Silence

 

Letting go of business and allowing silence to be silence means letting go of the busy work of projecting. As Eckhart says, "When you come to the point when you are no longer compelled to project yourself into any image or to entertain any images in yourself, and you let go of all that is within you, then you can be transported into God's naked being."

Mathew Fox ??

 

Love silence, even in the mind; for thoughts are to that as words to the body, troublesome; much thinking as much speaking spends, and in many thoughts as well as words there is sin. True silence is the rest of the mind and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.

William Penn - Works

For instance, when you really want to know who you are or what the real significance of human life, human suffering, pleasure, Buddhist teaching is, very naturally you return to an areas of no-sound. It cannot be explained, but in this silence you can realize, even if only dimly, what the real point is that you want to know. Whatever kind of question you ask or whatever you think finally you have to return to silence. This silence is vast; you don't know what it is.

Whatever question you want to study, you cannot study it from your own shallow viewpoint. Finally, you will come to a vastness that is like spring water endlessly coming up out of the earth. The more you study something seriously, the more you will realize that everything is boundless.

The teaching of Buddhism, the teaching of Christianity, the teaching of modern physics, the teaching of anything is nothing but a finger pointing at the moon, If this is so, is the finger not important? The finger is secondary, but still important; when you deal with the finger, do your best. Without the finger it is pretty difficult to know where the truth is.

For century after century, consciously or unconsciously, human beings have depended on toys. Since birth we've all had toys to satisfy our desires. Even though we've grown up, still we have toys - cameras, tape recorders, video tapes, philosophy, psychology, and even religions. Everything through which we try to satisfy our desires becomes a toy.

If we use zazen (sitting meditation) as a toy, it is not real zazen. When zazen becomes a toy we are lost. We have lost sight of ourselves right in the middle of the human world because we are using zazen, philosophy, psychology, cameras, everything - offering ourselves to those things and then trying to get something from them in return. The important point is that we should not be a toy. If you deal with zazen as a toy, you become the toy, not zazen. Zazen doesn't care. If you become a toy you become restless. More and more you want to get something from the toy.

How can zazen, just sitting and doing nothing, be depended upon for attaining enlightenment? This question is always asked. No one understands this kind of zazen because we are always looking for the zazen that can be used as a toy to satisfy ourselves. . . . Right faith is perfect trust. Perfect trust means to accept silence, and in the silence everything becomes zero. When you come back to the silent world, everything becomes "not-personal, no person, no-sound, So come back, become a zero and there is wonderful peace. This is the silent world. Even though you say "I am", the "I" is shrinking - until it disappears. If I think, "I am good," this is making a sound. Finally I ask, "What am I doing here?" Nothing. If I try to know who I am finally I have to come back to silence.

All we have to do is just sit, just come back to the silent world and the vastness of existence. This is just sitting. Even though you don't understand this is zazen. Then when you come back, there is total trust, total trust because you are silent. This is called right faith. Faith does not mean belief. You cannot believe anything. Right faith means you must just be there, soaking in the silence and the vastness of existence. This faith is called trust. Then, when you really feel something through this practice, temporarily we call it faith.

To enter into this realm of faith is zazen. Zazen in not a method. If you think so then zazen becomes a toy. If you are going to use zazen as a toy, it's not necessary to do zazen; there are lots of other toys that are better.

Those who do not have faith will not accept zazen, however much they are taught. If you don't trust this silence and the vastness of existence, if you do not soak yourself in this realm, how can you trust yourself? How can you trust others? How can you deal with human life? No matter how long you try to study the sutras or Zen, you never understand. Even though you say, "I understand," that understanding is not understanding. Without this trust you don't understand. If you want to understand the sutras or Buddha's teaching, not as toys, but as a finger pointing at the moon, with your whole heartedness, jump into the silence and the vastness of existence. Let the teaching really penetrate your skin and muscle and bone. Then you can get a hint of where the real moon is, of what the real moon is. Don't expect too much through scriptures and words. Don't discuss superiority or inferiority. All we have to do is to study the scriptures with wholeheartness and jump into the silence and the vastness of existence. At that time the scriptures become light through which you can see many things in the darkness. Whatever it is, not only zazen or Buddhist scriptures become light through which you can see many things in the darkness. Nevertheless, if you really accept those things totally on the basis of silence and the vastness of existence, the beauty of your life blooms, the beauty of existence blooms. This understanding is completely beyond human speculation.