Friday, November 18, 2011


Whatever arises is impermanent (anicca). Sensations (in the form of thoughts, images, ideas, feelings, bodily sensations, external physical sensations, and so forth) come and go. They wax and wane. They arise and vanish. Reality – what is – is that which comes and goes, waxes and wanes, arises and vanishes. Mindfulness enables, indeed empowers, us to live in the immediacy and directness of the arising and vanishing of that which is truly present in the now.

In order for there to be an immediacy and directness about our moment-to-moment experience of life, three events need to occur more-or-less simultaneously. Those three events are ... touch (or sensation), awareness, and mindfulness. If those three events are not simultaneously experienced, then the chances are that what will be experienced will be nothing but ... the past! Yes, the reality of the immediate experience will subside. Indeed, it will die! Any consciousness of it will be in the form of an after-thought or a memory, as we glance back to re-experience, and (sadly, yes) evaluate, a past experience.

No wonder we talk about people who live in the past! However, we all do it when we are not mindful of events in the immediacy and directness of their arising and vanishing. There is one thing – more than all others – which keeps alive and reinforces that false, illusory sense of ‘self’, and that is when moment-to-moment sensation is experienced not as something which is happening, of which we are mindfully aware, but as something which is happening to ‘me,’ or which ‘I’ am suffering ... that is, as something being ‘inflicted’ upon us.

Don’t let reality die on you. Don’t experience it as a past event. Let your mind penetrate sensation, not by anticipating it. No, that is not the way to go. Nor should you constantly reflect upon or evaluate sensations as they arise and vanish. That is also not the way to go. Let each sensation arise and vanish of its own accord. Watch it closely, without analysis, judgment, evaluation or condemnation – indeed, watch it, without thinking any thought associated or connected with the sensation. Otherwise, you will instantly lose the immediacy, directness and actuality of the experience.

Shakyamuni Buddha advised us to observe and watch closely ... that is, mindfully ... whatever is occurring in time and space in the here-and-now, in the moment, from one moment to the next. Not only watch, but the Buddha went on to say, ‘and firmly and steadily pierce it.’ Pierce the reality of each here-and-now moment-to-moment experience. Only then can you truly say you are alive and no longer living in the past.

You may ask, ‘How am I to have any insight into what is happening if I don’t reflect upon, analyse, evaluate and judge what is happening?’ I say to you, ‘How will you ever have any insight while you continue to do those things?’ The piercing of reality of which the Buddha spoke is itself a penetration into the core and nature of reality, that is, into the arising and vanishing of each moment-to-moment spatio-temporal occurrence. That penetration is itself moment-to-moment ... but it is insight into the nature of reality as and when it unfolds from one moment to the next. You can do no better than that! We are told to ‘seize the day’ (carpe diem), and that is not bad advice, but you can still do better than that. I say to you, seize the moment ... pierce it!

So, stay mindfully aware, in order for you to have immediate and direct access to the real. Observe. Watch closely. Pierce the moment!

‘Open one's eyes and penetrate the heart of matters,
like the monkey's golden eyes did.’
Signed in Japanese, ink [inscribed], Kôju Sokuhi Sho [written by Kôju Sokuhi]
[with two artists’ seals]. Not dated.
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615–1868.






No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.