The Essential Point

esspoint

The Essential Point

The essential point in learning Zen is to make the roots deep and the stem firm. Twenty-four hours a day, be aware of where you are and what you do.

When no thoughts have arisen and nothing at all in on your mind, you merge with the boundless and become wholly empty and still. Then your actions are not interrupted by doubt and hesitation.

This is called the fundamental matter right at hand.

As soon as you produce any opinion or interpretation, and want to attain Zen and be a master, you have already fallen into psychological and material realms. You have become trapped by ordinary senses and perceptions, by ideas of gain and loss, by ideas of right and wrong. Half drunk and half sober, you cannot manage effectively.

Zen Master Yuanwu

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2 Responses to The Essential Point

  1. n. yeti says:

    It is possible to discuss opinions or think about them without producing them. I at least don’t think of actions i.e. spacial-motor movements and neurons firing along electrical pathways being limited to the physical but also conciousness and acts of consciousness which arise as dharmas. This enables us, for example, to discuss doctrines and even apply them, even among belief systems and religions, say Christianity, but any organized religion could be included, without the impulse toward conversion. Unfortunately these conversations do not always nourish the roots of understanding and brotherly love, which is cherished by so many faiths. Wisdom is recognizable as true of itself. That is why it seems important to remember the advice of old to remain dedicated in practice, whatever path we choose, but to work continuously toward the flowering of our spirituality, and not to corrode the terrain of understanding with caustic words and terrible rifts.

    • Vajragoni says:

      Yuanwu is speaking of the fundamental and yes, “essential point”, of Zen. Once enraptured with this hidden-light one is fundamentally rooted in THAT which thoroughly precedes and transcends any conceptual-perceptional apparatus. This is where faith in the Light must become dominant within the mind of the adept. If the fundamental is ignored, if even for a brief moment, then all manner of perceptional-induced hindrances will uproot the Essential Seed that nourishes the authentic spiritual-life.

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