A long time ago, a Zen teacher told me that the world was made for me. And a Tibetan teacher once said that the world is kindly bent to ease us. I'm pretty sure that these teachers weren't talking about someone who actually created the world with me in mind, to make my life easier and more meaningful. But I do sometimes have experiences of direct perception, when nothing gets in the way of my senses, and at these moments I do feel that the world as it appears to me is me. My judging, evaluating mind usually sets up an imaginary wall between me and the world. In meditation practice, I can notice a space between a thought about something and the thing itself. In that space, the world comes to me directly, and I can't find any difference between what I call "me" and the song of a bird, a flower's smell or a friend's smile of greeting. If everything is indeed the Buddha nature, the awakened presence, we might say that the world is a huge reflecting mirror. Everywhere we look, we catch a glimpse of our true self.
|Crane in Kyoto, photo by Jim Bodorf|