Thursday, January 30, 2014

Delusion in the Midst of Enlightenment

"Thus you should know that your body and mind are just things that appear in your wonderful, bright and pure Profound Mind. Why do you recognize only your illusory body and mind thereby losing sight of the precious, bright and subtle nature of your fundamental Enlightened Mind and so recognize delusion within Enlightenment? For fundamentally you were not deluded but merely lost sight of Reality by wrongly clinging to unreality, hence your delusion in the midst of Enlightenment."

-Shakyamuni Buddha, The Shurangama Sutra

Kensho and Satori

Bodhidharma said that one who wants to be liberated from all delusions and all karma should do only one thing: "see the self-nature directly."

Ken=seeing. Sho=true-nature.

Bodhidharma never spoke about satori, though he alluded to it in passages of the Hsieh Mai Lun where to describes a mysterious "brightness" appearing in dreams or when a person is alone in a forest meditating.

Some later Zen writers confused kensho with satori, or just used the terms interchangeably.

Kensho is seeing the true unborn nature from within dualism. Hui-Neng, when he had kensho, said: "Who would have thought . . . ?"

In Satori, one does not cry out, "Who would have thought . . . ?" but instead laughs and weeps like a madman. Satori is the actual breaking through of all barriers, the experience of nonduality as all-pervading great bliss.

The Zen Masters who had satori were following the Buddha Dharma. They were, in modern terms, "Buddhists." They chanted sutras and used the terminology of Mahayana.

But one does not need to be religious, or a Buddhist, or to have read any sutras, to experience satori.

If one drops all thinking (linguistic, conceptual processing) in full awareness while in an "extended" or "higher" energetic state, one will instantly experience satori.

But be careful: for one who drops thinking in full awareness while in a "withdrawn" or "lower" energetic state may simply experience a boundless sense of terror.

Also, if the dropping off of concepts is not complete you may instantly fall back on a concept that you are now "God" or "Buddha" or some other such idea.

Arouse your energy before doing the "cutting off" of thinking that leads to satori. When you drop conceptual processing, drop it completely, and be resolute about maintaining clear, unthinking alertness.

Then you will astound the heavens and shake the earth.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

O Monkey, Monkey

Kyozan asked Chuyu, "What does buddha-nature mean?"
Chuyu said, "I will explain it for you by allegory. Suppose there is a room with six windows. Inside there is a monkey. Outside, someone shouts, 'Monkey! monkey!' It immediately responds. If someone calls, 'Monkey!' through any of the windows, it responds just the same. It is just like that."
Kyozan said, "How about when the monkey is asleep?"
Chuyu descended from his Zen seat, grasped Kyozan and said, "O monkey, monkey, there you are!"

(Note how a Zen master takes a traditional Buddhist simile and turns it on its head. Bold, ruthless, and unexpected!
The traditional Buddhist metaphor is that the human "monkey mind" is the so-called "sixth sense." It's the mano-vijnana, the "discriminating consciousness" that takes up and processes the activity of the five physical senses -- sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. The early Buddhists recognized it as its own distinct sense because of the way it creates reveries and dreams that are not directly based on the input of the five senses. Also, it is sometimes crazed and uncontrollable, like a monkey.
But here Chuyu is actually comparing the buddha-nature to a monkey that responds directly when called through any of the "six windows," including the mind. The Buddha nature itself described as a monkey! Strange, irreverent, and brilliant.
Thus, the monkey acts like a Zen Master as described by Takuan Soho. When called through any of the windows, he instantly replies without thinking.
However, Chuyu was wrong in one sense. In the widest regard, there are not just six windows, but billions. Why? Because there is really just one Buddha-monkey in all the billions of bodies endowed with minds and sense organs.)