Saturday, 18 March 2017


96. Going beyond words, images, concepts, we enter into silence through the practices of breath awareness and body awareness. By following the breath and paying attention to our body we develop both concentration and mindfulness. Thus a space opens for a wordless inquiry into the self. Before long we begin to sense that there is more to the self than the finite, separate, empirical self that we and others ordinarily observe. And so begins our search for the mysterious, elusive Self, the self that we spell with an upper case 'S' to distinguish it from the objectified self of our everyday experience. In our search, however, there is great scope for self-deception. The Zen practitioner can easily become attached to particular rituals and symbols, not to mention ideas and opinions. Hence the importance of finding an authentic Master to guide us and a supportive sangha to safeguard us. On the Zen path of self-inquiry we will at every turn find ourselves challenged by the words of Eno, the Sixth Patriarch: 'At this very moment, what is your original self?' 

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