Dream Conversations: On Buddhism and Zen by Muso Kokushi

By Muso Kokushi

Publish yr note: First released in 1996

Dream Conversations is a set of a popular jap master's written replies to questions about the genuine nature of Zen. briefly, easily worded teachings, Muso Kokushi (1275-1351), sometimes called Muso Soseki, exposes universal misconceptions with exceptional readability, supplying mental insights designed to guide the reader into the depths of genuine Zen adventure.

These incisive teachings may be in particular necessary for today's Zen scholars, as they try with their very own confusion and misunderstandings concerning the precise course of Zen.

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Interestingly enough the Japanese terms for the full moon (望月, mochizuki) and for the production of rice cakes (餅つき, mochitsuki) are phonetically very similar. Man in the moon Woman in the moon Cow in the moon Images of the rabbit in the moon T H E M O O N I N T H E WAT E R • 31 not devour ourselves), to establish how tall we are, how fast we can run, and so forth. All of this is of eminent importance for survival. Nevertheless, the Buddhist will want to argue that, apart from its pragmatic use, there is no self, in the same way as there is no image in the moon apart from the mythological, narrative, or aesthetic uses the projection of such images might have.

Because he held on to the important belief that there was such a crater, for Galileo at least there was no difference in what he saw through the telescope and what he saw by the naked eye: the Bohemian crater featured in both. ” In this experiment the subjects were shown a playing card, such as the five of spades, the ace of hearts, and so on, for short intervals (less than a second) and had to identify the card they saw. Some of the cards, however, were doctored: for example, there was a black three of hearts or a red two of spades.

But if our brains are able to filter out the gorilla right in front of us, it should also be possible to use this very ability to filter out objects we do not A V I SUA L DI STORTI ON • 45 want to see, such as floaters. In this way, even though floaters are a distortion within the eye with a clearly observable cause, it would be possible to cure it by purely psychological means, not by eliminating the cause (which is not what the patients find irritating in the first place) but the perception of the cause, which is the real basis of the suffering experienced.

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