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December 14, 2014

The Most Important Zen Koan is only Thirteen Words Long.

ello social network todd

 

Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.  (via Alan Watts)

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Monks in Early Morning Contemplation, Mount Fuji Japan by Burt Glinn 1961.

 

This poem, or koan, is fundamental to the Buddhist path.

Through the practice of meditation, we go from taking things seriously, thinking reality is solid (there is a mountain) to seeing through preconceptions and recognizing interdependence and impermanence (no mountain) to, finally, seeing things just as they are (what is, is).

Gassho!

PS: I finally accepted my invite and joined Ello, a new social network free of ads and full of the right to privacy. Find us there: @waylonlewis and @elephantjournal

~

For more:

Shunyata: How Emptiness Leads to Enlightenment.

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