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Mountains as Mountains, Rivers as Rivers

By | 7/18/2022
Mountains as Mountains, Rivers as Rivers

"Before I had studied the Dharma for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers." Ke Ton
― Qingyuan Weixin, 9th Century


David Cain
Date: 8/14/2022

I have never looked at nor read or responded to a blog before now. On June 20th 2022 A young woman that I served with sent me a link to the song "First There is a Mountain" by Donovan. Nothing else. I pondered why this was presented to me at this time. Lyrics, that I had always wondered about, for maybe 50 years. This is what came to me this past June. I wonder if this was Qingyuan experienced and tried to convey? This is the text that I sent back to her. I briefly looked into the origin of that concept of first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is. The little that I read about it said the man who coined that phrase saw a mountain and a river and then did not see the mountain and the river and then saw the mountain and the river. While walking my dog today I thought about it again as I looked at a river and I understood what was meant at that moment. Once, I experienced egolessness after working hard at a course. It was a wonderful, enlightening experience to see everything as it really is, with absolutely no judgment, or even a thought, or thought process. I think this is what is being talked about. Our mind is constantly judging and interpreting everything that comes in through the sense doors, when we are egoless we see things in the present moment and just as they are... Vipassana!! I almost have craving when I think of that short time of the experience but I know that it was just the experience of that short time and that with hard work it may come again... or it may not! And I can learn to be equanimous with the present condition. Thank you for sparking these thoughts on the beautiful Dharma.

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