The Jewel Mirror Samadhi (teishos 934 – 2004 & 1200 – 2009)

This is the title of a fairly long poem, which could just as well have been called “Mu”.

Samadhi has two distinct meanings: there is the samadhi that one attains to, in which the sense of self opposed to the world drops away and for a time there is unity. There are many different levels of this kind of samadhi, starting with the ‘jogger’s high,’ in which one is no longer jogging, there is no sense of separation between oneself and the body, no sense of effort, and no distinction between oneself and the world. There are higher levels of this samadhi, for example the artist. If one is really engaged in writing, painting or playing music, it is possible to get into a state which is almost a trance; it isn’t a trance because one is fully aware, but one is not aware of particulars.

There is nevertheless a dualism in the kind of Samadhi which is the result of some kind of activity or process. Buddha studied with the teachers of meditation leading to Samadhi. He then said that this is not the way to resolve the enigma of birth and death and suffering.

Then there is the Samadhi which is being extolled in this verse. You are always in this Mirror Samadhi. Everything that one does is the expression of this Samadhi: walking, talking, eating, sleeping. This Mirror Samadhi is home, it is Mu.

It is only because we perceive things in a dualistic way: me/you, me/it, right/ wrong – which is inevitable once one takes up a fixed view point – that we don’t appreciate the truth that Samadhi is our natural state.

When Buddha said ‘throughout heaven and earth, I alone am the honored one’, this is the expression of the Samadhi state which is our natural state; and each of us with Buddha can affirm that throughout heaven and earth, I alone am the honored one, because each of us is the honored one; each of us is Buddha. Each of us is the light and each of us is nevertheless whole and complete. All sentient beings – people, cats, dogs, birds, bugs, – each is Buddha and yet each is itself.

We are not practicing to come home, but to realize that we are already home.

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