Pure experience is the beginning of Zen. It is awareness stripped of all thought, all conceptualization, all categorization, and all distinctions between subject-as-having-an-experience and as experience-as-having-been-had-by-a-subject. It is prior to all judgment. Pure experience is without all distinction; it is pure no-thingness, pure no-this-or-that. It is empty of any and all distinctions. It is absolutely no-thing at all. Yet its emptiness and nothingness is a chock-a-block fullness, for it is all experience-to-come. It is rose, child, river, anger, death, pain, rocks, and cicada sounds. We carve these discrete events and entities out of a richer-yet-non-distinct manifold of pure experience.
Compare with the following from the Buddha as found in the suttas:
Consciousness that is signless, limitless and all illuminating:
Then water, earth, fire, & wind find no footing,
Then long & short, small & large, pleasant & unpleasant,
Then “name-&-form” are all brought to an end.
Where neither water nor earth
Nor fire nor air gain a foothold,
There gleam no stars, no sun sheds light,
There shines no moon, yet there no darkness reigns.
When a sage, a brahman, has come to know this
For himself through his own wisdom,
Then he is freed from form and formless.
Freed from pleasure and from pain.
It's hard to see the unaffected,
for the truth isn't easily seen.
Craving is pierced in one who knows;
For one who sees, there is nothing.