RESOLVING THE MIND:
Buddha's Enlightenment CONT.
When is suffering and delusion? When is one deceived by thinking? When is joy? or sorrow? The answer to these simple questions is, Now. It is your present condition. The present is ever-present. Tomorrow or next year, or a 100 million years hence, all are nothing but that present instant. Everything of the past and future are but conceptional and imagined constructs. Results naturally arise according to causes. This is the future. As long as there is a present, there will be a future. In the Now is BOTH cause and effect. You must know that detaching from the present, both past and future disappear.
When does suffering arise? or concerns? When is the resolution to these? It can only be in the present moment: The resolution in the absolute world of no beginning and no end.
Is there anything outside of now? Seeing, hearing, tasting, thinking, feeling cold or hungry or dissatisfaction or discontent: all are the present reality. They are circumstances: phenomenon arising due to relationships and conditions. There is nothing that is permanent, unchanging. Consequently, due to relationships and conditions, things are free to change into any form. Flowing water permeates anywhere.
All things happen or arise due to the vicissitudes of transiency. Transiency is the working of now and the life of the universe. All things are but the design of the vicissitudes of the present moment. The present is the form of all living phenomenon of the universe. This absolute present is the zenith of purity and simplicity. It means all things are, in the moment, simply and purely how they are. No matter what the form or aspect it may be, everything is simply now, as it is. In now, there is no past or future. This is the world of Nirvana and the realized message called Enlightenment.
This world of no before and after, of the thing itself, as it is, is also called No-mind. It is the world pure and free of all intellect, reasoning, or concerns. In order to awaken, openly and simply assimilate with your present condition now. Just penetrate the present moment now. When things just are, then you have become now.
Existing without existing is the condition of now, of thusness (things as they are), free of the gap. It is dropped-off body and mind. To awaken, using any means just utterly become now. When you personally know the message, it is Enlightenment. Zazen is the practice to attain this. Zazen is just zazen. There is no natural or fundamental law more frank and open than this.
In short, the main point of zazen is transcending even zazen itself. This message is the eternal hope and light. It is salvation and the heart of Buddha, and his Rebirth. And we are already that person. This great truth is the Buddhadharma. It is called the Buddha Way to salvation.
All things have a principal element, and shugyo does, too. It is that somebody quickly, certainly, and easily accomplish the goal. To awaken, one puts away scattered thinking, cuts off random thoughts, and continually endeavors to return to the present moment. This is how one first endeavors. Of course, everyone's perseverance, belief, and concentration vary. But their development all runs the same course. People's sufferings and progress will depend on the manifold habits they have formed. But the mechanism for personally getting hold of the mind is the same for all, as is the mechanism for actually removing the gap to become that frank and open person. The decisive factor is to thoroughly investigate the mind until the fundamental and profound Great Doubt arises. One must not, in the meantime, arbitrarily attach a definition or form to the Dharma, Enlightenment, or Zen.
There are two important factors in shugyo. First, just sit. Not not just sit, but just sit sit as in Just Sitting in Shikantaza. Second, ask your teacher or master about the Dharma in detail. Listen to what he says, give it thoughtful consideration, and revise and improve on your understanding; then have your teacher check your understanding. If any doubts or problems remain, then be sure to inquire about them. Don't be mistaken about your understanding of the theory of the Dharma. Confirm your understanding, then without a particle of doubt put his teaching into continual, actual practice.
THE PROCESS OF RELIGIOUS PRACTICE
- Enlightenment is attaining the Buddhadharma and the mind of Buddha. To do shugyo, throw away your various desires. Vow resolutely to the buddhas and to yourself to attain the True Way. Show great reverence and affection to all the past teachers, and place chief importance on finding a true teacher. See The False Guru Test
- When you meet a true teacher, just believe in what he teaches and solely put it into practice. Please see SPIRITUAL GUIDES: Pass or Fail?
- Continuously throwing away random thinking, keep and maintain each single breath. Due to the power of accumulated past habits, one loses sight of the present self. At this time, effort above and beyond the power of acquired habits is needed. Doing this is most excruciating.
- When sitting zazen, after each breath sway your body once left and right. This cuts off random thoughts, relieves stressful leaning, improves the natural energy flow of both body and mind, and arrests sleepiness.
- When you begin to differentiate moments of thinking and the real world, it becomes easier to bring oneself back to the present. Unnecessary strain is no longer needed. The suffering in sitting ceases. Seeing the border between the actual world and thought, zazen instantly becomes enjoyable.
- Before long, scatteredness is resolved. And one no longer follows thoughts even if they arise, leaving things as they are. Around this time, you will come to understand when thoughts and consciousness begin to arise. Then you begin to know the source itself of cutting off thought, where nothing exists. Then zazen becomes inspiring. And in all your daily activities it is possible to continually be conscious of each moment. The mind eventually stops moving arbitrarily. But it is still necessary to stay on guard, not allowing the mind to be stolen by the senses and perceptions, because random thoughts do continue to rise.
- Then you come to attain thoughtless thought and the realm of no before and after. You come to understand your original nature, confirming that one must do absolutely nothing. Doing something means perceiving a self and thus defiling the Dharma. One comes to see this. It is the world of thusness, the one-dimensional world of serenity and equality. From here, one merely penetrates. Real practice is just the present moment. Sentiments quieten, but it is a tranquility far beyond outward appearance. It is the world of the senses and perception as they are. You come to understand what enlightenment is, what one's present condition previous to thought and words is. All doubt disappears. The words of the past masters become vividly clear. [Unaware, this can stimulate an intellectual satisfaction, therefore reading should be avoided.]
- You actually penetrate into selflessness, penetrate the thing itself and reach emptiness. It is a moment of great joy and delight. Removing the gap, you confirm that the gap itself was imagined. It is Nirvana and Enlightenment, the true present. It is a world where past is cut off and concerns no longer arise. It is a world where all the faculties in which we are naturally endowed simply function according to conditions and circumstances. Because the mind is instantaneously functioning according to conditions of the immediate and utter present, there is nothing that exists. The moment comes when you decisively become that world, realizing the message of "Form is void; void is form." The real meaning of as-it-is becomes yours. It is the first time you deal frankly with the true self. You no longer dwell in the regular world where the self remains unclear.
- Now begins shugyo after Enlightenment. With Enlightenment itself comes exceptional conviction and strength. By acknowledging Enlightenment, it becomes a hindrance. Now is the practice of throwing away even Enlightenment. Perceiving random thoughts or perceiving Enlightenment are both delusion. If nothing exists, one can become anything according to circumstances. This is true freedom. To throw away Enlightenment, whatever you do, just do it. Really throw away everything, even the Dharma, Enlightenment, and Buddha. Really simply doing everything, unwaveringly dwelling in the present.
- When Enlightenment and the Dharma drop off, this is the great accomplishment: Great Enlightenment, ANUTTARA SAMYAK SAMBODHI, the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment. Great Truth is void of what is considered to be truth and not truth. Here one reaches the sphere of activity of Shakyamuni Buddha, the shining light of the world of "In all of heaven and earth, I alone am the world-honored one," giving ourselves up to the everlasting profoundness of existence to realize the joy and dignity of life-and-death; and empowered with boundless freedom and peace of mind, saving others and the world. Everyone who realized this world for themselves tempered and polished suchness. National Teacher Daio said, "Throwing away the buddhas and patriarchs, do not disregard shugyo." Profoundly Enlightened, he utterly threw that away, too, and refined where there was nothing to refine. Going utterly beyond words, he forgot about words and never even opened his mouth. Not even Buddha himself could find him. But, for sure, Buddha honored him.
TO RETURN TO THE FIRST PAGE:
SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: THE LAST AMERICAN DARSHAN
RECOUNTING A YOUNG BOY'S NEARLY INSTANT TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ABSOLUTE DURING HIS ONLY DARSHAN WITH THE MAHARSHI
Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.
AWAKENED TEACHERS FORUM
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
ON THE RAZOR'S
The above edited and updated
for our purposes here by:
From a paper by: