- [Cleary]: The appearance of objects to humans is thought; thought expresses what is imagined. There is no object; it is only thought; without imagination, one is freed.
Close in conjunction with the motto of a Lankavatarian: What the mind focuses on determines its reality. The Dhammapada also declares, Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox. With an impure-mind (harbinger of thoughts and creator of all images) it all boils down to the stuff that dreams are made of vs. Mind-only “preceding” all mental aberrations, henceforth no-thing perceivable or conceivable. Ergo, minus the image-maker liberation is won!
- Brought together by the evil habit of erroneous reasoning, discrimination asserts itself; hence the evolution of this fallacious world.
Evil habit energies are devoid of Right-Reason and thus erroneously the seeds of false-discrimination are sown inducing the production and evolution of all lesser mind-realms.
- [Relative] knowledge (vijnana) takes place where there is something resembling an external world; [transcendental] knowledge (jnana) belongs to the realm of Suchness. When a turning-back (paravritta) takes place, there is a state of imagelessness, which is the realm of the wise.
The field of relativity encompasses all within the external environment, but the field of the Absolute transmits Buddha-gnosis within the field of the Bodhi-mind. This transcendent transmission is a direct turn-about within the Mind-set, incurring Right Release thus miraculously introducing the ultimate field of imagelessness (wherein all images are eradicated), which is entry into that realm of the wise—abiding where there are no images (nirabhasagocara).
- (Chapter II verse 161) There are the Dhyana for the examination of meaning, the Dhyana practised by the ignorant; the Dhyana with Tathata for its object and the pure Dhyana of the Tathagata.
From the The Vajrasamādhi Sutra:
Because all dharmas are [merely] names and classifications. The four [ordinary] dhyanas [being object-based concentrations] are the same. [On the other hand,] if one meets the tathagatas (the realization of the single-body, the dharmakaya of all buddhas) [one’s own] tathagata-mind [being the thusness, without coming or going] is [totally] liberated, eternally in a state of extinction, neither away from [that state] nor accessing it. [This is] because there is equality (no difference) inside or outside [the tathagata-mind].
Also from Tsung-mi: An Intimate Study
The true nature is neither stained nor pure, neither common nor noble. Within dhyana, however, there are different grades, ranging from the shallow to the deep. To hold deviant views and practice because one joyfully anticipates rebirth in a heaven and is weary of the present world is outsider dhyana. Correctly to have confidence in karmic cause and effect and likewise practice because one joyfully anticipates rebirth into a heaven and is weary of the present world is common-person dhyana. To awaken to the incomplete truth of voidness of self and then practice is inferior-vehicle dhyana. To awaken to the true principle of the dual voidness of self and dharmas and then to practice is great-vehicle dhyana. (All four of the above types show such distinctions as the four [dhyanas of the realm of] form and the four [concentrations of the] formless [realm].) If one’s practice is based on having all-at-once awakened to the realization that one’s own mind is from the outset pure, that the depravities have never existed, that the nature of the wisdom without outflows is from the outset complete, that this mind is buddha, that they are ultimately without difference, then it is dhyana of the highest vehicle. This type is also known by such names as tathagata-purity dhyana, the one-practice concentration, and the thusness concentration. It is the basis of all concentrations. If one can practice it from moment to moment, one will naturally and gradually attain the myriad concentrations. This is precisely the dhyana that has been transmitted down from Bodhidharma.
[Tsung-mi has thus revealed how Bodhidharma’s Dhyana is the direct-entrance to Total Self-Recollection and Liberation of Mind. It is also the Great Imageless Stargate to the Total Self-Realization of the Limitless Realm(s) of the Dharmadhātu Itself.]
- By reason of false imagination (parikalpita) all things existent are declared unborn; as people take refuge in relative knowledge (paratantra), they get confused in their discriminations.
- When relative knowledge is purified by keeping itself aloof from discrimination, and detached from imagination, there is a turning-back to the abode of suchness.
This concerns today’s blog title, Turning-back Home. You have to appreciate that for a Lankavatarian, this present saha-realm is indeed a product of false-imagination. For us it’s all about “turning-back” to our primordial home—the Unborn Buddha Mind. Many in today’s avaricious culture would ostracize our Noble-cause because it does not conform to materialistic norms. I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, a time that has unfortunately become a mass-orgy bordering on hysteria for the material-minded. They don’t realize that the reading from the Gospel of John on Christmas Day, has everything to do with the incarnation of the very animating principle Itself. This Principle precedes any-thing within the created order—of all things visible and invisible. So it’s all about seeing (through the Dharma-Eye of Tathata) our primordial homeland actually being manifested— THE Light of all Lights pointing to a far greater Self-realization that beckons one homeward.
I was once asked, “What is the antidote to ignorance?” My response:
The key to transcend avidya (ignorance) is through proper buddhagnosis, or finding the right compass that empowers one to steer well-clear of its influence. While formal practices are good and necessary for disciplining the mind, in essence they are just that—tools of discipline. In themselves, they are like trinkets—like those excessive Christmas ornaments that are strung about everywhere you look during this time of year; what are they all really pointing to? Hopefully something beyond the disease of commercialism; something beyond those warm fuzzies and that points directly to the real meaning behind that Christ-moment—that of the awakening to the Reality that truly encompasses all—and that is, the Word.
The Word is the compass; Bodhidharma handed his disciple Hui-k’o his copy of the Lankavatara sutra—an auspicious moment that revealed the true Buddhadharma. Within the Lanka one discovers this “Word” and then passes through the gateless gate into the realm of the self-realization of Noble Wisdom that lies at the heart of the sutra. So, like Bodhidharma, I prescribe that you study the Lankavatara Sutra.
- Do not discriminate discrimination, there is no truth in discrimination; [this world of] delusion is discriminated as to that which is perceived and that which perceives, but in reality there is no such dualism in it; it is an error to recognize an external world, [the conception of] self-substance is due to imagination.
This is adamantly saying don’t attempt to deconstruct discrimination. This would be like trying to wash away blood with blood. Firstly, recognize that it’s all about construction, viewing all through the lens of convention and thus inadequate to realize and recollect the Real-stuff of Self-substance.