Mud and Water



Another monk stepped out and said: “I have already been able to meditate on emptiness.”

Bassui responded: “Tell me how you meditate on emptiness.”

The monk said, “During meditation I have complete control over scattered thoughts, and mind and body become one like a clear sky. At this time I have no doubt that my body and mind are originally empty.”

Bassui: “That’s not meditating on emptiness. It’s merely the first view of emptiness aroused by all students of the Way. If students arousing this point of view do not meet a good teacher, they will ignore the law of cause and effect and, like an arrow heading for its target, go directly to hell. In meditating on emptiness you see clearly into your own nature, the five skandhas—form, feeling, thought, activity, and consciousness—are all empty, all delusions become extinct, personal views are forgotten, the activity of making distinctions is exhausted, and the various demons have no place to perpetuate their acts. Even with the eyes of a Buddha it cannot be seen, this world of peace and intimacy, this whole reality: it manifests as it is.

Within Buddhism “cause and effect” is referenced as “Dependent Origination.” The monk in this incident was not fully attuned with his Inherent Unborn Nature. Bassui pointed out that the monk’s meditation was flavored with an early arousal of emptiness, but insisting that he had “complete control” over the imposition of scattered thoughts, was in actuality still held captive by a skandhic demon—the one who attempts to control the flow of phenomena; the shape of controlled thought sends one reeling down to the darkest cavity of hell. The skandhas as a whole need to be thoroughly preceded; in this manner all demonic-skandhic activity is allayed and the revolving door of dependent origination is sealed shut. In real fashion, this is seeing Reality AS IT IS—devoid of dependent phenomenal outflows. The Dharmadhatu is not seen or in any way experienced in a conventional manner. All is AS IT IS in supra-positional stature of no interdependent impositions.

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