In the Surangama Sutra, the Buddha expounds to Ananda about the two fundamentals. Essentially, they correspond to what we in UnbornMind Zen describe as the two principles: one is the moving principle—i.e., becoming attached and dependent upon all perceptional movement within the realm of phenomena. The other is The Unmoving Principle—the pure, nirvanic element of truth, suprapostional in nature, i.e., never concretized in positioned space or time, yet utterly dynamic in stature. You move and breathe and sleep in It, but you are not It. Were it not for your sudden stirring, It does not move; yet, your first rousing from bed in the morning is only made possible by Its empowering you to do so. It is motionless, yet It still roused Zarathustra from his slumber in the mountains. Meister Eckhart, the great Rhineland mystic wrote, “The eyes with which I see God, are the same eyes that God sees me.”
These two fundamental principles of the Buddha are as relevant today as when they were first expounded, even more so. The majority of Zennists and mainline Buddhists today are indelibly linked with the moving principle—being “mindful in the moment”, as if the moment were some kind of objective phenomenon that magically engenders stillness of mind, when, in fact, “being mindful” creates a moving obstruction that hinders true mindfulness—what we refer to in UnbornMind Zen as pluralized stenosis. An accumulation of mindful moments indeed create endless states of paralyzing mindlessness. Within UnbornMind Zen, we do not focus on our breath—mindlessly counting its phenomenal intake and outtake patterns—but rather on the noumenal bodhipower (undivided awareness) that antecedes the beastly body-consciousness with its entire animated skullduggery. Our focus is on THAT motionless principle which animates, and not on the moving animations. We do not linger on the merry-go-round of the composed, but rather step off the diurnal wheel by zeroing in (through one-pointedness of mind—pi kuan) on the unmoving, unborn hub, that enables the spinning.
And so, in light of the Tathagatas two fundamentals, we have before us a blessing and a curse: Making full stop to the meandering monkey mind, or to mindlessly ride with it on the wild, perpetual spin of samsara.