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September 23, 2013


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In 1969 when I looked at the comic book sky, I had been involved with the holy quest of Zen since 1965. It took me a long time to aim my bow and arrow, so to speak, and like Schopenhauer said, hit a target no one else can see. Hitting this target gave me the ability to do one pointedness of mind, over and over again. I think in someways, looking back, it was like sending a signal to the Buddhas, "Hey dudes, I need some real help." Then in 1976 my SOS signal was answered.

Eidolon, I'm not giving you advice, but I think this may clear something up for you. In the book, _Zen: Merging of East and West_ by Philip Kapleau [the sequel to _The 3 Pillars of Zen_] read the 21st question in the chapter "The Dialogues." (p.51 of the paperback--it's probably in your local library.] As I read your note here, it reminded me of the experience of the WWII ex-soldier turned plumber who tried to recapture a memory of awakening. We all just need to go on...and not focus on some evanescent experience that happened in the past. Our practice is new every moment. You will never "recover that state." Good experiences in the past will give you faith--that's not inconsiderable! (Right, Zenmar?) But that's all.

One further point re the experience I recounted here: at the time it happened, I was not meditating or even very calm. I had been jogging when it was about 100 degrees, and I was sweaty, tired and uncomfortable. I was also impatient to get home and shower so I could go to the zendo and meditate in the evening. I caught something from the corner of my eye, I thought it was a rat, I looked over and saw instead just a plant, and whammo, the act of looking at that plant somehow sent me into another dimension, everything changed totally and instantly.


I think before I said that awakening to Mind is like the clouds opening up and the sun appearing. Wow! But we are cloud generators (our vasana = habit energy). Soon we put back the clouds. It's not that what you experienced ever went away. The sun is still there.

Glen Zorn:

Cetana-tattva (animative principle), the most primordial first-person, universal essence, etc.

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