dinsdag 19 juni 2012


When we think about what real silence is, we have to look at it from two angles; the first is to see silence through human eyes and the second is to see silence through Buddha's eyes or the Universal eye.

In term of human perspective, silence has at least three flavors: pessimistic, optimistic and mystical. They work together and cannot be separated. That is why it is very difficult to know what is going on when silence is seen from human perspective. In term of the Universe or Buddha's eye, silence is exactly as-it-is-ness, or what-is-just-is-of-itself. It is very quiet. If we want to know who we are and touch the real, silent, deep nature of our life, we must be as we really are. How? Sit zazen, that is all. That is why sitting is very important for us.

When we sit, two flavors are there:

One is very sharp, cutting through delustions, suffering, pain and any emotion like a sharp sword. This is called wisdom. But within wisdom there must be compassion. That compassion is to see human life for the long run. Compassion is not something we try to create; we cannot do it. Compassion comes from the measure of our practice, which we have accumulated for a long, long time. It naturally happens.

The second flavor of silence seen by the Buddha's eye is to accept all sentient beings just as they are; what is just is of itself. To see everything just as it is, is not so easy for us. We need to polish ourselves again and again. We have to refine our spiritual life with all sentient beings. Otherwise we cannot see a thing as it is.

Dainin Katagiri,
Returning to Silence
Zen Practice in Daily Life