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Posts Tagged ‘enlightenment’

Reb emphasises that one cannot be still by oneself, only together with all sentient beings. We cannot be ourselves by ourselves. All other beings are helping us, only we tend to forget about it. One cannot do anything by oneself. So Reb defines enlightenment as helping others and helping others as enlightenment. (Oneself is included in the realm of others, of course).

In the place of stillness the action and the actor (practitioner and practice) meet. The actor is the action. The action is the actor. When there is an actor in addition to the action, there is no stillness.

“…all right doing is accomplished only in a state of true selflessness, in which the doer cannot be present any longer as “himself”. Only the spirit is present, a kind of awareness which shows no trace of egohood and for that reason ranges without limit through all distances and depths, with “ears that hear and eyes that see”.

(E. Herrigel, “Zen in the art of archery” )

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This is another year Reb Anderson invited us to have a jam session with him at a Zen sesshin on the tiny island of Idöborg in Stockholm archipelago. I suspect Reb developed a strong bond with the island and the cold waters of the Baltic sea as he keeps returning to this place just as many of us do.

The little experience of sitting sesshins I have come from this environment, with this teacher and basically this gang so in a way it was like going home. Meeting some of the people at the boat terminal on our way to the island was like seeing old friends again – it felt as if we never parted. Apparently, nothing brings people closer than sitting, surviving the contents of one’s mind, and working, walking, eating and sharing living space in silence for about a week.  Quite a few of the people have been to Green Gulch Farm where Reb’s been teaching and/or sat sesshins with him in other countries.

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