Friday, November 30, 2012

Life or Death Zen

Posturing on the Internet, being an expert in Zen or in Buddhism or in any sort of "spiritual" discipline, will not even remotely help you when you are confronted directly with a life or death situation. It won't even help you observe falling yellow leaves or heat up the water for tea.

No -- the real test of something like "Zen" is whether it helps you engage every natural situation of this life, or fails you exactly when you need it the most. Given that clear fact, what else can be said? "Intoxicated by the moonlight," maybe!

There are "Zen" practices and forms of training that were effective in equipping people with the equanimity to cut their own bellies open, like tea master Sen no Rikyu, when there was no other way to face reality. Do you have that kind of ability? Do you even want it?

Charcoal, though placed exactly according to teaching, is dead charcoal if it does not boil the water. - Rikyu

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wicked Wicked 老虎!

-So! I'm confused. You say I'm Enlightened just as I am. Seeing and hearing are enlightenment. All my actions are also just the actions of Mind, which is the clear and brilliant Self-Nature, and is also called Buddha. This inherent nature isn't born, doesn't die. It's clear and boundless. It can be directly experienced. Once you experience it, you're free. You don't ever get fully caught up in the dream again. What's the dream? You say the dream is based on the delusion of being this body, this mind, these thoughts and so on. You teach me that instead this body, this mind, these thoughts and ideas all appear in the Great Clear Mirror Consciousness. It happens instantaneously. It's always happening. If not this body, another body. A bird, for example, or a monkey. It's all Buddhahood. But due to some kind of ignorance, there's a mistaken view of things and beings as separate from the spontaneously vivid and real Self-Nature. Due to "thinking" we build up karmic debts. We feel lost. We suffer. So you say cut away the place of thought and speech and realize it directly. The Self-Nature instinctively knows itself. It seeks itself, and it awakens itself unerringly. Right?

-Right! You're not confused. But these are words. You've got to cut away the thoughts and see the Mind that is the source of its own awakening. But you don't need to enlist in a Zen meditation class or bow to a Roshi or put flowers in front of an iron statue or wear a black robe or sit on a zafu. See the snow falling. Who sees it? Where is the snow falling? When? It seems that clear consciousness has no problems. Everything is instant and vivid. When you're walking, you just walk. When you're eating, you just eat. The thought-obsessions vanish. Mind is right here. Buddha is this Mind, Mind is this Buddha. It isn't the ordinary tortured troubled mind of thinking. It's the great Mind of Zen. What is it? Clear bright and shining in all situations.

-How can I get to This?

-Drop your energy into the zero state. You can drop it into the one point in the Hara -- that's It too. Then seeing is just Seeing. It's not a person seeing objects and "other beings" and thinking it over.

-Does the Buddha Mind have any thoughts in it?

-Human thoughts? None. Not for an instant. The Buddha Mind needs no tarrying in reflections on what it instantly cognizes. It is not dependent on words and letters. Its transmission is instantaneous. It transmits only itself. It receives only itself. It is majestic and remote. It is before the birth of this or any universe. It's a snow lion roaming across glaciers. Suffering leaps out of the big blue sky. Enlightenment happens like yellow leaves falling. Yet the Buddha's Mind does have Tathagata-thoughts, which are not the same as word-thoughts or letter-thoughts. Each Tathagata thought is an empty and vivid dharma. Mountain gate, kitchen, rice bowl, cloud, stream, bird. These are all Tathagata-thoughts. This Whole Universe is one. Get it now? If you don't get it now, when in Heaven or Hell will you get it? Wake the fuck up!