When Speech & Silence Are Both Unexpectedly Ch'an (Zen)

Teaching Seminar :: A Blog

There was speech, quite a lot of it, there was silence, also in plenty, and it was all Ch'an too.

All that we know or think we know about human beings comes from human beings. But can human beings really know about human beings? Or are we kidding ourselves?

We can't get outside ourselves in order to know or to see  what we are, and not only that, but also what we think we know about the rest of the world: trees, animals, birds, rivers, mountains, and so on. Isn't all this bound to be prejudiced by our perspective which we assume is objective, but which is not. (From Talk, Just To Be)

Even enlightenment is still just a human attainment and assessed humanly too.

And in the seminar, in our time together there, sitting. Again after one long session of that it was Zen-clear (to me) that 'one does not sit to get somewhere, one sits because sitting is it.'

There was time for each member of this teaching seminar (not so many of us) to receive an individual energy session of twenty minutes or more, included in each was a Wild Goose song - from the Eighties, mostly from Domini, all still healthily resonant. Each of these individual sessions was of course for everybody there.

One thing that is however undeniable, is our experience.
But the moment we begin to name our experiences and build castles with them, then we are limited in our human experience to do so

Attempts to bring believed truths to human beings - through communism, fascism, Islamism, even capitalism, bring nothing but disaster. (from the Talk, Simply Present)

A symbol for enlightenment is a snake swallowing its own tail. That's it. Completion. And peace. No action. No disturbance. Back at the beginning of time.

And then we are left, each moment, with Just This.

Plus of course, beyond and beside that, living our lives as a leela, the sanskrit word for 'play'. Taking nothing very seriously, and being settled - and playful - with whatever happens out of that.

So now May draws to an end. We enter June in England, for a seminar many years delayed, and then our strong summer programme, the Summer Festival in Parimal, and the new OPT7 - certainly good for all! And the kick-off for Trees & Rivers, my special, still open for joining in!