In our existence, there are different kinds of mirrors we encounter. Some are very obvious, others not so much. Depending on the mirror, the quality of the reflection can vary wildly. There are mirrors of glass and polished metal, some are water mirrors upon the face of lakes and creeks, and some are in the form of experiences committed to the paper within our journals. Others are mirrors in the form of people. And perhaps the most challenging is the one that we carry within ourselves, that we may not recognize as a mirror at all... "Memory."
That one can be the most seductive... and the most dangerous... Watch out!!! Narcissus became lost in the reflection of self, that wasn't actually his authentic self... and it literally destroyed him, much in the way the strangler fig, tangled itself around the bodhi-tree which the Buddha sat in front of when he came to awakening... or completeness as to his authentic nature.
In dealing with any mirror, the skill is to encounter, but not become entangled. Thoughts are the bridge used by aspects of the mind... the ID, Executive, and Superego as the liaison between our authentic self, and what is rendered on the surface of the mirror of memory; oftentimes serving as a translator or Intermediary of what's observed within the reflection.
Perhaps this is the moment that I could inform you about one of the aspects of Zen meditation... the Meditation practice of Buddha... Universal Identity of Loving Presence... is to collapse the bridge-less bridge of thought. This is known in Sanskrit as "Samadhi..." non-reflecting consciousness... there's a kind of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harmony or alignment when there's nothing being reflected back in the mirror of experience. Time seems to disappear.... self seems to disappear... our problems seem to disappear... insecurities seem to disappear... stuff in our immediate vicinity seems to disappear... Everything and every thing are ZERO. While this seems miraculous and special, just put me in a car on a long drive... or on a "Free climb," on a mountain face about 100 or 200 feet off the ground. Trust me when I say, so-called "i" isn't going anywhere... there's no way to distinguish or separate myself from the mountain. We are the same Being and doing. That for me is what makes summiting the mountain so beautiful... The eye of the "i" is released from ZERO, and for a moment there is spontaneously a kind of "One," and though so-called I didn't actually go anywhere, everything is Wowwwwwwwww!
The Tibetans call This experience "The View..." We "Get It..." everything and everyone matters... Rocks... Trees... Water... Sky... Animals... and People! For me, Universal Identity of Loving Presence isn't a problem. The intermediary is pretty quiet... it doesn't have a lot to say... perhaps ego is dumbfounded too... I don't know, really. A little later still... so-called "Two," show up... time resumes... self resumes... problems resume... things in our vicinity resume... as the translator's AKA ego's noisiness appear to dial up and begin the chattering commentary again. Attempting to return to those experiences, through the mirror or memory can be really beautiful renderings, especially when the intermediary mind begins the commentary... I've had to learn not to become entangled in them. The experience of Zen training can provide the reason when that is such an important principle to embody. That would be me getting in Your Way, and I appreciate You too much to do that.
I'm reminded that when those who come to Dai Bosatsu Mountain, are greeted by a statue of Jizo Bodhisattva. Up a short way there's a great stone tablet, which has a poem by Baso that reads... "Along This Way goes No One, this autumn evening..." ZERO as ZERO... no distance, gap, space, or time. For me, it's a way of saying... Within the practice... In each moment... like a mirror... in the perspective of the mirror, we encounter but are not entangled. This has been an important principle for me and has had a strong influence on my relationships with people. There can be at any moment, depending... ZERO... One... or Two... without being "Stuck," or being permanent. How can you apply my experiences shared? If you as YOU engage Zen practice... regularly... deeply... without wavering... You could find out through your own effort. We can serve the food of practice, but we cannot eat it for you.
--We Are the Practice Itself