Friday, January 22, 2010

Mental Flowers

Do not give yourself up to a state of doing nothing; do not exercise your fantastic imagination, but try to bring about a state of perfect identification by pressing your spirit of inquiry forward, steadily and uninterruptedly. . . When your searching spirit comes to this stage, the time has come for your mental flower to burst out.

Kao-feng Yuan-miao was a 12th century Zen master who is quoted often in Zen Books and publications. His message above is a translation of one of his thoughts, although the translation my not express what he really said. Interpretation, like imagination is an individual process that requires impulses, perceptions, and beliefs in order to make some kind of sense of these ancient messages from consciousness. Eight centuries ago the veil of separation was a powerful, but practicing Zen brought down the veil so some followers could experience their inner consciousness physically. Consciousness is not a hierarchy, but it is formed in layers. Ancient believers tasted another layer of consciousness and named it in order to understand it. Different Zen masters had different approaches to achieving a state of no-mind where the acts of doing and imagining were call Zen.


Janet Grace Riehl said...

Hal, I love the idea of and the phrase of "mental flowers." Have you read the work of Thich Nhat Hanh? He has such a poetic and clear explanation of consciousness that I think you'd enjoy his writing.

Janet Riehl

Hal said...

Thanks Janet. Yes, I enjoy his work and have used some of his thoughts in essays over the last three years.