October 23, 2004


I am welcoming my dear friend Akilesh to this blog.

From Akilesh:

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:

When we look at the vast ocean, we see many waves. We may describe them as high or low, big or small, vigorous or less vigorous, but these terms cannot be applied to water. In the Lotus Sutra the wave is described as being in the historical dimension, while water is in the ultimate dimension. From the standpoint of the wave, of history, there is birth and there is death, but these are just signs. The wave is, at the same time, water. If the wave only sees itself as a wave, it will be frightened to death. The wave must look deeply into herself in order to realize that she is, at the same time, water. If we take away the water, the wave cannot be; and if we remove the waves, there will be no water. Wave is water, and water is wave. They belong to different levels of being. We cannot compare the two. The words and concepts that are ascribed to the wave cannot be ascribed to water.

Perfection is for the wave to exist in both realms simultaneously. When you touch deeply the historical dimension, you touch the ultimate dimension, and when you have touched the ultimate dimension, you have not left the historical dimension. When you step into... the ultimate dimension -- you realize that touching the water is wonderful, but it does not mean the wave has vanished. The wave is always the water. If you try to touch only the wave and not the water, you will suffer from fear of birth and death and many other afflictions. But if you look deeply into yourself and realize that you are the water, all fear and afflictions will vanish. Touching the water, you also touch the wave.

One autumn day, I was practicing walking meditation. The leaves were falling just like rain. I stepped on one leaf, picked it up, looked at it, and smiled, realizing that the leaf has always been there. Every autumn the leaves fall, and every spring they re-manifest themselves. They stay throughout the summer, and then in autumn, they fall to the ground again. They're playing hide and seek, pretending to die and to be reborn, but it is not true. When I looked deeply into the leaf, I saw that it was not just one leaf, just as the Buddha is not just one person. The Buddha is, at the same time, everywhere. We are simultaneously everywhere, in all times. You can touch the leaf in the historical dimension or in the ultimate dimension; it's up to you. The practice of the Lotus Sutra is to touch yourself, the leaf, and the tree in the ultimate dimension.

When you touch the wave, you touch the water at the same time. That is our practice. If you are with a group of friends practicing mindfulness while sitting, walking, or drinking tea, you will be able to touch the ultimate dimension while living in the historical dimension. Your fear, anxiety, and anger will be transformed easily when you are not confined by the waves, when you are able to touch the water at the same time.

When I picked up the leaf that day, I saw that the leaf with pretending to be born in the springtime and pretending to die at the end of autumn. We do appear, manifest to help living beings, including ourselves, and then disappear. We have within us a miraculous power, and if we live our daily lives in mindfulness, with love and care, we can produce the miracle and transform our world into a miraculous place to live. Taking steps slowly, in mindfulness, is an act of liberation. You walk and you free yourself of all worries, anxieties, projects, and attachments. One step like this has the power to liberate you from all afflictions. Just being there, you transform yourself, and your compassion will bear witness. The energy of compassion in you will transform life and make it more beautiful. This is a deep practice...

* * *

What are we looking at? Where are we placing our precious attention? This human life is short. Are we using it wisely? Are we are growing in silence, in innocence, in clarity, warmth and bliss? Or are we living an anxious, stressed life? Is the fragrance around us one of gratitude, contentment and celebration? Can others feel this, our innocence, our authentic presence? This body, this opportunity will not be around forever. When will we begin living, loving, laughing? When will we finally relax, and live life joyously, playfully? It is easy to look outside and see degradation in the world all around us. Is this seeing -- which is a creative act, a sacred act -- degrading or uplifting your world? This fellow Thich Nhat Hanh says we have a miraculous power within. He says we can find this miracle through meditation, mindfulness. What if we began seeing freshly, meditatively, and deeply trusted this seeing? Mr. Hanh suggests that we appear in the world to love and encourage, both ourselves and others, and then we disappear. Sounds like a life worth living. What is the possibility of living such a life?

Start with trust, trusting the bare naked innocence within, the still, small voice within. Meditation can help. It's a good place to start. Eventually you realize the futility of striving and become one with trust, one with love, one with naked innocence. It's up to you. Will you allow yourself to dissolve, let things be, allow things to happen, and trust the emptiness you find within? Trust your innocence, your silence. Move from trust.


james said...

Beautiful words. I love TNH. He is a beautiful energy. I too enjoy watching the leaves fall and change during this season. Change is everywhere and it is not to be feared but enjoyed and embraced. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I love TNH, also. Being Peace is my favorite.
We Quakers fight for peace. That's okay, but Being Peace is better; it's contagious.

May the peace that passes understanding be within us, and among us forever.

Meg said...

I have been reading TNH's latest writing, 'True Love,' and I believe this posting delves into the spirtually-minded act of loving that I've been reading about. How do we touch that "ultimate dimension?" I believe that it happens by being receptive... to existence, mostly. Hmm... he's a neat thinker. And easy to read, for how deep he is.

I like blogs, mom!
love meg

Akilesh said...

Your question, "How do we touch that 'ultimate dimension?'" is one of the deepest questions we can ask. It is simply wonderful that you are asking such a question. You suggest that touching this dimension "happens by being receptive to existence." This sounds right on target. When we become a deep receptivity, which is more characteristic of the feminine, we allow an opening, a space for existence to pour into us; we are more available to be filled with the love of existence.

Here are some questions for you. What is in the way of your being receptive to existence? What distracts you from this receptivity? What is the possibility of you not only touching the ultimate dimension, but being that? We feel we exist in the historical dimension, as an individual wave, a person, but how come we have difficulty touching and being the ultimate dimension, the water itself, non-separate?