281. The Expression of Water

When we practice we release the self and we release the world from the grip of our certainty.

In the ‘Mountains and Waters Sutra‘, Master Dogen says the following:

In seeing water there are beings who see it as a jewelled necklace, some see water as miraculous flowers. Hungry ghosts see water as raging flames, or as pus and blood. Dragons and fish see it as a palace, or a tower, or as the seven treasures, or the great jewel. Others see it as woods and walls, or as the dharma nature of immaculate liberation, or as the true human body, or as the physical form and mental nature. Humans see these as water. In these different ways of seeing are the conditions under which water is killed or given life.

Although Dogen is a great master, the statement is incomplete.

Even if he had said that each window through which all creatures who have ever lived or who ever will live see the world, if all these uncountable windows were taken and each smashed into a million, billion pieces and a tiny precious fragment was taken from each to form a great window, through which a great light would  illuminate the practitioner completely, the statement would still be deficient.

How so? Because from the perspective of the water, or the mountain, or the tree, or whatever, all the views of these infinite number of beings are not made standing on the passive body of the water, the tree, the mountain, the person, but rather, all these views, all these beings, are the expression of the water the tree, the mountain, the person, and the expression of this moment.