15 March 2011

Contemplation: The Mirror is Just the Mirror

Please review the guidelines for practice, and then take this as your object of contemplation:

You should try to quiet your mind. If you separate your original mind from arising and passing away, coming and going, and clearly realize what is intransient, the images reflected in your mind will also be intransient and unperishing. The reason for this is that the distinctions between all the things in the universe, the arising and passing away of past and present, coming and going, are fundamentally false and illusory. Nothing comes, nothing goes. Nothing arises and nothing passes away. Of course, if nothing arises and passes away, or comes and goes, there is nothing that possesses all the distinctions. You should understand this from the [example] of reflections in the mirror.

When you first see something reflected in a mirror, it's not a matter of the image entering into the mirror. From the beginning, the image has not entered [the mirror], so there is nothing to get rid of. Since originally the object does not enter and leave, or come and go, the mirror is just the mirror, and does not eventually become the image. Since the mirror does not become the image, but reflects it, there is nothing in the universe that ceases to be distinct. It is difficult to say what is reflected and what is not. Various shapes made out of gold are not demons or Buddhas, but the take on the shapes of demons and Buddhas.

Tetsugen Doko, quoted in Iron Eyes: The Life and Teachings of Tetsugen Doko by Helen J. Baroni, p. 106

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