The Black Dragon Eye Mandala: A Singular Focal-point of the Unmoving Principle

The Black Dragon Eye Mandala is an auspicious medium in which to navigate through the turbulent and erratic seas (the Moving Principle).

The black background of the Black Dragon-Eye Mandala depicts the infinite universal realm of the Dharmakaya that always pervades and transcends the phenomenal realm. The outer bands of the mandala represent the moving-phenomenal aspects of the Body consciousness:

The outer-grayish hue is indicative of ordinary consciousness that is the lens through which one experiences the volatile vijnanaic waves of samsara

The white, circular shade is the diurnal path of the subconscious mind that is the root of all karmic associations that continually initiate emotive (Kleshas) reactions

The darker gray area represents the unconscious mind. This constitutes what the Lankavatara Sutra calls the “Manas”, or those impulsive drives and propensities that form an artificial “ego” that fuels the desires and fears of the subconsciousness mind. Hence, this is indeed a pre-conscious volition that forms a false-reality and adamantly refuses to relinquish its control

The dark band epitomizes the Alaya vijnana; this is the store-house consciousness of all dharmata since time immemorial. The Alaya is the objective support of the previous bands, and is the direct source of all all afflictions, attachments, and associations. This is all of the accumulated and diseased habit energies—the realm of avidya par-excellence!

The final, “unmoving” yellow core is the Amala vijnana—this exemplifies the Unmoving Principle and is the focused and sustained power of bodhicitta—“enlightened consciousness.” This is the direct seat of primordial exuberance and, as such, is indicative of the supracognitive abilities of the Unborn Spirit. Hence, this enlightened core always precedes the act of perception that is the direct downfall of the previous four bands of consciousness.

The Black Dragon Eye Mandala was created by Tozen and the following video is a breakdown of its origin and significance.

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4 Responses to The Black Dragon Eye Mandala: A Singular Focal-point of the Unmoving Principle

  1. emaho says:

    Greetings Kind Friend(s)

    Just got a hard copy of the Dharmakaya Sutra by Tozen in the mail this week. All I can say is WOW! Freakin’ amazing stuff! Cannot put it down. As an older chap with dimming eyesight the large print is deeply appreciated. Will soon be looking for a hard copy of the Pusan book of the Dharmapada in Light of the Unborn as well.

    My sincere apologies for my earlier comments about the new Zen links. I hope and pray no offence taken. None was intended, though it may have come across a bit harsh. Please forgive me, as I come from a strong background in all things that are contrarian and egalitarian.

    I do love these folks and am quite fond of them all the same, even if we may disagree on some ever so minor points. After all, this life would be very dull if we were all just carbon copies.

    Regardless of my critique; I still say they have a lot of great points regarding Zen and many other things. I agree, they are important and useful new links indeed.

    Like the metaphor of all the group of blind men feeling different parts of an elephant and trying to ascertain what they are feeling from each ones relative point of view I suppose.

    Hope all are well in these crazy degenerate times.

    With deepest loving-kindness to all


    • Vajragoni says:

      So glad you’re enjoying the jumbo-sized edition of the Dharmakaya Sutra, I much prefer the large print as well. Likewise, hope you enjoy The Dhammapada in Light of the Unborn, too–a companion piece to the Tozen work. I much prefer to read it daily in it’s pocket-sized edition.

      I also wish to profoundly thank-you for being a large part of our community here at Unborn Mind Zen. Your presence is greatly appreciated, my dear fellow-companion in the Unborn. 🙂

  2. emaho says:

    Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

    Unborn Chan Zen and Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions have been and still are my primary locus and focus of diligent dharma practice. I’ve been mysteriously attached to the Mystic Mahayana path since a very early age.

    Though it has taken several decades for the Primordial seed to properly germinate so to speak. (Or has it been kotinams of lifetimes?)

    Discovering this most auspicious school has been utterly transformative for this sentient being over the past few years on so many levels. I cannot thank you enough for the most precious and ineffable Wordless Transmission. How wonderful indeed! Immeasurable treasures abound within this most hallowed space.

    Sarva Mangalam!

  3. Jim says:

    Looking at Iron Stupa pictures in India brought me here… In April 2024 starts a year of Shani((Saturn(enemy)) cough cough like the near and far of completion but not quite completion although it looks like it…(nirodha lol).

    Lots of interesting links and applied thought here @unbornmind… Ch’an is what I started with in the Buddhist journey and Thai forest; Is what I finished with; Hence the draw backwards into ‘maha'(inner) from time to time where delusion often has a strong footing.

    Here’s the quick and dirty of the forest path(outer) only because it is so difficult to translate, get beyond the amulets, animist voodoo, sexual tourists etc. but ‘it’ focuses on seeing the three poisons in ones wheel of life.

    Remaining diligent and up rooting klesha is their actual path… Example; If greed and hate get together? Those produce a deeper rebirth/becoming in hell klesha called: Jealousy; Remembering where jealousy would/could arise in your life? Revisit/visit such a situation(s) in sitting meditation and as real world in it practice; The only actual practice then is to prevent ‘it'(jealousy) from arising…

    When successful? Greed and hate then can’t form any birth link for you at all… As there is no kamma/karma there for it; To have ‘you’ as a jealous baby in the birth/becoming links… Although; Some becoming link had ‘you’ for the practice to remove those births becoming as a possibility for futures births/becoming… knowing what it was as kleshas in the linking is the same thing as knowing dependent origination or knowing your true ‘face’ as Zen puts it in a koan… Thinking that it was only due to one or more of the four immeasurable is wishful thinking. 🙂

    That’s all there is to my personal practice leading to the ‘unborn’. Beyond that; There’s just “dirt” with 107 more names when earth was good enough as one of them.

    Cheers! Keep up the good work

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