In Hawaii I could stare for hours at a Taro field, the bent back of a farmer, and the same a gentle fold of spine I saw from the Shinkansen, Tokyo to Osaka amid the fields of yellow shoots, later rice in some bowl, perhaps even mine, or in Antwerp as the chef patiently picked over the trays of mussels in the market knowing just which would suit his needs, all having a remarkable sameness to my eye and nose. On a road just outside San Juan, near the beach with surfable waves, the woman stood bent in the heat over a 50 gallon drum turn stove, cooking the pork tucking it into the dough and placing it in the fryer, smiling through her few remaining teeth, offering pies that we dared not resist, knowing the sea would soon enough be our napkin. This morning, as I took my slow walk to the coffee shop, a jay sitting on a resting fence stared at me for a bit, not unnerving, persistent, and I imagine him the king of Taro, rice and fresh pies.
I think therefore I am. I think therefore you are. You think therefore I am. If either of us stops thinking, does the other cease to be? If I see you as Buddha you are Buddha. If you see me as Buddha I can be Buddha, but if I see myself as Buddha Buddha and I are mountains and rivers apart.
A reflection on Case 86 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)