Will Rauschenberger

Beginnings Are Endings – Endings are Beginnings

As 2021 comes to a close, another year is etched into the storehouse of consciousness. The storehouse consciousness is where we keep all impressions as seeds of the physical and mental experience.  The storehouse consciousness is said to store the impressions of previous experiences, which form the seeds of future karma in this life and the next. How do we transform our consciousness to live fully as human beings, to be fully awakened and realize our potential for wisdom and compassion?

According to Zen Buddhist teachings, there are eight types of consciousness:

  1. Sight
  2. Hearing
  3. Taste
  4. Smell
  5. Touch
    (the five sense-consciousnesses)
  6. Mental (perception, thought)
  7. Cognition (self-consciousness)
  8. Storehouse (repository consciousness)

A core teaching of Chan/Zen Buddhism describes the transformation of the Eight Consciousnesses into the Four Wisdoms.

  • Eighth Consciousness is transformed into the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom
  • Seventh Consciousness into the Equality (Universal Nature) Wisdom
  • Sixth Consciousness into the Profound Observing Wisdom
  • First to Fifth Consciousnesses into the All Performing (Perfection of Action) Wisdom

Our practice is to turn the light of awareness around, from misconceptions regarding the nature of reality as being external, to awakening and directly seeing one’s own nature. Ordinary Zen Sangha continues to encourage the direct experience of the illuminating wisdom that makes it possible for us to know our own minds and awaken to our original nature. It is said that when you can understand your “self,” you can resolve your “self.” This innate wisdom frees us from our afflictions, misery, and pain. Our practice is as relevant today as it was over two thousand years ago. Through our practice we become more productive, clear, compassionate beings, living life fully, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. This, in turn, helps us personally, as well as countless others. This is how we change the world for the better.

With 2022 on the horizon, please consider making a donation to OZS. Your support is appreciated, as we are exclusively funded by the generosity of our members. 

Ordinary Zen Sangha Inc. is a non-profit corporation.

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