Seeing and Hearing

"Seeing and Hearing" number 31 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

"Who is it now that hears sounds?" Bassui's big question. Will's big question. Your big question.

Sounds are funny things. We carry them around with us were ever we go. We create them on the spot. We manufacture them out of thin air. How little attention we pay to them. Just like our visions, our seeings. We see all the time, even when sleeping. Maybe you've never considered it but you are also hearing in your sleep. Hear never stops. Seeing never stops.

Cheri Huber is like to say, paraphrasing, the tenor of your life is a reflection of the focus of your attention. In other words we can not steer our hearing or our seeing or our thoughts for that matter, except by challenging and developing the focus of our attention.

Pay attention! Wake up! Be here now! These are the battle cries of those challenging their status quo.

How hears? Yes. Settle into the question. The mind wants to figure it out. It seeks an opening, a conclusion, a resolution. It sees spaciousness where it wants ideas. It screams 'What is the answer?' To attention, the question is enough.

The question for us could just as easily be "Who is it now that sees sights?" Why is this not the emphasis? I notice when sitting on the cushion, the sounds change more than the sights. Sights don't seem to have a succinct rising and ending. Of course they do but they don't appear to suddenly appear and disappear like sounds do. Sights flow together too easily. Not sounds.

Look what I've done, again - talk, talk, talk.

The printer hums,
rain washes the tin roof.
My ears ring
and together we settle.