Snowflakes of Enlightenment

14 09 2007

Lotus ChanOnce while in Japan I had the opportunity to have tea with a Zen Master. Not only was he a Zen master but a sailor, so we hada connection , I had looked forward to speaking with him. He was listed as being from the Renzi (sp) sect. However when I asked him about that he said, the branches of the river are not the whole river. His master did not teach from the branches but from the source. Names are not important, the teachings are important. Which I took to mean as, Branches are like fingers pointing to the moon. He went further to say many come to Zen to seek enlightenment. However once you set your goal/mind to seeking enlightenment, you already are off the path and have lost it. He said, that his master said, you can not have enlightenment in this lifetime, once you die, you will have enlightenment. Hmmm, I am not in agreement with that. I think there are forms, er… levels of enlightenment, they come when we are open to receiving them. I think you can have enlightenment one moment, on one thing, then be clueless on another. It comes like a ray of light through dark skys and lights up a flower, then goes away like a snowflake on the water, temporary like cherry blossums in the spring, easily blown by the wind. It cannot be held in the hand, but only in the memory. It is lived anew on a daily basis for those who are open, respective to the voice of the universe. It is not a robe that you buy and it is always yours, it is like breathing, every moment you must refresh, you can not hold one breath for long and live.Of course, this is just my youthful opinion, perhaps when I get enlighten I will know better…hmmm, Isn’t knowing you are not enlightened, a form of enlightenment…so that brings me back to, what I said first, there forms, degrees of enlightenment…at least I feel so, I could be incorrect, I’m still a child learning…
Is that enlightenment or just another finger -)

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2 responses

14 09 2007
butuki

Hello Zen,

It’s been a while, again unfortunately. I have a bad habit of falling off the map.

Reading your entry here it made me wonder what exactly we all expect of enlightenment. How can we possibly know what it is if we have to question its nature as we speak of it? If enlightenment really is what we dream of then wouldn’t it just be obvious as we become aware of it? Enlightenment, in its very definition, shouldn’t need explaining.

Which makes me question why we need to seek enlightenment at all. Life, as the Buddha expressed it, is suffering. So I would conclude that as long as we live we suffer, and there is no getting away from that, except by dying. That stillness that nirvana seems to be all about only comes when there no longer is movement or desire. Only death can bring that about.

Or perhaps all of us see death all wrong. That’s another thing that we cannot possibly understand as long as we are alive.

16 09 2007
Zen

There are some that say, we are already enlightened, the practice is to remove the veil over our eyes so we can see it.

Thank you for dropping by Butuko-san. I’m glad you had a memorable & safe journey, I’m sure you have still much to digest.

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