Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Spot to Turn the Light and Shine


Blogger HezB said...

Good work, Mike.


2:14 PM  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Thanks Harry, but this photo is not so much evidence of good work as evidence of me rushing around end-gaining.

Really good work might be, for example, to completely give up the idea of being buddha, and yet to sit as just buddha -- not necessarily on a Zen platform, and not necessarily in some remote corner of rural France.

Again, really good work might be to totally give up the idea of teaching anybody anything, and yet to uphold the Buddha-mind-seal -- doing, in Master Dogen’s words, YO MO ARAZU “no other work.”

But beware the simplicity and clarity of this teaching! If I turn it into another idea that I can’t give up, then an honest, work-loving family man becomes a frustrated, hand-wringing fraud.

1:09 PM  
Blogger oxeye said...

mike - You do love the evening light don't you? It is hard to believe that an old ball chaser like you could take such sensitive and beautiful photographs.. :)

4:06 PM  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Hi Oxeye, Many thanks for the compliment but most of the credit is due to Sony digital technology. Yes, I do love the glow from the sun in the west, and also from the sun rising in the east, as in this photo. I also especially love the white moon in blue winter sky -- which might be a kind of emblem for oddballs, eccentrics, misfits, and non-belongers everywhere.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have to agree with Oxeye.

There is a zen simplicity and beauty both in the pictures and in what you have built in France.

It shows a depth that perhaps you choose not always to recognise in yourself.

God I'm such a girl today...

9:48 PM  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Thank you, MikeDoe.

Zen simplicity?

If you like the external form of a clean and tidy dojo, free of any clutter, then I recommend a sightseeing tour of Japanese temples.

Now I will tell you what I, just now, understand to be the true secret of Zen simplicity. I am afraid that what I write won't mean anything to you, and it may not mean anything to me, tomorrow or the next day.

I sit in the full lotus posture and the impulse arises to join hands and bow. Wishing to be free of sophistication, I give up the idea of making this movement. It is by giving up the idea of moving that I stop off at source the chain of complex reactions which prevent a simple movement from taking place. So the task is to give up the idea of performing an action, and just in that giving up of the idea, to somersault into action itself.

That is the secret. It is also called "naturally to become one piece" and called "non-thinking."

Sadly, if history is anything to go by, even though I am satisfied now that I have expressed what the secret is, in a few days or a few weeks time, I won't be satisfied with this expression at all, and will be fretting again about what the secret of Zen simplicity is.

To try to say what it is always turns out to be a loser's game. To say what it is not is safer. For example, Zen simplicity is not only an uncluttered external space.

6:58 PM  

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