Q. What does ‘You cannot see the Buddha because there are motes in your eyes and ears. If you are to remove them, look up beyond the sky’ mean?

A. The mote in our eyes is a mote of discriminating by seeing, and that in our ears a mote of discriminating by hearing. For example, whenever we see or hear things, we discriminate them by defining and naming them as something such as a tree, or a bird. In fact, they are neither a tree nor a bird in essence because they have never said that they are a tree, or a bird. We name them, and define their natures and characteristics as we please, independent of what they really are. In other words, we see and hear things in the way we interpret or understand them, not in the way they really are in themselves. This is the reason why we don’t see the true-Self.

So, an ancient master, when he was asked to say how to see the true-Self, said that although eyes are full of light, there should not be a single thing and that although ears are full of sound, there should not be any words. Accordingly, ‘look up beyond the sky’ implies to see the sky without any fixed ideas attached to it, including the word ‘sky’.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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