When You Don’t Think, God Is Obvious
Happy Friday everyone!
Because I am in the wilds today, I have a TAO-TE-zen sutra prepared for you. I’ll be back next week to share about my HLC3 class. In the meantime, enjoy “When You Don’t Think, God Is Obvious”.
Thought is based on the principle of exclusion. To think about a cow, you have to exclude the dog, the field, the forest, the sky. To think of hot, you must exclude cold. The word God simply means ALL. Therefore, it is impossible to experience God as God through thought. This is why all great spiritual people, all great seers and knowers, access no-mind. In no-mind one experiences wholeness and becomes fully present with the truth that is all around us at every moment.
Thoughts are shadows left in time
How much can you learn about a slug by studying its trail?
The human mind is a living picture taker akin to a camera
The tighter the zoom, the more specific
Yet exclusive the experience captured becomes
Your mind is also akin to a telescope
The greater the magnification, the more inclusive your view becomes
The earth viewed from the Hubble Telescope is but a beautiful, blue pearl
Floating in a sea of stars
Yet either way, you’re still experiencing trails
All shadows living in the past
In TAO-TE-zen no-mind is full view
Less interpretation or attachment to a view
Your no-mind is in the Now
Without thought you experience the present as it really is
And God is obvious
That is Zen
The first verse reads, “Thoughts are shadows left in time. How much can you learn about a slug by studying its trail?” If you’re a hunter, you can look at the prints that an animal leaves, but that does not feed you. You must find the animal and you must study the animal’s behavior, its characteristics. A great hunter studies the animal to learn how to follow it, how to capture it, and bring its life into the hunter. When we read books and study the writings of others, that is akin to looking at their footprints and trying to determine who they really are; how they actually use the information. We are often ignorant of whether or not the author of any given piece of information actually lives or practices the information. You cannot truly come to know the author by studying its trail. You cannot know the slug by studying its trail. You can only guess or project through interpretation of the substance of the trail. Reading about spiritual development, religion, and God is studying trails.
“The human mind is a living picture taker akin to a camera. The tighter the zoom, the more specific, yet exclusive the experience captured becomes. Your mind is also akin to a telescope. The greater the magnification, the more inclusive your view becomes. The earth viewed from the Hubble Telescope is but a beautiful, blue pearl floating in a sea of stars. Yet either way, you’re still experiencing trails. All shadows living in the past.” If you study astronomy, you’ll find that the light that they’re studying from the stars is often billions of years old, in the past. Any astronomer will tell you clearly that we cannot know anything about the state of the star in the moment by studying its light trails. We can only see its gift, which is now in the past. Can you really study yesterday to determine how to live in the Now? Can you really know the frog by studying its foot? Can you really enjoy and appreciate your lover if your focus on baggage from yesterday?
“In TAO-TE-zen no-mind is full view.” Without thinking you are no longer dividing; you access full view. “Less interpretation or attachment to a view, less movement, no-mind is in the Now.” Movement is departure. Movement is direction. Movement is the execution of choice. If you are going north, you have excluded south, east, and west. Movement therefore is synonymous with the principle of mind. Thought, movement, mind all occur in time, yet that which people call God in the truest sense of the word is beyond time itself, eternal. The Now is eternally present.”
Without thought you experience the present as it really is and God is obvious.” You experience no-mind every night, yet for most people, this experience comes when they are sound asleep, un-conscious. The practice of TAO-TE-zen is to become conscious, fully awake, aware of the present as the source of past and future. Whenever we become fully present, judgment ceases and the entire picture unfolds as the divine mirror. Anyone who reaches no-mind achieves awareness, experiences the view of their authentic self, but this view is not a looking, not a dividing. This is an inner view and it is all-inclusive. It cannot be rationalized. It cannot be interpreted. It can only be described. Thus the Zen saying, “Don’t look at the finger pointing to the moon, look at the moon.” Words and thoughts are just fingers pointing at the moon. Being fully present is to become One with the moon and only then can we understand the moon, which is a metaphor for the Now.
Practice being fully present with each person, in each relationship. Begin each day by becoming fully present with yourself. Develop a ritual that works for you. Learn to stabilize your inner being, and in so doing, you stabilize the outer being. When the inner being and the outer being are in harmony, flow emerges. In flow one finds safety and security within themselves. The mind relaxes, the view widens, and soon you are One with all that is.
Share your experiences, write, draw, sing, dance, play. Each time any one of us reaches no-mind, we heal ourselves for an undetermined amount of baggage, judgment, karma. This is as the Sufis say, “to polish the heart.” When the heart is as polished as a beautiful new mirror, self-reflection occurs. With self-reflection comes empathy and compassion. For that part of yourself trapped in mind, division, isolation, we gain empathy and compassion for those who are ceaselessly looking for God in the word, looking for their savior in a book. Let us all practice closing books, shutting off the dividing machine, and being fully present with the present, the gift of Now, of clarity, of wholeness, of ultimate comprehension.
That is zen.
Love and Chi,
~ Paul Chek