So I’m digging through my DVDs the other day and I discover a copy of a movie called Buddhist Life. The director was a guy named Luis Carapeto. He was Portuguese. I remember him coming to a number of Nishijima Roshi’s talks and retreats. Then he went back to Portugal. Later on he returned to Japan with a couple of people and a bunch of video equipment to make a movie about Nishijima.

He gave Nishijima a copy on VHS, which I then copied for myself and later transferred to a DVD-R. Then, as far as I knew, the movie just vanished. IMDB doesn’t list it. I checked around the interwebs and the only reference I can find is this listing from a film festival in Amsterdam. It gives the year of production as 2003. I think the movie may be a couple years older than that. But my memory is not so reliable. Amazon has a listing for it. Though the DVD appears to be out of print. So buy the download because maybe Luis is getting some money from those sales. And I’m sure it’ll look and sound a lot better than this third generation copy.

The synopsis on that Dutch film festival’s website says:

“I live my Buddhist life from day to day, from moment to moment sometimes in my office, sometimes in my home, sometimes in a temple. In every situation there was just my Buddhist life.” Gudo Wafu Nishijima was born in Yokohama, Japan. With a new and fresh approach to the Buddhist view of reality and the sense of balance to the philosophical and scientific investigations from last decades, Master Nishijima gives us the coordinates to start to understand Buddhism with our own method of thinking. He wants to pass the teachings of Buddhism to people all over the world who are searching for “Truth”. “We have to say that we live in a succession of moments rather like the frames of a film.” In these frames, from the present moment, the documentary is about Master Nishijima´s daily life that is all ready a Buddhist life.

I uploaded the whole thing onto YouTube this morning. Luis, if you’re out there and you want me to remove it I will. I’m under the impression that Luis and the others who made the movie have kind of forgotten about it at this point. I’m hoping maybe this blog posting might spark some renewed interest in it. I say again unto thee, buy the download! It’s only two dollars, ya cheapskates!

Watching it again I’d forgotten how good it was. It gives you a very honest look at who Nishijima Roshi was when the film was made. It shows him leading one of his annual retreats in Shizuoka for foreigners. It shows him in Europe giving talks and running a sesshin. It shows him talking to students of his from Israel and Ireland. There’s also a wonderful scene of him dragging his suitcase through Tokyo Station. He always insisted on carrying his own stuff when he went on retreats. If you wanted to help him out with his bags you’d have to kind of trick him by grabbing them before he noticed. But he was always very quick.

In one of the scenes Nishijima is in his office at the Ida Soap and Cosmetics Company working on the translation of Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika, although the book itself isn’t mentioned. This would have been a couple years before I got involved with it. He was working on that thing for ages.

The opening scenes were shot one morning at Nishijima’s dojo in Chiba prefecture. It was a thoroughly urban Buddhist living space. At one time it had been Ida’s company dormitory back in the days when Japanese companies made new workers live together in dorms. After they stopped using it they gave it to Nishijima to run as a dojo. Then when Mr. Ida died his son decided to take it back and sell the property. Residents were required to sit two periods of zazen each day. Nishijima himself rang a bell at 5:30 every morning to signal the start of the first period. Residents weren’t required to attend that one. But the bell was there to offer encouragement to do so. I never lived in the dojo myself.

I appear at about 2:55 into part two sitting next to Nishijima in the zendo at Tokei-in temple in Shizuoka. I think maybe you can hear my voice as one of the people asking questions in one of the lectures too. But I’m not sure if it’s me or not.

I have to warn you, though. The movie is painfully slow. If I would’ve edited it I would’ve made it a lot speedier. But I think Luis wanted to give viewers a sense of Nishijima’s lifestyle. He seems to be attempting to recreate the feeling of sitting zazen in the form of a cinematic experience. You’ll have to judge for yourself if he was successful or not.




*At the time I posted this, part 3 was still loading up. So you may have to sit some zazen till it becomes available.

119 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  2. Manny Furious
    Manny Furious February 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

    A-bob, you're the one still making a distinction between "believers" and, obviously, non-believers. I don't "believe" in anything. The "god" of which I speak is not the "god" that you speak of.

    The reason why it's so difficult to communicate is that to that "god" is so obvious that it's like asking the eye to see itself or the ear to hear itself or the tongue to taste itself. The tongue cannot taste itself because it is the one doing the tasting and the same concept applies to "god". It's only difficult to know "god" because "god" is the one doing the knowing. If it were easy to explain to people, it would've been explained a long time ago and we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

    Again, I would argue it's people like you with the baggage. It's not a matter of belief or non-belief. You're the one perusing a Zen buddhist site. What do you think all those old buddhist masters were talking about when they spoke about "knowing your true Self"? In a lot of ways, they were the smart ones because they didn't use the word "god" and therefore, they didn't have to deal with all the baggage that comes with using such a term.

  3. Zafu Frog, Japan
    Zafu Frog, Japan February 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm |

    I tried to buy it from Japan, but it won't allow it. I suppose I'll just have to watch it on YouTube and buy it some time in the future if I can. Thanks for the upload.

  4. Abo-B
    Abo-B February 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm |

    Manny, You might be right..

    CAPTCHA : shiv : I kid you not

  5. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 3, 2012 at 4:41 am |

    From what I have read about "those old Buddhist masters" that you mentioned, I'm fairly certain that if you had said to any of them that "the true Self" is "god" he would have hit you hard enough to break bones.
    Saying that "the true Self" is "god" is also a prime example of trying to define god into existence and it doesn't explain anything meaningful about either "true Self" or "god". It conveys no information at all.

  6. anon #108
    anon #108 February 3, 2012 at 5:07 am |

    I vote for the Reverend Uncle on the "defining things into existence" thing and on the "doesn't explain anything meaningful"/"conveys no information" thing.

    Got anything else, God people? If not, I'll carry on making do with "Universe" and/or "the ineffable (small 'i')".

  7. Keith Suranna
    Keith Suranna February 3, 2012 at 5:13 am |

    I owned a copy of Buddhist Life that Jim Cohen gave me a number of years ago. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for bringing it back, Brad.

    Also, I'm really looking forward to your book on God, Brad. Sounds great.

  8. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 3, 2012 at 5:36 am |

    Anon #108,
    Here are two of my favorite quotes regarding the "ineffable":

    "Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all." – from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

    "I'm in the business of effing the ineffable." – Alan Watts

  9. anon #108
    anon #108 February 3, 2012 at 5:52 am |


  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 3, 2012 at 6:06 am |

    In western culture, God is always the Abrahamic god. This is the god against which the atheists rail as superstitious nonsense. Time and again, the atheist writers have said their beef is with belief in a supreme being that intervenes directly in the world and keeps a tally of your right and wrong doings. There are certainly ways in which these beliefs can be cast as metaphor as many Buddhist groups have done with reincarnation and the six realms. There are mystical traditions in these religions. But they are marginalized and do not represent the "view from the pews".

    My experience with Christians has been that if you mention God, no matter how nuanced your definition, they believe it justifies their belief. And It is only a short jump from the ineffable to accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, and that is the only way to Nirvana. (I wonder how Buddhists feel about the Christian interpretation of Buddhist terms, it seems fair if everything is up for grabs).

    One of the problems is that people without the baggage of being raised Catholic, for example, have no idea how much baggage there is. It's offering an orange to someone who was assaulted by a crate of oranges. We have no context for their fear. Something similar happens when Buddhist teachers mention god. Either the listener is turned off or they believe they have found a way to have their God and not go to hell. The Dalai Lama has gone so far as to say that people should probably not convert to Buddhism but be better Christians.

    So this is a long way of saying I have no use for the word "god" and fail to see where it is helpful in Buddhist discourse especially among westerners.

  11. Moni
    Moni February 3, 2012 at 6:09 am |

    It was really nice to watch this video. Somehow people like him have this "harmonic power" in and around them which is really nice to watch and calming.

  12. Harmonic Howard
    Harmonic Howard February 3, 2012 at 6:43 am |

    Phil: I’m a god.
    Rita: You’re God?
    Phil: I’m a god. I’m not the God. (pause) I don’t think..

  13. Shodo
    Shodo February 3, 2012 at 7:21 am |


    2 questions…

    1 – Are you a theist?

    2 – How are you defining "god"?

  14. proulx michel
    proulx michel February 3, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    It seems to me that one of the main problems here is the discrepancy between American culture and general European culture.
    Europe is vastly de-christianised. Most of the European christians are so for mostly "community" purposes. They go to church essentially for baptisms, marriages and funerals. The attendance to the churches demonstrates it. Civil liberties in Europe have been generally won against the Church, particularly in France, where the latter waged a fierce combat against civil liberties (and still does, albeit with much lesser impact than before the War).
    Even where Christianity keeps a large attendance, as in Italy and parts of Germany, people don't care too much about doctrinal squabbles, and the only thing that will make them pur forth their christianity is the onslaught of Islam which is becoming ever more arrogant in its demands, asking for things that are denied to Christianity.

    The USA seem to be a quite different landscape, where it is socially dangerous to be tagged as an atheist or even a "tepid" Christian, whence, perhaps, this urge to give the word "god" a different meaning than it has in the Abrahamic religions (that is a male god, omnipotent and omniscient "father," with his whims and dictates, just like in any dysfunctionally patriarchal family, and the maker and owner of creation.

    Such a "God" as mentions Nishijima is anathema to Abrahamic religions, because being all, it is nowhere, and we are not separate from it, which would be deemed sacrilegious by those orthodoxies.

    This identification may seem almost a necessity in an American context, but tends to be felt as quite useless in our cultural landscape.

    captcha: "ables"

  15. Hrundi
    Hrundi February 3, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    Oh my goodness, I have a doubt.

    Tell me, how are you are going to manage a book on a subject that you have so far only flitted around in the vaguest of ways?

    Vill you be giving us an excerpt on this very blog Sir?

  16. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 3, 2012 at 9:26 am |

    John E. Mumbles,

    Your comments on this article and the previous one about "raw awareness" reminded me of something that I read a while ago about "the first nen". I finally found the reference that I was thinking of in a footnote in "Two Zen Classics: The Gateless Gate and The Blue Cliff Records" translated with commentaries by Katsuki Sekida.

    "The word nen, which has no equivalent in English, means either a unit of thought or a steadily willed activity of mind. Zen theory sees the activity of consciousness as a continuous interplay between a sequence of nen. Thus, the first nen always acts intuitively and performs a direct, pure cognition of the object. The second nen immediately follows the first and makes the first its object of reflection. By this means, one becomes conscious of one's own thoughts. The successively appearing secondary nen integrate and synthesize preceding nen into a continuous stream of thought. It is these nen which are the basis of self-consciousness and ego-activity. The integrating, synthesizing action of consciousness is the third nen. Reasoning, introspection, and so forth come from the third nen. But this third nen, clouded by its ego-centered activity, often argues falsely and draws mistaken conclusions. This delusive thinking in turn interferes with the pure cognition of the first nen. Zazen practice, when it leads to absolute samadhi, cuts off delusive thoughts. The activity of the second and third nen ceases, and gradually, through constant practice, the first nen is freed to perform its inherently pure and direct cognition."

  17. Manny Furious
    Manny Furious February 3, 2012 at 9:45 am |

    Rev Uncle–

    You're stuck on the word "God." For the sake of what some are saying, you can call it "zork" or "mifflebridge" or "plunka." Personally I like the word "Tao" but then I sound like a New Age-y type and my ego still clings to the notion of not being a "new age-y type."

    For me, Bankei said it best, "It is that which cannot hear, but which allows the ear to hear. It is that which cannot taste, but allows the tongue to taste."

    It can be referred to as "god" because without it, nothing exists. It is at one highly impersonal (it probably has not vested interest in whether you or I am considered the victor of this discussion, for example, and it almost certainly doesn't care if Tim Tebow wins football games,etc.) and yet the most personal thing in existence.

  18. jamal
    jamal February 3, 2012 at 9:58 am |

    Sorry to interject comedy into this interesting discussion but I just had to share this video of my personal savior.

  19. Shodo
    Shodo February 3, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    People really really REALLY need to define the term "god" before engaging in these sorts of discussions… Without doing so is almost being deliberately controversial.

    In our culture, the word "god" has some specific characteristics (Judeo/Christian) that make saying things like "Buddhists believe in god" confusing – you need to really unpack the term before arguing your point.

  20. anon #108
    anon #108 February 3, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 3, 2012 at 10:28 am |


    Rev nailed it with his "it doesn't explain anything meaningful"/"conveys no information".

    God is an archaic term that has lost whatever meaning it might have once had. All it does is muddy up any chance of clarity. Unless you're willing to brave a definition you might as well use another word.

  22. anon #108
    anon #108 February 3, 2012 at 10:48 am |

    I've been surfing earlier HCZ comment sections. I came across this, written by Brad in a post about death:

    "What I'm about to say might seem like mysticism, but here goes anyhow…What I think of as "Brad Warner" is a construct in my mind. It isn't real. Yet there is a real something upon which that mental construct I've called "Brad Warner" is based. This something can't really die because it was never really born…Yes, Brad Warner was born and yes Brad Warner will die. And yet he is not just an individual entity. He is also a temporary manifestation of something vast and unknowable that has no beginning and no end."

    From here: http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2010/11/death-again.html

    And I commented. From my comment:

    "To me, that's what the Buddhist term punarbhava, "again-becoming" means (a different thing from 're-incarnation'). Thanks for saying it in a way that was anything but "mystical". In fact, put like that, it's bloody obvious that's what happens if you ask me."

    Brad didn’t reply to me then, but I imagine he might have said: "That’s not quite what I meant. What is it that keeps 'again-becoming’? What is it that can't die because it was never born? What is the ‘something vast and unknowable’ that everything is a temporary manifestation of…and that you say is ‘bloody obvious’? That's God. That's what I mean by the word 'God'."

    Then I'd be like: "Well, ok. But what do you achieve by re-introducing the word "God" into the Buddhist vocabulary? Is it so that we non-theists and non-deists can say to the believers "Yes, I believe in God, too. Let’s all hug”? Coz that only confuses the deists and theists who think that, like them, you’re talking about something outside of/separate from the Universe that either made it and abandoned it, or made it and looks after it."

    Then he'd be like: "No. I don’t care about what other people think “God” means or what “God” is. I use the word because there's no other word for what I’m talking about that works for me. 'Universe' is way too materialistic and impersonal. 'The ineffable' is maybe a little better but it's still impersonal, and it kinda skirts the issue. It's just a word that says 'there's no word'. So ‘God’ is the only appropriate word I can find in the language for what I’m talking about.”

    And I'm like: "Ok. I believe in God, too."

    But that conversation never happened.

  23. anon #108
    anon #108 February 3, 2012 at 10:52 am |

    (10.48am is just a slightly edited version of deleted 10.25am. Apologies to anon @10.28am.)

  24. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 3, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 3, 2012 at 11:48 am |

    If your definition of "god" is different from the generally accepted definition of "god" and closer to the generally accepted definition of "Tao" then you could probably communicate more effectively by using the word "Tao". Don't worry about sounding "New Age-y". Just try to express your thoughts as accurately as you can. With that in mind, I would advise you against using the words "zork", "mifflebridge" or "plunka". 🙂

  26. Harry
    Harry February 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

    Re: definitions.

    It's true that 'god' actually does suggest specific things in context. In the English language 'God' or even 'god' is strongly suggestive of a *male* deity (not just some unifying truth or principle), and, in the case of the former (capital 'G'), the 'supreme being'.

    Nishijima Roshi's use of the word 'God/god' might be understood by people who more-or-less share his values and point of view, and it would resonate with some experiences from the 'mystical' side of Christianity, but I would suggest that it is contrary to the standard western understanding of the word and so I'd question the use of it in saying what I think he means.

    The fact that the word is gendered seems particularly loaded, unhelpful and inapropriate.



  27. A-Bob
    A-Bob February 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

    Harry, The problem is that God is telling Brad one thing, Me another and you something else.

    I think she thinks it's funny..

    CAPTCHA : hedlore : I kid you not

  28. Harry
    Harry February 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

    A-Bob, I'm hoping that some day She's gonna let the pope in on the joke.



  29. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

    Those were the days!

  30. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles February 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    Rev. Uncle Willie, thank you for the passage on the first nen. There is a similar one somewhere in the corpus of talks by Nisargadatta that I will quote here when I find it.

    IMO most often conjecture -splitting hairs over differences between traditions, semantics, etc.- takes precedence over looking at the very basic fundamental common ground of all of it.

  31. Closet MIA Fan
    Closet MIA Fan February 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    "Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well."


    For best results, watch full screen with headphones turned up LOUD! Repeat as needed.

  32. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles February 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

    I suppose that should be:
    -unfortunately takes precedence…

    Sorry, Long day.

  33. anon #108
    anon #108 February 4, 2012 at 12:46 am |

    Willie and John,

    The three nen also sounds very similar (I guess may even be the same idea) to the Indian Buddhist, Dignaga's (c 480-540 CE) idea of (raw) perception and subsequesnt inference – likely to be a variation or development of the earlier sarvastivadin idea of three kinds of constructive thought:

    "Pure perception is free from preconception of any kind and is therefore unconnected with name, genus, species and conceptualization. This suggests that most of what is ordinarily called perception is in fact tainted by the mental constructs and habits which mediate and obscure the function of the senses…Dignaga's conception of perception is the epistemological correlate of chittamatra, Mind-only. Those pairs of opposites which give value and tone to perceptions – pleasure and pain, for example – are not objects of knowledge but rather colorations of consciousness…Anumana, inference, is of two kinds: svarthanumana and pararthanumana, inference for oneself and inference for another. Inference for oneself is knowledge of a thing derived from its distinctive marks or characteristics…Pararthanumana, inference for the sake of others, is more complex, for it is concerned with what one can demonstrate to another on the basis of what one can infer for oneself. In addition to the inference, one must show its validity by some parallel example to another."

    – from http://theosophytrust.org/tlodocs/articlesTeacher.php?d=Dignaga.htm&p;=35

    – also see "Buddhist Logic," Theodore Stcherbatsky, Part one, 1930

    I've rushed the explanation and no doubt got details wrong – and there are plenty more details – but in common with the three nen, as I read it, seems to be the notion of an initial direct, pure perception, subsequently coloured by the intellect which reflects (recognises and attributes characteristics) and then compares (integrates into social reality?).

    – I really haven't got more than the faintest clue of what I'm talking about. Can you tell?

  34. Lone Wolf
    Lone Wolf February 4, 2012 at 1:00 am |

    Thanks for uploading this film, Brad!

  35. anon #108
    anon #108 February 4, 2012 at 1:05 am |

    …Actually, I used to know all there is to be known about perception, but I've forgotten most of it. It's a wonder I get by at all.

  36. Lone Wolf
    Lone Wolf February 4, 2012 at 1:15 am |

    I really like when Nishijima says, "God is the Universe, the Universe is God." It's seems to be another way of saying body and mind drop off, because they are the same not two.

    I also like the Joshu Sasaki quote that Brad likes to mention that goes something like "There is no God, and He is your creator."

    I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

  37. Sift Trill
    Sift Trill February 4, 2012 at 1:23 am |

    I think that folk feel too often these days that they have to find new words for ideas because of the cultural baggage.

    In many cases this might be for very practical reasons. For example, if one's aim is to want to help people understand what a teaching is really getting at – like 'enlightenment' – you might want to use a different word to avoid the usual cultural associations that could get some barking up the wrong tree.

    Yet words are constantly shifting in meaning due to changes in social and individual contexts. The word 'God' has meant different things to me over the years and different things throughout history within a particular social group or religious tradition – never mind it's wider general usage in the English speaking world.

    We're always renegotiating what things mean, shaping the life of language whilst it shapes how we live.

    In English, God could end up suggesting something feminine – as 'feminine' also could end up suggesting something relatively different to what it does now.

    Folk having different meanings for a word that represents something important to them can make for dialogue; it can encourage people to look again at their notions or assumptions, breathing new life into their habits of thought and how they relate to others coming from different angles.

    Sometimes giving an old word its saddle back kicks up valuable notions that have been left out to pasture, and can lead someone to a watering hole they thought was meant only for others, was not really there, or whose legend nagged secretly at them as something real they felt foolish to go seek out.

    I think there's a strain in the 'progressive' mind set that's fatalistic in it's aversion to words it feels are tainted by historical association; and whilst it appropriates postmodern notions in terms of change it can also forget how postmodernism re-invites us to play – with our longstanding narratives and traditions and their dusty old artifacts (some of which are the creaking beams that nevertheless keep the cold out).

    Let's not just throw out what a word represents or what we associate it with: why not also really re-present and re-associate ourselves with what we carry forward (god barked). God barked. Barking.

    Barking? that too.

  38. Pjotr
    Pjotr February 4, 2012 at 2:53 am |


    I have a burning question
    Why do some people mention the word-verification
    at the end of their message?
    I just don't get it.

  39. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 4, 2012 at 3:27 am |


  40. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 4, 2012 at 5:35 am |

    Anon #108,

    It seems to me that you, John E and I recognize that we are referring to the same activities of consciousness and/or states of being using very similar terminology with only minor variations and some "foreign" words (which we define in context) where English cannot quite convey the subtlety of an unfamiliar concept. This clearly demonstrates the importance and vast potential of precise communication.
    Just imagine the possibilities if more people would stop writing vague, meaningless and logically flawed assertions such as "God is the most obvious thing". 🙂

  41. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles February 4, 2012 at 6:28 am |

    Right on, Rev. Uncle Wille, &Thanks; Anon 108, this passage you quote says it very well, I'll still look around for the various stages of perception which Nisargadatta walks through somewhere. Perhaps more directly related to the obviously confusing topic of "God," on the way I found the following passages, apparently from I Am That, here http://www.albigen.com/uarelove/nisargadatta_practice.aspx (lots more for those so inclined to take a longer look.)

    As I understand it, at the point of perception of a separate self there is the very first thought that "I am" or I exist, [indeed now that I think about it (drum roll, badda bing badda boom) as Descarte said it so well!] and the rest of the conceptual misunderstandings resulting in a "world" comes rushing in, so consequently Nisargadatta says we must go back to the "I Am" like a mantra, as the gatekeeper of the state we glimpse and assume is "reality" (Plato's cave wall comes to mind) so it follows that this first thought of our existence is given a most reverent "name" ie; God amongst our inherited grab bag of concepts.

    Cause and effect (as are all conceptualizations as they begin in Oneness and branch out in all directions from it) are inextricably linked, cause has no purpose without its effect, and effect, once self-evident through knowledge of its own effectiveness, naturally seeks its cause outside & inside of itself as evidence of its purpose. Once there, we eventually realize there is something prior to this that has no name or concept whatsoever (for convenience sake here below he calls it the "silent watcher" in Sufism it is simply called the "witness" but the name is superfluous, that we realize its presence is the importance of it, the complete "coming home" finally of it, like prodigal sons and daughters all, home from the wars of conceptual foolishness)

    Nisargadatta: Whatever happens it happens to you. What you do, the doer is in you. Find the subject of all that you are as a person.

    Questioner: What else can I be?

    Nisargadatta: Find out. Even if I tell you that you are the witness, the silent watcher, it will mean nothing to you, unless you find the way to your own being.

    Questioner: My question is: How to find the way to one's own being?

    Nisargadatta: Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I?' After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this' is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. (more:)

  42. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles February 4, 2012 at 6:31 am |

    'I am' itself is God. The seeking itself is God. In seeking you discover that you are neither the body nor the mind, and the love of the self in you is for the self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love.

    Questioner: How am I to find that love?

    Nisargadatta: What do you love now? The 'I am'. Give your heart and mind to it, think of nothing else.

  43. Rev. Uncle Willie
    Rev. Uncle Willie February 4, 2012 at 6:31 am |

    Edit to my previous post:

    Please replace the phrase "activities of consciousness" with "mental activities".

    Just picking my own nits but WORDS MATTER, DAMMIT!

  44. boubi
    boubi February 4, 2012 at 6:37 am |

    Rev. Uncle Willie said…


    Just imagine the possibilities if more people would stop writing vague, meaningless and logically flawed assertions such as "God is the most obvious thing". 🙂

    Hi Rev.

    Just one for setting things right, from my point of view.

    I don't think that stating that "God is the most obvious thing" is neither vague, meaningless nor is a logically flawed assertions.

    It's not vague, it is a statement as precise as saying that aplles fall because it is their nature to fall.

    It is not meaningless, it is full of meaning, it can change all the paradigms of our existence, all of them.

    It is not logically flawed, all depends on the subjacent logic, furthermore the one who wrote it was going beyond logic.

    I maintain that it is a wrong interpretation based on different existential experiences and needs, which is different from bashing this statement.

    Now it is my business to argue it with the writer, and i think i did it already a bit.

  45. Shodo
    Shodo February 4, 2012 at 6:55 am |

    boubi said…
    "I don't think that stating that "God is the most obvious thing" is neither vague, meaningless nor is a logically flawed assertions."

    Yes it is – without defining the term that statement could mean almost anything to anyone.

    "It's not vague, it is a statement as precise as saying that apples fall because it is their nature to fall."

    It's not an apple's nature to fall…:/ It's just something that happens when you let go of one.

    Actually, saying "God is the most obvious thing" is totally vague…. until you define what you mean then people will misunderstand what you are saying.
    (as an aside… what is a apple's "nature" anyway?)

    It is not meaningless, it is full of meaning, it can change all the paradigms of our existence, all of them.

    Yes it IS full of meaning, so full in fact that it's meaningless… But feel free to describe what you are talking about…
    I am always down for a paradigm shift after a morning cup of coffee.:3

  46. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 4, 2012 at 7:09 am |

    I've long suspected that language actually dumbs down pure thought. Because when you're really working it, words just get in the way. I think it is the most obvious thing. Thank you.

  47. boubi
    boubi February 4, 2012 at 7:26 am |

    to Shodo

    "The nature of apples is to fall" is what was believed before the scientific revolution of Galileo, Copernic, Lord Newton among other.

    It is not a vague statement, it is a very precise wrong statement.

    I won't dwelve on the rest of the post.

    Is that you "that" Shodo?

  48. Shodo
    Shodo February 4, 2012 at 7:37 am |

    ""The nature of apples is to fall" is what was believed before the scientific revolution of Galileo, Copernic, Lord Newton among other.

    It is not a vague statement, it is a very precise wrong statement."

    But the context of the above statement was that God as the most obvious thing was as precise and non-vague as saying that an apples nature is to fall… something that is now a "very precise wrong statement.".

    So what are you saying about god here…?

    "Is that you "that" Shodo?"

    I dunno… what Shodo are you talking about?

  49. boubi
    boubi February 4, 2012 at 7:52 am |

    But the context of the above statement was that God as the most obvious thing was as precise and non-vague as saying that an apples nature is to fall… something that is now a "very precise wrong statement.".

    Sorry to tell you, but you are wrong again.

    Read what i wrote, it's in plain simple english, please respect punctuation, like in "read and comprehension" of olds. You can try again if it fancies you.



  50. Mysterion
    Mysterion February 4, 2012 at 7:54 am |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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