Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Great Perfection.

Buddhist philosophy posits that everything is already perfect, everything is Buddha-nature and is totally complete in itself...

"Yeah, right!" you might say, and, fair enough, the world is an unapologetic shit hole at times.

When we adopt this notion of 'everything being perfect' idealistically, just as some silly limited idea in our head or whatever, then we can quickly see that it really isn't that useful, truthful or accurate: our lives are more than a bit sucky at times, and this often hurts. But that's not what this Buddhist idea of perfection is about at all: As with all Buddhist philosophy, we should examine this more fully from the perspective of our own practice of zazen.

In zazen we can see that we ourselves make 'good' and 'bad', 'holy' and 'ordinary', 'friend' and 'foe', that we tend towards 'this' and away from 'that' based on our experiences and values... we chop up the Perfection with our thoughts and wants and aversions and all that stuff from our lives. But we can see too that we can lessen this activity with practice and the right sort of effort.

In sitting upright and firmly we can let all that usual drama just come and go; we don't have to get involved, we can see it all as just the Perfection itself unfolding playfully if we don't get involved in the narrative of our lives as we usually do. In doing this the Perfection that already exists before we make things 'perfect' and 'imperfect' will start to become clearer.

Of course, we have to get up off the cushion and step back into the world of discriminating what's good and bad for ourselves and others and striving to do the right thing and make ends meet, but, if we have really expressed and experienced the Perfection, then maybe we can arise with the direct recognition that our often squalid, tiny little lives of frustration and confusion are an expression of something that we cannot limit in the ways that we generally tend to limit ourselves.

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