“Hear beyond the range of sound. See beyond the verge of sight.” 一Henry David Thoreau
Many times I’ve heard there are two basic ways of seeing the world… our life... each moment. One is from the position of the relative, and the other is the absolute. The subjective and the objective. The the Lankavatara sutra this is stated as “Things are not as they appear, nor are they otherwise.“ In my experience Thoreau’s manner of sharing his experience is perhaps the most poetical and for me… very subjectively… the most beautiful... yet still… Hearing and seeing… there’s a gap… there’s someone hearing… there’s someone seeing. It could be asked, who is the One, that’s not hearing… Not seeing… in the way we commonly experience things. Watch out for that One!
Being beyond the range of sound, and being beyond the not sound that is silence beyond silence. Being beyond the verge of sight, and being beyond the not sight, not seeing seeing… Zazen is doing Zazen, without the so-called person… avatar. Zero that cannot be divided.
The obvious question to having this sort of experience would be… “Okay. How?” And I could respond, “With what we’re always seamlessly using but not in conscious contact with much of the time… Awareness… the interface of Consciousness... while most are encouraged to look inside or outside of so-called self… which is another way of dividing our authentic Presence… Zazen invites us to BE as it. Without come, without going… without past, without future… fundamentalZERO that cannot be separated or divided, because It’s nature isn’t capable of being separated or divided, though thinking mind can give the appearance that is what’s happening.
A clever friend recently asked me, "If that's really the case, how about the fact that I have my life, and you have your life?" My response was, based on 30 years of continuous Zen practice is: "Trillions of waves of localized consciousness, refracted in a given wave giving a sense of individualized self, while Being Endless Dimensional Universal Indivisible Loving Oceanic Presence." I'm not particularly sure what happened for him in that moment. After that we simply practiced Zazen.
In closing this discussion, it could be helpful to share the poetic clarity of Zen practitioner, Nanyue Lanzan, that I'd encrouage NOT to pass over with a mimimum of appreication:
Unconcerned with affairs,
Unconcerned with affairs
What need to discuss anything?
A pure heart is not distracted
As for the rest – no need to cut it off
Past is already past
The future seems impossible to estimate
Empty-headed, nothing to do,
Sitting... was there ever anyone
to call out to?
Searching outside [and inside] is hard work
All those foolish obstinate fellows
I do not hoard one grain of rice
Coming across food, I only react – eat"
Zen meditation is learning to listen... to see... to hear... to smell... to taste... to touch... as so-called "Not I." Though it could be seem odd to drop in here, yet to be honest extremely relevant... in the Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien... the book not the movie... there's a person who's not a person by the name of Tom Bombadil. I sometimes refer to him as Buddha is drag... wherein the section reads as
"Whether the morning and evening of one day or of many days had passed Frodo could not tell.
He did not feel either hungry or tired, only filled with wonder. The stars shone through the window and the silence of the heavens seemed to be round him. He spoke at last out of his wonder and a sudden fear of that silence:
‘Who are you, Master?’ he asked.
‘Eh, what?’ said Tom sitting up, and his eyes glinting in the gloom. ‘Don’t you know my name yet? That’s the only answer. Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?"
This is the invitation... to Be Zazen in all its manifestations... to clearly and without equivocation experience and understand with completeness that we are Ocean and Wave, at precisely the same moment. When we confirm that as ourselves... fully whole and wholly free, goodwill and creative action is more accessible as a transformative rather than transactional agency of growth and change.
一Dignity and Grace