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The Mudra of Zen

Fuxi's Poem

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Mark Foote

Post title:  from a Tao Bums discussion of moving objects with the mind

(Apr 8 2010 at 12:31 AM)

 

 

My experience is that there is only one object worth moving through mind, and that is the body. That might sound laughable, but I'm not talking about moving the body through the exercise of will by the mind. I am talking about the occurrence of consciousness causing action in the body solely by virtue of consciousness taking place.

"Sometimes zazen gets up and walks around", Kobun Chino Otogawa said; "The windy element" moves the body, Buddhaghosa wrote; "to one who knows thus, sees thus, there are no illusions that mine is the doer with respect to this consciousness-informed body", the Gautamid said.

"An empty hand grasps the hoe-handle
Walking along, I ride the ox
The ox crosses the wooden bridge
The bridge is flowing, the water is still"- from Fuxi, 5th century C.E.

"the bridge is flowing, the water is still"- here is a wonderful explanation of this line from a Shunryu Suzuki lecture (edited by Bill Redican):

"You may say that your mind is practicing zazen and ignore your body, the practice of your body. Sometimes when you think that you are doing zazen with an imperturbable mind, you ignore the body, but it is also necessary to have the opposite understanding at the same time. Your body is practicing zazen in imperturbability while your mind is moving."

Suzuki also said, "only zazen can sit zazen". Now I would say, the body practicing zazen in imperturbability while the mind is moving is zazen that sits zazen, and at such time the action of the body apart from the movement of mind is still. As Kobun said, the action of the body with the movement of mind can sometimes get up and walk. If you want to see it for yourself, then I think you have to arrive at a necessity of breath that depends on the free occurrence of consciousness, on the impact of that consciousness in the stretch already in existence, and on the feeling that is opened through activity out of impact. To arrive at our own necessity, we must witness how aversion to pain, attraction to pleasure, or ignorance of the sensation which is neither can condition the occurrence of consciousness.

I am not saying to do anything.



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