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“When we become intimate with our own thinking, delusions become the earth

upon which the moon of awakening shines.” – Dogen


Becoming intimate with our thinking is what meditation is. Some people are surprised to hear that, thinking meditation is about controlling our thinking not becoming intimate with it. Intimate is an alternate translation for awakening and to become intimate with our thinking is to become awake with our thinking. That is not thinking our way to becoming awake, but, becoming awake to our thinking. Waking up and smelling the roses.

Delusions are sometimes likened to flowers in the air in traditional writings. The task is not to get rid of those flowers in the air, but to come to appreciate them more, their colors, their fragrance their shape and form. Becoming intimate with those flowers, that thinking, those delusions, is what awakening is.

The moon of awakening is always shining upon our delusions, but we don’t always appreciate that. Our delusions are always reflecting our awakening, something even less appreciated. Without appreciating the way the moon of awakening is always shining on everything, the earth that it shines on is just dirt. The delusive thoughts in my mind are just something to be washed away, gotten rid of. But, that is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and pouring the bathwater down the drain to boot. Could’ve used it to water some plants in the garden.

To say that delusions become the earth upon which the moon of awakening shines speaks to a separation. The earth of delusion reflects the moonlight and moon into existence, as the moonlight reflects the earth and us into existence, not two, not even one.


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