Finding [recollecting] the Unborn Mind.

Finding the Unborn

Abiding in the blinding darkness of ignorance is not easy. If anything, countless sentients, suffering on a daily basis no matter their status in a grinding maze of discontentment can attest to this fact. If not in their best hour, at least in their worst.

The only cure to this malady is the deathless body and imageless reality of the Unborn Mind.

In order to abide in the Unborn Mind, your true nature, YOU HAVE TO FIND IT [recollect] first.

That of course through the penetration or leap THROUGH THE differentiated VEIL and consciousness field  OF THE ILLUSORY interference and MATRIX , you presently perceive as arising and cessating phenomena;  all to which you hold a bond to, on various levels of spiritual investment as to make them seem real.

Let me put it this way. In the various realities and forms or sounds of these seeming phenomena, there is no Unborn Mind – Beyond this Unborn Mind, there are no phenomena.

So if this is true, how do you go about finding the Unborn Mind with your worldly monkey mind?

This is what Zen Masters meant with the pointing finger at the expression “passing through the Gateless gate of Zen”.  If reading this expression doesnt help you see the solution, then speak it!  Sometimes the ear-consciousness has a way of easier kindling enlightenment than the eye-consciousness.

These phenomena,  that are nothing more than a spatial emergence,  brought to apparent life through the illusion of temporality are nothing more than a heap of multisensory images, or frames, rapidly, on the behest of your impure Spirit (divided will) being poured upon each other in the infinitely creative and dynamic essence of the Unborn Mind. All viewed with a consciousness that carries the ability [function] to differentiate  them, perceive them separately in their appearing and cessating wave-patterns as something before, present and that which becomes most probable after.

What does this really mean for you? Yes, you. The One reading these lines, not realizing  the true nature of the One whom effortlessly translates these renditions of patterns seen as words, concepts and symbols, formed into something like an artificial proxy of wisdom, supposed to carry meaning and understanding, though these patterns are empty of truth in themselves?

Know then, that presently you have, from originally a spiritual basis, demoted your self into a sentient being, and most sentients beings easily fail to comprehend how difficult this task of finding the Unborn Mind really is.

The prime cause to this is of course your ironclad investment in the confusing matrix of interdependent origination; Where any bond to a child, a parent, friend, country, thing or things, a profession, an ideation, or thought, a notion, emotion or memory and so on,  are merely static repetitions and regenerations of past bonds to past illusory phenomena of equal or similar value. As such,  played out in a divided consciousness, which due to its owners self-amnesia and dream state, is experiencing incalculable states seen as birth, death and the continuous rebooting of a seemingly other self, transmigrating through oceans of past illusory self-permutations.

The true Buddha is not, has never been, and will never be – born.

If you have difficulty understanding this phrase, look into it again and again, until your realize its implication.

The awakened mind though, that in a certain absolute reality (unlike its created false realities that finds space and time in it) vibrating with the immense light fully attesting  to having completely recalled its inherent noble wisdom, possesses the ability to govern an illusion seen as a body of various worldly qualities where a Buddha of thw world is the most expedient of them.

This Buddha is not in the form, nor in the voice, but in the most vivid light illuminating the all, including its worldly representation. Whya cant you see this light? Sense its healing and enlightening reality before the prescen of illusions upon that screen of an evil body-consciousness?

One whose mind dwells in a body-consciousness subject to such seemingly good or dire conditions is never free, nor a Buddha.

This karmic inability to FIND THE UNBORN MIND in a blink of an eye, means  you have a gargantuan task  before yourself.

Unable to see the originally unified body IN YOUR OWN-BEING [Atman/true Soul]-SPIRIT-MIND  as One Pure Essence and truth body,  sentients instantly fall into Maras trap of perceiving the afore-mentioned luminous jewel as a  kaleidoscopic plethora of many positions/phenomena.

This grave error of constantly creating distinctions or differentiations in a Mind discriminating on a parallel level of seven empty but powerful consciousness,  between low, or high, motion and stillness, form or emptiness, between this or that, transforms the Eighth Consciousness , into a body of various corrupted qualities.

It locks your Spirit´s power of your Mind into an unceasing creative mode of painting,  rendering an inward and seemingly outward Universe in an extremely dynamic Mind Essence,  which holds a created consciousness-field, where you find yourself stumbling around trying to find a permanent meaning or  purpose,  when in fact the only meaninng is the limitless virtue  of your own complete awakening from this series of endless dreaming about anything and everything you are not.

Immersed in  such a false and dialectic reality (Samsara)  this self-made illusion, enhanced  through the spell-binding power of interdependent origination, inevitably becomes a source of great ignorance [amnesia].

It becomes like a bottomless abyss of  various levels of suffering, all arised  from the errors commited and accumulated in such a field.

Heaven or Hell, or something in between, holds the same spiritual value here – which is zero.

Thus, my only advice to the a beginner of the path,  which in this first stage is known as Chan or Zen –  is;

In order to fully realize and abide in the absolute reality of the Unborn Mind, your true nature, and the nirvana of noble wisdom it brings to any such bodhisattva,  you have to find it first

Look nowhere else, and on nothing else, but on this singular task which demands an effort and an energy ,or power, that is a spiritual light deeply inherent in yourself, and consequently, solved, found and realized in yourself, by the application of the same turning, what is found in proper dhyana upon itself, like the light, illuminating the night, once it is followed back to its original source, reveals the lamp.

But before you throw yourself, or merely approach this task carefully- just a small warning;

Be attentive, because on this shining path [that seems dark in the beginning] , a mighty foe stands in the way, which is your false self, in itself sunyata (empty of truth or light). Do not try to find a way around this foe,  because there is none.

Why, you might ask? It simply knows all the tricks in the book of self-deception. Where you choose to invest yourself in division of what is originally undivided, this dark and fully inverted force is there waiting.

After all it is a consciousness  you have invested so much time in through endless kalpas of self-ignorant desires that it has seemingly taken on a life and reality of its own.  And believe me, this foe and impediment to realize your true self has a very, very strong desire to stay “alive”.

The best way, in my eyes, is found in the singular dhyana of Pi Kuan combined with a sound lifestyle, where extremes are avoided for the entire duration of the quest of finding the Unborn Mind.

When the opportunity arises  and your consciousness for a split second lowers its guard and multisensory field of constant interaction between patterns of form and emptiness; You have to instantly and fearlessly dive right through it, and in this leap, of not holding on to one singel image seen and sensed as a thought, desire, memory, doubt or fear,   you will most certainly find yourself standing face to face with the Unborn Mind — your true nature.

This Mind is a marvel of luminosity because IT IS an infintely dynamic  LIGHT of perfect compassion and wisdom. I could also call it miraculous radiance of no known beginning and no known end,  because this RADIANCE contains all wisdom there is, in all ten directions. Beyond it there is nothing and within it there is everything. It is YOUR TRUE SELF.

From its suprapositional reality (dharmakaya), you will awake to the presence of your own luminous and deathless nature, within you holding the Mind that fits in no brain, and posessing a body that knows no walls, or hindrances, on its spiritual growth to Buddhahood.

To realize what this means, you have to first sense it before the interference of phenomena in your mind,  as their pure source of formation and cessation,  then once this is clear as the taste of water to you, enter into its radiance of said source, as to acquaint yourself with its nature (also known as the practise of the six paramitas), and finally when all conditions are ripe for the Lotus to fully bloom, ACCEPT IT completely and without the slightest doubt FULLY IDENTIFY WITH IT- the last part also known as Buddhahood.

In dharma,

Tozen

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18 Responses to Finding [recollecting] the Unborn Mind.

  1. Mr.Nobody says:

    When resting my mind and body, without struggle and effort to keep thoughts at bay (as I realize that no-thought is pure wisdom and thought is nothing more than delusion, the only meaning of name is words, thought only propels the discriminatory consciousness), I find that there is a period of silence where there is nothing but bliss that begins to fill my body; then I notice there is a light that seems to shine from behind a dark translucent screen (it’s always there to be honest, but it increases in intensity dramatically when i meditate. But regularly it covers my field of vision with a white light, sometimes gold, that covers everything), this light vibrates and flashes at increasing intensity, but i keep away from focusing on any one thing, trying to rest in this deep “unknowing”.

    What happens next though has been throwing me off, after continuing on for a little while longer, suddenly it feels like my entire field of awareness is spinning; suddenly I feel like i am spinning in circles, faster and faster, and it feels like im going both up and down, side to side and all around, faster and faster; I try to keep my focus up at this point but something happens where either a sound from outside or a thought about “something” that may come up later today that would interrupt my meditation suddenly breaks this movement up and i find myself just resting again in this dark translucent field where light is just flashing from seemingly behind it, occasionally getting focused in some areas and moving around; sometimes taking apparent forms of eyes or the outlines of people moving around, but the main question is: When I reach the point that everything starts to shake and spin, do i try to direct it? Or just continue letting it be?

    I can feel lingering shadows of thought that have no validity to them, they aren’t even self-directed, during my meditation. The thoughts are always about one main thing, that I should find the “ideal” time to sink myself into meditation as the thought of being “interrupted” continues to pop up in the mind. Though i don’t identify with it, as it is nothing but a remnant of memory, still it is something that only fades after a long time of focus; and consequently i always end up interrupted by something before I can get to any major point because it seems I never have more than a few hours to myself without somebody or something trying to get my attention.

  2. Tozen says:

    You say “no-thought is pure wisdom”.

    How do you know this? What exactly is no-thought?

    If you believe it is absence of thought, then your mind has instantly rendered a position of no-thought (yes that is possible) and belongs to that formless reality that grants no permanent nirvana.

    If you on the other hand REALIZE, in a blink of an eye, THAT luminous essence, or Mind of no mind[1], which initself is of NO THOUGHT, then you have realized or possess a RIGHT VIEW (Kensho) of the Unborn Mind Essence – that is pure, undivided; A Mind I might add that is vividly and radiantly present before the creation of a singel thought, or even the absence of it. The latter position being the sad limitations of the sunyata doctrine, so prevalent among tibethan buddhists known as Gelugpas (yellow hats).

    To accomplsih this realization, your body can stand, lay down walk or sit. After all, it is not your body that MOVES, it is your mind (not reckognizing its true nature).

    In the Unborn Mind School, the students are often reminded of one of the schools adage;

    “What the Mind focus on, determines its reality”

    Hope this helps.

    Tozen

    [1] Usually presented as no-thought or No-Mind – in japanese, this Mind, in which your mind is in sufficient alignment with the true Mind (perfect alignment cannot happen unless all impurities are gone – transcended), is known as mushin no shin, which basically means “the Mind without mind”.

    • Mr.Nobody says:

      I know that no-thought is pure wisdom because I have realized that inherent awareness is all-knowing wisdom. What i mean by no-thought is not the absence of thoughts in and of themselves, I mean that there is no need to think because the inherent awareness already is all-knowing and there is nothing that conceptual can add to it, in fact it more often than not only subtracts from it.

      In other words, I realized that resting in my own inherent awareness, which is without location, is resting in pure wisdom. It isn’t so much that thoughts are a nuisance, they appear and disappear at times, I’ve recognized that thoughts are empty and serve mainly for differentiation and discrimination. This is much different than in the past simply trying to meditation on non-conceptualization, because there is no more effort. In other words, I have realized that Mind is not within consciousness, that Mind is without effort, without appearance, that mind is void/true suchness which is Absolute Gnosis. Realizing this, my mind is not disturbed by thoughts nor by actions, in fact it is no where to be found; however, there is still the lingering discriminating consciousness despite a great silence in terms of all discriminatory thinking.

      There is no longer an attachment to the idea of mind or self within experience as I realize that both mind and self (within experience) are mutually perpetuating illusory constructs that only trap awareness through false identification with conditional appearances. Once you drop the belief that mind and self are present, seeing them both as originally void in nature (not to mean blank or nothingness, but to mean absolutely pure and beyond manifestation as they are that which is the intrinsic face of void) then all notions of ego and thoughts that perpetuate that begin to fade away.

      My main obstacle is exhausting my conceptual mind completely, there have been great strides made and my actions are now spontaneous, my responses, my day to day, they have no grounding in conceptual thought; but still conceptual mind lingers slightly as If it weren’t, there would be no arising of differentiated appearances, which there is.

    • Mr.Nobody says:

      If you on the other hand REALIZE, in a blink of an eye, THAT luminous essence, or Mind of no mind[1], which initself is of NO THOUGHT, then you have realized or possess a RIGHT VIEW (Kensho) of the Unborn Mind Essence – that is pure, undivided; A Mind I might add that is vividly and radiantly present before the creation of a singel thought, or even the absence of it. The latter position being the sad limitations of the sunyata doctrine, so prevalent among tibethan buddhists known as Gelugpas (yellow hats).

      I see my error, yes i meant to say no-mind is what I meant when i said no-thought; not the absence of thought, as you are correct thoughts are not the problem and thinking is not an issue for me, it is that the mind is completely at peace and complete prior to any thinking, that is what i meant by being inherently pure; when i said no-thought is pure wisdom i meant no-mind, that was my fault though as i wasn’t communicating clearly.

      Yes, remaining prior to and thus before all activity and abiding in the non-abiding mind (by abiding nowhere, as the mind is without location and thus there is no where to try to hold it or let it go) is what would be describe what i was trying to articulate.

      Also, already answered my own earlier question, turns out that when you realize and cultivate/attain this one-pointed concentration where mind does not become disturbed by any outside influences nor internal manifestations, it turns out that you can easily begin to acquire and cultivate all the other concentrative techniques, i’ve been doing this and it has been exactly what i was looking for; truly the samadhi of one-pointedness of mind, diamond samadhi, is the samadhi that allows you to link up the other samadhis (like stringing together pearls on a necklace).

  3. Tozen says:

    “I know that no-thought is pure wisdom because -> I have realized that inherent awareness is all-knowing wisdom<–"

    No IT IS NOT. And there lies your main problem. One most grevious and so easily done by many young ppl today that tend to equal a mere function of the Mind with the true Essence or nature of the MInd. It is hence the reason why you have yet not managed to completely break through the barrier of the skandhas, and over to the other shore of Nirvana (Your true nature).

    You may of course defend your position, and thus continue to believe that awareness (pure or otherwise equals the luminous nature and body of the Unborn Mind, but you will just be chasing a mirage, hare´s horn, this illusion dragging you further and further from the Sun that contains this function as one of its countless rays.

    You seem to lack a spiritual teacher that can ground you in the presence of your true Spirit [pure will] which possesses the power to lead you through that obstacle that still dominates your mind at present, as a divided Spirit (impure, fragmented will) which obstructs your mind from having it´s first enlightenment, where you stand face to face with your true nature (beyond mere understanding and insights) and consequently develop the ability to produce bodhicitta.

    I hope your merit is such that one will approach you on this most basic requirement before entering the cave of Bodhidharma.

    Tozen

    • Mr.Nobody says:

      You are correct, the awareness of the skhandas is not the pure essence, also the function of mind cannot be equated to the essence of mind; while the two interpenetrate seamlessly, they are not-two yet not entirely one either. As there is the Purity of Wisdom aspect (essence) and then the non-obstructed, field of awareness/function aspect.

      What is meant by inner awareness being Absolute Gnosis, is meant that source of Awareness can only be Absolute Awareness. This wasn’t realized by the awareness of the skhandas, this was only realized after pushing through layers of discriminating intellect until i reached a point where non-discriminating intellect was realized. This opened up a whole new world of understanding when it came to insights, where there was the integration of opposites and the understanding of the interpenetration between essence and function; there came with it the understanding that the Dharmakaya is absolute awareness that is inseparable with emptiness/suchness, which is without marks or any characteristics of individuation and thus it’s one taste is pure awareness that is complete in and of itself. This lead to the understanding that this Dharmakaya, being emptiness, clarity and luminosity all in one (as they are inconceivable and thus immutable) led to understanding that the Sambhogakaya is the self-radiant aspect of emptiness, leading to self-originated awareness in the form of clear undifferentiated light, infinitely creative and of course this lead to the understanding that the nirmanakaya (of course, all aspects are inseparable from the beginning) is the field of light in it’s unobstructed, boundless and limitless field of function, penetrating everywhere and into everything (of course, since Mind is Void and Void is without location or points of reference, to say penetrating into everywhere and everything is a little redundant).

      I also understood that the base essence, pure mind, cannot be seen in and of itself because it is always the source of awareness; it’s recognition comes singularly from the realization of Mind recognizing itself and recollecting itself.
      This intrinsic face of void, this intrinsic awareness that is not within the skhandas but is indeed the source of the skhandas (for without it, there would be no field for the skhandas to appear in, even though they are imaginary, all functions of Mind are illusory; they are like appearances in a mirror except this mirror would be the Mind-Void and what appears is due to differentiation of it’s own creative prowess due to being absolute wisdom) is seen to be the source of all things, though immutable and beyond thingness, beyond existence and non-existence (again, silly terms that do not apply to imaginary constructs born of a creative light through the radiant power of absolute gnosis) but it is also seen that if it were to try to observe itself, there would only be the empty void with no characteristics and nothing to perceive other than pure knowing.

      This of course was only possible after working through my own attachments, discriminations and through seeing through the intellect and dismantling it.

      • Mr.Nobody says:

        Adding on, after this understanding came meditation on prior awareness in its purity, from this came the sudden understanding that Mind contemplating Mind can only be the Buddha contemplating itself (hard to put into words, as there was no conceptualization) this led to the understanding of buddhahood being only the awakening to the false identification of Mind with conceptual mind through ignorance of its own nature and being bound up in name and form due to this. This then gave way to understanding that Buddhahood isn’t attained but realized to have always been the case. This is meant that the understanding is that absolute awareness is Mind which is beyond experience and that this Mind is all there is.

      • Mr.Nobody says:

        and lately to add on, by absolute awareness i mean absolute knowing; awareness is knowing, to know is to be aware. By this i mean that there was a sudden realization that Mind is Pure Wisdom which can be broken down into the three kayas of all-penetrating wisdom, spontaneous wisdom and unobstructed wisdom/boundless wisdom. This realization essentially meant that there was the understanding that by resting within the awareness prior to all activities (which was done for a long time before this), that one tunnels through the skhandic layers of consciousness and eventually reaches the point where Mind recognizes itself as omniscient and the sole sovereign.

        This came with a great understanding of Prajnaparamita, which of course was understood greatly once non-discriminating intellect became the norm, but this was even further stream-lined by the insights that came after.

        • Tozen says:

          Without a pure Spirit, understanding upon understanding, though they may seemingly be countless in number, and some of them of discernible profound depth, brings nothing more than further understanding.

          Mere understanding, however deep, do not possess the power to bring you over to the other shore. Such power is solely found in a pure Spirit that is derived from a pure Soul (Own-being – Svabhava) that allows the nirvanic light of such imagelessness break through and with it bring forth the great seal of [first] enlightenment in this profound Mind-to-mind transmission, also known as dharma transmission, direct transmission of spiritual power, the Mind Seal and so on…

          Please re-read the latter (and re-edited) part of my latest response to your comment about awareness.

          Take care.

    • Mr.Nobody says:

      What started me on this path, was after meditating for ~5 years casually and ~1 year somewhat more seriously, one day spontaneously my entire system of Qi came very much so alive and the crown and root chakras spontaneously started working, very, very strongly with the sensation of bliss accompanied; this to a complete personality change, a complete dropping off of all plans and commitments in life and ended up in a week long meditation and started a regular practice of meditating for hours at a time.

      I say this because, in the very beginning, the first experience that set me on the path was an experience where I was taken out of my body by this bright light, into this strange space that is hard to describe; it was patterned like the icon in the blog “Ocean-seal samadhi” (something i noticed of course, way later on when the blog post came out), on top of that there was a bright light in the very middle and I was filled with a sudden pure knowing; I knew that self was not contained within experience, I knew that I was absolute (and that the absolute was the source of awareness for everyone) and I knew that I needed to continue on the path to fully awaken to my true self as absolute, I also knew that I was outside of experience at the time (it was literally, a sudden knowing) and that I would be returning to experience in my body-consciousness and that I would have to cultivate the path from there.

      From this point on, I’ve been able to summon up bodhicitta that allowed me to purify my character that resulted in a breaking off of fetters, a drastic change in perception, and an entirely different person in a seemingly short amount of time. As my concentration was constant and uninterrupted, and my mindfulness did not fade, I progressed quickly.

      Since then, I’ve continued to progress through the Jhanas, I have experienced various things that give indications of progress (breathing stopping, pulse stopping, etc. these were told to me by my fiance of course, i was unaware). Those indications of progress being not just an intellectual understanding of teachings, but various points along my practice of incorporating the understandings completely into my day to day life with drastic changes in my perspective, persona and overall character (various times, these changes have occurred).

      The reason I speak of inherent awareness is because I am speaking from a place of progress rather than a beginner mindset; when i say inherent awareness i mean that Suchness is intrinsically aware, this is Bodhi, undivided awareness; when i speak of inherent awareness being pure, absolute wisdom; i mean the bodhi mind being the inherent awareness, not talking about consciousness.

      The reason I believe that I am somewhat further than you imply, is because of the drastic changes in response to things, as well as a very noticeable path of intellectual mastery, non-conceptual mastery, investigating intellectually “divine thought” and breaking through to non-discriminating intellect that all resulted in drastic changes to perspective and perception; this along with a very real dropping of fetters, a very real lack of self-referential thoughts, emotions and drives; and an incredibly pervasive and profound change in thought-processes throughout the various points of my path that I have continued, at various points in this path, to validate through sutra readings and as my insights progressed so did my understandings from those readings. Also a very real development of siddhis though not at all intentional or the main goal, they have developed alongside my progress and so I considered them natural results of progress in insight.

      The fact that it has led to such a drastic change that was never thought possible (at the time this sudden experience was really unexpected but due to the deep and penetrating confidence that came with the experience, i followed it), is one reason why i believe that I am not quite as far away from understanding as you think. The fact that the subtleties of understanding go far beyond what I can express accurately in words, and the fact that I have had some profound experiences in meditation when gaining insights that later were verified through reading of sutras and reading of teachings of past Dharma masters; all lead me to believe that while I am currently struggling with breaking through the Skhandas as I did that first time, I am not that worried about it because everything up to this point has continued to reassure me of it’s validity time and time again.

      I would say that my understanding is no longer intellectual, as the intellect has been changed drastically over time to the point that I no longer need to think about things that previously required thought to understand or operate, and the fact that these thoughts have progressively (until this point where they are essentially non-existent for the most part as I “think” silently and no longer conceptually or through the use of words, rather it is intuitive and much quicker, also it has made a drastic impact in my ability to read quickly (there is no sub-vocalization for instance when reading or thinking) , remember and integrate material) changed in various ways that are verified by sutras, teachings, etc.

      Also, my understandings have penetrated so deeply that I actually dream about these things, reflect on them within the dream and actually practice within my dreams though seemingly beyond my control at the time, it is interesting when waking up and recalling one’s dreams to see that certain behaviors have become unconscious in terms of how one reacts to situations; even in a dream!

      nevertheless, I appreciate your perspective and your commentary, I only wish that we were more familiar with each other in real life so that way it would be apparent that these are not empty intellectual understandings, but deep intuitive understandings that have fully permeated my being and day to day life tremendously. Unfortunately, since that’s unrealistic, I will settle for this analysis:)

      I guess all I can say is, I hear you, I understand you; but right now where I am at, there is no teacher close by and there is no teacher I have found online, etc. that i would like to learn from as a majority of the time I find their understanding shallow and barely intellectual; not at all applicable to their day to day lives and not something they have repeatedly cultivated to the point that it has become natural for them, where as for me these things are very, very natural and spontaneous without any effort on my part to “modify” my behavior.

      Maybe one day I’ll find that teacher or perhaps, despite the opinions of others, I will continue on my path and reach the goal on my own. Who knows? Though, I have faith in the Dharma and faith in Mind as my teacher.

      Either way, I will reflect on what you have said, though I don’t see my perspective changing as one of the results of my practice and the resulting experiences/understandings is an unwavering confidence in what I have “seen” that though it is hard to put into words, is deeply rooted due to the profound impact of those experiences/insights; nevertheless though, I will also keep this in mind as a way of encouragement and motivation, it is always motivating when told that one is not able to do something and one thinks otherwise.

      While I understand that from your perspective, I am deluded in terms of my own progress, let it not spoil anything between us (as online participants). I hold no view regarding you and this has not changed that, I will continue to look forward to future posts and I will continue my regular habit of reading material related to this (including your own, available here, though I have read it before; I like to read these things many, many times, it is my favorite thing to do and brings me joy, to be honest.) and posting occasionally.

      Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, sorry for this one being so long, was attempting to express myself more clearly.

      • Mr.Nobody says:

        Oh, and lastly: I have reached the point where there is no more development of “profound insights” as I have reached the point where things have only one flavor, one method of cultivation and there is really only one practice, which is referred to as the Samadhi of Suchness; I say this because there is literally no way for my insights to develop further conceptually / intellectually because the mind of the skhandas has been seen to be void and non-existent from the very beginning and that insight resulted in a very firm, intuitive and subtle understanding of Bodhi and it’s subsequent perfection that resting in it is the only thing possible as it is seen to be omniscient and complete.

        • n. yeti says:

          Interesting all of this.

          If “the mind of the skhandas has been seen to be void and non-existent from the very beginning”, then it appears to me you would also have realized neither you nor Tozen nor any of this conversation truly exists except as an ephemeral projection of that mind, and expedient toward a realization you claim already to have. So why do you care what Tozen has to say?

          Is it not so much talk of “hare’s horns”?

          • Mr.Nobody says:

            While what you said is true through and through, the delicacy of elucidating one’s understanding is only relevant if there is potential to teach in the future; if this is the case, it would be wise to establish a clear understanding so as not to be misunderstood and thus all potential help is ignored. But you are correct, this is nothing more than the hare’s horns!

  4. Mahasidhra says:

    Nobody, Tozen recognized that you had some genuine experience, since he said “you are not there yet”. The “yet” implies that he recognizes you have made (some) progress. But your need to “defend” your progress by posting a spiritual CV kind of still betrays you! Please don’t think I’m attacking you… You are not reasoning about yourself properly yet. “I had these experiences, I entered jhanas, then I left the jhanas, then I …” this entering and leaving experiences you attribute to your self still shows the person you take yourself to be is an impostor! And even though your words are deep, you can say: “but I even reached the experience where it didn’t matter that I had any experience” – these experiences just pile up on the spiritual CV. Again these ARE important, these ARE the path, I am not even for a moment belittling your authentic experiences. However while we still think of ourselves as some limited individual HAVING and ACCUMULATING experiences we are still not clear about the nature of the self. The great secret, we all heard it, is that our true self has never entered birth-and-death and is reposing in its own self-luminous perfect freedom. THAT self never enters the jhanas, never leaves the jhanas. He has no spiritual CV since he, that Guy, is the one conferring those states to Himself, as in a play of self-concealment and self-disclosure… When it is time, the Self bestows Grace in the form of a human teacher. I would say you are quite lucky, even having met and talked to Tozen is a sign that you are recipient of this Grace… The only danger is to stubbornly grasp to experiences and think of them as “mine” or an “achievement” – it’s all like snowflakes and when the Sun shines in full glory it will all dissolve and seem like yesterday’s dream… even the highest experiences are like candlelight compared to the Sun of the Light of Lights.

    • Vajragoni says:

      THERE you are! How have you been keeping yourself, old boy???

      • Mahasidhra says:

        Hey! I’m good, I hope you’re good, too. You’re a very prolific blog writer!

        It’s been a bumpy ride, things are progressing in a quite splendid way though!

        Other than job & time with wife, I study Nondual Śaiva Tantra now. Currently Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra. Very difficult, it’s a reworking of the classical sāṃkhya text from a nondual Śaiva PoV. My practice is also in this vein.

        I often remember a wise statement you made long time ago in one of our talks:
        “Everything is unfolding as it should.”

        What a profound statement! After all these years I still remember it here and there and reflect upon it, it’s a statement that is ennobled by the passing of years, like good wine.

        Glad to see you & Tozen still “keeping IT real”. 🙂

  5. Tozen says:

    Re-read the post and realized I had to re-write it for the sake of certain sentients, that will find it in a time when they need a specific push in the right direction (including a short instruction there for subliminal purposes).

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