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Each Moment Is The Universe

Updated on May 10, 2013

Zen View - Each Moment Is The Universe

Understanding Zen is mixed with peril. The peril I'm talking about is what comes about when you think you understand something and you move on to the next chapter or the next stage in life only to find out you didn't understand what you thought you did. If Zen is about anything, and I'm not sure it is, it's about direct experience. Over and over Zen teachers tell us "don't believe anything that is not your experience." or as Buddha is reported to have said "be a light unto yourself."

Reading books is hardly direct experience but they can be important maps along the way to understanding. I've found Each Moment Is The Universe to be one of those rare books that draws a rich textured map for the reader and does not disappoint.

Katagiri Roshi and his words opened my eyes and understanding to a more profound level. Each Moment Is The Universe invited me along on a journey with the same level of intensity I found when I read Zen Mind Beginners Mind for the first time.

In chapter one (The Naked Nature of Time) Katagiri lays out a quote from Nagarjuna, "The mind that sees into the flux of arising and decaying, and recognizes the transient nature of the world, is called the way-seeking-mind." Following that with something from Dogen " Most people are not able to acquire the way-seeking-mind of spiritual awareness without deeply understanding that a day consists of 6.400,099,180 moments."

When I read that I got up and walked around the house for a while letting it all sink it, of course it didn't sink in the first or second time but little by little I started to see this concept of change rolling out all around me. Think about it, 6,400,099,180 moments in a day, as Katagiri says, it's a good number. Some say you can cram 64 of those moments into a second or into the snap of a finger. Who cares, it is just a way of viewing change in everyday lives by making the understanding a bit more solid. Do you see it? Snap your fingers and you might.....

Caught up in the flux or floating free it's all about you being transient, about me being transient and about Buddha being transient. Thoughts, feelings, memories, food, dogs, clouds, war, love are all transient and subject to constant change. Katagiri writes near the end of this chapter, "Transiency is the naked nature of time." Now that can knock the breath out of you for a couple of those 6.400.099.180 moments.... :::smile:::

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Have You Read The Book, What Did You Realy Think?

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The final purpose of practice is to leave no trace of individual experience.

Each Moment Is The Universe

Each Moment Is The Universe
Each Moment Is The Universe

In The Flux ----- please share any thoughts about the book or Zen you may have

sponsored by Flash Fiction at Wash The Bowl and by Zen Thoughts and Reviews floating out on the web somewhere.



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    • Zen Automat profile imageAUTHOR

      Zen Automat 

      7 years ago from New Hampshire

      @prashu8915: When asked that same question Katagiri Roshi said he had no idea where the number came from but that it was a good number. I think the number is not important, it is the enormity of opportunities we have within each moment to effect change that is behind the numbers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good lens. But how were the total number of moments calculated?


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