Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Zen and Silence - II

Zen – Fundamentals – 2
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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

10 Comments:

Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Atma - awesome stuff brother - too good..Ditto as Ramana says..

but how do we leave our thoughts without an act of concentration first? Does zen talk about that?

04 October, 2005 14:33  
Blogger Aatma said...

thats the whole idea Arjuna, just sit, let your thoughts flow the natural way, slowly and steadily u will notice that they too will become silent. Thats the best part of Zen, let nature takes its own path - if thoughts come, let them come, if thoughts go, let them go, the key is you be there, u don't go or come with them ;) Do u understand what i am saying.

It sounds simple if u follow Zen, otherwise it is very difficult

04 October, 2005 15:13  
Blogger Jeevan said...

There is an end for sky? Any body touched the sky? Like these we can’t touch are see god we can realize him. There is no object for god. God is everywhere we sincerely pray he will come. We can see god, when we are silent.

God is in front of you, don’t hurry to see him, when u hurry u can’t see god. While I reading this post, I think the Lord Perumal in Thirupathi, all people will be hurry to see Perumal. When they read your post, they will realize.

Now I realize why all of them are being silent while praying to god. Your post cleared me. Silent is the key to open Gods Door.

Nice Post Aatma.

Where the Book: Zen The path of Paradox, available. It is available in Chennai.

05 October, 2005 04:26  
Blogger Aatma said...

Thanks Jeevan. I am not sure whether the book will be available in Chennai, the best would be to give a call to the Bookstores before you go to get one. The book has been written by Osho

05 October, 2005 09:27  
Blogger Jeevan said...

Ok Aatma i will try to buy this book.

05 October, 2005 23:45  
Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Atma - yes I do understand - but dont u think that this process will take years and years to master the mind?

06 October, 2005 14:54  
Blogger chutneypopcorn said...

arjun in regards to your question.

Have you seen Last Samurai. The movie. The Hatsimoto the warrior is a practioner of Zen he understands life when he falls on the battle ground. Before he say that every cherry blossom that flowers is dying.

But in the end while breathing his last breath sees the cherry blossoms as most perfect and the most beautiful and most glorious. He attained Zen mind In full awww.

Heart Sutra states "Go beyond, Go beyond, Far Beyond, Much Beyond, State of Buddha, Alas how wonderful !"

Last week I had difficulty in my practice. When I sat after 15 mins I felt like screaming and kicking the person or thing ahead of me. My mind was so restless. I asked the Zen master what to do. He said be very angry, fully angry, be the buddha of anger but just dont act. Acknowledge it, feel it fully then things will go in due time.

This week my practice is better. And also I noticed that when I voluntarily sat to meditate my mind was not acting as a rogue. I sat for two sittings of 15 with big breaks in between and the last sitting I could not sit more than 5 mins. I got up. I didnot want to push it. We should have compassion to everything MOST of all ourselves.

07 October, 2005 05:55  
Blogger Venkat said...

Another great writeup Aatma! Very interesting stuff.

12 October, 2005 15:37  
Blogger Aatma said...

thanks venkat

13 October, 2005 16:01  
Blogger Saurabh said...

Atma,

I am a newcomer to blogs. But I feel lucky that I stumbled upon your blog. I will be a frequent visitor to read your blog. Here is mine: http://saurabhbanerjee.blogspot.com

Maybe you will like mine too.

04 May, 2006 19:01  

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