Monday, October 09, 2006

Clearing the Mind or Not

"I gazed into the quiet waters of the pond, still thinking about what Grandfather had meant by the pure mind. The water was so still that there was a crystal-clear reflection of the sky and all that surrounded the pond. The reflection was so perfect that it looked as if I were looking into a mirror. Then a light breeze stirred the surface of the pond, and the once clear image shattered into a thousand pieces, then suddenly was gone. No reflection remained, just the troubled surface of the water. Then suddenly the word thoughts hammered into my head, and I jumped up in utter surprise and triumph. I finally understood what Grandfather had meant by pure mind. I was so amazed, so overwhelmed, that tears of joy filled my eyes.

The lesson of pure mind was shown to me by the clear water. The pure mind was like the surface of a quiet pond, where all things were reflected purely. Once the logical mind sends in thoughts, analysis, definitions, qualifiers, and distractions, the image of the pond's quiet surface is disrupted, and the clear image of nature's reflection is destroyed. I understood then that in order to see into the worlds of nature, and ultimately spirit, as Grandfather did, I had to posses that pure mind. All the distraction of the logical thinking mind would only produce an obscurity or destroy that pure image altogether."

—Tom Brown, Jr., Awakening Spirits

Green Way Wisdom - Zen Literature

Logical thinking, reasoning, creativity, imagination, visualization, memory, reflection, and the exercise of the powers of consciousness can each also be pure, clear, open, joyful, enlightening, beneficial, and good. It is not only either/or, but also and/plus. Often, just a little clear thinking is a hundred times better than the dull obscurity of thoughtlessness. As with most aspects of life - it all depends.

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