June 21, 2015 § 2 Comments

round landscape

The undisciplined mind is continually distracted by even the most fleeting thought. A thought arises and we instantly move toward it, following it until another thought comes to distract us from our distractions. It is this movement that disturbs the calmness of mind, not thought. If left alone thought would rise and fall of itself. But when we add the energy of movement to it we agitate the waters of mind.

Chasing after the world
Brings chaos.
Allowing it all to come to me
Brings peace.

— Zen Gatha

When searching for the original self the mind is disturbed by the very act of seeking. This does not mean that we should stop thinking but that we should stop following thought in the vain hope that it will lead us to our original self. To seek the original self in thought is to confuse the wind that stirs the waves for the water itself.

The wind has settled, the blossoms have fallen;
Birds sing, the mountains grow dark –
This is the wondrous power of Buddhism.

— Ryokan

When things arise the sense of self also arises. When things come and go the impression is given that the self is permanent. When things linger, they seem permanent. So we come to believe that things are real and the self is real. Yet neither has fixed nature.

The wind traverses the vast sky,

clouds emerge from the mountains;

Feelings of enlightenment and things of the world

are of no concern at all.

Suchness Zen Master Keizan Jõkin

As you give up chasing after things, the clear, lucid nature of mind unfolds. As you surrender attachment to the self, the suchness of mind reveals itself. All this from the simple direction to not follow thought.


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