Relative and absolute

Kusen (teaching during zazen)  by Pedro Taiho Secorún


Pushed by the wind the sea surface begins to move, perhaps through a deep current it suddenly hits a high ground and the wave begins to form. The beginning of the wave is soft but depending on the circumstances it may get bigger, take one form or another depending on where the wind comes from, whether or not it is near the coast. But in the end there is a mass of water that rises, that manifests itself, that takes a form that changes every moment, that transforms itself, because every moment is transitory. If this wave had awareness it would be able to think a lot about itself, about the other waves or the world.

During the interval between its birth and disappearance the wave could understand that it has never been separated from the ocean and that its relative form is completely impregnated by the absoluteness of the sea. Relative and absolute are not separated in reality, it is our dual mind that creates the difference between them both. However, it is through this dual mind, through the evolution of the chain of causes and effects, that we can understand that the wave and the sea are not separated from each other. This is exactly the awakening of Buddha, but if we identify ourselves with every little form, with each elevation, with the foam, with the whirlwind or whatever, we separate ourselves from the true insight that allows us to understand and see that the ocean  encompasses everything, that there is no wave outside the sea, that there is no separation.

We can see the relative world as foreigners because our real being belongs to the ocean and it has always been there. There is nothing to look for, nothing to reject, reality is as it is. Therefore it is said that when a person understands this, he can enter the mainstream, that is, let go, be harmonized with this force from which we first have emerged. One way or another this is sensed.

In our tradition we make the gesture and manifest here and now in an objective and relative manner, the act of wanting to follow the current that encompasses all, the act of asking for the Bodhisattva’s ordination. In fact, we have always been there, there is no distance, no difference, since distance is an illusion that we create. When we do gassho, when we do sampai, we open the heart and the wave goes through the relative world, the manifested world, with the full awareness of belonging to the absolute world.

There is no more fear. There are no more doubts.