Archive for the Buddhism Category

The Ubiquitous Mr. Wu

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, That was Zen, and this is Tao on May 13, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

wu-wei

I originally posted this almost two years ago; I was reminded of it just now, and thought I would share it.

As a surname, he appears in numerous references to fictional and non-fictional characters ranging from the Chinaman in the TV series “Deadwood”, to the songs of George Formby, or even “Dr. Wu” by Steely Dan.

It is a very common name in China, as well as an informal category for a form of Chinese spoken in the Wu Provence of China.

Depending upon the dialect, the Chinese word for “No” can be pronounced “Wú”, or “Bú”. In Japanese or Korean, it is translated as “Mu”.

“Mu” is also a key element in Zen Buddhism.

The Buddha stated that “All things have Buddha-nature” despite the fact that he also allegedly stated immediately after his own birth that “…from the heavens above to the earth below, only I am holy.”

! is also the enigmatic emphatically negative response to the question in Zhaozhou’s answer (he is called Jo-Ju in Korean) in the Zen Koan that asks whether or not the dog has Buddha-Nature. It is often listed as the first of the Ten Gates.

Mu is also sometimes translated as “Pure human awareness, prior to experience or knowledge”.

In the Jogye practice of Korean Zen Buddhism as exemplified by the teachings of Seung-San Soen-Sa, this refers to what one knows intrinsically “in a place before words or thoughts”, sometimes expressed as “don’t-know-mind” or “you already know”, or even “if you open your mouth to speak, already you are wrong.”

It also may be intended to imply that the question is improper and must be unasked because yes is just as wrong as no or even no response at all.

Robert Persig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance equates this to a “Mu” (High-Resistance) state by identifying that although it is frequently asserted that binary computers are controlled by either a “One” or a “Zero” value, if the power is shut down there is neither “One” or “Zero”.

Yet in contemplating these interpretations of Zhao-zhou/Chao-chou/ or Jo-Ju’s response I could not help noticing how the emphatic pronunciation is also a phonetic pun that mimics that sound of the barking of a dog, thereby calling attention to our attachment to words.

“Wu!”

This makes perfect sense…in fact, I have never heard a dog issue either a “Bow!” or a “Wow!”

“Wu!”

I do understand the value of the contemplation of this enigmatic and paradoxical Koan for its own sake. For many years, I had only heard or read the English translation of “No!” and it encouraged the maintenance of the “ever-questioning mind” that is a fundamental cornerstone of Zen from which many other understandings were to come.

Mu is important to understand that any and all thoughts or uses of reason and words are to be cut off and discarded when the conditions of the question do not match the reality.

For some reason, when I read Persig’s book, his explanation of “mu” did not stick, and was completely forgotten for more than thirty years.

Obviously, that might have helped me many years ago…but perhaps not….

Easy answers may lead to facile understandings of more complex questions.

“Wu Wei” is a term for without action or even “Wei wu wei” meaning action without action or effortless action as in the Tao of T’ai chi ch’uan.

In similar fashion, at the risk of being a “spoiler” I would also like to propose the following solutions to several other enigmatic questions, such as:

If all things return to the One, to where does the One return?

ZERO. As simplistic as this may seem, it is nonetheless true.

In Buddhism, this is supported by the concept of Impermanence.

It is a fundamental scientific concept, especially in regard to quantum mechanics.

“First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain then there is…”

You are a Zen Master in a monastery, and a very large, intimidating man comes into the temple, who lights a cigarette, whereupon he blows smoke into the face of the statue of the Buddha, and drops the ashes onto the statue as well.

He believes that Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

All things have Buddha-nature…he is the Buddha, the Buddha is him. No matter where he drops the ashes, the Buddha is everywhere. He is stuck and thinks that there is nothing else beyond his belief. Ashes are Buddha, Buddha is ashes

It is a given that “If you open your mouth to speak, already you are wrong” because all words have opposites and create disagreement.

If you try to teach his error with words, he will only hit you.

What can you do to teach him?

This Koan was popularized by Seung-San Soen-Sa, a patriarch of the Jogye Order of the Kwan Um School of Korean Zen, presented to him by Mang-Gong, his teacher.

In all my research of this Koan, it is to date, the only one that was never explained in print, and it seemed that no answer was to be found anywhere, despite the fact that I have struggled with this question for more than twenty years.

This question has to do with what is called “Dharma Action” such as biting an apple, ringing a bell, or drinking tea, because in the final stage of Zen, “everything is just like this…just this, only this…in a place before words or thoughts…”.

All is an illusion, a dream of dreaming. There is only impermanence. Even the comings and goings are an illusion.

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness.

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.

No Form, no Emptiness…only this…Nirvana.

Magic, Madness and Absolute Freedom; Fish fly in a fiery sky and birds swim in a bottomless sea of all the tears of all the Buddhas, past and present. A stone girl plays a flute with no holes as lions dance with lambs to a song with no words or notes.

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…everything is just like this. We have found our way back to a home that was already ours before our parents were born. We now recognize our one true face. We are like a mirror.

For several years, I believed that the answer was “Nothing” because all words create disagreement, and that perhaps the lack of reaction (Wu-wei) would eventually cause the man with the cigarette to realize his error, because for one thing, the statue of the Buddha is not the Buddha.

How many people does it take to achieve world peace?

One. (If that answer isn’t obvious, then think about it until it is…)

I figured it was best not to argue, but I was still attached to words and thoughts.

In fact however, I just had not yet come to realize the Dharma action that would cause him to realize that, like the Uroborus, all Zen teaching leads back to itself; “Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…everything is Just Like This.”

Sooooo…What do you do?

Smile. Pick up the Ashes, and with great loving-kindness, blow them into his face.

Buddha is Buddha. Ashes are Ashes. (He can taste the difference.)

A quarter is still twenty-five cents.

“The mouse eats cat-food, but the cat-bowl is broken.”

As the tides come and go, fish swim in and out of the river as it flows to and from the sea.

Can you hear me Dr. Wu?

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

08/01/2015

“Spirits in the Night”…? (or How many Monkeys…?)

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Much Too Good For Children, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Zen, Zen on December 6, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Isn’t it ironic that we seem more preoccupied with trying to figure out what happens after we die than we do trying to figure out how we got here in the first place?

I ask that because although we are now beginning to be able to scientifically speculate as to the origins of the universe to a degree that may lend clues as to the very nature of existence itself, we are still unable to track where the mysteriously unaccounted for twenty-one grams of weight that allegedly leaves the body goes at the moment of death because no one has been able to come back to tell us. (With the possible exception of the occasional disembodied spirit that has allegedly either been witnessed or felt.)

My mother was a college-educated, Registered Nurse…and a most reluctant spirit medium, so I try to keep an open…and eternally questioning mind.

When I was very young, my father was a research scientist . He was the one who first told me how “…theoretically speaking…an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually produce Shakespeare.”

I was maybe ten years old at the time. It was the same year I lost my faith to agnosticism.

He was attempting to help me conceptualize the inevitability of all things in a quantum world. He meant well, and the image worked…in my mind, I could see a sea of monkeys elbow to elbow for as far as the eye could imagine in all directions.

I could hear their typewriters clattering, clicking and clacking away until the sound grew to a rhythmically swelling, collective singularity that sounded like the roar of the ocean as heard from a long distance.

(This often happened at nights when I could not fall asleep, and it beat counting sheep.)

If you have read any number of other posts of mine, you may have already assumed by now that I did not have a normal childhood, but in the back of my mind, those monkeys were just typing away… forever…and then one day I thought “So what happens when they finally do produce Shakespeare?…do they at least get a couple weeks vacation?…the rest of the week off?…early retirement?…an extra banana?…within the eternity of infinity, does it make any difference?”

Inquiring ten-year-old minds want to know….

I had a feeling that they did not; and after all, one thing just leads to another anyway…so after they wrote “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for instance, perhaps they could go on to write something truly original…(but hopefully, more accessible than Finnegan’s Wake).

The Cosmic Microwave Background discovered during the last century functions as a sort of photograph of the moment of the Big Bang.

In order to understand what it took to discover it, and then to interpret the findings in ways that might lend clues as to where we will go, we have had to re-align our thinking in ways that are still recognizable and repeatable to other scientists, mathematicians, and theoretical quantum physicists.

I’m not referring to just our individual lives, but as a species, and further, any existence at all after the inevitable collapse of the entire universe, which quantum physicists tell us will happen.

Everything out of Nothing and back again to Nothing at all.

Eventually.

General and specific relativity and quantum physics still have a few gaps between them that do not entirely explain each other in terms of a working continuum. It is speculated that those gaps might be filled in by the discovery of a universal factorial, or constant.

Dark Matter and Dark Energy may hold the clues, if not the explanation itself.

Perhaps.

Now, slowly repeat from five to zero backwards as you complete one full cleansing breath for each number…if you can do that while reading or walking, so much the better, but either way I’ll still be here when you get back…and while you’re at it, at least try to sit up straight….

You thought I meant that rhetorically, didn’t you?

Unless you just finished doing it, all I can say is that I would hope nobody has to hold a gun to your head to get you to do something that is good for you….and anyway, this next segment takes a bit of a leap in continuity so I thought the cleansing breaths might draw attention away from it.

Whether you call them Gods, Angels, or Ghosts, virtually all cultures that have existed on this earth create various degrees of acknowledgment, faith, fervor, and encouragement as to their existence; something occult, outside of our nominal, solid, three-dimensional state.

Did we create them in our own image because we needed to believe in something more than just our meager, finite existence?

Why do we feel so compelled to create a God to do so?

Is it possible to imagine a scientific explanation of sorts? Where do imagination and speculation end, and religions begin?

Are there other alternate parallel universes beyond or outside ours?

Is it possible that one’s vital life force (aka: soul?) could pass relatively undisturbed and intact, held together by something like a Higgs-boson field; something to lend it cohesiveness and coherence?

If they were only visible when they lingered for anything longer than Planck Time, they would be free to move from one dimensional plane to another in a completely fluid state of existence in no particular place at all.

In Planck time they can come and go, lingering just long enough to be visible, but allowing the Persistence of (our) Memory to make them appear solid in more than one place at a time.

(Planck Time is something on the order of one nanosecond to the negative twenty-third power, and is named after Max Planck, the German theoretical physicist and originator of quantum theory)

(And btw, certain sub-atomic particles travel even faster then the speed of light.)

It is postulated that the vacuum of space is not just completely empty, but rather filled with Dark Matter or Dark Energy…the void of presumably empty space from which our entire universe erupted.

Absolute nothingness is a very unstable state in terms of quantum mechanics. Given enough time (which is presumably non-existent in a non-existent universe), something will happen and something will appear out of what appears to be nothing, and it has all the time that has, will ever, or never has existed to do so.

The further down one goes in size, the more obvious it becomes that relative to its size, no matter how dense we may perceive a presumably solid object to be, it is almost entirely empty space.

Deep space is just as empty as sub-atomic space, and suns, planets, solar systems and galaxies resemble electrons , nuclei, atoms and molecules. It would appear that the Higgs-Boson field that provides coherence on a sub-atomic level is mirrored in the rest of the universe by gravity.

The Higgs-Boson particle, and its associated effects are thus far, the most elemental of forces in the known universe, as well as possibly whatever houses it, and may represent a fifth force (including the continuous classical force of gravity and the other three discrete quantum fields of electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces).

Without Higgs-Boson, there would be no binding effect within the substrates of sub-atomic particles, resulting in zero mass, zero existence.

Perhaps Higgs-Boson is the equivalent of Gravity on a sub-atomic level, as nearly as can be interpreted in terms of quantum physics.

Infinite (Im)Probability eventually yields existence out of what appears to be nothing. In terms of quantum physics, no matter where you are at this exact instant, you are at the exact center of the universe.

On a quantum level, under particular conditions in a cyclotron/ particle accelerator, particles appear to not only pop in and out of existence, but even occupy two spaces at the same time. It is even possible for two of certain particles to occupy the same space at the same time.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle allows that in simply observing a phenomenon, we influence and affect it. (perhaps vice-versa as well).

“They became what they beheld.”

Density is relative to velocity. To what extent do particle accelerators affect the results that have been observed?

The story of Schrodinger’s Cat illustrates how a minimum of three outcomes exist simultaneously until the moment we open the vault.

…Sound familiar?…Perhaps….

“All existence is an illusion.”

“All is impermanence”

“Form is Emptiness; Emptiness is Form….

No Form, No Emptiness…

Absolute Freedom…

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…

Everything is exactly as it seems.”

(Basic Buddhist Doctrine 101)

Not based on any sort of scientific evidence, experiment or research, it would appear that they reached the same conclusions and anticipated the same results as theoretical quantum physicists.

Witness the power of the mind to envision a reality completely occult to casual observation, just by imagination, long before the existence of Scientific Method.

Both disciplines are filled with paradoxes and enigmas that seem to contradict the common wisdom.

One might even be inclined to be encouraged by the apparent intersection of two divergent paths of Knowledge and Wisdom that arrive at the same conclusions.

Or maybe…just maybe*…it is simply the results of beliefs which are the natural product of how we wrap our heads around our origins as well as our present existence…something like the lowest common denominator that our brains can process.

Or maybe it is the equivalent of “Tilt” due to inherent gaps or defects built into either the hard-wiring of our brains, and naturally, also our computers…or the result of the programming created within cultural biases, and other a priori assumptions locked into the Zeitgeist of either science or religion, since both are the results of human minds…thinking.

In my perfect world, however, I envision how an infinite series of Chimpanzees and word-processors eventually will not only write Shakespeare, but will go on to write Tom Robbins, Hunter Thompson and Dave Barry verbatim in unison while a mixed chorus of Chimpanzees and Bonobos perform perfectly synchronized reenactments of every Busby Berkeley dance routine ever performed, witnessed or filmed, while another “Universe out of Nothing” springs to life after an as-yet undetermined amount of time passes after the end of the Universe as we know it now. (Keep in mind, our universe is not infinite, although our theoretical primates are.)

“All existence is created within the mind.” (In this case, my mind.)

Unfortunately, by the time that event occurs, no one will be likely to even have the slightest clue as to what the fuck English was, and just regard it as gibberish and throw it away, further attributing the dancing to the results of Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome due to Repetitive Thought Injury (a long-overdue diagnosis within our most recent human culture, btw & imho).

Of course, even that pre-supposes that somewhere out there, some One or some Thing would be omnipresently witnessing, acknowledging, keeping score and/or even controlling everything outside of everything else; primates, word processors et al…an Uber-Sentience.

Or does it?

If a universe collapses, and no one is there to witness it, does it make a sound…did it ever exist?

Would it matter?

No matter, no matter.

No matter, no suffering.

And maybe…just maybe*…the Buddha was wrong and in fact, Suffering follows all Existence….

No existence, no suffering.

Does res ipsa loquitur with no one to speak, and no one to hear it?

Just a thought…

Just another Buddha dead…

Anyone hungry?

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

12/04/2015

*apologies and/or acknowledgements to Louis CK for the catch-phrase, as well as Dr. Lawrence Krauss, and Douglas Adams for additional inspiration and bon mots.

(“…and thanks for all the fish” to everyone else….”)

Why not? A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

Sayonara, y’all.

 

 

 

 

 

Chotto Matte

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Poetry on November 28, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

しばおま

It is said that

Desire leads to suffering

but that is only half the picture.

Denial of desire

unfulfilled

is

its own suffering.

There is no hurry…

You must know desire

in order to rise above it.

Enlightenment

comes at its own pace

like the

Spring Rains

and the fish that swim

with the tide.

The snake must grow

before it can shed its

skin.

There is no hurry.

The dog chases the deer

because the deer runs.

Matte Kudasai…

Chotto Matte…

You will not

miss your turn.

There is no attainment

with nothing to attain.

No hurry

with no finish line

to cross.

しばおま

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

11/27/2015

 

Punto Finale

Posted in Bardo Thordol, Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Poetry on November 28, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

When we all are gone…

When the Universe

returns

to

The Void,

and the One

returns to Zero,

there will be no sadness,

with no one to mourn

our passing

or celebrate

our existence.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

11/27/2015

 

How do I Feel? (revisited)

Posted in Buddhism, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Escape Velocity, Post-Neo Dharma Bum, The Liberation Through Hearing, this thing we do with words, Zen, Zen on October 14, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

How do I Feel about my World Today?

Who is Asking the Question?

Today’s Mantra.

Before I get in touch with My Gratitude, I feel the need to assess my current condition in terms that better lend themselves to self awareness as a way of exercising the Ever Questioning Mind.

Something to gnaw on while doing T’ai-Chi Ch’uan perhaps.

Once you see the illusion of life as well as its impermanence as we experience the Folly of it all, it is easier to choose which path to take at any given moment, as one might a hat or a pair of shoes.

This is not to rule out emotional considerations. They are a part of the equation, just not all of it.

I just ran across an old quote by Kurt Vonnegut. He was giving advice on how to write and called the semi-colon(s) “Transexual Hermaphrodites”. …as if that was something bad…at least that’s the way most of the critics of the day viewed it; however, only one source I found noted that his next statement was that in case no one knew if he was kidding, “…from now on, I’ll tell you when I am kidding.”

There is excitement in illusion, in intrigue and in the commission of The Act (whatever it is).

Kurt would not like my works, I think. Most of his advice goes completely against the way I write. OK, I get that.

I think I like the semi-colon more than ever, viewing it in the light Vonnegut suggests; and I also disagree that one cannot fragment and creatively use words in the fashion that John Coltrane or Pablo Picasso might with notes or paint. James Joyce already did that in Finnegan’s Wake, after all.

I want the reader to feel like they fell down the rabbit hole. (That’s where all the good [fun] stuff is).

By the time they reach the bottom they will have everything they need to know to figure it out for themselves…of course, they already do… even if they don’t know they know it yet.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/14/2015

 

 

 

How do I Feel?

Posted in Buddhism, Crossing the Abyss, inspiration, Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Zen on October 14, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

How do I Feel about my World Today?

Then ask Why? seven times….

(Kaizen.)

Who is Asking these Questions?

And who answers?

Today’s Mantra…maybe.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/14/2915

 

 

 

One Step Beyond Everything

Posted in Buddhism, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Zen on August 17, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Something happened to me last night. I felt myself take another step that brought me closer to where I began.

Not backward…Forward.

Away from Religion, or even Zen Buddhism. Away from seeking something outside myself. Away from Denial. Away from attachments to words, or shape or form.

One step closer to a destination that was my origin. One step closer to a destination which I am not likely to reach anytime soon and in which am in no hurry to arrive.

One step closer to my true self.

It was written in the first-person, but if you can see past the repeated references to my self it is my hope that you will see that it is written not of ego, but gratitude and a profound desire to share it.

Some time ago I tried to leave pre-conceived notions and attachments to words, ideologies, credos, party platforms, agendas, catch-phrases, clichés, prejudices, hatred, convenience, convention, and my seemingly endless addictions to sensation and strong emotions with the belief, indeed the desire to find peace and gain insight and enlightenment.

I learned to love selflessly and fearlessly which meant enduring the searing pain of letting go of comfortable but unhealthy situations or intoxicating desires amidst a sea of pleasures long enough to recognize how to walk away and accept what must be done without letting go of the love; not hating the experience or the object of my desire, and accepting each instead as a person rather than a possession, knowing full well that nothing could take either the love or the experience away from me, not even them.

I hoped that they could do the same, but even then, I had to let go of my ego long enough to let them find their own way without my continued interference. I had to trust independently of either faith or belief with detached compassion for everything to which I am connected.

I had to earn to accept the bitterness and resentment that my actions have set in motion without self-righteous indignation or resentments of my own.

I had to learn how to heal without scarification.

It is not easy to maintain a loving relationship with your family and still travel to a place of complete emptiness where even the “Bone of Space” or Dark Matter is nowhere to be found, yet I was compelled to experience it in order to continue on my journey, despite the fact that I had no clue as to where it would take me, no matter how far beyond my home that journey might be.

It takes a great deal of imagination to be able to experience an eternity of complete nothingness, even for a moment of unbridled discipline.

But once that can be realized, your imagination becomes limitless. You will be able to know the entire universe without leaving your home.

All existence is created within the mind but experience can only be found in the world you create or destroy.

But something was missing…something had been lost, and I no more knew where to look than I knew what it was that I had lost.

There came a time when I felt myself being drawn to a series of vibrations…music the likes of which I had no recollection, yet which seemed hauntingly familiar, like Dark Energy rubbing the “Bone of Space”….

Then I began to recognize it everywhere…not just in old or new songs…but everywhere.

All of the apparent discord of the world was strangely harmonizing with everything else, from broadband industrial motor noise to the high-pitched whine of a mosquito’s wings…the drone of a telemarketing call center, or the wind in the pines above my cabin…all of it.

Every blade of grass was a tongue that harmonized a symphony that I had written to celebrate this beautiful life I had created as tears of joy ran down my one true face so overwhelmed by gratitude to be right here, right now…all of it.

I am so filled with passion and love that it drowns out all the arguments and conflict that once filled my head with cacophony.

The Music is back in my life in a very big way, much like it once was, only different.

If you let it, one mosquito can spoil an entire night’s sleep. It can bring about the death of dreams if you let it.

There will always be endless potential for suffering somewhere in your world, and mine is no different…sorrow comes…sorrow goes.

If you don’t take the bait, you won’t feel the hook of Shenpa.

Whatever suffering comes into your life is going to happen for a reason. We are taught to run from pain and chase pleasure, but both are inescapable.

Pain will make you stronger, and teach you something you were meant to learn if you can stop feeling sorry for yourself long enough to recognize what it is.

There is nothing wrong with pleasure or joy, and Love is the only reason for being alive.

I embraced Zen Buddhism because I was seeking enlightenment, Peace, Understanding and Wisdom despite the fact that I really had no idea what any of those things really were, but I thought I would find a better way to live my life.

There is no escape. Meditation and chanting can provide enough distancing and perspective to gain objectivity without the obligatory participation in the Saint Vitus Dance that has mesmerized so many of our peers and ancestors unknowingly, but the act of pursuit is not life; although it may return you to your true self, the person you were before your parents were born.

Zen is a path that helps us to recognize the illusions, impermanence and insubstantiality of all existence. Zen meditation is initially a journey into emptiness, and for a long while, it was an escape.

To experience true emptiness, you have to step away from everything, including God, Buddhism, Meditation, Sex, Food, Drugs, Pleasure, Friends, Family, Parents, Home, Earth, Knowledge, Enlightenment…just this…Nothingness…even Emptiness is gone.

This is what Buddhists refer to as Nirvana“No Form, No Emptiness”. In my blissfully ignorant Hippy days, (like most of my peers) I thought it was everything…The End. The Destination.

That misconception is still endemic to our culture, but although it did not continue for very long for me, it was nonetheless a very long time before I achieved it.

I seemed to have a preternatural avoidance to embracing it…I could feel myself pull away in fear…it made me fear for my sanity (whatever little there was).

True emptiness is unnerving. It meant that I had to loose the illusion of Control, and face my mortality, as well as how insignificant my short life was.

In the midst of fearing the emptiness of my eventual death, I asked myself what was it like waiting to be born?

What is it like to be in God’s waiting room? (…and I don’t mean Boca Raton.)

Wu!…(or perhaps Mu….)

It is believed that the earth took hundreds of millions of years to form, the result of the accumulated collisions of particles in space within our orbit.

Mars is believed to have had water on it five billion years ago, and possibly even life. Where did that life go?

I had been more than a little crazy for a long time, although even that was not good enough…so I jumped into the volcano…I embraced the Void.

I suddenly remembered an LSD trip I had experienced years before, In which I had witnessed my own beheading. As I recoiled in shock I saw my own head roll to my feet…for an indeterminate amount of time it felt like everything had stopped…I could not move, or breathe, and I felt as if Time had stopped. Even my field of vision was frozen.

Then, a quiet, loving, and clear, soothing voice whispered in my ear “Who is observing this?…all of this was created within your own mind…in here, nothing can harm you.”

In this state of mind, you can bend time and space, or conjure events or items under precisely the right circumstances if your heart and your motives are pure, but it is not a parlor trick to be performed like watching a dancing bear.

I have witnessed and experienced it myself several times, but it was not unlike Douglas Adams’ description of unassisted human flight accomplished by virtue of throwing yourself at the earth and missing it…

Twice it has saved my life, and once it reminded me of the possible consequences of my actions before I took a step that I am glad I avoided.

It almost has to occur as if it was an accident. I have never witnessed it as an exercise of will or ego.

I do not pretend to have faith in anything, so I was as disinclined to believe it myself as I assume you will be, but for what it is worth it is considered a part of the arc that becomes a circle.

I have recently heard and read about what is called The Nature of the Shape of Space as regards what is sometimes referred to as the force of gravity for instance.

My understanding of general and specific relativity and quantum mechanics is so limited that I only mention it because it may well be that everything we think we think we know is wrong, but that concept does not especially bother me any more.

As for the divinity of the Buddha, I regard descriptions of his birth and life in much the same light as I do the cult of personality concerning Kim Il Sung. (But I already told you I am not a very good Buddhist….)

I read a description of the birth of the Buddha in which it is said that he sprang from the side of his mother, pointed to the North, the South, the East and the West, and proclaimed that from the endless sky above to the Earth below, only he was holy.

I am also fascinated by Greco-Roman Mythology, Egyptology, Wicca, the Old Testament and the Kabbalah, and find them insightful and full of amazing concepts, but I do not pray to anyone or anything.

I wouldn’t know where to start.

I never was a very good Buddhist, no matter how hard I tried.

I am, however, grateful for the teachings and philosophies of the Tao and Buddhism that have guided me these many years.

I am no longer concerned with the Enlightenment that I sought for so very long. The seeking is over…what comes will come. There is no attainment…there is only this…just this…everything is just like this, but seen through different eyes.

I have experienced many epiphanies that have resulted in some degree of insight, each one like another step in the journey of a thousand miles, which I regard as a continuous and life-long series of experiences.

I still read the Koans. Some are as clear as still water; some are still not.

Yet I still sit.

I still meditate.

There is a time for screaming just to shut out all the madness and chaos that surrounds us.

There is a time for quiet contemplation of the silence amidst the chaos to prepare for the great emptiness of the nothingness of Nirvana.

There is a time for the freedom of madness, and majic.

But eventually the snake will swallow its own tail.

The water flows into an out of the lagoon as the fish swim with the tide.

Love fearlessly and selflessly.

Do not demean or scorn the ways or beliefs of others unless you are the one lone voice of Reason amidst a lynch-mob.

Do not lie, cheat, or steal, but neither be afraid to accept what comes mysteriously into your possession through no fault of your own. If there is such a thing as Providence that could well be it, and would be most ungracious to decline, even in ignorance.

Deny yourself nothing that gives you pleasure that does not harm or diminish yourself or others except in its excess.

Nothing is either sacred or profane in and of itself, but you will always know the difference in your own heart when the time comes.

Always listen to your heart.

Remember to be grateful for everything; it is not only here for a reason, but since all existence is created within the mind, it is up to you to figure out why and to what end you created it.

Love selflessly and unilaterally. It is in the act of loving that we are exalted above all situations and circumstances of birth, privilege or sheer luck.

If you are blessed to be loved by someone who loves fearlessly, selflessly and without regard for its return, have the good sense to accept it without reservation of equivocation.

It is never wrong to tell someone that you love them.

What is given to you cannot be taken back, because it was already yours before it was given, just as what is theirs already is.

What we give, we get by virtue of our own giving, not by getting back.

Have the good sense to know when and how to say goodbye without regrets. Just be grateful.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

08/16/2015

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