Guidance in the time of Corona #13

Dear All,

The situation in the world is that 120000 people have died with corona and almost 2 million have been infected with the virus. The world is being confused by the virus situation. We are living in a world of information and are constantly receiving data input. We are not calm in our mind but rather feel anxious.

In the olden days Nangaku Ejo Zenji was at the place of the Sixth Patriarch and was asked by him: “Who is it that came here?” Nangaku Ejo Zenji was a scholar, he could not give a simple answer. He was a man, a person of training, his life history was known to the Sixth Patriarch as well. Knowing all this, still he was asked, so a simple answer would not suffice. Nangaku Ejo Zenji lowered his head and left the room. It took him eight years, asking the question within, who am I, digging into this question. After eight years he met the Sixth Patriarch again and answered: “That which cannot be described in words has come.” Eight years he worked hard on this question. The Sixth Patriarch could see the answer alive in Nangaku Ejo Zenji, and could sense that he had awakened to human´s truth.

We have a physical body, yet we need to awaken to that which expresses itself through this body. If not we will be moved around by the situation in the world. The ancients would align their mind and deepen within, Nishita Kitaro, a philosopher, would practice zazen: “today I was able to sit 3 hours, today there were guests thus I could only sit 1 hour, today it was raining and I could not go outside, thus I was sitting for 12 hours.” He left these notes behind. In the midst of this he awakened to the truth of his own existence. “In my mind there is a place so deep where the waves of joy and sorrow do not reach.”

We are called emotional animals, we cry, we laugh, we smile, we get angry – these are like the waves on top of the water according to what wind is blowing. Yet if you do not know the tranquility of the bottom of the ocean, you believe that all what you are, are those emotions. On the surface of our mind, we have all types of emotions, yet in the depth the tranquility does not get touched by the waves on the surface. The surface of our body, the colour of our eyes, of our hair, the weight of our body – there are all types of expressions, yet in the depth of our mind, we are not affected by these whatsoever, that is our truth of no form. That is the truth, our mind expressing this truth. To know this truth means to know zen.

We can awaken to this immovable state of mind through our zazen. In our life we have all types of encounters, and while we have these encounters to stay immovable is most important.

Bankei Zenji said, there are so many words about others, while we are only alive right here and now. If we look through past experience, we perceive all types of situations, yet only looking at this very moment, we are this truth of mind, immovable, we can grow our roots deep in this place. Not worrying about what will come, but experiencing this very truth of this moment. That is the place we need to look.

In the olden days there was the zen master Tozan Osho, who was asked by a student: “How can we not be moved around by cold and heat?” Tozan Osho replied: “Go to the place free of emotions. Why don´t you go there?” The student continued: “Where is this place free from emotions? Please tell me, where is this wonderful place where there is no cold or heat?” – “When it is cold, it affects the teacher with cold. When it is hot, it affects the teacher with heat. When it is cold, become the cold completely, when it is hot, then become this heat completely. Don´t look away from this moments reality. Take each and every moment. Gather the energy in your tanden and take this essence and see, hear, smell, taste, feel and think about this world as it is. Perceive this very reality. But do not get fooled by it, only reflect it. Experience the importance of your senses.” This is how Tozan Osho was teaching.

The Buddha said, “extinguish the seed of greed, hate and delusion and you are in Nirvana.”
There is nothing we want in this world, there is nothing we are holding onto. It does not mean that there is nothing, but that our essence is full and taught, thus we do not get pulled along by the outside. We see reality, use it and give life to it. Do not get angry but stay calm and perceive the situation with a serene view. Do not let confusion arise but do stay with your focus on your inner truth. Not an idea about Nirvana, but in this sharp focus we can find our truth. If we carefully work on this and realign ourselves, then no matter what happens, we perceive all as our reality without any fear but rather using the situation to share this truth with others. The wisdom to guide and support others arises naturally.