"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

February 8, 2012

What Was Your Original Face - Before Ignorance and Craving?

"A fundamental experience and comprehension which the enlightened Zen masters have urged us to realize is known as the original face. A famous Zen patriarch asked, 'Before your father and mother were born, what was you original face?'

If we understand 'father and mother' in a traditional symbolic way to refer to ignorance and craving, this question directs us to realize our original nature as it was before a lifetime of habitual illusions based on ignorance and greed.

Here, in this original face, there is no station or grade, no prejudice, no philosophy or religion; all beings are the family, all worlds are the household. Only on the basis of the most fundamental realization, only with open mind and heart, can the affairs of the family and household have a sound foundation for accomplishment."

from "The Original Face" in Classics of Buddhism and Zen by Thomas Cleary, Volume Four

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