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Buddhadharma : Summer 2014
SUMMER 2 0 1 4 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 9 SEEING WITHOUT EYES Don’t be limited by the five senses, says Guo Xing. There are other ways of perceiving the world. There is a story in the Chan School: A per- son had entered deep samadhi and ceased to breathe. People thought he was dead, so they cremated his body. When the man’s con- sciousness returned, he couldn’t find his body. He searched all over, asking, “Where is my body? Where is my body?” If you feel that your body has disappeared during meditation, there is no need to be afraid. Without the body, the mind that has the ability to be aware still exists. The body is merely a tool. It is really the mind that has the ability to see, to hear, to perceive. In a nutshell, the body is the mind’s object of awareness. The body itself does not have the function of awareness. The reason why we can no longer see the outside after we enter a house is because the mind operates under the dualistic mode, falsely believing that we need to see through the eyes. Consequently, the mind is restricted by the eyes. We are used to seeing with the eyes, hearing with the ears, and are subject to their restrictions. But when we operate through consciousness, our thoughts are not restricted by our physical body. The body is but a part of the mind. If you trap the mind in the body, then the mind will be restricted to the body. However, if you realize that the body is merely one function of the mind, then the tip of a single fine hair can indeed completely contain the lands of the ten directions. FROM CHAN MAGAZINE, WINTER 2013 WEEDS Karen Maezen Miller on getting to the root of the problem—again and again and again. In these sixteen years of gardening, I have not yet learned how to garden. My most useful tools are the ones farthest from my hands: sun and water. I have not planted a single thing still standing. In all this time in the yard, I have cultivated no worthwhile skills save one that is decidedly unskilled: I weed. I offer this up as a modest qualification because I have noticed how reluctantly most people bring themselves to the task. Weeding is not a popular pastime, even among garden- ers. Weeds are the very emblem of aversion. Weeding doesn’t produce a rewarding out- come. No grand finale, no big reveal. There’s absolutely nothing to show for it. While I was casting about for something to do for the rest of my life, I hit on a scheme. I’d seen how common it was for an otherwise respectable yard to be surrendered over to the wilderness for the lack of a spade. And the worse it got, the worse it gets. I suggested to my husband that I start an enterprise— not for landscape design or decoration, for which I was unsuited, but just for weeding. I would call it “Just Weeds.” I would go over to people’s houses every week and just pull ILLUSTRATIONS ERIC HANSON FIRST THOUGHTS