"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

September 14, 2011

Zen wisdom: On the Emptiness of the Eye

“When the eye sees things, the things are not there, in the eye; it’s like a mirror, reflecting the image of a face with complete clarity. In the void appear shapes and images. In the mirror there is not a thing. Evidently, the person’s face is not in the mirror, and the mirror does not go out into the person’s face. Investigating in detail like this, we realize that from the beginning neither the mirror nor the face has ever gone out or gone in, come or gone.

By this analysis, we find that in the eye and in the mirror, from the beginning it has always been empty and still. It is the same for the other sense faculties. We know that the eye is fundamentally empty, so whatever form is seen we know is not ours. When the ear hears sound we know that it does not belong to us. When the nose smells scents, we know that they are not us. When the tongue differentiates flavors, we know they are not ours. And the same with the thoughts of the mind, the touches of the body.

To contemplate like this and reach such understanding is contemplating empty stillness. When you see forms with such understanding you do not take in the forms. Not taking in the forms is emptiness; emptiness is formless; formless is uncontrived, and this is the gate to liberation. For one who finds liberation in all the senses, like this, all the senses are like this; there is no need to repeat the discussion for each one of them."

Daii Dōshin, the fourth Zen Chinese Ancestor

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