Constant Arising

Surprisingly, as the meditative experience was entirely non-directed, the story has been remarkably consistent through the years of its recording and the message it delivers is also remarkably clear and fabulously simple although perhaps a little difficult to grasp, but I digress.

It is, in short, the story of what dreams are entered, the dreams of meditation and where they take you,

What dream is this?
It has no face
And yet it seems
To know my name.

This may sound familiar to those who meditate and to them, “welcome home.” To those who don’t, well, you have it all before you.

Before we begin a note about the ways in which this experience is expressed in these pages (more examples can be found under the ‘moon’ buttons on this page);

Moments in meditation are simply that, after the mind is still and clear come moments of understanding, insight if you like, and as far as possible I have related these as they came, without alteration, an example;

A monk asked a great master,
“What is the great awakening every day?” The old man replied,
“Today I have new socks.”

Comment:- the master’s reply says two things: one, the great awakening is mundane and two, it is not a particular thing, it is whatever is on that day (I don’t think he had new socks every day!).

Zen thinking is difficult to pin down but essentially it is the thinking that the student of Zen arrives at when, through meditation, conventional thinking breaks down, an example;

There is no such thing as disharmony.
Everything is in harmony exactly as it is.
Change your eyes and you will see this is so.

Comment:- the problem here is ‘changing your eyes’ and this is not easy to do. We are not talking here about gaining an intellectual understanding but a feeling, an expectation, in the same way that we feel and expect gravity. 

Zen poetry may seem a little nonsensical at first but really it is very simple. Zen poetry only has two aspects, one points to the path, the way, of Zen, the other expresses some of the essence of Zen. So a poem either points to Zen or is of Zen (or both) an example;

Stone temples
Cannot be seen
By hummingbirds.

Comment:- the suddenness, the nowness of Zen (here represented by  hummingbirds) transcends conventional (religious) thinking (here represented by stone temples); this poem could be said to be of Zen.

Following on from this a poem that points to the way of Zen by telling us to smash our way of thinking (our heads) and allow the light of Zen (the sun, or indeed hummingbirds) to come in;

Smashing heads
On rocks
The sun
Comes out.

Zen tales are really parable that arise spontaneously in meditation and usually, like poetry, carry a simple message.

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