Unmaking Your Face

And we, spectators always, everywhere,
looking at, never out of anything!…
Who's turned us round like this?  Rilke

I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.  Yeats

Loosing and dropping off body and mind, your Original Face is clear before you.  Zazen-gi

Not one of the 1700 koans of Zen has any other purpose than to make us see our Original Face.  Daito Kokushi

When thought is put down, the Original Face appears.  Daito Kokushi

He that beholds his own Face - his light is greater than the light of the creatures. Though he die, his sight is everlasting, because his sight is the sight of the Creator.  Rumi

His form has passed away, he has become a mirror: naught is there but the image of another's face.  Rumi

But we all, with unveiled face, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed.  St. Paul

A Brahmin went for help to the Buddha, carrying a gift of flowers in each hand.
"Let go," commanded the Buddha, and the Brahmin dropped the flowers in his right hand.
"Let go," repeated the Buddha, and the Brahmin dropped the flowers in his left hand.
"Let go," said the Buddha again, and the Brahmin stood nonplussed.
"Let go of what is in neither hand, but the middle."
At these words the Brahmin went away satisfied.

Alone, without form or face,
Foothold or prop, one goes on
To love That, beyond all creatures,
Which may be won by happy chance.  St. John of the Cross

H.J., under psychiatric treatment with LSD, reports that the most striking aspect of the experience was what happened to his face: he had to keep feeling it to make sure it was there.

As a beauty I am not a star -
There are others more handsome by far -
But my face, I don't mind it,
For I am behind it:
It's those in front get the jar.  Attributed to Woodrow Wilson

Something I owe to the soil that grew,
More to the life that fed,
But most to Allah who gave me two
Separate sides to my head.

I would go without shirts or shoes,
Friends, tobacco or bread,
Sooner than for an instant lose,
Either side of my head.  Kipling

(Lycomedes had a portrait painted of the Apostle John.)
And John, who had never at any time seen his own face, said to him: "Thou mockest me, child: am I like that?"  Acts of John

A sleepy-eyed grandmother
Encounters herself in an old mirror.
Clearly she sees a face,
But it doesn't resemble hers at all.  Tozan Ryokai

Everyone likes a mirror, while not knowing the true nature of his face.

After all, how long does a reflection remain in view? Make a practice of contemplating the origin of the reflection… This cheek and mole go back to the Source thereof.  Rumi

Becoming as the living dead, come thou into the way. First lay down thy head, then mayest thou venture to plant thy foot.  Dadu


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