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The Daily Dharma – May 23, 2021

Deep green field of soft moss in a wooded area at the Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Japan

Continuing from Touching Enlightenment; Finding Realization in the Body . . .

Within Indian culture, the forest was considered the ideal place for spiritual practice because, in the forest, there are no rules and there are no presiding authorities.  The only authority is the chaos of the forest itself. The only rule is what awaits there for each practitioner, uniquely, to discover. Memories of the past and plans for the future, the psychic infrastructure of civilization, do not apply: they have no bearing and they have no footing. The forest is about something else. In the forest, there is only the ever-present possibility of events, encounters, and insights that emerge directly from reality itself, pure and unpolluted by human wants, expectations, and attitudes. Uniquely in the forest, the most radical of all human journeys can take place, one which brings us into direct contact with primordial being. Generally, the greatest saints of Buddhist tradition both in India and in larger Asia were products, so to speak, of the forest; fed up with the limitations of the town-and-village culture of institutionalized Buddhism, inspired by those who had gone before, they disappeared into the forest for years, decades, or even for life.

Reginald Ray

To be continued . . .

Ryoanji Temple Moss Image Seamus Berkeley