Reality

161029-143751-16jeh

“Dogen elaborated: “Even dreams, illusions, and imaginings are not eliminated from these possibilities of meaning, even though we may reject those areas of human experience as illusory or unreal.” The fact is that the whole catastrophe is illusory and unreal. What’s happening right now in this zendo is illusory and unreal. We create it with our minds. The three worlds are nothing but mind. The object of perception (the form, the sound), the organ of perception (the eye, the ear), and consciousness together create what we call reality. Take away any one of these three factors — organ of perception, object of perception, or consciousness — and that reality disappears. [Holds up a stick.] Close your eyes and the stick doesn’t exist anymore. Keep your eyes open, take away the stick, and it doesn’t exist anymore. The stick is here, and your eyes are open, but if consciousness falls away — a condition we call samadhi — the stick doesn’t exist anymore. So, what’s real? What is reality? Spirit and matter are the same reality. There’s not some special spiritual force that exists separate from the phrases we utter or the forms we perceive.”

John Daido Loori, Roshi