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December 20, 2012


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Hmmm...an "urban hermit" was it? Yes, I read--extremely carefully, at the time you posted it--"Seeing True Mind in a Comic Book Sky" and also the account of your second, much deeper opening. Whether part of the Zen herd or not, yes, the Sutras need to make, as you say, sense like the pieces of a puzzle if the transmission is a true one and not just an intellectual or emotional "high" or (god forbid) a "spiritual experience" that does nothing but shipwreck us on the rocks of delusion.

Recently someone came into our Zen community, and as soon as I met him it was BAM! That's the one. He's a little guy, and his English isn't that great, but when you sit down and are dead honest with him, he pulls back the veil a bit and you see that he's being honest with you 100%. That's all I really crave--just that kind of honesty to counter all the b.s. we trip over every day.


I did a blog about my first awakening to pure Mind. It's, One-pointedness of the comic book sky. As for people's experiences I have a problem with them if the experience can't unlock such profound Sutras as the Lankavatara. Oh, and by the way, my first encounter with pure Mind was followed a fews years later with a most extraordinary experience (I go over this in one of my Q&As). Sometimes you have to leave the Zen herd - become an urban hermit/rishi (P., ishi).

I'm catching up on some of your Dec. entries and I find myself tripping over the same question. Yes, I can recognize wrong paths, or fruitless paths, or attachments. That much I'm strong on. I can even recognize "spiritual temptations" and very subtle tricks of the ego and intellect. I can also (now) distinguish an authentic from and inauthentic voice, so I don't have to go down rabbit holes with the wrong teachers. The question is this: IF zazen isn't "the way" and IF the personal & private deep-psycho analytical approach isn't the way, and if faith isn't the way...then how does anyone see the Pure White Ox? I've run across so many people who have broken through in their first sesshin, or just spontaneously, with no religious background or conscious intention at all that I'm beginning to believe it's just ripening karma: you're born. It's time. It happens. That's all. Am I wrong about this? Or if I'm right, then why is everyone busting their asses trying to pass the first barrier?

It's very embarrassing to hear myself referred to over and over--by people in the Zen community--as a "puppet" "zombie" or "sleeper" because I haven't thrown my TV and literary novels out the window and still enjoy food instead of stoically bolting down my "medicine." Okay, I get it guys: I'm a stupid pile of crap. Oh, and every single direction I've gone is the wrong one. Now, how about one right direction? In plain English. In your own words. I don't want a quote from Krishnamurti or Nisargadatta or Rumi. That's just too frickin' easy. I could do that myself. I really don't care who answers this question--Zenmar or one of the commenters, because trust me: If you're just blowing it out your ear I WILL know.


On an ironic note, modern Buddhists spend their time bashing substance in Buddhism when, precisely, this is what the realization of pure Mind is about.

We're the only ones who can attest to the veracity of our own internal integrity regarding the Dharma. Stream-entry is primary - without it, I don't know how you gauge the authenticity of a teacher. I stumbled backwards into a kensho before I even knew what Zen was and hence I feel quite lucky. Having a glimpse of Mind puts you on the path irreversibly. Karma and rebirth are verified firsthand (however fuzzily) and this makes it easier to resist the 'Zen as therapy' or 'meditation fetishism' of modern Zen. It also makes reductions to scientific materialism appear bizarrely off-track. Buddhism as scientific materialism or the 'systems view' of dependent origination that was popularized by TNH - that is the mistaken or at least very incomplete view that dependent origination refers somehow to the endless cascade of sensory objects - is directly contrary to a genuine awakening (in my opinion and experience).

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