It happens every day, when I arise from the cushion and look, I see myself there. If you look, you say you see me as well. It will happen one day that when I arise from the cushion and look I will not see myself. If you look, you will say you see me, and I will nod in agreement. Each day when I see myself, I know that it is I who I am seeing. But each day I see an illusion, masquerading as I, a delusion, and I see you seeing me, a delusion. Each day you see me, you see a delusion, but a different delusion. Consider how strange this is, for on the day I do not see myself I see no delusion, but you see me and see a delusion, but I do not see you, for there is no me to see you, and just then I am free of delusion.
A reflection on Case 94 of the Blue Cliff Record (碧巌録, Hekiganroku)
Yesterday is but a shadow and tomorrow an illusion. Do not wallow in the mud of attempted memory, do not sink in the mire of deluded anticipation. Stop, listen to the sun and the moon sing of the Dharma, hear the silence it brings for you are alive in this moment, and there is no other moment in which you can live.
A reflection on Case 3 of the Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku 碧巌録)
There is no Houdini today, no master of escapology, only sleight of hand that cannot provide a release from our self- made shackles, for we have failed to learn the secrets that might have saved us. We were stubborn, figured that we could solve the problem later, read a book, looked to a new master but those new masters have only perfected the art of illusion and that was our delusion, that we could magically escape from the prison, the ecological and natural prison that we have created for ourselves
People say that dogs can live to well over 100 dog years, but each of our years is seven of theirs, so our self-delusion feels complete. We want old age for our dogs to feel they have lived a full life, something we also want for ourselves and so we project on our pets. The odd thing is that as we age we wonder if our pets will outlive us, and the older we get, the more it begins to feel that time is attempting to behaves like dog time the years seeming to pass ever more quickly.
How often have we sat in pews, on the zafu and heard an enrobed man or woman say “Let me describe for you” that which cannot be described, that which is beyond mere words.
We would be better served to just sit in silence and hear deeply what we need, not empty words meant to lead, to mislead, for you God does not speak and you cannot claim to be enlightened, for both are delusion, but both can be experienced if only you look deeply within.
In our time of never-ending war, punctured by the briefest lulls we now call peace, someone, someones more likely, will talk about whom will be the victor, to whom shall go the spoils. Bierce, that perpetual cynic, reminded us that peace was a period of cheating between two periods of fighting. But no one pauses to consider that in any war there are no true victors only the victims unwillingly offered up in sacrifice to delusion.