Bodhidharma’s ‘seeing what is not seen’

Bodhidharma said that truly seeing is not seeing what is seen, but seeing what is not seen. How can we see what is not seen? ‘Seeing what is not seen’ may sound illogical and seem to make no sense at all, but this is the very way to see the true-Self. When we see a thing, we can stop seeing it as we please, either by removing it from our sight, or by turning our heads away. However, supposing we see the true-Self, it is impossible to cease to see it even for a moment because everything, including ourselves, is the true-Self and because there is nothing else but the true-Self.

Not only blinding brightness, but also pitch-darkness is the appearance of the true-Self. Even the scene you can feel when you keep your eyes closed is the appearance of the true-Self as well. Like this, if we cannot stop seeing and if there is only ‘seeing’ and not ‘non-seeing’, then ‘seeing’ is not seeing any more, just as red is not red any more when everything is red. So, seeing what is not seen means to see what you cannot stop seeing even for a moment, that is, to see what cannot stop being seen.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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