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LOVE CROSS THIS YEAR

Center - The issue. Left - internal influence that you are unable to see. Right - External influence of which you are aware. Bottom - What is needed for resolution. Top - Resolution, The understanding.
CONDITIONING
MAJOR ARCANA XV

conditioning Zen love tarot card
CONSCIOUSNESS
ACE OF CLOUDS
 
MORALITY
QUEEN OF CLOUDS: MASTERY OF MIND
 
TRANSFORMATION
MAJOR ARCANA XIII
 
consciousness Zen love tarot card morality Zen love tarot card transformation Zen love tarot card
 
REVERSE
 
SILENCE
MAJOR ARCANA XVII

silence Zen love tarot card
 
REVERSE
 


CONDITIONING


This card recalls an old Zen story, about a lion who was brought up by sheep and who thought he was a sheep until an old lion captured him and took him to a pond, where he showed him his own reflection. Many of us are like this lion - the image we have of ourselves comes not from our own direct experience but from the opinions of others. A 'personality' imposed from the outside replaces the individuality that could have grown from within. We become just another sheep in the herd, unable to move freely, and unconscious of our own true identity.
It's time to take a look at your own reflection in the pond, and make a move to break out of whatever you have been conditioned by others to believe about yourself. Dance, run, jog, do gibberish - whatever is needed to wake up the sleeping lion within.


Unless you drop your personality you will not be able to find your individuality. Individuality is given by existence; personality is imposed by the society. Personality is social convenience.
Society cannot tolerate individuality, because individuality will not follow like a sheep. Individuality has the quality of the lion; the lion moves alone.
The sheep are always in the crowd, hoping that being in the crowd will feel cozy. Being in the crowd one feels more protected, secure. If somebody attacks, there is every possibility in a crowd to save yourself. But alone? - only the lions move alone.
And every one of you is born a lion, but the society goes on conditioning you, programming your mind as a sheep. It gives you a personality, a cozy personality, nice, very convenient, very obedient.
Society wants slaves, not people who are absolutely dedicated to freedom. Society wants slaves because all the vested interests want obedience.


CONSCIOUSNESS


Most of the cards in this suit of the mind are either cartoon-like or troubled, because the influences of the mind in our lives is generally either ridiculous or oppressive. But this card of Consciousness shows a vast Buddha figure. He is so expansive he has gone even beyond the stars, and above his head is pure emptiness. He represents the consciousness that is available to all who become a master of the mind and can use it as the servant it is meant to be. When you choose this card, it means that there is a crystal clarity available right now, detached, rooted in the deep stillness that lies at the core of your being. There is no desire to understand from the perspective of the mind - the understand you have now is existential, whole, in harmony with the pulse of life itself. Accept this great gift, and share it.


We come from the unknown and we go on moving into the unknown. We will come again; we have been here thousands of times, and we will be here thousands of times. Our essential being is immortal but our body, our embodiment, is mortal. Our frame in which we are, our houses, the body, the mind, they are made of material things. They will get tired, they will get old, they will die. But your consciousness, for which Bohidharma uses the word 'no-mind' - Gautam Buddha has also used the word 'no-mind' - is something beyond body and mind, something beyond everything; that no-mind is eternal. It comes into expression, and goes again into the unknown.
This movement from the unknown to the known, and from the known to the unknown, continues for eternity, unless somebody becomes enlightened. Then that is his last life; then this flower will not come back again. This flower that becomes aware of itself need not come back to life because life is nothing but a school in which to learn. He has learned the lesson, he is now beyond delusions. He will move from the known for the first time not into the unknown, but into the unknowable.


MORALITY


Morality has restricted all the juice and energy of life to the narrow confines of her mind. It can't flow there, so she really has become 'a dried up old prune'. Her whole manner is very proper and stiff and severe, and she is always ready to see every situation as black and white, like the jewel she wears around her neck.
The Queen of clouds lurks in the minds of all of us who have been brought up with rigid ideas of good and bad, sinful and virtuous, acceptable and unacceptable, moral and immoral. It's important to remember that all these judgments of the mind are just products of our conditioning. And whether our judgments are applied to ourselves or to others, they keep us from experiencing the beauty and godliness that lies within. Only when we break through the cage of our conditioning and reach the truth of our own hearts can we begin to see life as it really is.
(related card - CONDITIONING)


Dodhidharma ... far transcends moralist, puritans, so-called good people, do-gooders. He has touched the very rock bottom of the problem.
Unless awareness arises in you, all your morality is bogus, all you culture is simply a thin layer which can be destroyed by anybody. But once your morality has come out of your awareness, not out of a certain discipline, then it is a totally different matter. Then you will respond in every situation out of your awareness. And whatever you do will be good. Awareness cannot do anything that is bad. That is the ultimate beauty of awareness, that anything that comes out of it is simply beautiful, is simply right, and without any effort and without any practice.
So rather that cutting the leaves and the branches, cut the root. And to cut the root there is no other method than a single method: the method of being alert, of being aware, of being conscious.


TRANSFORMATION


The central figure in this card sits atop the vast flower of the void, and holds the symbols of transformation - the sword that cuts through illusion, the snake that rejuvenates itself by shedding its skin, the broken chain of limitations, and the yin / yang symbol of transcending duality. One of its hands rest on its lap, open and receptive. The other reaches down to touch the mouth of a sleeping face, symbolizing the silence that comes when we are at rest. This is a time for a deep let-go. Allow any pain, sorrow, or difficulty just to be there, accepting its 'facticity'. Is is very much like the experience of Gautam Buddha when, after years of seeking, he finally gave up knowing there was nothing more that he could do. That very night, he became enlightened. Transformation comes, like death, in its own time. And, like death, it takes you from one dimension into another.


A master in Zen is not simply a teacher. In all the religions there are only teachers. They teach you about subjects which you don't know, and they ask you to believe, because there is no way to bring those experiences into objective reality. Neither has the teacher known them - he has believed them; he transfers his belief to somebody else. Zen is not a believer's world. It is not for the faithful ones; it is for those daring souls who can drop all belief, unbelief, doubt, reason, mind, and simply enter into their pure existence without boundaries.
But it brings a tremendous transformation. Hence, let me say that while others are involved in philosophies, Zen is involved in metamorphosis, in a transformation. It is authentic alchemy: it changes you from base metal into gold. But it's language has to be understood, not with your reasoning and intellectual mind but with your loving heart. Or even just listening, not bothering whether it is true or not. And a moment comes suddenly that you see it, which has been eluding you your whole life. Suddenly, what Gautam Buddha called 'eighty-four thousand doors' open.


SILENCE


The silent mirror like receptiveness of a star-filled night with a full moon is reflected in the misty lake below. The face in the sky is deep in meditation, a goddess of the night who brings depth, peace and understanding.
Now is a very precious time. It will be easy for you to rest inside, to plumb the depths of your own inner silence to the point where it meets the silence of the universe.
There's nothing to do, nowhere to go, and the quality of your inner silence permeates everything you do. It might make some people uncomfortable, accustomed as they are to all the noise and activity of the world. Never mind; seek out those who can resonate with your silence, or enjoy your aloneness. Now is the time to come home to yourself. The understanding and insights that come to you in these moments will be manifested later on, in a more outgoing phase of your life.


The energy of the whole has taken possession of you. You are possessed, you are no more, the whole is.
This moment, as the silence penetrates in you, you can understand the significance of it, because it is the same silence that Gautam Buddha experienced. It is the same silence that Chuang Tzu or Bodhidharma or Nansen ... the taste of the silence is the same.
Time changes, the world goes on changing, but the experience of silence, the joy of it, remains the same. That is the only thing you can rely upon, the only thing that never


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