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Buddhadharma : Winter 2011
59 WINTER 2 01 1 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY In spring colors there is no high nor low Some flowering branches are by nature long, some short IN SPRING, the ice melts and the severe chill of winter loosens its grip. In the warm sunlight, blossoms appear—plum, peach, apricot, and many others. Everywhere, signs of spring are evident. The insects start to fly, seeking the sweetness of the flowers, and the birds sing. Everything that has endured the hard winter all at once expresses the great joy of this season. This is the Way of Great Nature, the “sutra” that embraces all and through which we receive everything. Yet each of us carries a multitude of memories and knowledge, dualistic perceptions and strivings that influence our outward perception and distort our view of Nature. We can describe and attempt to explain this Great Nature, but to receive it directly and without hindrances is difficult. When we let go of extraneous thoughts and see each thing exactly as is, with no stain of mental understanding and dualism, everything we see is true and new and beautiful. For those who have awakened to this Truth, whatever they encounter is the buddhadharma, just as it is. No matter what is encountered, there is nothing that is not the Truth. When we look at something and don’t recognize it as the Truth, that is not the fault of the thing we are seeing; it is because our vision is obscured by explanations and discursive thoughts. Doing zazen, we let go of all extra thinking and perceive with a simple, direct awareness. There is no longer any separation between the person who is seeing and what is being seen. No explanations or ideas about what is being seen are necessary. Not holding on to any preconceived idea, we match perfectly with what we see, and there the Truth and the world are brought forth spontaneously. If we have no subjective opinions or preconceived notions, no small-minded “I” remains. There is only oneness. Anything we see and hear is Truth. There is nothing that is not the Buddha. From the origin we have a mind like a clear mirror. To know this mind directly and completely is satori. That empty mirror gives rise to many associations as it encounters the outside world. When we become that emptiness completely, the world is born forth, clear and empty. Then, whatever we encounter, we become it completely and directly. This is the subtle flavor of zazen and is the mind of Buddha and of God. When we see things from this mind, we see that the southern branch of the tree is longer than the northern branch, although the same warmth of spring touches both. Long is not absolute, and short is not lacking in anything. We need to see everything in society in that way as well. When we are with an elderly person we become that elderly person and can say, “Yes, it must be so lonely, so hard.” When a child comes, we are able naturally to sing and play with the child in the child’s way. We see a pine and become a pine; we see a flower and become a flower. This is our simple, plain, natural mind. From there we have the purest way of seeing, and this is where the buddhadharma lives. D