How even the most holiest thoughts
Induce a direct hindrance
To the work of Contemplation
Recollect then, that when you attend to your Contemplative Spirit, all manner of conceptualizations must be subdued before they subdue you. In regard to this, you will find when you perceive yourself to be in the depths of the Dark Contemplation that is the direct moment that these thought forms — as well hidden as they be— always lie in wait to assail your spirit. Hence, learn to eradicate such images no matter how inviting they may appear to be before your mind’s eye.
For I tell you this: in order for your spirit to remain healthy it needs to perpetually have a taste of the Divine before it always. This taste is more pleasing to the Unborn Lord and all Buddha’s and Bodhisattvas, yea even your family and friends, than anything else you may attempt to do. It is a requirement for your better health of mind and spirit as well as a spiritual benefit for your loved ones. Such is the secret pressing of this cloud of unknowing that outshines the brilliance of any Deva or other spiritual being that brings great bliss.
None of this should surprise you. Once you grasp the truth of my words you will come to a better understanding. Taste IT, and IT will be with you always. Rest assured, no one shall ever have a clearer insight than this succulent taste of the Unborn. Hence, lift up your heart and soul to this loving cloud—or better still—allow the Blessed One to draw you up into this cloud. I promise you, you will soon put to rest all other things.
Again, Recollect—if the smallest thought form should overcome and subdue you—how much more will you be obstructed if you willingly cultivate such rubbish during the blessed work of Contemplation? And if the presence of any pure spiritual agency hinders your progress, then how much more the remembrance of any created being in this life will definitely obstruct you in your Contemplative work?
Please keep in mind that I’m not saying that these thoughts, particularly of any higher spiritual agency in the Unborn are malignant in themselves—heaven forbid if you should misunderstand me. What I am stressing is that they can be more of a hindrance than a help. If you are seeking IT above all else, then you will never find gratification with anything less than IT.
a taste of the Divine: our series on The Vajrasamādhi Sutra best sums up what the quality of this single taste is like. It is there that Wŏnhyo states that “Although this person’s body appears to be that of an ordinary householder, his mind abides in the single taste, for this single taste absorbs all tastes.” There are innumerable Dharmas serving as expedient means to liberate the various sentitalia; yet in all of them there is One Sole Essence, a single-taste, which is the exclusive elixir that quenches their insatiable thirst for deliverance from dukkha.
loving cloud: this is the core message of the entire text of The Cloud of Unknowing; this form of “love” is not the sort of sentimental rubbish that litters our culture. It is known as Agape—or burning with Transcendent Love for the Divine Alone.