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October 16, 2013

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Methexis,

Thanks for the reminder of the seductive delusions of the samsaric dream.

I did read the Zennist's views on two nows, and while I am not so _foolish_ as to engage in a dharma duel with Zennist over such matters, I realize it somewhat differently.

I realize the mundane experience of time passing in samsaric existence is not Now, but merely an extension of consciousness which perceives conditioned reality, at the moment it can perceive, or at least become aware of through the consciousness, the _unconditioned_ reality of timeless time. In other words I do not realize time as a flow, except as all things temporal flow, as if through a dream, with neither beginning nor end but also without any ultimate reality.

Though I will be brief here, I have realized that time does not exist. I am hard pressed to say what it is we experience as time, however.

Time, as I understand it though David Bohm's theory of implicate order, is most likely an attribute of matter and not an external dimension or measurement. This goes beyond general relativity.

Why it matters is I think when we recognize that time is not present in Nirvana, and counts for nothing, at least not as a limiting factor, it extinguishes a great deal of samsaric delusion. Thus I realize time is a question, in regard to the Buddha dhatu, which does not fit the case.

To apply advaita vedanta, (and probably irritate everyone who has followed this far), I would say there are not two nows but that there is neither now nor not now.

MStrinado,

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I am deeply inspired by both John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, both of whom embody the spirit of renunciation and deep reflection in quietude which is intrinsic to the practice of Zen.

I also see close compatibility with the moral instruction of Buddhism and the benevolent teachings of Christ, and seek not to close myself off, in ignorance, from that which I may not fully understand.

I look forward to checking out your blog!

Neti-Neti Yeti:

I have been reading your recent posts with some levels of empathy. I am a retired Priest and am very familiar with the Carmelite Mysticism of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. You will find reference to both in my blog at:

unbornmind.com

You will also find in the archives there mention of my own spiritual progress over the years and how the zen mysticism of the Zennist (and his protege, Tozen) have deepened my own development.

As time progresses you may indeed reach a stage that the Zennist was referring to when one just remains "prior" to it all and focuses on That which Animates.

Best to you in your spiritual journey.

Neti-Neti Yeti:

I'm in no position to comment on your practice since I'm a complete beginner, but there are possibly some malign influences in your expression to your otherwise praiseworthy efforts esp. your focus on "here-and-now awareness" - - samsaric awareness is just what it is. It's awareness within a dream. Which can be good, I think - there are many people who go at great lengths to effectuate so called "lucid dreams", which present-moment-awareness is.

Not sure if you read this 2 years old blog of the Zennist, I recommend it:

http://zennist.typepad.com/zenfiles/2011/09/not-one-but-two-nows-.html

Methexis,

I have heard it said that the reliance upon awareness in Zen, with its self discipline, is the external supporting condition (or object of faith), rather than on Buddha’s compassion, which seems to take the role of self awareness in Pure Land schools. I find it interesting that in some places where both Zen and Pure Land are practiced, the laity seems to prefer reliance upon Buddha’s compassion, whereas the monkhood is more disciplined and takes the path of Zen.

In my own practice, which is heavily influenced by Zen (but not exclusively), it has been hard for me to accept reliance upon Buddha’s compassion is sufficient. It is this reliance upon “gods” and ritual which has kept me at arms length from both Christianity and Hinduism, (though I have had some practice with both), at the same time I am drawn to effort-based realizations of Zen.

I do think a good dose of accepting Buddha’s compassion can be a salve for practice disrupted by setbacks or troubles along the way, but my inner guide continually brings me back to the heart of wisdom and the importance of deep study and continual effort to eliminate the defilements.

I have never really bought into the idea of reciting Buddha’s name as a method, but it is nice to have such practices in the spiritual medicine chest. The remedy I am looking at now is how the disciplined eradication of the kleshas, builds faith and virtue by clearing obscurations, while the continual disciplined practice of here-and-now awareness erases delusions and permits deep insight.

It would be interesting to hear some perspectives from those who are better informed than me.

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