Wednesday, 23 July 2014

You will live in a dream, thinking that it is reality. . . .The present is the only reality. There is no other.



Zen Master Seung Sahn elaborated on this topic in his excellent book The Compass of Zen (p. 143):

"Everyone thinks that this is extremely difficult teaching, something beyond their reach or experience. How can things appear and disappear, and yet there is, originally, even in this constantly moving world, no appearing and disappearing?

A student once asked me, 'The Mahaparinirvana-sutra seems very confusing. Everything is always moving. And yet everything is not moving? I don't understand this Buddhism . . .' But there is a very easy way to understand this: Sometime you go to a movie. You see an action movie about a good man and a bad man--lots of fighting, cars moving very fast, and explosions all over the place. Everything is always moving very quickly.

Our daily lives have this quality: everything is constantly moving, coming and going, nonstop. It seems like there is no stillness-place. But this movie is really only a very long strip of film. In one second, there are something like fourteen frames. Each frame is a separate piece of action. But in each frame, nothing is moving. Everything is completely still. Each frame, one by one, is a complete picture. In each frame, nothing ever comes or goes, or appears or disappears. Each frame is complete stillness. The film projector moves the frames very quickly, and all of these frames run past the lens very fast, so the action on-screen seems to happen nonstop. There is no break in the movement of things. But actually when you take this strip of film and hold it up to the light with your hands, there is nothing moving at all. Each frame is complete. Each moment is completely not-moving action.

"Our minds and the whole universe are like that. This world is impermanent. Everything is always changing, changing, changing, moving, moving, moving, nonstop. Even one second of our lives seems full of so much movement and change in this world that we see. But your mind--right now--is like a lens whose shutter speed is one divided by infinite time. We call that moment-mind. If you attain that mind, then this whole world's movement stops. From moment to moment you can see this world completely stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Like the film, you perceive every frame--this moment--which is infinitely still and complete. In the frame, nothing is moving. There is no time, and nothing appears or disappears in that box. But this movie projector--your thinkingmind--is always moving, around and around and around, so you experience this world as constantly moving and you constantly experience change, which is impermanence. You lose moment-mind by following your conceptual thinking, believing that it is real."
"This is not unchanging, yet it is not moving. It has never been void; there is no question of inside or outside, no separation of absolute and relative. Realize that this is your own original face: even if it appears as ordinary or holy, even if it divides into objective and subjective experiences, all comes and goes completely within it, all arises and vanishes herein. It is like the water of the ocean making waves; though they rise again and again, never is any water added. It is also like waves dying away; though they die out and vanish, not a drop is lost."
--Zen Master Keizan, Transmission of Light

"The life of a sentient being is a long dream. Existence only appears to be real. When one finally awakens, or attains Buddhahood, existence is seen for what it is--a sequence of illusions. Until that time, people will remain obsessed by the body, mind, and external phenomena, not realizing that they are illusory. You will live in a dream, thinking that it is reality. . . .

"Sentient beings mistakenly view their moment-to-moment illusory existence as a continuous, connected lifetime. Because they are unaware that their life is unreal, they do not attempt to wake up."

--Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, Complete Enlightenment





"To talk about the world as being made by God tomorrow or yesterday, would be talking nonsense. God makes the world and all things in this present now."

--Meister Eckhart



"Waking up from the dream means realizing that nothing ever happened. With Enlightenment there is no history. It has been burned out of existence. Time itself has been destroyed."

--Andrew Cohen


"It is like an image reflected in a mirror, it is seen but it is not real; the One Mind is seen as a duality by the ignorant when it is reflected in the mirror constructed by their memory. . . . The existence of the entire universe is due to memory that has been accumulated since the beginningless past but wrongly interpreted."

--The Lankavatara Sutra


"Just understand that things do not originate of themselves. All of them come into existence from your own single mental impulse of imagination mistakenly clinging to appearances.
"If you know that mind and objects fundamentally do not contact each other, you will be set free on the spot. Everything is in a state of quiescence right where it is; this very place is the site of enlightenment."

--Zen Master Pai-chang


"There is nothing to overcome and nothing to prepare for¾you cannot prepare for where you already are.
"If you believe that some process in time will gradually release you from the illusion of samsara, then you are in a very secure position. But if you realize that the idea of time is the illusion of samsara then the whole business is finished up very quickly. As long as there is any investment in the future, you are a hundred billion miles away from home."


--Andrew Cohen, Enlightenment is a Secret





"There is only now. Everything we call the ‘past’ is absolutely nothing but present memory. Everything we call the ‘future’ is absolutely nothing but fantasy and commentary, that is, present memory rearranged. If we continue to pretend that there is some other time or place to be, besides right here, right now, we are cruelly and pathologically deluding ourselves."

--Scott Morrison, There Is Only Now


"Beginningless time and the present moment are the same. . . . You have only to understand that time has no real existence."

--Zen Master Huang Po


"Eternity is not, and cannot, be found tomorrow--it is not found in five minutes--it is not found in two seconds. It is always already Now. The present is the only reality. There is no other."

--Ken Wilber, No Boundary


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