by Rev. Koshin Schomberg

Part XXX
A Great Awakening

The Water of the Spirit flows full and gently forth,
Deeply flooding the root and the trunk;
Within and without nothing is produced: It is immaculate.--
Nourish long and well your Sacred Self!

The Third Stage

In Plates XXX-XXXIII (first edition, Plates XVII-XIX) of How to Grow a Lotus Blossom, Rev. Master describes a spiritual experience of the greatest significance.

It is important to bear in mind that this experience happened immediately subsequently to other experiences (see Part XXIX of these Reflections) and continuously with them. Taken together, these events make up what I have described as a "spiritual big bang."

I find it helpful to think of this "big bang" as happening in three stages--though, again, it is really one continuous flow. In the first stage, a great knot of spiritual need fully unravels and dissolves, and in its place there manifests the seed, or pearl, of Original Enlightenment--the Enlightenment that was always at the heart of the knot of spiritual need in the form of pure intention. In the second stage, this pearl of Original Enlightenment manifests as Buddha Nature Itself and traces out the path of the circulation of the Water of the Spirit. In the course of this circulation, three areas in the body are particularly blessed and opened: the crown of the head; the center of the forehead; and the hara.

Each of these areas of the body has a particular spiritual function. The crown of the head is the part of the body that opens in conscious recognition of the Eternal: love opening to its Source. The center of the forehead opens to receive the Teaching. That is, it opens in recognition of Truth. The hara is the area in the body where the deep stillness of meditation--which is really the deep and imperturbable stillness of the Buddha Nature--is experienced as centering.

In the third stage of the spiritual big bang described in How to Grow a Lotus Blossom, the Heavenly Heart--the Wisdom Eye in the center of the forehead--is blasted fully open and, simultaneously, the Water of the Spirit floods through the body. The Light of the Eternal streams in through the Heavenly Heart. The Gate of Immaculacy at the crown of the head opens, and this opening is experienced by Rev. Master as being "like a lotus blossom crown" atop her head.


This three-stage spiritual big-bang constitutes the pivotal event of the great kensho described in How to Grow a Lotus Blossom. The following diagram, which will be familiar to readers of recent essays in these Reflections, shows why this is so.



The area enclosed by the blue lines to the left of their point of intersection represents the karma of this life and past lives that has been unscrolling in the first five months of Rev. Master's retreat, and that has been getting the Help of the Eternal and the help of man.

The bright light that manifests at the point of intersection of the two blue lines represents the three-stage spiritual big bang. This "big bang" can be thought of as coming--kerplunk!--fully into alignment with the Eternal--a great opening to Cosmic Love and Wisdom. The final (or third) stage of this aligning and opening happens in an instant and is experienced by Rev. Master as being "struck by the Sword of Buddha's Wisdom."

The area enclosed by the blue lines to the right of the point of intersection represents the flood of merit that is being released. From the time of the big bang onwards until the end of her retreat the spiritual brightness will be as intense as the darkness was intense in the early days of the retreat.

This great opening to the Eternal is the very heart of the re-harmonization of body, mind and karma with the Eternal. The Eternal makes great use of the person who undergoes this process. In Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett, the Eternal found a true vessel of Its Love and Wisdom--a vessel of the Perfection of Zen.


Click here to proceed to Part XXXI, "A Paradigm of Conversion"


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