We have sesshin, touching or embracing the mind, today. Yesterday I watched a program titled How the Mind Is Born – Resonance Between Brain Science and Buddhism, by Dr. Takao Asano, brain surgeon, and Rev. Issho Fujita, head of the Soto International Center. Dr. Asano’s point is the identity of the birth of the mind with the burning of the brain – five aggregates, six sense bases, and the triple poisons. He said that the Ablaze Scripture, Âdditta Sutta, is the precedent of modern neuroscience.
The Scripture says, “The world is ablaze. Eyes are ablaze; ears are ablaze, …, mind is ablaze. Blazes of the five aggregates make the mind ablaze.” The world is now ablaze with global warming, wild fires, gun fires, nuclear fires, mass extinction fires, caused by blazing human eyes, ears, noses, tongues, and minds, with blazing delusions, desires, and divisiveness. Blazing in this city, this country, or this globe may happen by the blazing of nuclear warheads at a hair trigger alert, or nuclear power plants any time.
The blazing of forms, the conjunction of sense organs and objects, causes feeling, ideas, formations, and consciousness. The last emerges when the previous ones blaze subconsciously (global attracter circuiting, formed in 0.5 second) calmed (0.1 second after the attracter formed, called shift or gestalt formation), based on the theory of Walter J. Freeman. He thought that the mind is bound up in this process tightly, and that unlearning is necessary to free it. Dr. Asano said that Zen is good for this purpose.
Calming is necessary for the shift from unconsciousness to consciousness, where one becomes conscious of unconscious action and changes the course of action, where one’s free choice can be made. Dr. Asano said that the mental experiment of keeping the brain alive in alcohol is nonsense, because it can live only with the total nerve system, with the whole system embodied in the world. Calming karma and shifting to dharma in nirvana is calming and shifting the world into awakening in the dharma in nirvana.
Note: The stimulus and blazing at the front five sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body) first enters into hippocampus, the circulates around the limpic system, and then forming the global attracter is automatically and autonomously formed around the limbic system in 0.5 seconds subconsciously, circuiting and communicating with other areas of the brain or the five aggregates of form, feeling, ideas, formations, and consciousness every 0.1 second after the global attracter has been formed. The shift from unconsciousness to consciousness takes place and consciousness emerges in this process, when it is calmed (like lighting – of an electric bulb). This may be the shift from hot fire (burning: commotion: emotion like rippling bubbling water in a bowl) to cool light (illumination: calming: awareness: insight like calming and clearing in it: mirror). Consciousness has eight layers of the front five (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body: cakṣu–vijňāna, etc.), the sixth mind (manas), the seventh mind consciousness (mano-vijňāna), and the eighth store consciousness (ālaya-vijňāna, when this is transformed, it is called mirror-consciousness, ādarṣa-vijňāna).
Jaku Jaku, Serenity in Sereneness
(Shadow and light on the shōji, paper screen, sliding door)
Bihada, Beautiful Skin
The above photos were sent by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka,
now shown at the Photo Exhibition in the lobby of Shimoda City Cultural Hall