What does it mean to be awake? To truly be in the present moment where the truth happening place resides?
Awareness is to be present in each moment and to accept each moment exactly as it is. In order to do this, your mind has to be tamed. You place your mind and mindfulness to right here, right now.
Awakened means to have a view that is coming from the universal truth of life and from the Universal perspective as Katagiri Roshi would say. Out of emptiness or the source of life, out of the dharma position , each moment is born. In order to come from this place, our personal desire systems and our attachment to our personal stories have to be lessened. “To the minimum” as Katagiri Roshi would say.
Katagiri Roshi —
“To learn the Way you have to be learning about something that is larger than your little life. It is no small matter, it is boundless.”
Right View comes from our understanding of Prajna or Wisdom.
Here are some of the important points of “coming from Wisdom”:
In the Three Dharma Seals, we learn to say “No” to our mental constructions of
- Permanence or solidity
- Living as an isolated unit
- Feeling that we are independent
We have to learn to come from a different point of view entirely. We have to say “yes” to systems theory. That everything is working in Total Dynamic Functioning or Zenki . Underneath our evaluations of good and bad, right and wrong, underneath our personal desire system, the universe is working in peace and harmony. It is an expression of the simultaneity of the principles of emptiness or interbeing, and karma or cause and effect. We hold the view that we can entrust ourselves to universe life. With that sense of trust, we can let go into presence or awakened awareness.
So again, Impermanence is the first contemplation. Then moving into the fading away of all dharmas which relates to No Self and No Form of the Three Doors of Liberation. Releasing our very constricted view of life into more openness and interdependence. Boundary-less-ness.
Cessation is a word that has been hard to grasp. I think it begins with learning to “go beyond thought”. It is stopping our over-working minds. Sometimes I just say, “Stop” to myself. Stop and come back to now. In this regard, I have been working with the duality of production and non-production. We human beings, love to produce. Look around us. Civilizations, skyscrapers, arts and culture, wars. All an expression of our desires and their manifestations. But few of us know how to truly stop, rest and be silent. For a harmonious life, this activity and resting needs to be balancing each other, dynamically working together. Our activity pushes us to the point where we need to rest. When we rest, we cannot stay there forever or we die. Our resting in non-producing, rejuvenates back into activity. Part of the emphasis on meditation practice is to truly learn how to non-produce. Not to produce with the activity of our bodies, and not to produce with our conceptualization, our minds. Just to be quiet and to merge and let go, trust, the universal inter-being.
Putting this all together, we can rest in Presence. If there can be a goal in a no-goal situation it is to Rest in Presence. To bring Awakened Awareness to all our moments. The more we practice as in practice/realization, we can hold the larger view more and more as we go through our day. Our concentration and mindfulness is strong enough that it is not even distracted by activity. We can do our human activity and our daily life, gone beyond individualized consciousness. That is what makes the great spiritual heroes of our time.
From Katagiri Roshi:
Just be present there and swim in Buddha Nature.