Tag Archives: Awareness Principle


Artwork by Tim Verhoeven

Metempsychosis is an early philosophical term referring to the transmigration of the soul, explicitly its reincarnation after death. Derived from Greek philosophy it is an earlier indicator that some separate ontological being transmigrates lifetime after lifetime. Theistic religions insist that there exists an individual substantial entity that constitutes the groundwork for all “personal experiences” that speculates on the continuation of said sentient being at the postmortem point. Thus the belief in personal immortality. There are more moderate stances that disengage from such speculative positions on the continuation of a “person”. Of course, within Unborn Mind Zen we know that when the five skhandas are disbanded, there no longer is any semblance of some assumed personage. This is more in league with Buddhaic traditions which never consider that sentitalia concerns some concrete “somebody” but rather some form of process that spontaneously appears on the backdrop of the universe. Hence, as a mere impersonal phenomenon, rather than somehow separately existing. This has everything to do with the process of individuation, which incidentally occurs at the earliest formal manifestation. read more

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A Psychology of the Unborn?


Like little children of three or four 

The Master instructed the assembly: “As you’ve all been hearing me say, everyone has the innate Buddha Mind, so all you need to do is abide in the Unborn just as it is. However, [following] the ways of the world, you get into bad habits in life and switch the Buddha Mind for the wretched realm of hungry ghosts with its clinging and craving. Grasp this thoroughly and you’ll always abide in the Unborn Buddha Mind. But if, wishing to realize the Unborn, you people try to stop your thoughts of anger and rage, clinging and craving from arising, then by stopping them you divide one mind into two. It’s as if you were pursuing something that’s running away. As long as you deliberately try to stop your rising thoughts, the thought of trying to stop them wars against the continually arising thoughts themselves, and there’s never an end to it. To give you an example, it would be like washing away blood with blood. Of course, you might get out the original blood; but the blood after that would stick, and the red never go away. Similarly, the original angry thoughts that you were able to stop may have come to an end, but the subsequent thoughts concerned with your stopping them won’t ever cease. read more

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The Butterfly Effect: Bardo 2, Part 1

One of the better known anecdotes is Zhuangzi and the Butterfly. The great Daoist Zhuangzi one day awoke from sleep after dreaming that he was a butterfly. Later on, though, he was deeply absorbed and troubled with the thought, “Hmmm, I wonder…was it really “I who was dreaming” that I was that butterfly; or am I really now that “sleeping butterfly” dreaming that I am now this man?” Interesting koan-like predicament; of course there have been traditions that say one of his disciples came along and threw a bucket of cold water on his head and he suddenly came to the realization that “I have to be Zhunangzi, because if I truly am a butterfly, that cold water would have killed me!” That cold-water in the face satori-like moment is a great image of sudden-awakening from the mad dream of samsara, yet when ol’ Zhuangzi dreams again that the butterfly is now waterproof—out goes the satori with the bathwater! Of course, the true resolve of the matter is the self-realization that there is no Zhunangzi and no butterfly—for both are samsaric illusions of the dreaming-skandhic-mind—where both waking in the morning in the realm of samsara is the same as waking in the realm of the samsaric dream; yet, the door of sleep is itself the bardo-passage, or in-between junction that opens-up into the wider realms of self-discovery wherein the Awareness Principle comes into direct contact with the shady denizens who reside in the darkest corners of the alaya receptacle; denizens who, within the purported “waking state”, are well-hidden and who can wreck more havoc than in the dream realm because the awareness principle in the dream state can come to the sudden realization that it has the power to totally control and re-shape the dreamscape and its constant kaleidoscope activity and alaya-karmadhic characters and situations to its own liking—provided that it reaches the proper level of lucidity. Lucidity is key; it is the magic formula that unlocks the secrets of the dreamscape, and after much trial and effort, the secrets to the entire samsaric-spectrum. Mastering Lucidity is simply being aware that it’s all a dream. But mastering lucidity is not a simple matter. read more

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