Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Zen and Silence - II

Zen – Fundamentals – 2
Before we begin - Zen is japanese for Chinese word ch'an, which is in turn a transliteration of the sanskrit word dhyana, all of them meaning "meditation".

Continuing from our first part. After understanding most of the fundamentals – this profound sutra: “Like the empty sky, it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear. Now replace the “it” with “God” and you will immediately understand the significance of the statement. If you start searching for the sky, u will never find it. If you become serious, u will never find it. Where will u find the sky? The sky is not somewhere it is everywhere and that which is everywhere cannot be searched for. God is like the sky, like the empty sky. It has no boundaries so it cannot be defined. You cannot say where it begins and where it ends, it is eternal, it is infinite and yet it is right in front of you. If you relax, it is there, if u become tense it disappears.
People go on asking where God is, and he is just in front of you. He surrounds you. He is in and he is out because only he is. Zen calls God - it, because they don’t want us to be trapped in the word God. “When you seek to know it, you cannot see it”. Because when u try to search, you become concentrated, you become tense, you get lost in your search, you become narrow, so even when god is in front of you, you just don’t see him.
People say meditation is concentration; Zen says that it is not. In the contrary according to Zen, it is diametrically opposite. If you are looking for an ant, concentration is important, but if you are looking for God, who is so vast and who surround you, u don’t need that concentration. For God you have to be utterly open, un-concentrated, open from every side, not searching, not looking. An unfocused consciousness is what meditation is.
A Sufi mystic was staying with Rabiya. His name was Hassan, and maybe after hearing Jesus Christ’s statement: “Knock and it shall be opened unto you. Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you will find it”. So every day in all his 5 prayers, he would say to God “ I am knocking Sir, and I am knocking so much, why have you still not opened the door “. One day Rabiya heard it and said “Hassan when will you look? The door is open. You go on talking nonsense – “I am knocking, I am knocking --- and the door is open all the time. Look! But u are too concerned with your knocking and asking and desiring and seeking and you cannot see. The door is open”
Rabiya’s statement is pure Zen. God has always been available. God is unconditionally available. “ When u seek to know it, you cannot see it. You cannot take hold of it, you cannot lose it” If you want to possess God, you will not be able to. All that is great cannot be possessed – and that is one of the most foolish thing we try to do. We want to possess everything.
So beautiful, Yes you cannot possess it, but there is no way to lose it either. It is there. It is always there. If you are silent you will start feeling it, You have to fall in tune with it. You have to become silent so that you can listen to it. You have to become silent so the dance of God can penetrate you, so God can vibrate in you, so God can pulsate in you. You have to drop your rush, your hurry, your ideas to go somewhere, to reach, to become, to be this and that. You have to stop becoming. And it is there; you cannot lose it.
The moment you understand that you cannot possess it, and you drop your possessiveness, it is there and you have got it. The moment you realize that love [Love is God] cannot be possessed, a great understanding has arisen in you and now you will have it and will have it forever. You cannot exhaust it.
This is the Zen Paradox – Zen is the path of paradox. “When you are silent, it speaks; When you speak, it is silent. The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, and no crowd is blocking the way.” There is no competition, there is nobody blocking your way. You need not hurry, you need not make any effort to grab. In front of you – there is only God, only God. So just relax. That’s what Zen says – Satori – Utter relaxation of your being; a state of consciousness where there is no becoming left, when you are not an achiever anymore, when there is no goal, when all goals have disappeared and all purposes have been left behind; when you are, simply are – in that moment of “isness” you dissolve into totality and a new “tick” arises that has never been there. That tick is satori, Samadhi, enlightenment.
The last thing, which everyone must have noticed: Zen is non-serious. Zen has a tremendous sense of humor. Zen has laughter in it, Zen is festive. Zen’s spirit is that of celebration. Laughter is the key to Zen, as it makes you dance, it makes you enjoy.
That’s why if you notice most Zen stories give you the message and at the same time brings in a smile on your face.

From the book: Zen The path of Paradox


Blogger chutneypopcorn said...

Very Nice article.

A similar such statement arises from the gnostic scriptures in the Gospel of St Thomas:

"Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty."

Om Tat Sat

10:28 AM  
Blogger kitchenette soul said...

Dear Aatma,
Keep it up. Love to read more on zen. The most down-to-earth 'path' to bliss is zen. No frills, nothing.

9:15 PM  
Blogger krishna said...

Dear aatma,

Interesting and kool read ..Zen for sure is a feast for mind.:)

"Be open to anything " ,"Take anything as GOd" . "Dont restrict ur image of God"

Just wondering..How many of us can actually make it practical or should i ask ,do u believe u can be like that ? any thoughts?? or Does zen has any answers?

10:46 PM  
Blogger chutneypopcorn said...

In regards to Krishna's question.

Zen doesnot talk about God at all. Its purely being in the moment. Zen is all about practice. Its similar to Vipasana in regards to their meditation. Zazan is the practice that Buddha did under the Bodh tree.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

Life is a joke.
Death is a funnier joke
Joke is Zen.
Fun is Zen.
Laughter is Zen.
All is Zen.
Zen is All.

3:14 AM  
Blogger krishna said...

" In front of you – there is only God, only God. So just relax. That’s what Zen says "

as said by aatma..

can u further explain wat exactly was being conveyed?? I appreciate it.

4:36 PM  
Blogger kitchenette soul said...

Dear Krishna,

Zen states that all around is One Divine. There is nothing unDivine --no concept of a God and a Devil--. All that is manifest is from the unmanifest Divine. Hence Awareness of this and acceptance is the realization of the divine. This moment is the moment of Truth

9:22 PM  
Blogger krishna said...

Dear Kitchenette


and realization of God everywhere is the culmination of all virtuous religions. I guess thats what true hindusim is all about ..

What i am interested is in knowing about the Zen's technique/formula to reach that state...

9:19 AM  

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