Return, wander…..samsara

Near Zabriske Point, Death Valley. Robin L. Chandler Copyright 2016

Mountains near Zabriske Point, Death Valley. Robin L. Chandler Copyright 2016

The Sanskrit word samsara means to wander, and in the context of Buddhism it means to return, confined to rebirth, locked in an endless cycle of ignorance and suffering, until after dedicated work following the path to end suffering, enlightenment is reached, and the eyes are opened. According to Donald Lopez Jr. in The Story of Buddhism, “wisdom is the insight that everything is of the nature of consciousness and the product of one’s own projections.” To become a buddha, it is necessary to be empty, as the sutras repeatedly teach “not to see anything, is to see everything…..in Zen, there is the saying ‘mountains are mountains,’ referring to the dictum that before one begins the practice of Zen, mountains are mountains; during the practice of Zen, mountains are not mountains; after the practice of Zen, mountains are mountains.”

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