Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Zen and the disappearing Moutain

Note: Don't miss out on Bob's new CD, only available from Bob's 'iinet website'.

Readers beware: - There are some notes further on below this next one that have the 'kick of a mule' in them. - Evidence of their impact has been flowing back via emails. - If you are just a spiritual website browser then there may be material in here that you really might not want to know. - Like the seeker who found God's House and balked at the door before knocking. - He was overcome by fear of losing who he thought he was, so he ran down the stairs and far away - and there after could only say "I know where he lives".

Email Question:
Hi Gilbert, It is about the well known Zen saying:
"Before Zen, rivers and mountains are rivers and mountains. During Zen, rivers and mountains are no longer rivers and mountains. After Zen, rivers and mountains are again rivers and mountains."
The meaning I suppose goes so:
When one has realised that oneness is all there is (second above sentence) one "must not remain" in this pure oneness ("vacuity" according to the Buddhist word) for Samsara and nirvana are both same and two, or better said neither one nor two, even for the ordinary mind?
Would you please confirm or discuss this question?
Thanks - Jean

Gilbert replies:
There is no before or after.
Only THIS.
(I call it) One Moment - the Only moment - undeniably here as your own presence.
Everything is THAT appearing as this and that and all of it can only appear in this immediacy in this Singular Moment of Presence.
The Buddha is reported to have said: “Samsara, including Dhukka (suffering), and Nirvana are not two”.
Much of what the Buddha is supposed to have said is doubtful. - Most likely scholars of the Buddha’s teaching have added their own understanding. - To me very few of them resonate with the clarity of direct pointing. - Umpteen pathways can only lead the mind away from THIS moment of clear non-conceptual 'seeing-knowing'.
– Mind you, without all those teachings to get attached to, there would be no Buddhism at all. – The irony is that the basic Buddhist teaching is meant to be very seriously about 'non-attachment'.

OK, back to the topic:
First there is a Mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is – that is the popular way this saying you are asking about, was expressed in song by Donovan in the sixties or was it the seventies.
The saying, of course can be interpreted in a thousand ways.
In this moment, what comes up is this:
In the relativity of 'an individual life' – first, things are naturally what they are - then the mind interprets those things into labels and words, concepts etc. – Belief steps in and words take on a substantiality for the mind.
Then the words and the concepts are ‘seen through’ (from beyond their hold over the mind) and so things once more are spontaneously naturally what they are - as they always were.
All this happens in the same moment. - What is clear and obvious remains clear and obvious. – Only the ‘point of view’ changes.
– When all points of view are dropped, then seeing is unobstructed.
– As the Buddha is reported to have said: “Gate, gate, paramgate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha”. - Very basically translated as “I am formless, I am formless, Horray!”

The word ‘Zen’, to me, only means ‘natural wordless presence, equanimity with what is’ - and that is truly all there is and ever is.

Zen is another word for truth - Truth remains beyond the bounds of words and is inexpressible except as the direct and immediate expression of What IS as it IS.
- That is all there is anyway. - The rest is reflections in the mind and they are That also. - They just appear and disappear.
People use the word ‘truth’ very loosely, as if it were a ‘something’ that they have discovered, 'something' they have nailed down. - Such is the way of the mind.