Kanzeon Bodhisattva

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Dennis Genpo Merzel, Roshi (1944): When you look into yourself, you find no beginning and no end, only this very life, without birth and without death. No one can find either birth's beginning or its end; nonetheless you are born and you die. This very body-mind is the unborn Buddha-mind. Even though you walk on the earth and appreciate the mountains and rivers, you cannot fathom the full extent of mountains and rivers, and the great earth. It is like trying to comprehend the enormity of the Grand Canyon. It cannot be grasped. Only no-mind can embrace it. All the great Buddha-Patriarchs taught that your life is not separate from the entire universe.

It is all One; this is the realization. As Shakyamuni Buddha put it when he attained enlightenment, "I and all sentient beings and the great earth have in the same moment attained the Way!" As soon as the slightest distinction between self and others is made, then you create heaven and hell. When you let go, no distinctions appear and you realize that you are not two.

Read also: Experience No-self

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W.L. Wilmshurst (1867-1939): Hiram Abiff is slain. The high light and wisdom ordained to guide and enlighten humanity are wanting to us. The full blaze of light and perfect knowledge that were to be ours are vanished from the race, but in the Divine Providence there still remains to us a glimmering light in the East. In a dark world, from which as it were the sun has disappeared, we have still our five senses and our rational faculties to work with, and these provide us with the substituted secrets that must distinguish us before we regain the genuine ones.

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A Course in Miracles (Published 1974): It is your forgiveness that will bring the world of darkness to the light. It is your forgiveness that lets you recognize the light in which you see. Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about yourself return to your memory. Therefore, in your forgiveness lies your salvation.

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Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941): [...] The wheel of life has made its circle. Here, at the last point of its revolution, the extremes of sublimity and simplicity are seen to meet. It has swept the soul of the mystic through periods of alternate stress and glory; tending ever to greater transcendence, greater freedom, closer contact with "the Supplier of true life." He emerges from that long and wondrous journey to find himself in rest and in work, a little child upon the bosom of the Father. In that most dear relation all feeling, will, and thought attain their end. Here all the teasing complications of our separated selfhood are transcended. Hence the eager striving, the sharp vision, are not wanted any more. In that mysterious death of selfhood on the summits which is the medium of Eternal Life, heights meet the deeps: supreme achievement and complete humility are one.

In a last brief vision, a glimpse as overpowering to our common minds as Dante's final intuition of reality to his exalted and courageous soul, we see the triumphing spirit, sent out before us the best that earth can offer, stoop and strip herself of the insignia of wisdom and power. Achieving the highest, she takes the lowest place. Initiated into the atmosphere of Eternity, united with the Absolute, possessed at last of the fullness of Its life, the soul, self-naughted becomes as a little child: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

The Spiritual Life: Four Broadcast Talks (1936).
A concise introduction to her thought.

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Encyclopædia Britannica: Christian mystics have described the stages of the return of the soul to God in a variety of ways. Following the Belgian Jesuit Joseph Maréchal, it can be suggested that Christian mysticism includes three broadly defined stages:

(1) the gradual integration of the ego under the mastery of the idea of a personal God and according to a program of prayer and asceticism,

(2) a transcendent revelation of God to the soul experienced as ecstatic contact or union, frequently with a suspension of the faculties, and

(3) "a kind of readjustment of the soul's faculties" by which it regains contact with creatures "under the immediate and perceptible influence of God present and acting in the soul" (Maréchal, Studies in the Psychology of the Mystics).

It is this final stage, which almost all of the greatest Christian mystics have insisted upon, that belies the usual claim that mysticism is a selfish flight from the world and an avoidance of moral responsibility.

Lees het volledige citaat.

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Robert Pirsig (1928): The first step down from Phaedrus' statement that "Quality is the Buddha" is a statement that such an assertion, if true, provides a rational basis for a unification of three areas of human experience which are now disunified. These three areas are Religion, Art and Science. If it can be shown that Quality is the central term of all three, and that this Quality is not of many kinds but of one kind only, then it follows that the three disunified areas have a basis for introconversion.

The relationship of Quality to the area of Art has been shown rather exhaustively through a pursuit of Phaedrus' understanding of Quality in the Art of rhetoric. I don't think much more in the way of analysis need be made here. Art is high-quality endeavor. That is all that really needs to be said. Or, if something more high-sounding is demanded: Art is the Godhead as revealed in the works of man. The relationship established by Phaedrus makes it clear that the two enormously different sounding statements are actually identical.

In the area of Religion, the rational relationship of Quality to the Godhead needs to be more thoroughly established, and this I hope to do much later on. For the time being one can meditate on the fact that the old English roots for the Buddha and Quality, God and good, appear to be identical.

It's in the area of Science that I want to focus attention in the immediate future, for this is the area that most badly needs the relationship established. The dictum that Science and its offspring, technology, are "value free," that is "quality free," has got to go. It's that "value freedom" that underlines the death-force effect to which attention was brought early in the Chautauqua. Tomorrow I intend to start on that.

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Ida Gerhard (1905-1997):


Ik hoorde een vrouw; zij zeide tot haar kind,
zómaar op straat: ' 't Was heel wat beter als
jij nooit geboren was.' Het zei niets terug,
het was nog klein, maar het begon ineens
sleepvoetig traag te lopen; als een die
in ballingschap een juk met manden torst
en radeloos merkt dat zij zwanger is.
In Babylon misschien of Nineveh.

Ja, het wàs zwanger, zwanger van dat woord.
Dat was, in duisternis ontkiemd, op weg:
tot in het derde en vierde nageslacht.

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Isaac Luria (1534-1572): You can mend the cosmos by anything you do - even eating. Do not imagine that God wants you to eat for mere pleasure or to fill your belly. No, the purpose is mending.

Sparks of holiness intermingle with everything in the world, even inanimate objects. By saying a blessing before you enjoy something, your soul partakes spiritually. This is food for the soul. As the Torah states: "One does not live on bread alone, but rather on all that issues from the mouth of God." Not just the fysical, but the spiritual - the holy sparks, springing from the mouth of God. Like the soul herself, breathed into us by God.

So when you are about to eat bread, say the motsi: "Blessed are you, YHVH our God, sovereign of the world, who brings forth bread from the earth." Then by eating, you bring forth sparks that cleave to your soul.

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Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, Roshi (1931-1995):

And in fact, all of you
have Kanzeon's wisdom and compassion.
That's what we appreciate together
and make more and more illumined.
Illumined, not in a shiny, pompous way,
but illumined through our action!
The way we make a bow,
the way we do gassho,
the way we walk,
the way we serve.

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Dennis Genpo Merzel, Roshi (1944): We're practicing Zen to go from this shore, the world of bondage and suffering, to the other shore, the realm of liberation and bliss. But this is a big delusion! I can hardly say it with a straight face, because there aren't two separate shores.

When you reach the other shore, you find out the two shores are identical, only now you have gone. Liberation and suffering - they're identical. Freedom and imprisonment - identical. All the opposites are identical. There's no place to go; you have already gone beyond.

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Ken Wilber (1949): Sidebar G: States and Stages

Part I. The Relation of States of Consciousness and Stages of Consciousness: No Model Is Complete without Both

Hazelton walked from the front of the stage back to the podium. "Let me switch gears here a bit. We need some more background information, so let's focus on this topic: what is the actual relation of states of consciousness and stages of consciousness? That is, how do temporary states eventually become permanent traits?

"We have a theory at Integral College, first tentatively proposed in Integral Psychology, that draws on both ancient psychology and modern psychology, but both set and reframed in an All Quadrants, All Levels context; it suggests the following relation between states and stages:

"To begin with, the three great states of consciousness (waking, dreaming, sleeping) are said to correspond with the three great realms of being (gross, subtle, causal) - this is an idea found in Vedanta and Vajrayana, for example. This simply means that, each time you are in a different state of consciousness, you can 'see' a different world or realm (because consciousness and being, or epistemology and ontology, are inseparable). For example, when you are in a dream state, you see a dream world, a subtle world of images and visions and archetypes; in the waking state, you see the sensorimotor world of rocks and rivers and houses. Each of the three great states shows us a different "world" or "realm." [...]

Dit is een van de "sidebars" van de roman Boomeritis. Lees het vervolg.

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Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi (1905-1971): We kunnen de Weg van het Midden als ri, leegte, en ji, dingen, begrijpen. Beide aspecten zijn belangrijk. Omdat wij mensen zijn, en het onze bestemming is om tot een jaar of tachtig à negentig te leven, moeten we een zelfzuchtige levenswijze ontwikkelen. Anderzijds raken we door een zelfzuchtige levenswijze in de problemen, en dat moeten we accepteren. Problemen accepteren is op zich al de Weg van het Midden. Je moet je zelfzuchtige levenswijze niet verwerpen maar accepteren - zonder je erop te fixeren! Geniet van je leven als mens zolang je leeft. Dat is de Weg van het Midden, het begrijpen van ri en ji. Wanneer ri er is, dan is ji er; wanneer ji er is, dan is ri er. Moeilijkheden op deze manier begrijpen, betekent genieten van het leven zonder moeilijkheden of lijden te verwerpen. [...]

Onze oefening bestaat erin de eenheid van ri en ji, de eenheid van vreugde en lijden, de eenheid van de vreugde van verlichting in moeilijke tijden te vinden. Dit wordt de Weg van het Midden genoemd. Begrijp je? Waar lijden is, daar is ook de vreugde van lijden, of nirvana. Zelfs in nirvana ontkom je niet aan het lijden. We zeggen dat nirvana de volledige uitdoving van begeerte is, maar dat wil zeggen dat we volkomen inzicht hebben en daarmee in overeenstemming leven. Dat is zazen. Je zit rechtop. Je helt noch naar de zijde van nirvana over noch naar de zijde van het lijden. Je bent precies hier. Zo kan iedereen rechtop zitten en zazen beoefenen.

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Deepak Chopra: Zekerheid en onzekerheid zijn twee aspecten van onze aard. Op een bepaald niveau moeten de dingen zeker zijn, anders bestond er geen orde. Op een ander niveau moeten de dingen onzeker zijn, anders was er geen nieuwheid. De evolutie beweegt zich voort via verrassende gebeurtenissen. De gezondste houding is het besef dat het onbekende slechts een andere formulering is van 'de schepping'. Dat besef behoedt ons voor de angst die altijd opdoemt wanneer we ons tegen onzekerheid verzetten.

In een toestand van eenheid zien we de wijsheid van de onzekerheid. We beseffen dat onze volgende ademhaling, onze volgende hartslag en onze volgende gedachte volkomen onvoorspelbaar zijn, maar toch wordt op grond van deze volstrekte openheid de orde in stand gehouden. Tegengestelden kunnen en moeten naast elkaar bestaan. In werkelijkheid omvatten we alle tegengestelden in onszelf, zoals het quantumveld de twee grootste tegengestelden, entropie en evolutie, omvat. De onzekerheid van de dingen is niet angstaanjagend voor iemand die in het eenheidsbewustzijn leeft, omdat hij zeker is van zichzelf. De stem van de innnerlijke waarheid zegt: 'Ik omhels het onbekende omdat het mij in staat stelt nieuwe aspecten van mijzelf te zien.'

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Bernie Glassman: The vow to penetrate the unknown is similar to Step Three of Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step recovery programs. "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." This step is taken by people who lived their lives according to what they knew. They knew they weren't alcoholics; they knew they could stop drinking whenever they wished. By the time they take Step Three they've admitted that they're alcoholics. They realize that whatever they've tried hasn't worked out and that they have no control over their lives ­ that, in fact, they don't really know.

Unknowing is essential to anyone in recovery. It's also essential to peacemakers. At the same time that we accumulate knowledge and experience, we need to wipe the slate clean and be in a state of unknowing. For only then can we bear witness.

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Dennis Genpo Merzel, Roshi: In meditation, you have an opportunity to practice being with yourself- with your own body and mind. It allows you to confront all kinds of things that make it uncomfortable for you to just sit. In the beginning, you may find that your body is very uncomfortable. Later you may discover that your mind is uncomfortable too. When you sit upright and pay attention, you may discover that you are uncomfortable because you feel so exposed and vulnerable. Over time the discomfort lessens and you instead feel very alive, awake, and dignified. It becomes easier and easier to sit because you are more and more comfortable.

It takes practice to develop comfort in sitting and in being with yourself. And each one of us has to decide if achieving some level of comfort is worth the practice that it will take. There are so many things to do, so many things going on in our lives, we may wonder, "Do I really need to add one more thing?" We have to decide, and it can be helpful to look at what we usually base our decisions on. Do the things that I decide to make apriority in my life benefit my overall well-being? Or, are my choices based mainly on avoiding pain and experiencing pleasure? Sometimes our intuition tells us what would be good for us. For me, it was a feeling of coming home when I sat in meditation. Does being comfortable in your own skin and making peace with your mind seem like it might be worth some effort? The ability to concentrate and focus might be a good thing for you and me, and also the world.

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Dennis Genpo Merzel, Roshi: The age-old problem in Zen is to become stuck in our insights and realizations. It is especially easy to get stuck in the absolute perspective and to ignore all the karmic consequences of our actions. And the more position we inherit, the more problems we can create. It is essential that we honestly and continuously look at ourselves, and then to remain open to working on the limitations that we find. If we are not growing, we are regressing.

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The goal of mysticism is union with the divine or sacred.

The path to that union is usually developed by following four stages:

  • purgation (of bodily desires),
  • purification (of the will),
  • illumination (of the mind), and
  • unification (of one's will or being with the divine).

If "the object of man's existence is to be a Man, that is, to re-establish the harmony which originally belonged between him and the divinized state before the separation took place which disturbed the equilibrium" (The Life and Doctrine of Paracelsus), mysticism will always be a part of the way of return to the source of being, a way of counteracting the experience of alienation.

Mysticism has always held - and parapsychology also seems to suggest - that the discovery of a non-physical element in man's personality is of utmost significance in his quest for equilibrium in a world of apparent chaos.

From the Encyclopædia Britannica.

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In Buddhist philosophy, the voidness that constitutes ultimate reality.

Sunyata is seen not as a negation of existence but rather as the undifferentiation out of which all apparent entities, distinctions, and dualities arise.

Although the concept is encountered occasionally in early Pali texts, its full implications were developed by the 2nd-century Indian philosopher Nagarjuna.

The school of philosophy founded by him, the Madhyamika (Middle Way), is sometimes called the Sunyavada, or Doctrine That All Is Void.

The term sunyata may also be used as a recognition of anatta, or the absence of any self apart from the five skandhas (mental and physical elements of existence).

From the Encyclopædia Britannica.

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Robert E. Kennedy: Zen-boeddhisten spreken weliswaar over zonde, maar hun belangrijkste zorg is niet zo zeer de zonde als zodanig maar de oorzaak daarvan: de onwetendheid. Zen spreekt niet over de erfzonde, maar over de oorspronkelijke onwetendheid. Zen streeft ernaar die duisternis van de geest waaruit zondige daden ontstaan te verlichten. Net als moderne therapeutische theorieën probeert zen de geest te helen, die is misbruikt, verwaarloosd of zo overdreven beschermd dat hij zijn oorspronkelijke gezicht niet meer ziet.

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Charlotte Joko Beck: Jaren geleden werkte ik samen met een vooraanstaand wetenschapper. Ik vroeg hem wat het betekende om wetenschapper te zijn. Hij zei: 'Als er een bord op tafel staat en je weet dat er iets onder ligt - maar je weet niet wat het is - zou je als wetenschapper geen minuut rusten voordat je hebt gezien wat er onder dat bord ligt. Je moet het gewoon weten.' Met zazen zou je zo'n houding kunnen ontwikkelen.

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