This week, after the effort of preparing and performing at a poetry reading*, I've been relaxing - and reading more of Zen Buddhism as described and translated by D T Suzuki and a book on Kadampa Buddhism**, both birthday presents. And today I copied out from these unfamiliar writings just this:
Be serene in the oneness of things,Having read the context*** of this I understand that it calls us to what is perhaps the simplest and yet the most difficult of perceptions - to cease to see things in opposing categories or by name and to see all things as one.
And [dualism] vanishes by itself.
I look up for a moment: do these chairs, tables, trees, walls, roofs, telephone lines, birds, and the pale grey cloud cover, and the flowers on the table with my cap and notes and a cup and saucer and teapot, and the empty plate and the tart that I've just eaten, and my body and hand and this handheld computer, and you reading this - did they seem in that moment to combine and lose their distinctness, their names and their differences - did I perceive them as one (and as illusion)?
Perhaps yes, but only briefly... and mainly the trees merging into oneness.
...I guess that was a first step to more profound and more sustained seeings of 'oneness'. But I'm glad of this hint towards the perception of non-dualism!
Now to drink up the cooling tea and to walk back - in this perhaps unified world.And then I passed about 200 crows on the grass in the dusk. I found it more difficult to see them as one than to see the trees merge into undifferentiated woodland... yes I did seem to see something as different, and I did feel a peace... and a sense of non-trying.
**Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Transform your Life: A Blissful Journey, Tharpa Publications, Ulverston, England and Glenn Spey, New York 2001. From Tom Mitchell.
***The quotation is from D T Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism, Grove Press, New York (no date), isbn 0-8021-3065-8, page 77. From Joanna Jones.
digital diary archive© 2002 john chris jones
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