Zen, Movement, Tea, Physics and Consciousness

What is Zen?

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Or to put it another way:


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"Charcoal, though placed exactly according to teaching, is dead charcoal if it does not boil the water". (From "ONE HUNDRED POEMS" by Sen Rikyu. In memory of Michael A. Birch who introduced me to the Way of Tea). From the same source we learn "Having one kettle you can make tea; it is foolish to possess many utensils".

The obvious is only obvious when you have seen it, and often has to be searched for. A teacher once told me "when you are walking in a forest you will often not see things, simply because you don't know what they are called". So it is with the Way of Tea. Every movement, every aspect is a simple part of everyday life. And since these simple movements have no special name in our everyday language, we do not observe them. The Way of Tea gives every action, every movement, every utensil, every instant its own full significance enabling us to see them for what they are.

In observing this richness, and in concentrating on the guests, no room is left for concentrating on the self. Have you ever noticed that an empty cup is full? Full of emptiness, and more of a cup for being so. So it is with life. In a life full of posessions and conceits there is no room for living.

At the left of this page I have provided a few links to enable you to pursue further this aspect of Zen. They will open in a separate window so that you do not lose this present page, and you will be able to continue to my next topic - Zen and Elementary Particles.