Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Throw-down the flagpole!

34. “Q: What is meant by relative truth?1

A: What would you do with such a parasitical plant as that? Reality is perfect purity; why base a discussion on false terms? To be absolutely without concepts is called the Wisdom of Dispassion. Every day, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying down, and in all your speech, remain detached from everything within the sphere of phenomena. Whether you speak or merely blink an eye, let it be done with complete dispassion. Now we are getting towards the end of the third period of five hundred years since the time of the Buddha, and most students of Zen cling to all sorts of sounds and forms. Why do they not copy me by letting each thought go as though it were nothing, or as though it were a piece of rotten wood, a stone, or the cold ashes of a dead fire? Or else, by just making whatever slight response is suited to each occasion? If you do not act thus, when you reach the end of your days here, you will be tortured by Yama.2 You must get away from the doctrines of existence and non-existence, for Mind is like the sun, forever in the void, shining spontaneously, shining without intending to shine. This is not something which you can accomplish without effort, but when you reach the point of clinging to nothing whatever, you will be acting as the Buddhas act. This will indeed be acting in accordance with the saying: ‘Develop a mind which rests on no thing whatever.3 For this is your pure Dharmakaya, which is called supreme perfect Enlightenment. If you cannot understand this, though you gain profound knowledge from your studies, though you make the most painful efforts and practice the most stringent austerities, you will still fail to know your own mind. All your effort will have been misdirected and you will certainly join the family of Mara.4 What advantage can you gain from this sort of practice? As Chih Kung5 once said: ‘The Buddha is really the creation of your own Mind. How, then, can he be sought through scriptures?’ Though you study how to attain the Three Grades of Bodhisattvahood, the Four Grades of Sainthood, and the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva’s Progress to Enlightenment until your mind is full of them, you will merely be balancing yourself between ‘ordinary’ and ‘ Enlightened’. Not to see that all METHODS of following the Way are ephemeral is samsaric Dharma. read more

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Bodhisattvahood, Part 3


One dominant component of the developing (bodhichild) Bodhisattva is commonly referred to as mindfulness; it is more singularly employed within Unborn Mind Zen as the Recollective Resolve, or smŗti. Smŗti is indeed that essential element within the developing gotra (bodhi-seed) as it continually gestates within the Tathagata-garbha (dharma-womb). Usually, this most singular display of mindfulness is misconstrued as one being “mindful in the moment”—as if this is some substratum of Mind that generates stillness when, in effect, it does just the opposite: it keeps one perpetually fixated on the Moving Principle as manifested within phenomena, i.e., present-moment being just that—some “thing” to keep one’s mind engrossed upon and hence entrapped in that diurnal wheel of samsara. Smŗti is that inner Resolve that “turns about” from the Moving Principle and Recollects That Animating Impetus within the Sacred Heart of Suchness…thus being Bodhi-minded and not moving an inch to the allures of samsara. Smŗti is the Right Entrance into the Light of the Unborn and the “mindful” Bodhisattva no longer pays any attention to anything that is adverse to It. If the adept keeps faithful to Smŗti then one will never become distracted or riddled with the anxious confusion of the meandering monkey mind. This is known as cultivating self-possession in light of the Buddhadharma. Without cultivating Smŗti then one will forever be held hostage to the raging vijñānas, forever entangled in the serpentine-grip of avidyā. It’s been said that whoever loses Smŗti loses Deathlessness; but whoever rightfully employs Smŗti will have the Deathless as ones constant companion. read more

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