What the hell is going on?

“When you try to analyse who or what is experiencing your experience, don’t just settle for a quick superficial conclusion. As the Buddha said, in describing his process-oriented view of the world, ‘In hearing, there is just hearing, no hearer, and nothing heard; in seeing there is just seeing, no seer and nothing seen.’ Like the sound of a drum, which arises from the interplay between the stick beating on drum skin held together by wood and brackets, it’s all like echoes and reflections. Everything is in process. There is no sound somewhere waiting to be heard. Of course when the drum beats, we hear a sound, but sound is not a concrete entity, is it?

kusan1The Korean Zen master I studied with, Nine Mountains, used to exclaim with gusto, ‘What is it?’ This, his main koan or Zen conundrum, was boldly calligraphed in Korean as a hanging scroll on the wall. This is an intense, heartfelt, visceral question: ‘What the hell is it?’ That was his whole teaching. What the hell is going on? What is this? Who is this? This is a fundamental existential question, turning our exploration inward. What is this presenting itself right now?”

From Awakening the Buddha Within, Lama Surya Das

Image: Kusan


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