May 9, 2018

Awakening as the State of the Universe

Some people may have doubts whether awakening is some one's subjective, i.e. unreliable or delusional feeling or experience, other people may imagine that awakening is truly a great experience only great people can achieve. According to Zen, awakening is neither. It is neither subjective, nor objective. If experienced, it is the lack of something, that we experience, yet that "lack of" is only a shade glimpsed from a single point of view. If I say awakening is lack of something one experiences, then it is very far from the actual awakening. If I say awakening is abundance of something, it is also not very accurate. The only thing I can say about awakening is that it is the state when we do not think, do not imagine, do not dwell in the subjective state, nor the objective state, do not divide body and mind, do not divide oneself and the universe, it is the state where things are just like this, not just like somebody said or written. If you think it must be experienced by a person, otherwise nobody would mention it, you are somehow right, it must have been experienced in the past and recorded and written about it and it was called awakening, for example. But what was experienced was without thinking, without subject or object, so whoever "experienced" that, did not experience anything particular, yet they experienced something. What they experienced, though, was not somebody experiencing awakening, it was not somebody experiencing delusion, it was not somebody experiencing something, and it was not somebody experiencing nothing. What was experienced was :just like this, without subject or object.

How come it was recognized? What was recognized was not awakening, what was recognized was not something external, it was not something internal, it was not objective, nor subjective. But something was recognized. A mistake was recognized. I see! There is no awakening that one can experience. This mistake was recognized. But that recognition is technically, or inaccurately called awakening. Buddha means: I see, there is no awakening. But there is tea, grass, walls, rocks, clouds and birds. Somebody could say that finding the objective world is Buddha, or awakening, but that is not so. Anyone can easily find the objective world. And anyone can easily find the subjective world. Buddha does not mean that. Buddha means realizing that the universe is not divided into subject and object, in fact, it is finding that things are just like this, and there is no subjective awakening, rather subjective finding that we have been deluded by words and images. At the same time, when realizing our mistake, we do not consider ourselves awakened or Buddha, yet, the moment in which we see our delusions is called Buddha. Seeing our delusions is nothing one could boast. But in spite of no place of pride here, seeing our delusions is a necessary part of our efforts in Buddhism. So awakening to our delusions is necessary. Calling such awakening "enlightenment" is ridiculous. Calling it anything is not accurate, it may be misleading, but calling it enlightenment is really silly. The universe is enlightenment, and there is no need to be enlightened to experience the enlightenment of the universe. The problem is when we are stuck in our delusions about enlightenment and the state of the universe. So we need to see our mistake through practicing zazen. In zazen it is clear that the universe is Buddha itself and we do not need to understand it or grasp it or achieve the universe as Buddha. If we leave the universe be what it is, without adding subjects or objects, evaluation or images, the universe is Buddha. Then we are not separated from Buddha. Not being separate is called Buddha. Calling ourselves Buddha means nothing if we do not say that everything is Buddha at the same time at the moment of Buddha, which is the universe as it is right now.

So I have been writing about awakening, as if I have experienced awakening, but all I can say is that I have noticed a few times in the past, or maybe zillion times, that without my ideas, evaluation, thinking, opinions or point  of view, Buddha is present brightly here and now. This is not different from seeing one's mistakes and delusion or how ridiculous one is. Or we could say that one notices that ultimately, our ideas or thinking or imagination does not matter at all. Then we can say something. It won't be accurate, but it may point to the place where words are not necessary. We need to point to the delusions of people, point to our own delusions and mistakes, otherwise we and others may be forever stuck in the world of  human thinking, which is amazing, but still, it is a kind of hopeless prison, and what if we never get out of this prison?  

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