Metanoia, a Greek term, refers to a profound transformation that occurs within an individual, a complete change of heart that takes place deep within the recesses of consciousness. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus the Christ explains that unless one undergoes this inward conversion and becomes childlike, they will not be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Lankavatara Sutra also describes this radical inner conversion as a sudden awakening within the dormant bodhimind of the aspiring adept. In the practice of Unbornmind Zen, the concept of becoming childlike resonates with the idea that the dormant bodhiseed gradually develops into the bodhichild, the developing bodhisattva, who turns away from defiled sensory experiences and begins the process of rediscovering its true essential nature in the Unborn Buddha Mind.
The emphasis on becoming childlike in order to realize the Nirvanic Kingdom of one’s Inner-Selfhood or Dharmakaya is crucial. Without this metanoia, the weary soul remains trapped in the cycle of samsara, bound to its limited perceptional environment. It is akin to a fish suffocating on land, as described in The Dhammapada. The receptive quality of the inner bodhichild, however, allows it to receive the grace of countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, enabling it to break free from the repetitive cycle of dependent origination. By turning back to the primordial pool of the Dharmakaya, the true nature of reality, the bodhichild can transcend the limitations of temporal consciousness and experience true perfection within the Unborn Mind, as stated in Tozen’s Dharmakaya Sutra.
In this sutra, Tozen explains that the Unborn Mind is free from any form of imagery or visual representation. It is a state of pure consciousness that exists beyond the realm of our temporal experiences. By recognizing and embracing this imageless nature, one can attain true perfection. This means letting go of the interference caused by our temporal consciousness, which is often clouded by thoughts, emotions, and attachments. It serves as a guide for those seeking a deeper understanding of the Unborn Mind and its connection to true perfection. It encourages individuals to look beyond the limitations of their temporal consciousness and embrace the imageless nature of the Unborn Mind. By doing so, one can attain a state of true perfection that is not influenced by external factors or the fluctuations of the temporal world.
Ultimately, the practice of metanoia is a journey of self-discovery and transformation. By learning to listen deeply to the Unborn Spirit within us, we can awaken our true potential and claim our rightful place as Bodhichildren of Unborn Light. This process requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to let go of old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us. However, the rewards are well worth the effort, as we are able to tap into a source of wisdom and insight that can guide us through all of life’s challenges and uncertainties.