Mirror of Zen Blog

Subject, Not Object [ video ]

Zen Buddhism has far far far less to do with any kind of religion or religious belief than it does with the work of the ancient Greeks at Delphi and Eleusis. All religions make subject/object distinctions that can never be bridged. But the admonition “Know yourself” turns the awareness inward, and in that looking, subject/object both are transcended, and there is only this infinitely mysterious true nature, without name or form.

Meditation is not based on some conceptual understanding or orthodoxy or New Age flam-flam whatsoever: Simply when we turn the light of awareness back onto an enquiry into the nature of self, the subject/object illusion disappears. Inside and outside become one. No longer any subject or object — anywhere.

But first you need to enquire deeply directly into the nature of this “subject”: “What am I?”

This is a shorter excerpt from a slightly longer talk delivered during the current Quarantine Retreat at Zen Center Regensburg.

Subject, Not Object

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