non sense

Continuing with a snippet from John Dunne’s talk at Upaya:   “Even if (we) remove self, there is still grasping and rejection.”

We have a systematic map of this self that can be known through the five skandhas: form interacting with sensation (and its positive and negative feeling tone), perception or recognition of that sensation, mental formations or interpretations and consciousness. To cultivate awareness of these arising leads to non-dual awareness – the dissolution of subject and object, me and you, us and them, this and that.  Yet it’s so easy to become confused – or in the words of Zen Master Mazu, “polluted” by “a fluctuating mind.”

I find myself derailed moment by moment, caught up in the what if and even the what is, unable to make non-sense out of the barrage of sensations.  There’s nothing wrong with what I want – for myself, for those I love, for the world and all its beings.  It just in how I get invested, caught, snagged by the twists and turns of the map.  Dunne closed the panel following his talk with the comment that the “practice is not to grasp the end point.”  The practice is in “harnessing the concepts” and letting them work like a “taste that turns you around.”  To do that I need to clarify the process not in the sense of be more assured of it but in the sense of being more alert to its workings.

From Linji (in Zen Essence: the science of freedom, translated and edited by Thomas Cleary:

The six supernormal faculties of the enlightened are the ability to enter the realm of form without being confused by form, to enter the realm of sound without being confused by sound, to enter the realm of scent without being confused by scent, to enter the realm of flavor without being confused by flavor, to enter the realm of feeling without being confused by feeling, to enter the realm of phenomena without being confused by phenomena.

Thank you for practicing,