HERMETIC  - ESOTERIC - MYSTICAL PHILOSOPHIES


ZEN IN PRACTICE : PART 1


According to Zen, man is of the nature of Buddha, therefore in truth he is perfect... an archetypal Model, so nothing is lacking in him...However, he is unconscious of this truth and doesn't realize it because he is entangled in his mental projections... and lives his life through them. Therefore man creates his world through his own created reality, through his thoughts and likes and dislikes...which are then picked up by his imaginative activity which helps him to function in a dualistic mode. We could say that imaginative mental activity, such as visualization, guided meditation, concentration and attunement on some sacred object, an image, a mantra or anything that is sacred to the person attuning to it... is an important step to begin the process of transformation in a seeker's life for it helps him in the recognition of his True Nature...his Buddha Nature... These sacred objects are tools facilitating the seeker to concentrate and switch his imagination, from his emotional and mental processes, his daily routine activities to a higher and more lofty way of training his imagination... these tools help him recognize, in these sacred "tools" hidden meanings which are in reality projected on to them by his Perfect Buddha Center and they reveal to him a different and new way of using his imagination... with a new symbolic Language. This symbolic Language has been created by millions of seekers like him who have projected on these sacred tools... the Wisdom of their Buddha Nature... Therefore, instead of just gazing at this sacred object from a dualistic point of view, meaning as an outsider...Contemplating and meditating on one of these sacred objects, the seeker becomes imbued with its energy and symbolic meaning. Moreover, this phase of the "Inner Work" is an important level in all mystical discipline - same principle is used in the Eastern as much as in the Western traditions. This training should not be discarded as unimportant, on the contrary it should be encouraged because it develops the intuitive and abstract intellect ... moreover, and these "tools" help the seeker to awaken a totally different way of using his imaginative power and use it in the world.

As we know most of man's inner functioning is performed automatically. An example would be that man's conscious self has no control on his heartbeat, or blood circulation, nor does he knows what part in him functions when he is in deep sleep... these are just a few examples showing that man doesn't have control over most natural functioning because these are performed spontaneously in him by another Power another Presence within himself... and therefore out of the control of the part in him that he calls "me"... Once this truth is recognized by the ego... then with the help of imagination the seeker will begin to live more and more spontaneously... attuning to this inner Intelligence that operates in the moment... spontaneously...

For Zen the normal spontaneous awakening of consciousness is called satori... What is satori? Satori is simply a term used for the experience of awakening or enlightenment... the verb derives from the verb "satoru" meaning "to know"... However, it has nothing to do with knowledge in the ordinary or philosophical sense, because in the experience of enlightenment or satori there is no more distinction between knower and known. Consciousness is AWAKENED and UNIQUE in the moment... there is no "gap" between them... Satori, or the process of AWAKENING is the same in all creation... The bulb of a rose will grow and unfold all its beauty and perfume in exactly the same way as the awakening of man's true Nature... But it is man's mental and emotional activities that color and distort the way his imagination works and this is because the ego in man usually 'thinks' and most of the time is convinced that "it" is the "I AM" = the subject in control of what goes on in consciousness... when in reality it is the opposite that is true... However, thoughts and emotions are creations of the ego ...and this ego is blocking the wisdom and spontaneity that comes from within the Presence of his Buddha Self... But, because ordinary man is ignorant of it he has no other choice than to project outwardly whatever he emotionally feels and thinks... therefore his imagination is influenced by them and whatever is projected into his experiences, become tinted by them and thus they become real and the only truth for him... when what he really is doing is blocking and disturbing the natural flow of energy that comes from within his Buddha Nature which always unfolds spontaneously... innocently in a beautiful and natural way...

An old Zen master said: "What conceals Realization? - nothing but myself!"

Another saying which is a typical Zen way of being in the world goes like this:
"Not knowing how near the Truth is, people look for it far away...what a pity!"

So, what is important to emphasize on this webpage is the difference that exists between two kinds of imagination: the first one is the imagination that develops and unfolds an abstract and intuitive language coming from the depth of Being - Buddha Nature which allows the person to live the MOMENT... creatively. and the second type of imagination the one that projects and accepts all the mental and emotional processes coming from the ego or the environment which have their source in the world of duality and the ego... the first one puts us in touch with WHAT IS - WHAT GOES ON IN THE MOMENT -and the second one, takes its "food" from what "was in the past" from emotional and mental memories... from the psyche... so that the past is projected in the present... instead of letting new realities unfold... allowing the creation of new possibilities...new ways of "SEEING" the world... We know that the bulb of a rose grows naturally in its own environment, its power and energy comes from within the seed of its own nature and potentiality... in the same way, man's potentiality is in his Buddha or Christ Nature... the Perfect Model within - the Spiritual DNA... within each one of us...

So, the first step for “rebuilding” our inner Language is an important step for the seeker of Truth and this should not be scorned at... It is like going to school or evening classes to learn a foreign language...one learns first words... Later on, when one becomes fluent in that language, one discovers the cultural richness of its people...this is an eye opener... and a new horizon opens in front of such a person... he wants to know more about the people speaking that language...know more about their culture, etc... In the same manner the ego has to accept that it is just a functioning of a deeper and higher dimension of INTELLIGENCE and MIND from within his BEING which is Buddha Nature... and that Nature when awaken grows spontaneously and naturally just like a rose or lotus bud unfolds all its potential and becomes a resplendent rose, or a dazzling lotus flower. In the same way, when the time is ripe for man's Buddha Nature to manifest Its Presence...Then, the knower and the known unite as ONE in the PRESENT MOMENT... and man's pure and Real Nature enfolds and unfolds together... at the same moment, spontaneously in everyday experiences....
 

To be continued...

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