Cloud Epilogue

The author of The Cloud knew what he wanted to convey to his audience but had no clear systematic plan designed to carry it out. Without question his writing is most fluid with a fine contemplative spirit but mostly writes with whatever is coming into his mind at the moment. One possible reason being that he was in daily-session with his young neophyte and the discussion pertains to the actual growth of that adept’s mind at a given time frame. But as time progresses one can ascertain that he’s also addressing a wider audience, although one within the confines of an eremitical setting. This fact is driven home time and time again that the cloud is not meant for just anyone along the paths of spirituality, but one who was being drawn to this specific and singular way of contemplation.

By and large, the key to understanding the cloud can be found within the first three discourses, while the remaining ones is about driving the message home with comments and expansion on his themes. One is reminded here that the neophyte is being called to an advanced stage in the spiritual life. And this must be carried out with the utmost diligence and humility. Along with this is his incessant message that the created order of things must be placed beneath that cloud of forgetting, before the deeper and more lasting work of entering into the transcendent cloud of unknowing can occur. Contemplation is an arduous path and is very hard to live given the fact of one’s brokenness. While spiritual consolations come along the way, one experiences mostly dryness and utter emptiness in the hope of that dark void being filled with the Luminous Light of the Divine. Once again this is why the work is bracketed with those admonitions that this way of life is not for those who are merely inquisitive but rather for those whose spirit remains vigilant despite the ongoing spiritual attacks from the evil one. If one perseveres, then the prize of absolute Union with the Divine will occur.

As stated in the introductory blog of the series this rendition of The Cloud of Unknowing is written especially for a wider audience in mind, particularly of Buddhist sway. Certain spiritual themes are universal in nature and certainly the cloud offers the best of that apophatic mysticism. But mostly the emphasis here is on that work of Contemplation. Contemplation in the Way of the Unborn has been written about in different venues here at Unborn Mind Zen. Hopefully the regular reader will ascertain by now that this form of infused contemplation fits quite nicely in a Buddhist framework. Perhaps even more so, one would be hard pressed to find anything of similar import pertaining to “contemplation” vs. “meditation” for a Buddhist Mystic anywhere else on the internet. In this sense we take great pride in our mission here of advancing the Contemplative Spirit in Light of the Unborn.

May the Light of the Unborn remain with you always!



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4 Responses to Cloud Epilogue

  1. emaho says:

    Ascending the Path Beneath the Cloud of Unknowing
    a spontaneous aspiration prayer

    Homage to the great Milarepa for bestowing great courage and fearlessness in this old fool’s hopeless heart who taught the way by his unsurpassed example. Homage to the Mother of the Eternal Sphere, the Wise Bumkhri and to the White Light.

    Inexorably and enticingly I am drawn to a strange and Unborn and uncreated Light. Primordial and infinite the Unborn at times is obscured, yet always present and always aware, though completely intangible to the skandhas of this sentient being.
    A fleeting glimpse of a flash of lightening, the infinite Mind reveals itself.

    Quietly keeping watch throughout the night. Knowing that Light shines in the Unborn space of radiant darkness. Something stirs and grows within; reaching out to greet the ineffable Primary Clear Light of the Void. In those darkest desperate hours of the soul I cried again and again out from the depths of my being with great surrender to the uncreated and primordial omniscient One with these words: Namo Quan Shi Yin Pusa, Om Vavrapani Hum, Om Vajrasattva Hum. Om Muni Maha Muni Shakya Muni Soha. How wonderful.

    Night and day my refuge and my delight forever are transfixed in the unbounded vastness of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. How great and exceedingly rare is the good fortune to have the precious sutras and all of the other sacred texts of the great shining ones to behold in this lifetime for this sentient being. Sometimes to feast upon and other times to savour. How wonderful to arise from slumber to the piercing state of blazing awakening. Under the stars in the vast quietude of meditative contemplation, the one who ponders with equanimity finds peace. During the day the sparrows and their friends visit outside the window with delightful song during the daily offerings of loving-kindness. May they all transcend the path of sorrow. Beneath the tree and within the cavern how could one ever want to sleep again?

    Blazing awareness dawns within my imageless womb, in magical display I sense a multitude of universes appearing like sea foam bubbles in a crystal brook. Spontaneously arising, galaxies dance and twirl throughout space within my imageless womb. Immeasurable are the stars that radiate and blaze within this pristine awareness. Drifting in oceans of equanimity, appear a vast myriad of fractal thought forms. O how they ever morph and transform; from one iteration to another stretching out in an infinite web of bejeweled brocades. Though all these magical displays appear as sounds, lights, colours and forms, sometimes appearing in varying degrees of solidity, beautiful or terrifying, these are but the spontaneous play of this wondrous Unborn Mind.

    In a dream I saw the Great Fearsome Mahakala filling the space of the sky. His body made up of galaxies. His crown adorned with stars. With a fierce countenance he held up the moon in his hands; with his billowing majesty motionlessly beaconing me to abandon this world. In awe of the glory, I was awakened. Ah the bliss of the raindrop that returns to the ocean. With this sword of Manjushri I sever the root of the tree of the ego in order to become liberated; to abandon the wheel of becoming. Not here, not there, but to calmly abide within the interval. To prefer blessed solitude over the tumult is the sure path of liberation.

    The Supreme Lapis Lazuli Zeus’s bolt of light flashed with terrifying brilliance and dissolved above and betwixt my eyes, into my throat, into my heart and into my belly. Again and again the bolt reappears forever through every pore till nothing but His Light remains. The mantras and the tantras shall be thy rod and my staff. By these means I shall persevere to the end. By means of Tonglen, Dzogchen, Lam-rim and by Chod, I shall see Prajnaparamita. Taste the sweetness of the Uncreated Light. Listen to the Hum of the hummingbirds. Forget about time, forget about space, forget about good, forget about evil, forget about self all that exists therein. Wake up to the Great Unknowing.

    The Lotus Born alchemist teaches that the element of earth dissolves into water, water dissolves into fire; fire dissolves into air, air dissolves into consciousness. Solve et coagula.

    Throughout the three worlds and throughout the three times in all ten directions may the shining ones, the protectors and the dakinis appear and grant protection, siddhis and teachings along this dangerous pathway to mystical union with the Light of the Bodhidharma; that glorious and ineffable Manomayakaya. May a kind teacher always appear in these closing days. Naught but a single syllable remains.

    ~ per nada a toda ~

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