There is no greater enemy than one’s own desires, one’s own fears, one’s own pride and one’s own self-ignorance. Rich or utterly poor. Powerful or powerless. Insidious or good. Whatever the karma behind our present body consciousness is, we should never accept it nor become too complacent with its transient images that once invited to roam freely, will ultimately re-focus our Minds to deem this illustrious haze of half-truths and lies as real-self or part of self-actualization.
The greatest enemy that one faces are self-created ones, made in the image of one’s past, present, and future karmic proclivities. Once one falls into the habit of becoming too complacent with these shining ideations, then the path to authentic self-actualization is forever forsaken.
A disciplined Mind does not allow itself to be sidetracked by the winds of delusion. Once one surrenders to the erratic yet precise winds of karma, one surrenders one’s Mind to something lesser than its Actual Self. All worldly knowledge and ignorance arises from, and returns to the permanent body of the Mind. Ignorance offers the obscuration of the true and the exposure of the false and self-empty. Essentially, one needs to engage a great turn-about within the inner-most recesses of consciousness, thereby pinpointing this mirage of countless ideations. There is no true action or stillness in this world or any other, because what is, is as such in the Mind and nowhere else.
The great Lankavatarian “turn-about” into the inner resources of Minds own self-actualizing powers is engaging in Right Direction. If you seek centeredness of Mind, then there is no other alternative. Suchness of Mind is to be found here and nowhere else. Indeed, what it all boils down to is a resolutely disciplined Mind—neither turning to the left or right, high or below, front or back. As Tozen states, ignorance is always false and self-empty; it leaves you feeling confused and adamant in the face of true Self-realization THAT Alone points the way forward towards the horizon of a rightful Mind and Spirit. Sober-up!
In the end, all things, even your own contrived life, are nothing in themselves compared to the Unborn. For that endeavour, one needs an entirely new vantage point. In the beginning, a suprapositional point of right view, not open and influenced by the fixed positions of ideas, memories and experiences.
Do you value your own samsaric-life over and above the Unborn Spirit? If so then you are sinking ever deeper into the morass of that endless array of false-images that beckon you, like Captain Ahab strapped to the back of that white and humped-back whale, into the further murky depths of self-loathing unhappiness and grief. One must abandon those fixed ideations and experiences that you cling to so tenaciously, and turn instead to the Absolute point of Right View that is neither here nor there, but everywhere at once for those who can discern IT with imageless eyes.
And so, in this sense, Genuine Zen, as offered by the great ones, is an inner ‘light’ teaching of the Unborn Mind. There is no greater teacher than this light of the Unborn. IT reveals Itself purely as such in all corners of this universe.
This “inner-light teaching of the Unborn Mind” is congruently offered by the Great Shining Ones who offer such marvels in all ten directions. How so? Because IT is THAT Self-same Light shared equally among them. Each and every dark corner and crevice of this universe is En-Lightened with Its presence. Nothing is bypassed or left to karmic chance—it is an unequivocal cleansing and grace freely bestowed.
To know its secret light is to know that it can never be different but only one and never two or more. As such, it strives to offer and guide the seeking aspirant of the way to make the great turnabout towards the true and permanent principle of the absolute…Essentially utilizing this superessential life-force within, as a great Mañjuśrī standing guard with a vigilant eye and firm grip on his sword of truth ready to slay any unwholesome desire of the great deceiver.
Mañjuśrī can be likened unto a patron-saint of all Light Bringers (Bodhisattvas). Yea, he is the Bodhisattva par-excellence who cuts through all phenomena with his imageless sword of Truth. His Right Action literally destroys any unwholesome actions of the evil one. No shred of ignorance dare cross his path, for it is immediately corrected via Right Buddha-gnosis.
All this until the process of purification is complete and the gateless gate is open for ascension, revealing the wondrous-child of light, the incomparable light bearer [bodhisattva] and buddha-to-be. This splendid bodhi-child trusts nothing of any created and ideated worlds, but only the light and truth of its own real family, the Tathagatas.
Once again our beloved bodhichild is brought into play, who in the garba-womb of the Tathagatas knows no other light of truth other than his own Buddha-family. In this sense, the wondrous Child of Light completes the process of purification that all must undergo—a veritable Baptism of Unborn Light.
Taking exclusive refuge in this distinctive realm of tathagatahood, one is impervious to the great roaring wall of the evil one, that incessantly summons and seeks to entrap one in the diurnal wail of suffering and dissatisfaction in the forest of illusions. This unsurpassed dharma, known to but only a few in these days, is an unparalleled instrument in the skillful hands of a diligent one. One who has vanquished the illusion of the linear and has begun to understand the nature of the non-linear—thereby defeating the illusion of time and believing wholeheartedly that one’s awakened passion and skill, will inevitably be the proper compass in exploring the vast Body of Truth within. A body that precedes one’s own temporal existence before every breath and every thought that one becomes aware of—in effect, slaying the false body consciousness with the great Mañjuśrī’s imageless sword.
Yea, this “unsurpassed dharma” is only known but to a select few in these days. But by the same token, these select few can bring the Light to others who are still imprisoned by the evil wardens who seek to divide, confuse and rule them. Tozen’s concluding lines state that “We do not speak of religion here, nor of science, but solely of that which is of the Unborn and Absolute and not of the body consciousness.” Such is the proper compass and thus direction of Truth.