Seek Ye Not

The great Rhineland Mystic, Meister Eckhart, expressed the opening of the dark principle in this fashion: “Seek God, so as never to find him”. Eckhart’s statement is packed with dharma-delight; if you’re trying to capture the essence of the Absolute Unknowable (cloaked by the term God), then It will constantly elude your efforts.  The Ecclesiastical authorities of his day could never pin Meister Eckhart down, although they were able to silence his profound mystical writings from gaining any merit within the exoteric church. Yet, his marvelous insights have outlived the Magisterial Monsters of his time and his work continues to shine within both apophatic and kataphatic spiritual traditions. In light of the Buddhadharma of the Sacred Unknowable, the beloved dark pearl of the Unborn Mind cannot be discovered through any obtuse discursive searching, but rather through a way of surrendering all sensate faculties in favor of the supraessential light of unbounded and undivided bodhipower. (The power of the awakened spirit-mind)

The unfolding of the dark contemplation, the way to union with the Sacred Unknown, can be discerned as follows: the important thing to understand is that there is nothing to understand—you don’t have to do or know anything; in this way you can let-go of all conceptual notions that hinder your progress. You need to be “empty” so that the Unborn Spirit can infuse into your bodhisoul Unborn Light Itself—so, let the Unborn Spirit act alone…allow It to drive for awhile. It is also essential that you cultivate solitude into your life—and this includes all areas of your life, even in the midst of the busy marketplace; in this cultivation you will be set free from the desire to experience some kind of extraordinary experience that will somehow reveal the presence of the transcendent—It is always being revealed and manifested daily in the ordinary events of your day. Do not be overly and obsessively concerned with your spiritual progress—just allow the Unborn Spirit to do Its stuff without you getting in the way; the only “seeking” you need to do is to abandon your own willfulness in favor of the Unborn will. Learn to accept whatever may cross your diurnal path, both the positive and the negative—when you learn to accept, then the imageless grace of the Unborn will be bestowed upon your spirit. Remember, above all, that this dark contemplation can only be realized in the perfection of love Itself.

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2 Responses to Seek Ye Not

  1. Sansiddhah says:

    Most important teaching you give us here – a compass for authentic practice.

    I recently reread this, and I think it’s good to paste it in the comment section here, as it complements your post nicely. From our Sixth Patriarch, Hui-Neng:

    “Good friends, those who wish to train themselves (spiritually) may do so at home. It is quite unnecessary for them to stay in monasteries. Those who train themselves at home may be likened to a native of the East who is kind-hearted, while those who stay in monasteries but neglect their work differ not from a native of the West who is evil in heart. So far as the mind is pure, it is the ‘Western Pure Land of one’s own mind’s essence’.”
    Prefect Wei asked, “How should we train ourselves at home? Will you please teach us.”
    The patriarch replied, “I will give you a ‘formless’ stanza. If you put its teaching into practice you will be in the same position as those who live with me permanently. On the other hand, if you do not practice it, what progress can you make in the spiritual path, even though you cut your hair and leave home for good (i.e., join the Order)? The stanza reads:
    For a fair mind, observation of precepts (Sila) is unnecessary.
    For straightforward behavior, practice in dhyana (contemplation) may be dispensed with.
    On the principle of righteousness, the superior and the inferior stand for each other (in time of need).
    On the principle of mutual desire to please, the senior and junior are on affectionate terms.
    On the principle of forbearance, we do not quarrel even in the midst of a hostile crowd.
    If we can persevere till fire can be obtained through rubbing a piece of wood, Then the red lotus (the Buddha-nature) will shoot out from the black mire (the unenlightened state).
    That which is of bitter taste is bound to be good medicine.
    That which sounds unpleasant to the ear is certainly frank advice.
    By amending our mistakes, we get wisdom.
    By defending our faults, we betray an unsound mind.
    In our daily life we should always practice altruism, But buddhahood is not to be attained by giving away money as charity.
    Bodhi is to be found within our own mind, And there is no necessity to look for mysticism from without.
    Hearers of this stanza who put its teaching into actual practice Will find paradise in their very presence.
    The patriarch added, “Good friends, all of you should put into practice what is taught in this stanza, so that you can realise the essence of mind and attain buddhahood directly. The dharma waits for no one. I am going back to Ts’ao Ch’i, so the assembly may now break up. If you have any questions, you may come there to put them.”
    At this juncture prefect Wei, the government officials, pious men, and devout ladies who were present were all enlightened. Faithfully they accepted the teaching and put it into practice.

  2. Bodhichild says:

    Thank-you for your inclusion here of the Sixth Patriarch. I find it fascinating how these timeless truths appear throughout the millennium through many diverse spiritual traditions; for instance, the following from the Spanish Mystic, John of the Cross:

    To reach satisfaction in all
    Desire its possession in nothing,
    To come to the knowledge of all
    Desire the knowledge of nothing.

    To come to possess all
    Desire the possession of nothing.

    To arrive at being all
    Desire to be nothing.

    To come to the pleasure you have not
    You must go by a way in which you enjoy not.

    To come to the knowledge you have not
    You must go by a way in which you know not.

    To come to the possession you have not
    You must go by a way in which you possess not.

    To come to be what you are not
    You must go by a way in which you are not.

    When you turn toward something
    You cease to cast yourself upon the all,
    For to go from the all to the all
    You must possess it without wanting anything.

    In this nakedness the spirit finds its rest,
    for when it covets nothing
    nothing raises it up and nothing weighs it down,
    because it stands in the centre of its humility

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