom

A little bit of Zen wisdom

(From “Zen, a way of life” by Christmas Humphreys)

Some advise: Do not try to use reason to understand, but listen with your heart.

 Pers bosveld

“Life is a bridge; walk over it, but build no house upon it.”

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“When self is purged from the mind of the observer, the trinity of seer, seen and seeing is dissolved, and the seer sees by becoming the essence of the thing observed.”

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“The opposite of one is many; Truth has no opposite. The Many and the One are but poles in a bi-polar field. Beyond both is Non-duality, which is not One, not Two, nor both nor neither.”

Reendruppels 8

“Even God is a thought, a concept in the mind. God is real, by this name or that, but is only real as He or It is the Essence of Mind in your mind and mine, being All-Mind, which is Suchness, Void and absolute.”

Mooi 1286_n

“When we can really see the flower, hear the rain, touch the velvet of the rose, and do so merging in their Suchness, we are knowing Truth directly.”

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“Satori is a flash of intuition deep enough and wide enough to break the barriers of thought in the individual mind, and to let the Whole flood into the part, the relative fragment ‘see’, for a moment of no-time, the Absolute.”

Tossie 124

“In the beginning, mountains are seen as mountains and trees as trees.

Berg 4

With a little progress mountains are no longer mountains and trees no longer trees.

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But with enlightenment, mountains are once more seen as mountains and trees as trees.”

  Berg 4

“The ‘usual life’ in Zen is a very different life, old circumstance perceived with utterly new eyes, the trivial seen as an aspect of the eternal, God in the filling of a pen.”

Afrika 7

”Our aim is to raise the quality of living, but not necessarily the standard of living. The saint and sage are content with a hut and the simplest living, but their minds are content with nothing less than universal consciousness.”

Maan

“The not-Self is negated more and more; the Self expands to that moment when, ‘foregoing self the universe grows I’. The Absolute Affirmation, when the heart cries Yes to all that is, is also the final Negation, ‘Neti, neti’, ‘not this, not this’; nothing, no thing at all, is.”

a star is born

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Dis amper alweer Kersfees. In opvolging van die geveg rondom die Kersboom dalk ´n finale woord of tien.

Lees ek toevallig hierdie stukkie wysheid raak in Robert E Kennedy se boek: “Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit.”

Vra ´n monik op ´n kol vir Meester Nansen: “Is there any Dharma that has not yet been taught to the people?” sê Nansen; “Yes, there is.”

Vra die monik: “What is the Dharma that has not been taught to the people?” sê Nansen: “It is neither mind, nor Buddha, nor beings.”

Kennedy was ´n Katolieke priester wat in Japan gaan sendingwerk doen het, vir jare. Toe besluit hy om Zen Buddhisme te bestudeer onder Yamada Roshi. Later het hy vir 20 jaar sy studies van Zen Buddhisme in Amerika voortgesit.

Toe eendag, kry hy hierdie Groot Insig. Hy spring in sy kar en jaag na sy leermeester Glassman Sensei toe en uitasem deel hy sy Groot Insig met die Sensei: “Sensei,” sê hy. “Sensei, everything is mind!”

En rustig antwoord Glassman Sensei: “Wonderful. Everything is mind.”

´n Paar maande later herhaal die storie homself. Kennedy kry ´n nuwe insig, spring in sy kar en jaag na Glassman Sensei toe en vertel hom uitasem van sy nuwe Insig: “Sensei, everything is not mind,” sê hy.

“Yes,” sê Sensei, “yes, you see it.”

“Wonderful. Everything is not mind.”

Kennedy moet nog een besoek aan Glassman Sensei bring, iewers in die toekoms vir die aankondiging van ´n finale Insig. Dalk het hy al, ek weet nie.

En dit bring ons terug by die Kersboom.

Van kleintyd af leer ons; die Kersboom is Kersfees. Die een kan nie sonder die ander nie. Die Kersboom is Kersfees, is geskenke, is kersliedere en kerkdienste en sneeu. Dit is in ons Europese gene geskryf. Dit is soos dit is, al bly ons in dorre Afrika.

“Everything is mind!” Die Kersboom, die geskenke, die Christus is Kersfees, so sê ons tradisies vir ons.

Dan word ons groot en ons begin vir ons self te dink, en ons sien dat die boom en die fees nie dieselfde ding is nie. Daar is nie ´n Kersvader nie. Die boom is net ´n boom met blinkers aan. As ons volwasse genoeg is aanvaar ons dit so in die gees van Kersfees en ons gun die wat nog in die boom glo hulle opwinding en verwondering.

“Everything is not mind.” En die boom is nie Kersfees nie.

As ons nie volwasse genoeg is nie, en ons Insig is ego gedrewe, dan pluk ons ons eie Kersboom, met groot geraas en vertoon, met wortel en tak uit en gaan skop ander mense se bome met die liggies in letterlik en figuurlik onderstebo. Want ons WEET die Boom is nie Kersfees nie. Die Zen os is nog nie getem nie, inderdaad nog nie gesien nie. Die boom staan nog in die pad, versper die uitsig op die werklikheid.

Taming the ox: Zen oxh-03   Zen oxh-06

As dié wat wyser is as ons dan die Boom verder bedink en die dualistiese beeld van subjek en objek wat ons van die lewe het ophef, behoort hulle tot die volgende Insig te kan kom: Daar is nie ´n boom nie, daar is nie ´n Kersfees nie, daar is nie ´n Ek nie, en helaas, daar is ook nie ´n Christus nie. Die Islamitiese Soefiste sê “There is no God …. There is only God”. (en Abel Pienaar sê “God se oë is blou”, maar dit is `n storie vir later.)

Zen oxh-07   Zen oxh-08

Uiteindelik is die Os sowel as die temmer van die Os weg. Die temmer van die Os, wat ook die siener van die Kersboom was, betree die Lig, “enters the void, but not the void of nothingness” en weet dat alles net ´n illusie is. En dan kom hy/sy terug en hou Kersfees en plant sy boom met baie liggies in en gee geskenke met liefde. “He returns to the marketplace with bless bestowing hands”. Hy is bevry van die ego en al die obsessies van hierdie bestaan. Hy is ´n Buddha. Hy is ´n Christus, ´n verligte een. Hy gun dié wat ´n kersboom nodig het, sy boom met liefde, en sing Kersliedere uit volle bors saam met die wat wil sing. En so word dit ´n werklik geseënde, heilige en vredevolle Kersfees soos dit hoort.

Zen oxh-10

(Zen prentjies uit Joh se pos hier bo iewers “Riding the Ox home””

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Zen vir Afrika

Joh sê die vorige inskrywing oor Zen is `n tawwe een. Ons kan nie eers begin dink hoe taf dit werklik is nie.

Statistiek: 34 per 100,000. Dit is hoeveel mense hier by ons per jaar vermoor word.

7.6 mense per 100,000. Dit is die internasionale gemiddelde.

Die gesig van Afrika. Die apie op die foto het dit gewaag om in kagiso te gaan kuier. Die inwoners het hom gevang, petrol oor hom uitgegooi en aan die brand gesteek!!!!

Barbaars. Ek voel lus en huil. Is dit moontlik dat so iets nog kan gebeur in hierdie jaar van onse liewe Heer 2011?

In Lichtenburg word `n perd gepynig deur `n tou styf tussen sy bene vas te trek sodat hy kan bokspring vir mense se plesier. Hulle noem dit sport, Rodeo. In die proses breek een perd sy been omdat die dom donners nie die tou losmaak na die aap wat hom ry afgedonder het nie. Die SPCA moes die dier van kant gaan maak. Die Manne van die Sport was skynbaar nie gepla oor die dier se lot nie.

In Bloemfontein flits `n motoris vir `n ander motoris ligte omdat hy onverskillig ry. Uit wraak gooi hulle die ou wat kla se kar met drankbottels, sit hom agterna tot by sy huis en skop en slaan hom amper dood.

 En nog is dit die einde nie.

In Klerksdorp slaan `n man sy vrou en sy swanger stiefdogter dood met `n hamer. In Mondeor word `n prokureur in haar woonstel oorval, veskeie keer met `n mes gesteek en toe keelaf gesny.

In Afrika sal ons moet begin Zen oefeninge doen sodatons kan glimlag terwyl die mes deur jou keel sny.

En dan lees jy Andile Mngxitama se toespraak by die Ahmed Kathrada-stgting. As jy gedink het jy met jou ou wit velletjie het `n toekoms in hierdie land, moet jy weer dink. Wees bang, wees baie bang vir wat voor lê. Die volgende rewolusie is, volgens Andile om die draai en raai wie se kele gaan afgesny word, wie gaan soos die blouaapie met petrol verbrand word.

Kan Zen in hierdie omstandighede beoefen word? Dit kan en dit moet,ter wille van jou eie, uiteindlike vryheid.

   1994     2000     2011

Metamorfose

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Daily Zen

ZEN

a way of life

(Christmas Humpreys)

 

A Zen student walks in Zen and sits in Zen.

Whether in speech and action, or silence and inaction, his body dwells in peace.

He smiles, facing the sword that takes his life.

He keeps his poise even at the moment of death.

In the light of the Unborn, which is No-mind, which is without purpose or the desire for self, what do I care for the One or the Two, for duality or Non-duality?

Asked, “What is Zen?” a master replied, “Walk on!”

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Tony Scott

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