There is a strange beauty in the slow loss of sight, for there is a progressive transition, a discovery of much that went unheard, unfelt, missing in the glare of the need to see, to categorize and organize, memories neatly arranged in an array of curated visual files.
But without sight what once was cast aside as noise is an intricate tapestry of sound and undistracted, you begin to see the individual threads to see deeply into the art and craft of the unknown weaver.
Without sight, you so often store images in two dimensions but now requiring touch, everything is three dimensional of necessity and the world is infinitely more complex and yes beautiful than you recalled.
And the darkness of night, which marked a border that dared not be fully crossed grows meaningless and hours once lost may again now demand to be lived.
Describe this moment without use of word or sound – see where you are with eyes pressed tightly closed, hear a song with utter silence, taste the pure mountain air reach out and touch that which has no shape or form, no essence and you sit in the middle of reality.
A reflection on case 45 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
Do not pity the blind man for he can see much, and do not be sad for the deaf for they can hear you. Your eyes see nothing your ears do not discern the quietest sound. Rest your mind and taste the peace of blindness and silence.
A reflection on Case 113 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye) Koans
When the master takes his seat what do you expect of him? Do you watch his posture or how his hands are set. Do you stare at his lips and what do you hear when they move, but no sound comes from his throat. Listen carefully, for here the dharma unfolds like the first chrysanthemum.
A reflection on Case 79 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
She surely should have known better. Selling sea shells by the sea shore is a short sighted career path. Anyone can pick up the shells on the seashore, selling shells is simply silly, and she should see that. But each day she sets up her stand, sets out the shells, and sits waiting to see who will shop for her sea shells. No one does, of course, but she is certain she will sell some soon if only to sailors shortly setting sail. So sad, really, but she certainly does not seem to mind.
In setting along the path do you follow Hofuku covering your eyes so as not to see evil, ears so as not to hear it and close your mind to wandering ideas or is Jizo’s path yours as well?
With eyes shut tight the mind will still see, with ears covered sound will echo, growing louder with no hope of escape. With open eyes light is reflected, with ears open fully, sound passes freely and flitters away and the empty bowl is filled with potential.
It is all to often debated what sets humans apart the other species, and that will not be agreed any time soon (which a cynic would note is one such thing itself).
Freud would claim it is only our ego, our sense of self, which may explain why people are so capable of being self- ish, and I suspect he was certain he was wholly correct but I would give him only partial credit.
It is far simpler than that: record your voice, record a Sandhill crane and play them back and I assure you that you will say you sound nothing like what the recorder heard while the crane will nervously look all around for his unseen kin.