Even before we practice it, enlightenment is there. But usually we understand the practice of zazen and enlightenment as two different things: here is practice, like a pair of glasses, and when we use the practice, like putting the glasses on, we see enlightenment. This is the wrong understanding. The glasses themselves are enlightenment, and to put them on is also enlightenment. So whatever you do, or even though you do not do anything, enlightenment is there, always. This is Bodhidharma's understanding of enlightenment.
--Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book
James: So true. Enlightenment is not something to obtain but rather some thing to be. Perhaps just like the oxygen in the air that we do not see or always think about. We breath oxygen and think nothing of it. So to, Enlightenment is there within and without going along with us like our shadow.
Sometimes we hold Enlightenment to be some rare, unobtainable jewel to be found (and possessed) in some high Himalayan cave guarded by some 400 year old master. We think it is more difficult then it is. We set out after it as if we were looking for the Holy Grail. We can't fathom that it is already there waiting for us. It is as if we deny our shadow being apart of us.
Look!! It is there in every thought. In every breath. In every pump of our heart. In the vast blue sky. In our moments of despair. In the compost of the garden. In the song of the fragile sparrow. In the smile of a child or the Dalai Lama. Even in the death of a loved one.
Enlightenment is our birthright and our destiny. As the lotus flower blooms out of the murky, muddy waters of an over grown pond let us reach for the sky and allow our inner Buddha to break the waters of confusion, fear and Self doubt. So that we may be in the present moment of pure Being. We inter-are with all things and that very much includes Enlightenment.
Let us not be discouraged.
~Peace to all beings~
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Posted by They call him James Ure at 10:41 AM