Zen Master Dogen taught: “What different types of beings see is different. We should reflect on this. Is it that there are various ways of seeing a single object? Or is it that we have mistaken a variety of images for a single object? We should examine this question in detail, concentrate every effort on understanding it, and then concentrate even more. Given this multitude of perspectives, it follows that training on the way of practice and verification cannot be of one or two kinds, and the realm of ultimate reality must also have a thousand types and ten thousand kinds.”
So there are many ways in which to view water. Water can help or destroy depending on how much of it is being used. The balance of water’s use is an important idea here, and to remember the circumstances of water’s uses and perspectives are ever-changing.
Zen Master Dogen continues: “However, the various waters, which accord with the kinds of beings that see water, do not depend on mind, do not depend on body, do not arise from karma, are not self-reliant, and are not reliant upon others. Water, being dependent on water, is liberated.”
If one can move beyond all the perspectives of water, it can be truly seen for what it is and connect everything in our world. (Reference: Parabola Magazine Vol. 34 No. 2)