Bloodstream Sermon, part 5
If you’re not sure don’t act. Once you act, you wander through birth and death and regret having no refuge. Poverty and hardship are created by false thinking. To understand this mind you have to act without acting. Only then will you see things from a Tathagata’s perspective.
If one isn’t sure about their own Buddha-nature then one shouldn’t act. When action is initiated unawares then the karmic and cyclic cycle of Samsara kicks-in and pays undue allegiance to the Moving Principle. The “Moving” is false and wrecks havoc on the mundane mind; to break-free from the Moving one needs to stay centered in the Unmoving Principle (focused-action without acting)…only then can you see through the very deathless eyes of the Tathagatas.
But when you first embark on the Path, your awareness won’t be focused. But you shouldn’t doubt that all such scenes come from your own mind and nowhere else.
If, as in a dream, you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end and the nature of reality will be revealed. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment. But this is something only you know. You can’t explain it to others. Or if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in a quiet grove, you see a light, regardless of whether it’s bright or dim, don’t tell others and don’t focus on it. It’s the light of your own nature.
Or if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in the stillness and darkness of night, everything appears as though in daylight, don’t be startled. It’s your own mind about to reveal itself.
Or if, while you’re dreaming at night, you see the moon and stars in all their clarity, it means the workings of your mind are about to end. But don’t tell others. And if your dreams aren’t clear, as if you were walking in the dark, it’s because your mind is masked by cares. This too is something only you know.
Bodhidharma is talking about one’s naive awareness with a small “a”; it’s only an early-elementary action of trying to train one’s intuitive faculties—the misconstrued outcome should not be perceived as something different and apart from the dreaming-mind itself. If though on some point within mind’s development one encounters a Light that outshines the very Sun itself—this is an indication that a breakthrough is soon on the horizon as one’s True-Self Buddha-nature is about to be revealed. If it does occur Bodhidharma warns…one should not go about arrogantly proclaiming, “Hey, look—I’m Enlightened!” Bodhidharma reinforces in this passage again and again that this is a private-affair—indeed, if it’s shared in these early stages then its effect will be lost. Once this Clear-Light makes Its home within one’s spirit, then the Light of Discernment will be a constant and faithful companion empowering one to unmask and discern the True from the False.
To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings. If you’re always getting angry, you’ll turn your nature against the Way. There’s no advantage in deceiving yourself. Buddhas move freely through birth and death, appearing and disappearing at will. They can’t be restrained by karma or overcome by devils. Once mortals see their nature, all attachments end. Awareness isn’t hidden. But you can only find it right now. It’s only now. If you really want to find the Way, don’t hold on to anything. Once you put an end to karma and nurture your awareness, any attachments that remain will come to an end. Understanding comes naturally. You don’t have to make any effort. But fanatics don’t understand what the Buddha meant. And the harder they try, the farther they get from the Sage’s meaning. All day long they invoke Buddhas and read sutras. But they remain blind to their own divine nature, and they don’t escape the Wheel.
Enlightenment means to be filled with Buddhaic-Light and hence becoming One with the Immortal spirit of Buddhahood. Yet, Bodhidharma states, this Immortal gift from the Buddhas is not meant to be vaingloriously shown-off with conceit but rather daily nurtured—in this fashion the Awareness of the Tathagatagas themselves will be brought to bear on all that you do. If you always find yourself getting angry, then this is a good indication that you are squandering the gift and are only deceiving yourself. If you are truly One with your Buddha-nature then you will learn to accept whatever life brings—both good and bad…why is that? Because this Immortal Nature is free from the passing shadows of phenomena and is not held-bound by karma or the devilish antics of Mara, the evil one. This Tathatic-Awareness is never hidden, like a little cringing chipmunk, but forever delights in the Unborn and Unmoving Now of Suchness—It revels in this Nirvanic-Element of Truth. Fanatics on the other hand, those who are obsessed exclusively with external-means like the words within scripture, are forever devoid of the Light of their own True-Nature and spin endlessly about like mice entrapped within a caged-wheel.