Monday, August 4, 2014

Great Enlightenment & the True Yoga of Zen

Pai-chang Huai-hai told a student who was grappling with difficult portions of sutras, "Take up words in order to manifest meaning and you'll obtain meaning. Cut off words and meaning is emptiness. Emptiness is the Dao. The Dao is cutting off words and speech."

Only the yoga of "cutting off words and speech" will give you the formless bliss of reality. Why? Perceiving by itself is blissful, instantaneous, laughingly direct. But by the time you become aware of your perceiving, the true form of the formless is already in the past. You only perceive traces of It, conditioned by previous traces. Your cognizing mind latches onto these traces and creates a mental object. The true form of the formless is eclipsed by this mental object, this emergent concept. The mind goes on making new objects and mistaking them for the true form, which is no-form. Meantime, the so called "now" -- it is just the pure clean no-thing -- has been obscured and its reality lost. This reality is that of the absolute, no time and no space, the unborn. You can personally experience this like someone drinking water and knowing if it is hot or cold by cutting off thinking. Whenever random scattered thoughts -- short of sagehood there are no other kind -- begin to arise, you cut them off boldly at the root. Then you dwell in the formless energy of muga mushin, which is inconceivable. Wind in the cedars, a shining star at the top of the sky. That's the realm of enlightenment.

This is the true yoga of Shakyamuni. Gaining stability in it is attaining the way of "no self." No self is the true self because it is without particular qualities; it is beyond and above time and space, utterly independent and real in its noble brilliance, and it is only by the abstracting qualities of the mind dwelling on concepts and language that it appears remote. It is the most intimate, not the most remote. Mysterious, pervasive, great -- who can define it?

"Having ripped away both heaven and earth undoubtedly is Great Enlightenment."  -Hakuin

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