We are delighted with beautiful flowers around us inside and out, especially those fresh flowers at the altar and all other Buddhas around the rooms with water also fresh. Unless we replace water, it becomes stale and even stinky, poisonous and damaging flowers.
Our sitting is like replacing flowers and water, making us refreshed and renewed, healthy and happy. Cut flowers, however, must eventually dry and die. Animals are like, in a sense and in essence, cut flowers, unlike plants deeply rooted in the ground and nourishing themselves, producing energy and material for all.
Animals are called “moving matter (動物: dôbutsu in Japanese), moving around for food. Humans further find clothes and dwellings. So, we increase our actions and habits, karmas, and thus the triple poisons of delusion, craving and anger, even our triple maladies of me-ism, materialism, and militarism.
Like cut flowers and their bases we must always seek something to survive. We are essentially carrying ocean as bones and blood, etc. depending on nature. We have extremely evolved with bodies and brains. When our me-ism becomes extreme, we damage our environment – nature, and our own nature, poisoning all always.
Our systems, individual, social, and environmental, work as open systems, communicating and exchanging information, energy and matter. Actually we are the combined, cooperated, and coordinated life systems, functioning with wind, water, stars, the sun, and the moon, and many more living beings, cells, etc.
We live with our heart beat, blood circulation, digestion, immune systems, etc. – all working beyond our individual ideas and intentions even while asleep or unconscious, going with the nature’s rhythm of the sun, seasons, the moon, months, day and night, tide and time, etc.
Sometimes we have disorder, becoming sick with our systems damaged. Humans, very much intellectual, become affected by the symptoms in our ideas, feelings, emotions, etc., causing more damage. Actually our fever and phlegm, coughing and sneezing are the mechanism to cope with the disorder and get rid of intruders.
By raising body temperature, we increase immune function; by coughing and sneezing, we expel the intruders, inhibitors, and their byproducts. So, rather than worrying we had better see how the systems are working, and keep our conceptions, emotions, volitions, refreshed and renewed, calm and clear constantly.
When we stop our individual karmas, distorted and departed from the dharma world, we become distorted from the dharma dhâtu, root/realm. That is why we must constantly sit and see the limited and limiting robotic karma kinetics, become harmonious with the wholly wholesome dharma dynamism.
In sitting we become dharma bodies, freed from karma bodies. So, we resume our fresh, free, full function by the practice of sitting and stilling, calming and clearing our karmic fabrications and hindrances, especially our mental fabrications and hindrances – new superficial realms of our brains squeezing old core layers.
It is impossible for cut flowers to be rooted in the ground to revive. Nowadays we have biodegradable pots for plants to let roots go through the pots. Like them we must get rooted in the universe, dharma world, and the dharma body. Then, there is no more sickness, old age, and death like ocean or sky, unlike bubbles or clouds.
Great trees can survive a hundred times longer than those of even longest human lives. Perennials come back again and again. Annuals spread seeds to survive. So, we must see the truth of life, settle in peace, in harmony and happiness, sitting and stopping our karmas, seeing limitless life in the dharma world, truth world.
The delusion of a separated self or an independent eternal ego is the product of our karmas. Thus, we are constantly making ego and mei, aham and mama, I and my. The Buddha said “na tumhâkam, not yours.” Nothing is the personal property in the ultimate truth. We don’t know when our life and life functions suddenly stop.
Our life is dependent on wind, water, light, tide, time, temperature, gravity, genes, etc. All phenomena are intertwined. We know only a miniscule minimum of the limitless life. So, we let go of our limited ideas, attachment, and actions and go beyond our limited life, and live limitless life, light, liberation, love, and learning limitlessly.
We want to keep our flowers and water constantly refreshed and change flowers with water according to seasons. It is impossible for them to go back to the great ground to grow great into the heaven. However, the Zen saying is “the bottom of the basin broken through,” breaking the base or pot merging into the dharma world.
Then, we can reach the great ground of the dharma world and find that we are endowed with abundant truth, goodness, beauty, and holiness. Only when we sit and stop our limited and limiting karma bodies, can we witness and live the limitless and liberating dharma bodies in penetrating purity, peace, and prognosis.