Wrote a comment to someone posting about non-meditation who emphasized the point "How ridiculous and deluded to think that practices, meditation, study or realizations can improve the perfect awareness that is always what you already are."

I wrote:

"On the one extreme is the view that through practices one can somehow reach Buddha-nature in the future, which comes with the sense of distance, time, separation, and sense of self. Buddha-nature is all-pervasive and whole in its immediacy, how can it be reached in the future through practice?

On the other extreme is of a static, immobile Buddha-nature separate from the ordinary activities of sitting, walking, sleeping, chopping wood and carrying water. Nothing is clearer and more direct than these simple activities when subject and object is severed. We walk not in order to achieve enlightenment but as a manifestation of our true nature.

When sitting, sitting is sitting, not me sitting. Recently I visited a Zen master. He asked a group of students, (pointing at a bell) what is this? Some said it's a bell, he replied you are attached to name and form. If you only hit the floor or remain mute, he says you are attached to emptiness. I simply picked it up and rang it. He said "Correct!" So, a "zen" answer will be just ring it -- there is just the ringing, no subject and object, only spontaneous action, only sound. Non-meditation and non-practice is not lazing all day doing nothing, but severing the delusion of subject and object. When the gap between actor and action is refined till none, that is non-action, non-meditation and that non-action is at the same time total action.

In that act of ringing, is the ringing, and mind two or one? Again if we say they are one or two, we fall into dualism or concepts. Just ring it - that's enough. That total action reveals the true face of mind, the true face of the bell, the true face of ringing. If there is still a sense of an actor achieving a goal through an action, that is not non-meditation or practice-enlightenment.


"Zen master Baoche of Mt. Mayu was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, "Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. When, then, do you fan yourself?"

"Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent," Baoche replied, "you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere."

"What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?" asked the monk again. The master just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.

The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent; because of that, the wind of the buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river."


A monk said to Chao Chou, “I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me.”
Chao Chou said, “Have you eaten your rice gruel?”
The monk said, “Yes, I have.”
Chao Chou said, “Wash your bowl.”
The monk understood."
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Someone told me about having been through insights of no self and then progressing to a realisation of the ground of being.

I replied:

Hi ____

Thanks for the sharing.

This is the I AM realization. Had that realisation after contemplating Before birth, who am I? For two years. It’s an important realization. Many people had insights into certain aspects of no self, impersonality, and “dry non dual experience” without doubtless realization of Presence. Therefore I AM realisation is a progression for them.

Similarly in Zen, asking who am I is to directly experience presence. How about asking a koan of what is the cup? What is the chirping bird, the thunder clap? What is its purpose?

When I talked about anatta, it is a direct insight of Presence and recognizing what we called background presence, is in the forms and colours, sounds and sensations, clean and pure. Authentication is be authenticated by all things. Also there is no presence other than that. What we call background is really just an image of foreground Presence, even when Presence is assuming its subtle formless all pervasiveness.

However due to ignorance, we have a very inherent and dual view, if we do see through the nature of presence, the mind continues to be influenced by dualistic and inherent tendencies. Many teach to overcome it through mere non conceptuality but this is highly misleading.

Thusness also wrote:

The anatta I realized is quite unique. It is not just a realization of no-self. But it must have first have an intuitive insight of Presence. Otherwise will have to reverse the phases of insights
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Podcast on dzogchen with Malcolm Smith, it’s very good 

It explains what rigpa is. Rigpa is not mere Awareness, it’s like a state of realization, the knowledge of our basis. And not only that, it must recognise the five lights as its own state.

How ignorance is present before beginning and why and the part about the bardo states is also well explained. A good podcast. First 1/4 is more on personal introduction.

(Malcolm Smith was asked by his teacher Kunzang Dechen Lingpa to teach dzogchen but he focuses on translation work for now)

Recognition of the five lights as one's own state is what I meant by anatta and the bardo shows the importance of realizing it in the 3 states (walking, dreaming and deep sleep). Depending on the practitioner the strength of recognition may not be there even if insight may have manifested.

Also highly recommend his translation work. Seldom do we see such a serious translation. Accurate and precise.

“Buddhahood in This Life”


Pemi Yeshi wrote,

“I couldn't play it from that link because I don't have itunes, but here i is I listened: https://learn.wisdompubs.org/podcast/malcolm-smith/

Very very good stuff! I love reading translator's introductions in books. Hearing translator talk is great.”
Wrote on facebook:

Without awareness there can be no objects, (there is no “unheard sound”) and without objects there can be no awareness, (seeing is dependently designated with “sight”) not because there are two distinctly existing things depending or interacting with each other but because they are merely dependently designated and have no existence of its own to speak of. For example you cannot speak of a sun without sunlight or a computer screen without the images, they are dependently designated and without any intrinsic existence. Just like a computer screen that doesn’t display images is not a computer screen, a knowing is labelled as such in dependence on the known, so both subject and object are severed - nondual clarity is vividly presencing as all appearances without needing to collapse subject into object or object into subject.

There is no denial of knowing known or “you” like there is no need to deny a conventional car. But if “you” or “knowing known” is just a label for vroomyumouch, just like car is merely imputed based on the parts and functions, then there is also no intrinsically (independent, changelessly) existing “you” or “car”. So you or car is not denied but simply a convenient label, so you can still use conventions but are not bound by them, just like when you talk about weather you don’t think of an entity but directly experience the rain falling wind blowing clouds forming and parting and so forth. When we say sensing we don’t get bound by subject action or object but directly sense the coolness, heat, softness and so forth.

The realisation of true mind, the luminous vivid presence is also important. But mind is no mind - empty of intrinsically existing entity. And being empty of mind, it is as dogen said,

“And just what is this wondrously pure, bright mind? It is the great earth with its mountains and rivers, along with the sun, the moon, and all the stars.”


Objects are merely conventionally and dependently designated as such. It cannot be understood apart from or excluding other conventions that make them meaningful otherwise it becomes erroneous (the same goes for everything - from self, to cars, to awareness, to whatever). A sound is not an object besides hearing, besides awareness - there is no such thing as an unheard sound. This part I believe you agree, the other part however in Buddhadharma's emptiness teaching is that awareness is also dependently designated in relation to what's experienced. So it's a two-way dependence unlike the one way dependence in Advaita. Hearer and hearing is only meaningful in reference to sound (and vice versa) - in truth there is no hearer, no hearing, no sound, the bell ringing has no subject or object -- direct immediacy of just this awareness as ringing.

But you'll interject, what about the formless consciousness that underlies and exists beneath, and in the absence of, thoughts and sensations? That pure infinite formless sense of Existence which is a mere formless sense that I AM? I too have realised that through self-inquiry a long time ago. But now I see that too is also another manifestation of consciousness, another face of Presence, no more and no less Presence than a sound, a sight, etc. It cannot be understood apart from manifestation, and apart from the conditions that defines it.


In my experience, manifestation is limitless. When walking, it's not legs walking, the entirety of everything is walking. Any sort of abiding, be it in the fiction of a subject or an object, even in a grasped image of 'infinite formless consciousness', is still limitations


You're saying there is an ocean independent of its wave (a limitation) reflecting back on itself without investment in wave. I'm saying the wave is none other than the entirety of the ocean, including the conditions that makes it wave - the wind, etc

To me, the latter is 'more' 'limitless'

Taken from http://dogenandtheshobogenzo.blogspot.sg/2011/02/zazen-polishing-tile-to-make-mirror.html

Zazen-Only - Polishing Tiles, Making Buddhas
The perfection of each person is unique; a particular human becomes a Buddha when that human wholly becomes that particular human. The Buddhahood of an individual being is the perfection of the “integral character” of that particular being “as it is.” Zazen-only is the perfection of the “normal mind,” that is, a particular body-mind that is fully seated in and as the wholeness of its particular existence ceaselessly advancing in harmony with the true nature of its own integral character. One of the clearest of Dogen’s numerous presentations of this aspect of the Buddha Dharma is revealed in one of his masterly commentaries on a classic Zen koan.

One day when Nangaku came to Baso’s hut, Baso stood up to receive him. Nangaku asked him, “What have you been doing recently?”

Baso replied, “Recently I have been doing the practice of seated meditation exclusively.”

Nangaku asked, “And what is the aim of your seated meditation?”

Baso replied, “The aim of my seated meditation is to achieve Buddhahood.”

Thereupon, Nangaku took a roof tile and began rubbing it on a rock near Baso’s hut.

Baso, upon seeing this, asked him, “Reverend monk, what are you doing?”

Nangaku replied, “I am polishing a roof tile.”

Baso then asked, “What are you going to make by polishing a roof tile?”

Nangaku replied, “I am polishing it to make a mirror.”

Baso said, “How can you possibly make a mirror by rubbing a tile?”

Nangaku replied, “How can you possibly make yourself into a Buddha by doing seated meditation?”

For hundreds of years now, many people have held the view that, in this story, Nangaku is earnestly endeavoring to encourage Baso in his practice. This is not necessarily so, for, quite simply, the daily activities of the great saintly teacher were far removed from the realm of ordinary people. If great saintly teachers did not have the Dharma of polishing a tile, how could they possibly have the skillful means to guide people? Having the strength to guide people is the Bones and Marrow of an Ancestor of the Buddha. Even though the tile was the thing that came to hand, still, it was just an everyday, household object. If it were not an everyday object or some household utensil, then it would not have been passed on by the Buddha’s family. What is more, its impact on Baso was immediate. Be very clear about it, the functioning of the True Transmission of Buddhas and Ancestors involves a direct pointing. We should truly comprehend that when the polished tile became a mirror, Baso became Buddha. And when Baso became Buddha, Baso immediately became the real Baso. And when Baso became the real Baso, his sitting in meditation immediately became real seated meditation. This is why the saying ‘polishing a tile to make a mirror’ has been preserved in the Bones and Marrow of former Buddhas.

Thus it is that the Ancient Mirror was made from a roof tile. Even though the mirror was being polished, it was already without blemish in its unpolished state. The tile was not something that was dirty; it was polished simply because it was a tile. On that occasion, the virtue of making a Mirror was made manifest, for it was the diligent effort of an Ancestor of the Buddha. If polishing a tile did not make a Mirror, then even polishing a mirror could not have made a Mirror. Who can surmise that in this act of making, there is the making of a Buddha and there is the making of a Mirror?

Further, some may wonder, “When the Ancient Mirror is polished, can It ever be polished into a tile?” Your state of being—your breathing in and breathing out—when you are engaged in polishing is not something that you can gauge at other times. And Nangaku’s words, to be sure, express what is expressible. As a result, in the final analysis, he was able to polish a tile and make a Mirror. Even we people of the present time should try to pick up today’s ‘tile’ and give it a polish, for ultimately it will become a Mirror. If a tile could not become a Mirror, people could not become Buddha. If we belittle tiles as being lumps of clay, we will also belittle people as being lumps of clay. If people have a Heart, then tiles too will have a Heart. Who can recognize that there is a Mirror in which, when a tile comes, the Tile appears? And who can recognize that there is a Mirror in which, when a mirror comes, the Mirror appears?
Shobogenzo, Kokyo, Hubert Nearman

The "ancient mirror" is the Buddha mind; more specifically, it is an aspect or quality of the Buddha mind that is traditionally referred to as the "universal mirror prajna." The “universal mirror prajna” is the first of the “four prajna's (or “cognitions”) of Buddhahood.” This prajna is described as the aspect of mind that, like a mirror, perfectly reflects the world as it is in the immediate present – the world in its ‘thusness.’ Unlike an ordinary mirror, this prajna is not only reflective, it is also luminescent. It is the initial realization of this “prajna” (or “cognition”) that is traditionally regarded as the practitioners entrance into awakening (often called "kensho" in Zen).

Dogen’s commentary on the koan illumines the same principle informing his teaching that “clear seeing is prajna itself” – here the principle is formulated as “when the polished tile became a mirror Baso became Buddha.”

A “tile” is only a tile by virtue of being experienced as a mind-form unity (dharma) as it is. In the koan, “Baso” is only Baso (his true self; Buddha) by virtue of experiencing mind-forms as they are. When “the tile became a mirror Baso became Baso” – Baso became Baso (his true self; Buddha) when the tile became a mirror (its true self; a mind-form). Moreover, because the mirror (that which verifies) is never separate from the tile (that which is verified), the mirror (Baso) was actualized as a real mirror (the real Baso) by virtue of experiencing the tile.

In terms of the prajna paramita literature, tile and mirror (forms) is emptiness, Baso is Buddha, emptiness is tile and mirror, Buddha is Baso; therefore, emptiness is emptiness, tile is tile, mirror is mirror, Buddha is Buddha, Baso is Baso. When Baso is Baso the whole universe is solely Baso; when zazen is zazen, the whole universe is solely sitting.

In Dogen’s view, the only reality is reality that is actually experienced as particular things at specific times. There is no “tile nature” apart from actual “tile forms,” there is no “essential Baso” apart from actual instances of “Baso experience.” When Baso sits in zazen, “zazen” becomes zazen, and “Baso” becomes Baso. Real instances of Baso sitting in zazen is real instances of Baso and real instances of zazen – when Baso eats rice, Baso is really Baso and eating rice is really eating rice.
I like this quote but does anyone know who translated it and the source of that text?

Subhuti asked: "Is perfect wisdom beyond thinking? Is it unimaginable and totally unique but nevertheless reaching the unreachable and attaining the unattainable?"

The Buddha replied: "Yes, Subhuti, it is exactly so. And why is perfect wisdom beyond thinking? It is because all its points of reference cannot be thought about but can be apprehended. One is the disappearance of the self-conscious person into pure presence. Another is the knowing of the essenceless essence of all things in the world. And another is luminous knowledge that knows without a knower. None of these points can sustain ordinary thought because they are not objects or subjects. They can't be imagined or touched or approached in any way by any ordinary mode of consciousness, therefore they are beyond thinking."
"Bodhidharma asked, "Can each of you say something to demonstrate your understanding?"
Dao Fu stepped forward and said, "It is not bound by words and phrases, nor is it separate from words and phrases. This is the function of the Tao."
Bodhidharma: "You have attained my skin."
The nun Zong Chi[note 6][note 7] stepped up and said, "It is like a glorious glimpse of the realm of Akshobhya Buddha. Seen once, it need not be seen again."
Bodhidharma; "You have attained my flesh."
Dao Yu said, "The four elements are all empty. The five skandhas are without actual existence. Not a single dharma can be grasped."
Bodhidharma: "You have attained my bones."
Finally, Huike came forth, bowed deeply in silence and stood up straight.
Bodhidharma said, "You have attained my marrow." [38]"

To find a buddha, all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the buddha. And the buddha is the person who's free, free of plans, free of cares. If you don't see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you'll never find a buddha. The truth is there's nothing to find. Life and death are important. Don't suffer them in vain. There's no advantage in deceiving yourself. Even if you have mountains of jewels and as many servants as there are grains of sand along the Ganges, you see them when your eyes are open. But what about when your eyes are shut? You should realize that everything you see is like a dream or illusion.

Buddha is Sanskrit for what you call aware, miraculously aware. Responding, perceiving, arching your brows, blinking your eyes, moving your hands and feet, it's all your miraculously aware nature. And this nature is the mind. And the mind is the buddha. And the buddha is the path. And the path is zen. But the word zen is one that remains a puzzle to both mortals and sages. Seeing your nature is zen. Unless you see your nature, it's not zen.

Bodhidharma (440-528)
Jamgon Mipham:

Accordingly, in the case of a beginner, it is possible for mere nonexistence (med rkyang tsam), the negation of truly existent phenomena, to arise as a mental object. But a person whose Madhyamaka investigation has hit the mark will perfectly distinguish the difference between the lack of inherent existence and mere nonexistence; and will be quite certain that a phenomenon's lack of inherent existence is inseparable from its dependent arising. Such an extraordinary mode of apprehension indeed acts as an antidote to the precipitous extremes of both substantialism and nihilism. For as long as, according to one's mode of apprehension, one is either refuting things or establishing them, one is not actually in the nature beyond all conceptual extremes. When, with reasoned analysis, one arrives at the certainty that phenomena do not dwell in any of the four extremes, and when one settles evenly in the dharmadhatu, by way of the self-cognizing primordial wisdom, this will have the power to dispel all conceptual constructs. Thus one will gain confidence in ultimate reality, in 'which there are no misconceptions to dispel and no progress to make. One will have confidence in the genuine meaning of "freedom from mental activity" as explained in the Prajnaparamita-sutra.
Wrote to someone:

The red petals are not red petals of an inherently existing flower. Flower is conventionally designated in dependence on the petals, there is no flower core anywhere. So it might be more accurate to say the petals “are” the flower. Even the red appearance is dependently originating with no real substance to be found, I.e. unreal - dogs don’t see red, so it is a nonoriginating reflection/appearance in any case, like the reflection of the moon on water, only appearing in dependence on certain conditions but never actually referring to an actual thing being created or abiding or ceasing anywhere. Like scrolling through facebook posts or watching a movie, no actual things or persons or objects are created despite their appearances. This is not to say "what you see is all there is" but "what you see does not amount to something truly existing or truly arising" and whatever "things" - self, cup, table, sky, car, flower, are all conventionally designated in dependence on parts, conditions, functions, designating consciousness and when analysed no true existence can be found.

The universe is like that. Nothing that appears in dependence on conditions exists intrinsically by its own power or essence. But of course it is not a rejection of phenomena and its causal efficacy, as explained in the chapter on the four noble truths in madhyamikakarika. It is precisely because conventional empty phenomena are not intrinsically existing that they could arise due to conditions and cease through practicing the path, otherwise they would be forever “there” like a moon in the lake would be stuck there if it were real and intrinsic. So we have to understand emptiness through dependent origination and understand the causal efficacy of conventional empty phenomena, otherwise we are falling into nihilism and rejecting the four noble truths, etc.

When we talk about illusion, there is a difference between water-moon and rabbit-horn. Appearances are like water-moon being dependently originated, without substance and base but not non-existent, whereas true existence/inherent existence is illusory in the sense of being "horns of rabbits", it does not exist even conventionally. If we merely see non-existence, or negate conventionalities and their valid functionalities, that is nihilism. The sun, even if hidden behind the clouds and thus "unseen", is still exerting a causal function of heating up the earth. On the other hand if we treat these things (e.g. the sun) as real and substantial instead of dependently designated/dependently originating and thus unreal, then we are having substantialist tendencies. The sun is also designated in dependence on its functions like 'heat', just like the flower is designated in dependence on the petals, and other conditions. So seeing this, we do not think of the sun as a substantial thing causing a substantial thing to happen, for the heating and sun are dependently designated. But that is not to deny "sun" or "heating" conventionally and their causal efficacy.

"In brief from empty phenomena
Empty phenomena arise;
Agent(cause), karma(action), fruits(effect), and their enjoyer(subject) -
The conqueror taught these to be [only] conventional.

Just as the sound of a drum as well as a shoot
Are produced from a collection [of factors],
We accept the external world of dependent origination
To be like a dream and an illusion.

That phenomena are born from causes
Can never be inconsistent [with facts];
Since the cause is empty of cause,
We understand it to be empty of origination."

- Nāgārjuna

“Earlier we saw that both the Vaibhāṣika and Sautrāntika argue that only ultimately intrinsic reality (svabhāva) enables things to perform a causal function (arthakriya). The Svātantrika Madhyamaka rejects this, and it instead argues that things are causally efficient because of their conventionally intrinsic reality (svabhāva) or unique particularity (svalakṣaṇa). The Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka, however, rejects both these positions, and argues only what is conventionally non-intrinsic reality (niḥsvabhāva) is causally effective, for only those phenomena, the conventional nature of which is non-intrinsic, are subject to conditioned or dependent arising. Conventional reality (here treated as dependently arisen phenomenon), given it is causally effective, is therefore always intrinsically unreal, and hence lacks any intrinsic reality even conventionally. Hence that which is conventionally (or dependently) coarisen is always conventionally (or dependently) arisen and strictly does not arise ultimately.”

"Nāgārjuna's central argument to support his radical non-foundationalist theory of the two truths draws upon an understanding of conventional truth as tied to dependently arisen phenomena, and ultimate truth as tied to emptiness of the intrinsic nature. Since the former and the latter are coconstitutive of each other, in that each entials the other, ultimate reality is tied to being that which is conventionally real. Nāgārjuna advances important arguments justifying the correlation between conventional truth vis-à-vis dependent arising, and emptiness vis-à-vis ultimate truth. These arguments bring home their epistemological and ontological correlations ([MMK] 24.14; Dbu ma tsa 15a). He argues that wherever applies emptiness as the ultimate reality, there applies the causal efficacy of conventional reality and wherever emptiness does not apply as the ultimate reality, there does not apply the causal efficacy of conventional reality (Vig.71) (Dbu ma tsa 29a). According to Nāgārjuna, ultimate reality's being empty of any intrinsic reality affords conventional reality its causal efficacy since being ultimately empty is identical to being causally produced, conventionally. This must be so since, for Nāgārjuna, “there is no thing that is not dependently arisen; therefore, there is no such thing that is not empty” ([MMK] 24.19, Dbu ma tsa 15a)."

- https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/twotruths-india/

For Zen Master Seung Sahn’s enlightenment story, see https://kwanumzen.org/teaching-library?author=599de3933e00be59c1734e28

Wrote to someone,

“Recently been reading Zen Master Seung Sahn. He is also very clear. The teachers in his lineage teaching in the Singapore dharma center Kwan Yin Chan Lin are also consistently clear in terms of realisation of anatta.

As I wrote:

What’s important is that the insight must be clear. The teachings must be clear. It’s impossible to overcome the propensities of dualism without the correct insights. I’m not bothered about the terms, words they use or even whether he or she is unconventional or traditional.

For example, recently I started reading Zen Master Seung Sahn writings. I noticed that although he uses the term true self a lot, his insights are clearly anatta. He is not talking about a background or ultimate self behind everything.

Seung Sahn said “your true self has no outside, no inside. Sound is clear mind, clear mind is sound. Sound and hearing are not separate, there is only sound.”

Thusness also said, “Seung Sahn is anatta. Self/self is not important to him at all””

Nowadays OCR softwares are very powerful. I took a photo of a page from a book using my phone, used the free app Office Lens to convert the image into text in word document. It is fast and accurate.

Here’s a teaching by Zen Master Seung Sahn which is converted using OCR, it’s from the book  “Only Don’t Know: The Teaching Letters of Zen Master Seung Sahn”, also it’s somewhat relevant to my previous encounter with a Zen Master from this lineage (See Total Exertion):


Toronto, Canada
January 29, 1977

Dear Soen Sa Nim,

I miss you very much and wish that I did not live so far away from you. Every day I sit Zen and bow 108 times— Lawlor and I do this together. But often when I'm bowing and sitting, I am thinking:

"What will I make for dinner? What shall I wear to work? Thinking is no good." All thinking!

You say—"Put it all down. Only go straight." But isn't there some balance about practice? Maybe I should do more sitting. You talk about strong sitting. What is this?

What am I? I ask this more and more through my day. But there is so much thinking!

I hope you are well, and I send you my great love.


February 22, 1977

Dear Sherry,

How are you? Thank you for your letter.

You told me that you and Lawlor have been practicing  gether every day—that is wonderful. A lot of thinking, no thinking, a little thinking—it doesn't matter. You say, "thinking is no good." This is no good. This is being attached to your thinking. Only try, try, try, and your thinking will rest. Then finally, at bowing time, only bow; at sitting time, only sit; at chanting time, only chant. This is possible. If you keep practicing, this will happen.

In your letter you asked me about balance in your practice and about strong sitting. If you are attached to something, your mind and your body will be unbalanced. If you don't make anything, your mind and your body become one, and will be perfectly balanced, and everything will be complete and clear.

Strong sitting means not checking your mind and feelings. At times everyone has many thoughts and feelings while sitting. This is correct. Don't worry. But many people check themselves. "I am no good. What do other people think of me? I am always thinking. How can I cut off all thinking? How do you only go straight? How do you put it all down?" This is being attached to thinking. Thinking itself is not bad or good Just don't be attached to thinking. Don't worry about every. thing. Thinking is thinking; feeling is feeling. Don't touch. Only go straight—don't know. That is strong sitting.

If you keep this strong-sitting mind, your mind will be clear moment to moment. Clear mind means keeping your correct situation. When you drive, just drive. Then when you come to a red light, stop. When it turns green, go. That is the correct situation. Correct situation means just-like-this.

I understand your mind. Your mind constantly checks your mind. But if you practice and try every day, your checking mind will rest, and you will be able to keep a just-like-this mind. Then when you see the sky, only blue; when you see a tree, only green. Your mind is still. Then saving all beings is possible.

I hope you only go straight— don't know, keep a mind which is clear like space, attain Enlightenment, and save all beings from suffering.

Yours in the Dharma,

S. S.

You can find many similar teachings by him in https://kwanumzen.org/resources-collection/2017/9/15/teaching-letters-of-zen-master-seung-sahn
Zen Student: Could you speak about when you sit zazen away from Zen Center, and you sit alone? Could you speak about that?
Suzuki-rōshi: Oh, sit alone. By yourself? True zazen, you know, cannot be sit by yourself, you know. That you sit there means that every one of us [is] sitting with you. That kind of zazen is true zazen. Even though you are sitting in Japan or Tibet, you know, you are sitting with all the people in the world. That kind of feeling you must have in your zazen. You include — your practice include everything. That is our practice, you know. When you are you on your cushion, everyone sitting on their own cushion. That is our zazen.
Uji Koan, 3:
The way the self arrays itself is the form of the entire world. See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time.
Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. The way-seeking mind arises in this moment. A way-seeking moment arises in this mind. It is the same with practice and with attaining the way. Thus the self setting itself out in array sees itself. This is the understanding that the self is time.
Malcolm's translation:

“Hey, hey, apparent yet nonexistent retinue: listen well! There is no object to distinguish in me, the view of self-originated wisdom; it did not exist before, it will not arise later, and also does not appear in anyway in the present. The path does not exist, action does not exist, traces do not exist, ignorance does not exist, thoughts do not exist, mind does not exist, prajñā does not exist, samsara does not exist, nirvana does not exist, vidyā itself does not even exist, totally not appearing in anyway.”
-- Unwritten Tantra

Kyle Dixon shared:

= The Importance of Emptiness and Nāgārjuna's Madhyamaka in Dzogpachenpo =

From Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso:

"Furthermore, since one must rely on Nagarjuna’s reasonings in order to realize the essence of Dzogchen, it is the same for Mahamudra. Those who studied at the shedras (philosophical universities) in Tibet studied 'The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way' and Chandrakirti’s 'Entering the Middle Way' and other similar texts over the course of many years. Mahamudra and Dzogchen were not studied, however, because it is the Middle Way texts that are filled with such a vast array of different arguments and logical reasonings that one can pursue the study of them in a manner that is both subtle and profound. 

In the Mahamudra teachings as well, we find statements such as this one from Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer:

'As for mind, there is no mind! Mind is empty of essence'
If you gain certainty in mind’s emptiness of essence by analyzing it with the reasoning that refutes arising from the four extremes and with others as well, then your understanding of Mahamudra will become profound. Otherwise, you could recite this line, but in your mind it would be nothing more than an opinion or a guess.

If you study these reasonings presented in 'The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way', when you receive Mahamudra and Dzogchen explanations of emptiness and lack of inherent reality, you will already be familiar with what is being taught and so you will not need to learn anything new. Mipham Rinpoche composed a brief text called 'The Beacon of Certainty', in which he states: 'In order to have perfect certainty in "kadag" (primordial purity) one must have perfect understanding of the view of the Consequence or Prasangika school. Kadag, or original, primordial purity, is the view of Dzogchen, and in order to perfect that view, one must perfect one’s understanding of the Middle Way Consequence or Prasangika school’s view. What this implies is that the view of Dzogchen kadag and the view of the Consequence or Prasangika of Chandrakirti's school are the same."
From Tulku Tsullo's instruction on the view of Dzogchen:
"Therefore, whether in sutra or in tantra, there is consensus that the only direct antidote to the ignorance of clinging to things as real - which lies at the root of our karma and disturbing emotions - is the wisdom that realizes emptiness. So for Dzogchen practitioners, too, it is extremely important to realize emptiness."
The sgra thal gyur tantra states:
"Nonexistent therefore appearing, appearing therefore empty. The inseparable union of appearance and emptiness with its branches."
Zilnon Zhepa Tsal said:

"How could liberation be attained without realizing emptiness? And how could emptiness be realized without the Great Perfection [Dzogchen]? Who but I offers praise such as this?"
The Dalai Lama states:

"We need a special form of wisdom - the wisdom that realizes emptiness - to act as the direct antidote to the cognitive obscurations. Without this wisdom, which can be realized through the Great Perfection... we will not have the direct antidote to the cognitive obscurations. So this point is conclusive."
Khenchen Rigdzin Dorje [Chatral Rinpoche's heart disciple] states:
"The Madhyamika consider the Prasangik as the perfect Rangtong view. The Dzogchen trekcho view as Kadag (primordially pure view) and the Prasangik view is the same. The emptiness is the same, there is no difference... It is important to understand that the words primordially pure [kadag] is the Dzogchen terminology for the Prasangic Emptiness. [The ancient Nyingmapa Masters like Long Chenpa, Jigme Lingpa, Mipham, were] Prasangikas [Thalgyurpas]... the Prasangika Madhyamika sunyata [tongpanyid] and the Dzogchen sunyata are exactly the same. There is no difference. One hundred percent [the] same."
Longchenpa says:

"This system of the natural great perfection is equivalent with the Consequentialist [Prasangika] Madhyamaka’s usual way of considering freedom from extremes and so on. However, emptiness in Madhymaka is an emptiness counted as similar to space, made into the basis; here [in Dzogchen] naked pellucid vidyā pure from the beginning that is not established; that, merely unceasing, is made into the basis. - The phenomena that arise from the basis are apprehended as being free from extremes, like space."
David Germano:
"While a detailed analysis of the relationship of these classical Great Perfection texts to the Madhyamaka Prasangika tradition is quite beyond the scope of my present discussion, at this point I would merely like to indicate that even in The Seventeen Tantras (i.e. without considering Longchenpa's corpus) it is very clear that the tradition embodies an innovative dialectical reinterpretation of the Prasangika notions of emptiness, rather than a mere sterile 'diametric opposition' to them that Karmay suggests."

Ju Mipham Rinpoche states in his Madhyamakālaṃkāra:
"Without finding certainty in primordial purity (ka dag), just mulling over some 'ground that is neither existent nor nonexistent' will get you nowhere. If you apprehend this basis of emptiness that is empty of both existence and nonexistence as something that is established by its essence separately [from everything else], no matter how you label it (such as an inconceivable self, Brahmā, Visnu, Īśvara, or wisdom) except for the mere name, the meaning is the same. Since the basic nature free from the reference points of the four extremes, that is, Dzogchen (the luminosity that is to be personally experienced) is not at all like that, it is important to rely on the correct path and teacher. Therefore, you may pronounce 'illusionlike,' 'nonentity,' 'freedom from reference points,' and the like as mere verbiage, but this is of no benefit whatsoever, if you do not know the [actual] way of being of the Tathāgata’s emptiness (which surpasses the limited [kinds of] emptiness [asserted] by the tīrthikas) through the decisive certainty that is induced by reasoning."

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu states:

"...Madhyamaka explains with the four 'beyond concepts,' which are that something neither exists, nor does not exist, nor both exists and does not exist, nor is beyond both existing and not existing together. These are the four possibilities. What remains? Nothing. Although we are working only in an intellectual way, this can be considered the ultimate conclusion in Madhyamaka. As an analytical method, this is also correct for Dzogchen. Nagarjuna's reasoning is supreme."

"That view established intellectually we need to establish consciously in dependence upon one’s capacity of knowledge and on convention. The way of establishing that is the system of Prasanga Madhyamaka commented upon by the great being Nāgārjuna and his followers. There is no system of view better than that."

From Jigme Lingpa:

"I myself argue ‘To comprehend the meaning of the non-arising baseless, rootless dharmakāya, although reaching and the way of reaching this present conclusion 'Since I have no thesis, I alone am without a fault', as in the Prasanga Madhyamaka system, is not established by an intellectual consideration such as a belief to which one adheres, but is reached by seeing the meaning of ultimate reality of the natural great completion."

Chokyi Dragpa states:

On the path of trekchö, all the rigidity of mind's clinging to an "I" where there is no "I", and a self where there is no self, is cut through with Madhyamika Prasangika reasoning and the resulting conviction that an "I" or a "self" does not exist. Then, by examining where mind arises, dwells and ceases, you become certain of the absence of any true reality."

Again from Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso:

"The great scholar and master, Mipham Chokle Namgyal, said, 'If one seeks to master the basic nature of alpha purity, or kadak, it is necessary to perfect one’s understanding of the view of the Prasangika, or the Consequence School.' Alpha purity describes the basic nature of mind as it is expressed in the dzogchen descriptions. If one wishes to realize dzogchen, alpha purity, or trekcho, as it is also called, then one must perfect one’s understanding of the Consequence School. That is, one must realize that the nature of reality transcends all conceptual fabrications; it cannot be described by any conceptual terms. This is the aspect of the 'expanse.' If one recognizes this, then it is easy to realize the mahamudra because, as Milarepa sang:

'The view is original wisdom which is empty
Meditation clear light free of fixation
Conduct continual flow without attachment
Fruition is nakedness stripped of every stain.'"

From Acarya Dharmavajra Mr. Sridhar Rana:

"The meaning of Shunyata found in Sutra, Tantra Dzogchen, or Mahamudra is the same as the Prasangic emptiness of Chandrakirti, i. e. unfindability of any true existence or simply unfindability. Some writers of Dzogchen and Mahamudra or Tantra think that the emptiness of Nagarjuna is different from the emptiness found in these systems. But I would like to ask them whether their emptiness is findable or unfindable; whether or not the significance of emptiness in these systems is also not the fact of unfindability- no seeing as it could also be expressed. Also some Shentong scholars seem to imply that the Shentong system is talking about a different emptiness. They say Buddha nature is not empty of qualities therefore, Buddha nature is not merely empty, it also has qualities. First of all the whole statement is irrelevant. Qualities are not the question and Buddha nature being empty of quality or not is not the issue. The Buddha nature is empty of Svabhava (real existence). Because it is empty of real existence, it has qualities. As Arya Nagarjuna has said in his Mula Madhyamika Karika: 'All things are possible (including qualities) because they are empty', Therefore the whole Shentong/ Rangtong issue is superfluous. However, in Shentong, Buddha nature is also empty and emptiness means unfindable. In short, the unfindability of any true existence is the ultimate (skt. paramartha) in Buddhism, and is diametrically opposed to the concept of a truly existing thing called Brahman, the ultimate truth in Hinduism."

from Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche:

"The practice of tregcho is essential when it comes to realizing the originally pure nature of mind and phenomena. This nature is emptiness, the basic state of the Great Perfection. For this reason, a thorough grounding in the view of Madhyamaka can be a great help when receiving instructions on tregcho. With the correct view of emptiness, one can meditate effectively on original purity [ka dag]."

and a final warning from Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso:

"If we still believe in existence, if we have some type of belief in something substantial, if we think that there is something that truly exists, whatever it might be, then we are said to fall into the extreme called eternalism or permanence. And if we fall into that extreme, we will not realize the true nature of reality."

I shared this video and commented that it was a good description of total exertion.

Someone asked "What do you mean? Can you say more?" so I further elaborated -

Total exertion is direct realization of each manifest activity as arising with all conditions in seamless interdependency, where one feels that the whole universe is giving its best to make this moment possible.

I started having glimpses and insights into this about one or two years after my initial realisation of anatta (the direct realisation and penetration of the false dichotomy of subject-action-object through contemplating the verse in Bahiya Sutta) back in 2010. Anatta demolishes the background subject so that there is only the entirety of manifestation, and then you may penetrate further -- this entirety of manifestation is a seamless activity with no self-nature anywhere. When I experienced this I called it the "dharma body". To put it in laymen's term, it's like the universe as your body (but the word universe doesn't really capture the dynamic, interdependent and empty nature of it well).

Let me give you an example. Recently, I was sitting in meditation with my sister. Then as usual I entered into a blissful state. In that state, I saw that it's not me sitting here, like there is no I, no sister, no baby, etc, but it's really all these factors that is "meditating" plus much more... all the way back to the time of the Buddha! The living presence of Buddha and its sangha and the whole lineage is right here, same time and in communion. This breath is the universe. Suddenly some passages by Dogen made perfect sense*

Also, I just visited a Zen temple earlier today to meditate. Something that the novice monk said after the meditation struck me - chanting as "together action". He didn't elaborate what he meant by that but I intuited its meaning and purpose. To me what this means is this - when we practice as a community, we are enacting "together action" so that it is not you that is chanting but the chanting as a whole arising seamlessly that is chanting. But "together action" is in fact every moment! This breath is together action with all the conditions, the whole community and lineage. Carrying your meditation cushion and waiting for your turn to place that cushion back to its original place -- together action, not 'you' action.

Walking on the street, you look at the traffic and maneuver your way to reach your destination, the traffic and people walking are as much an inseparable part of the activity which you call 'your walking', each moment of walking is doing together action with all conditions. The same for driving a car. If you lose the "zone", if you get distracted and are not practicing "together action", watch out! Lives can be lost.

When you are walking in the park, the legs moving arise in tandem with the whole universe moving. The tree in front is manifesting the way it is in accord with all other conditions like the wind, light, the way I am moving and looking, etc. The tree has no tree-ness in itself or apart from me and I have no me-ness apart from the interplay that is manifesting the tree. When I see and interact with others, it's not I interacting with others as I and others are empty and dissolved in the interplay. Truly it is like a node of Indra reflecting all other nodes, each node is not other than all others nodes, there is neither self nor others.

'Self' and 'others' are learnt and is a result of the ignorance of our true nature. The structures of language or convention posits that when we encounter something it is always 'I' am touching/encountering a 'thing' as if there is a real subject interacting with an object. I am I and interacting or talking with a real other as discrete entities.

Although in actual experience it's just all conditions in total exertion but when spoken in language it appears separate. The structure of language is dualistic.. which is not a problem in itself when taken conventionally or as dependent designation but instead we wrongly reified them into things with its own existence in and of themselves.


The Buddhas and Ancestors manifest before our very eyes whenever we respectfully serve the Buddhas and Ancestors by bringing Them up through our presenting of Their story. They are not limited simply to some past, present, or future time, for They have undoubtedly gone beyond even ‘going beyond Buddha’.

Shobogenzo, Busso, Hubert Nearman

The robe of the right transmission of the buddhas and patriarchs is not arbitrarily transmitted from buddha to buddha. It is the robe transmitted from the former buddha to the later buddha, and from the ancient buddha to the contemporaneous buddha. In order to transform the Way, to transform the buddha, and to transform the past, present, and future, there is a right transmission from past to present, from present to future, from present to past, from past to past, from present to present, from future to future, from future to present, and from future to past. It is the right transmission only between a buddha and a buddha.

- Dogen
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Recent articles by Adyashanti expresses the insight of anatta and total exertion well.
What Is the World?
Study Course Q&A
Excerpted from "The Philosophy of Enlightenment"
Leslie writes: Several years ago, while on retreat with you, the insight suddenly hit that what I had thought of as "me" was just an illusory boundary. I laughed and cried as beliefs seemed to pop and dissolve like soap bubbles. Awareness or presence, well, just simply is.
A lot of seeking has fallen away, but the perception of unity or "Everything is one" still remains not really experienced. Any pointers or inquiries you would suggest for unity to move beyond intellectual understanding? I somehow intuit that it's another layer of "illusory boundary" that hasn't been seen through. Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to crack an unsolvable riddle!
Adyashanti: Here is the direct answer to your question: Simply contemplate the question “What is the world?” By contemplate, I mean to simply form the question in your mind. Don't think about it. Just present the question and relax your awareness as much as possible. That’s the “how.”
Experiencing unity is a bit like getting a joke. The "getting" of a joke is what causes the laughter. In a sense, the getting is the laughter. But we don't laugh because we have analyzed the joke and come to understand it; we laugh because the joke exposes something about ourselves. It removes the seriousness of the boundaries that we believe in and live by. It reveals that they are absurd and therefore funny. The same is true of the beliefs that cause us to experience boundaries. In a very real sense, beliefs are the creators of the experience of boundaries. They are absurd, even if at times useful, fictions, but only experienced as absurd when we see that they are absurd and worthy of a good laugh.
Every description, every name, every belief -- good or bad -- every concept, creates boundaries where there are in fact no boundaries at all. Even to say “I” instantly imposes a boundary upon what is actually a unified field of being. To say “I” instantly creates what is not “I.” “Big” is always in relationship to “small,” “up” in relationship to “down,” “good” in relationship to “bad,” “heads” of a coin in relationship to “tails.” Words imply that these opposites exist separately from one another, but they do not. They are simply different ways of looking at the same thing. You cannot have the crest of a wave without also having its trough; they are in reality one dynamic process.
As I have often said, each thing is its total environment. Remove the environment in which anything exists, and the thing will also not exist, which is to say that there is no such thing as a thing. To call something a thing, or to give it a name, is to conceptually impose boundaries upon it where they do not actually exist. A tree does not exist independently of its environment; it is its total environment. It takes a cosmos to produce a tree -- no cosmos, no tree. To say “tree” implies the entire cosmos. The same is true of you.
When we give any aspect of the cosmos a name like tree, or human being, or rain cloud, we forget that we are imposing boundaries where there actually are no boundaries. There are, of course, practical uses to doing such a thing, but practical usefulness does not mean that what we are naming actually exists independently from the dynamic process of life. Even to say that we are presence or awareness mistakenly implies that we are not what we are aware of. It is an intermediate level of realization, and is much more freeing than experiencing ourselves to be a separate someone, but is still defined and experienced as its own form of formless separateness. It is formless presence as opposed to the world of forms. But formlessness and form appear together, and beyond even together. They are ways of looking at one dynamic process. They are simply two different points of view from within that process.
When we drop whatever point of view we are entertaining, the illusory experience of separateness and having conceptually imposed boundaries disappears. Concepts, names, descriptions, beliefs, and opinions are nothing more than abstract ideas that have the power to create very real feelings and experiences within our bodies and alter our perception of the world to an extraordinary extent. So even though concepts are a part of daily functioning, and necessarily so to some degree (though not to the degree that we imagine), when we forget that the boundaries they impose upon our perception is an illusion, we take the conceptual game of naming and believing far too seriously and lose not only our sense of humor, but also any deep sense of freedom and love. We stop taking ourselves lightly and become like an unbendable blade of grass forever bracing itself against the slightest breeze.
In truth we are the All, as is everyone and everything else. There is simply nothing else to be. The All is not here to be understood as a noun; it is a process, and not even that. It is the process of existence and nonexistence as well. It cannot be known in the conventional sense, because all that is known is an idea, an object within consciousness. And by the way, ideas are it too. But it is not defined or limited by its ideas. The All that you are can only be lived, either unconsciously or consciously. It has a simple intuitive regard for itself, from within all of itself. If you want to find yourself, just open your eyes, and there you are. Or close your eyes, and there you are: something, nothing, someone, no one, everything, not-a-thing. Living, dying, smiling, crying -- one Self experienced as many selves. The entire cosmos awake to itself, and not even that, and all of that.
Quick now, where is the Buddha?
With Great Love,
The above Q&A is excerpted from an online study course with Adyashanti. Learn about his current course on the Study Course page.
© Adyashanti 2016

No Distinct Self Awakens
Study Course Q&A
Excerpted from “The Way of Liberating Insight”

A participant writes: I have been sensing into awareness, but I have not previously thought of it as the ground of my being; it hasn’t had any spiritual connotation for me. I have, however, experienced it as a quiet alertness, warm, comforting, peaceful and loving, and somehow both young and old. Whenever I relax into it, all the stress goes away and my mood becomes softer.
If there is a problem, it is that I know I am aware but not that I am awareness. I also know that I am not my thoughts or emotions, or even my body. But when I consider I am that which is aware, so far I haven’t seen what “that” is, even though you and others have offered teachings to help me recognize it. I need to see.
Adyashanti: I appreciate your inquiry into the nature of yourself and awareness. It is true that we can never see ourself as a thing, or as an object of awareness. And we certainly cannot ever see awareness; we cannot see our own seeing. But there is a mysterious and profound way in which our true nature recognizes itself -- not as something “out there” that we can see or relate to, but as the totality itself recognizing itself.
Such recognition is intuitive, spontaneous, and immediate. And it happens when we no longer try to recognize ourself as apart from anything, when we are no longer looking for ourself as some piece, or part, or subject of our experiences and our perceptions. For there is no part or distinct subject who awakens; rather, it is the whole or the totality that awakens.
And all along we are the totality. Even our sense of individuality and human uniqueness is itself the totality appearing in a unique way.
The above Q&A is excerpted from an online study course with Adyashanti. Learn about his most recent course on the Study Course page.
© Adyashanti 2015

Translated some excerpts from http://tradewhat.blogspot.sg/2013/12/blog-post_11.html - talk by Zen Master Hong Wen Liang on the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. I found this article recently and resonated well with it.
「苦樂 升沉」包括痛麻癢…這些都是,這表示不是特別有一個三昧,各位修了就可以進入,未修就不能進入;或是說有所成就的人才有寶鏡三昧,不是!不管是佛還是凡 夫,有情、無情、饅頭、鑽石、唱歌、走路…皆是,到底什麼意思?
"The rise and fall of suffering and joy" including pain, numbness and itch... these are all it, this means it is not that there is a special samadhi, in which everybody can practice to enter, or that those who have not practiced are unable to enter it. Nor is it the case that only someone accomplished is able to obtain the jewel mirror samadhi, not so! It does not matter if one is a Buddha or a sentient being, sentient or insentient, steam bun, diamond, singing, walking... all is it, what does this mean?
With accurate vision, the entire universe is a piece of Jewel Mirror Samadhi. Because it is one piece, there is no perceiver nor perceived.
If you interpret that as a mirror, then you'll enter straight into hell.
你把他當作一面鏡子 解釋,是解釋哦,一解釋的話,你就把他當作是對像去解說,那當然奇怪了,一面鏡子照的當然是影子,這樣分開來的話就完全錯了。
If you explain it as a mirror, you'll be treating it as an object, that would of course be odd. What a mirror reflects would of course be a reflection, it would be erroneous to delineate/separate in this way.
「入地獄如矢」就是馬上錯掉 了,不可以把他當作這樣去解釋。『不見言』是沒有聽說過嗎?『山河不在鏡中見,山河草木即鏡』,你聽到「全宇宙是一枚寶鏡三昧」,就把三昧當作是一副鏡 子,這樣就很容易錯掉了。所以他強調「山河草木不在鏡中見,山河草木就是鏡子」。千萬不要把你所看的、所覺受的當作是鏡中的影子,不可以這樣講,山河大地 本身都是鏡子,不是鏡中的影子。
"Entering straight into hell" means instantly falling into error, we cannot explain it that way. Haven't you heard of it? "Mountains and rivers are not seen within a mirror, mountains and rivers are themselves the mirror." When you heard "the whole universe is a piece of Jewel Mirror Samadhi", and you treat that as a mirror, it is very easy to err. Therefore he emphasizes, "mountains and rivers are not within a mirror, mountains, rivers, grasses and wood are the mirror." Never treat what you saw and sensed as being reflections of a mirror, we cannot explain it that way. Mountains, rivers, and the great earth are themselves the mirror, not the reflections of a mirror.
所以各位看到的、聽到的,你千萬不要以為是大圓鏡智所現,有一面法界法性的鏡子所現 的,隨你的因緣果報不同而現出的影子,這樣解說就完全錯掉了。看到、聽到、摸到、想到的通通都是鏡子,包括你自己,整個都是鏡子!這點不要誤會了。
Therefore, do not think that whatever you see and hear are the manifestations of the Great Mirror Wisdom, as if there is a universal mirror that is reflecting the reflections according to your causes and conditions/karma, such explanations are false. Whatever you see, hear, sense, think are entirely the mirror, including yourself - in their entirety they are all the mirror. Do not be mistaken on this point.
『能見所見雙泯,本應解釋為相容,恐被誤解為二元之說』。有一個能見的,有一個所見 的,有你和被你看見的山,兩個東西溶解在一起,很容易被誤解為二元,本來是兩個東西,後來變成是一個東西,融入了,不是這樣子。『故曰山隱,此為隱之道 理』,所謂「山隱」,眼睛對到山的時候,眼睛變成山,眼和山變成一個東西,能見所見沒有了。「山」是「我見」,你說「山」即是「我見」加進去了,思維一 動,我見有了,山和你就分開了。現在知道能見所見相容的關係,能見所見都是一張寶境的變化而已。
"Perceiver and perceived are both extinguished, that ought to be explained as interwoven, but I'm afraid it might be misunderstood in terms of a dualistic view." There is a perceiver, and something perceived, there is you and the mountain seen by you, the two things melt into one, this is easily mistaken as subject-object duality - originally there are two things, then later they fused into one thing. It is not like that. "What is known as mountain concealment, is to be regarded as the principle of concealment" - what is known as "mountain-concealment", when the eyes face the mountain, eyes become mountain, eyes and mountain become one thing, perceiver and perceived vanishes. "Mountain" is "self-view", when you say "mountain", the "self-view" is thereby inserted. Once conceptual proliferation begins, self-view emerges, then the mountain and you have separated. When you understood the interwoven relationship between perceiver and perceived, perceiver and perceived are merely the transformations of a Jewel Mirror.
The most important point is to always "sincerely and honestly experience fusing with conditions and thereby forgetting self", by continuously not deviating from this, that would be the practice after realization.
並不 是澈悟後就絕對不會跑掉、偏離,因此隨隨便變都可以,不是這樣,處處時時「與緣合一而忘己」都不偏離就對了。
It is not the case that after realization one will absolutely not be lost or deviate, and therefore we can let our guards down. That is not the case. Instead, at anywhere and at any time, never deviating from "being one with conditions and thereby forgetting self" is the correct (way).
弄清楚自己就是寶鏡,就是悟了,悟後還要修行 嗎?「修行沒有終止」,這就是曹洞宗最難使人瞭解的地方,使得學人轉學跑到臨濟宗或是淨土宗那裡去。「悟沒有開始,修行沒有終了」一聽就受不了!修行沒有 終止?那我要悟作什麼?我以為悟了就沒有事了,還要一直修行下去?悟沒有開始?那我就不要悟了,本來就是悟嘛。一下子就搞糊塗了,用思想去想佛講的正法, 佛傳的真正的東西,要命呀!
Being clear of oneself as the jewel mirror is already realization, why should there be practice after realization? "There is no end to practice", this is Soto Zen's hardest point to understand. It has led many learners to leave the school for the Rinzai Zen or Pure Land sect. Once a person hears "there is no beginning to realization, there is no end to practice", they cannot endure such a statement. Practice is without end? Then what is the point of realization? I thought after realization there is nothing else, but practice has to go on? Realization has no beginning? Then I shouldn't have gotten realization, since realization always already is. All of a sudden one gets utterly confused. Using one's conceptual thinking to conceptualize the Buddha's teachings - the real thing transmitted by the Buddha, very dreadful!
When dying, fearlessly die, never giving rise to the thought of (desire for) life-extension, that is liberation, peace and joy. It is also explained as "not experiencing", for there is no experiencer in the experience. How is this so? Sweet melons are sweet to the base, while even the roots are bitter in the bitter melon.
He explains "being one with conditions" in another way, "When dying, fearlessly die, never giving rise to the thought of (desire for) life-extension, that is liberation, peace and joy". At the time of death, fearlessly die, at this moment there is never a thought for life extension, a desire to live one more day, or two more days, otherwise there would be suffering. That is being one with conditions, that is liberation, peace and joy.
還有一個三昧翻譯成「不受」,因為沒有受與受者,寶鏡嘛!能受所受沒有的關係,所以 叫不受。三昧正受有時翻譯成不受,何以如此?『甜瓜徹蒂甜,苦瓜連根苦』,這上頭有沒有道理?苦瓜吃下去的時候,根也苦,葉子也苦;甜瓜整個都是甜,哪有 這裡甜,那裡不甜?或是這裡甜多一點,那裡甜少一點?有這事嗎?這是什麼意思?沒有能所的意思。本來沒有能所,為什麼?因為都是一枚寶鏡。
There is one more translation of "samadhi" as "not experiencing", because there is neither the experienced and the experiencer, as (it is just) a Jewel Mirror! Due to the absence of an experiencer and the experienced, therefore it is called "no experience". The true experience of samadhi is sometimes translated as the absence of experience, how is this so? "Sweet melons are sweet to the base, while even the roots are bitter in the bitter melon." Is this reasonable? When you are eating a bitter gourd, the roots are bitter, the foliage are also bitter. The sweet melons are entirely sweet, how can there be sweetness at this part but not at the other parts? How can it be sweeter at this point but a little less sweet at another point? What does this mean? There is no subject nor object. There never was a subject nor an object, why? Because it is just a single Jewel Mirror.
大家剛才聽到鐘響了,下課了,平常我們都是「我自己聽到鐘響」,有沒有分開來?有沒 有一枚寶鏡?不是嘛!處處都是分開來。我是我,鐘響是鐘響,這是不回互。因為徹底的不回互,所以是回互。
Everyone just heard the bell ringing, class has ended. Normally we are in the position of "I myself have heard the bell ringing", is there separation here? Or is there only a single jewel mirror? That is not the case! Always in a state of separation. I am I, bell ringing is bell ringing. ...
聲音在我這裡響,還是在那邊響?我這邊沒有響,聽 不見;如果只有我這邊響,那就不要鐘也可以響,我想要響就響就好了,不行!一定要鐘動才行,大家動起來才有,有緣才有。
Is the sound reverberating over here, or is it reveberating from over there? If there is no reveberation at my location, then it would not be heard. But if it is only reverberating at my location, then there would not have been a need for a bell for the sound to be. If I only wanted the reveberation itself, it wouldn't work! There needs to be the vibrating bell, along with all the conditions working/moving together. Only with those conditions can it manifest.
比方講,我在這裏照鏡子,鏡子上有沒有我的影子?有啊!如果沒有我,鏡子上有沒有顯 出我的影子?沒有!
As an example, I am using the mirror here, does the mirror contain my reflection? Yes! If I were not around, would the mirror display my reflection? No!
一定要有鏡子,也要有我。也許有人說拿鏡子的人把這個影子照出來的,那叫拿鏡子的人走開,鏡子擺在那裡就好了,行嗎?不是拿鏡子的人把 影子照出來的,那麼是虛空把影子照出來嗎?那影子是誰照的?不是鏡子照,也不是中間的虛空照,也不是拿鏡子的人照,但是,沒有我不行,沒有鏡子也不行,沒 有空間也不行。
There needs to be a mirror, and there also needs to be me. Perhaps some people may say that the person who carries the mirror is causing the reflection to appear on the mirror. In that case if you ask the person to go away and just let the mirror stand there by itself, would it work? Since it is not the person carrying the mirror that is causing the reflection, could it be the empty space that is causing the reflection to appear? In that case who is reflecting the reflection? Not the mirror, not the empty space in between, not the person carrying the mirror. And yet, it wouldn't work without me, it wouldn't work without the mirror, it wouldn't work without empty space.
像這樣用頭腦去 理解的話是這樣子,那麼實際的情況還是希望大家多多盤腿,盤腿放鬆六根,六根讓它放鬆,就是回到自然的規律。
This is the way of using one's brain to understand and talk about it. Then, in actual situations, I wish everybody still sits often in the lotus position, sitting in the lotus posture and relaxing all six senses, letting the six senses relax, that is to return to the natural law.
「哦!這是自然的規律…」,你不要又加進了自 己的意見了。擺在那裡,思想動來動去也不是你動的,也不是你趕走它,你不趕它,它也走掉啊。念頭動的時候,你不要再加一個「我在想」就好了嘛!飯田禪師整 個序言講了半天就是一個重點:整個都是一個寶鏡三昧在顯,上頭沒有你、我、她,實際的生活怎麼相應?就是和你所看到、所聽到、所接觸到的情景、情況合一, 「與緣合一」這是實際生活用功很好的方法。
"Oh! This is the natural law..." You should not insert your own views/opinions. Just assume your position there. If thoughts move they are not moved by you, neither is it chased away by you. Even if you do not chase them away, they will go away. When thoughts move, it will suffice if you do not add "I am the one thinking"! Zen Master Lida's whole lengthy preface is only about one important point: the entirety is the manifestation of a jewel mirror samadhi, in it there is no you, me, her. How do we actualize this in daily living? That is to be one with all scenes and situations that you see, hear, sense and encounter, "being one with conditions" is the best and most realistic/practical method to put your effort in daily living.