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December 29, 2013


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If there's something we can learn from our present age it is that one flash neither gives freedom, morality, or any guarantee that further light comes in. Some people just enjoy it and the sense of status it gives them in the Zen community. That's "Maya" jumping in to make use of that bit of light! Then, as Om said, it withers.

One well-known master said "When the awakening happened, my teacher said 'Don't let this become a memory of the past.' Very wise advice."

I've come to see koans as teaching devices that were used for specific purposes at specific times for specific persons. In other words, they were another kind of "expedient means." Yet students use them for the refinement of enlightenment to this day...in a different context and time.

That's wonderfully _hinduistic_ of your consciousness channels to be so far along in practice, methexis.

Chinul writes about "tastelessness" - if we have a "taste" means we ask "what did Joshu have in mind when he said mu?" -

Tasteless investigation is instead just bringing up "oak tree in the garden" as it is. This is the "live word"

The "dead word" is the repository of meaning and patterns of thought which include philosophy and Buddhist philosophies (even the highest such as Tiantai and Huayan)

Even if some of us are smart enough to intellectually grasp Tiantai or Huayan we remain as unenlightened as before because we only grasped it with the discriminating consciousness

So meaning, explanation, philosophy, patterns of thinking (dead words) serve to further trap the practitioner who is now in deeper shit than before he even hear about Buddhism!

The antidote to this sickness is the tasteless hua t'ou. How do we know "it's working"?

when one holds the hua t'ou there is a strong feeling of Qi energy in the dan tien around the navel or sometimes in the head (which has to be dropped down to the navel area)

this is a feeling of strong energy it's not something mental.

It's nothing supernatural, I rationalize it like this: when thoughts are formed, they are as if crystallized mental-energy, or mental-energy in a solid state. Say, like ice

the hua t'ou being tasteless doesn't allow the mind to grasp meaning using habitual conditioning so it works like heat that dissolves the solid thoughts - the non-grasping and the dissolved solid thoughts are then felt like energy, or a clear light form of bliss that moves around the body

this very special sensation is related to the "doubt-sensation" and is the sine qua non of Zen practice! without it there's no Zen practice!

when Ummon composes a "solid" - a thought, such as "oak trree in the garden" - from that ocean of sheer potentiality, all that in a flash, only one with the awakened eye can see what's really going on -

some people today esp. on Reddit thought that "dried shit stick" is a statement of Atheism! As if: "Who cares about Buddha!" as if these so called masters were forming some sort of anti-Buddhist movement. This is the pinnacle of idiocy, even for Reddit.

OK excuse my logorrhea above but perhaps these pointers from a beginner to other beginners can be useful for practice

Keep practicing people! And keep studying. You don't need masters instead look into the true master of the hua t'ou, the master of hearing the Dharma.

One flash is a daisy plucked from a field of unseen daisies. If your karma is good you enjoy the beauty and then drop the daisy.

If your karma is bad you cling onto this daisy even as it withers and dies. Over time the daisy becomes a shrivelled ugly and unnatural thing; and the grasping hand locks into a fist. Unable to let go the hand loses its function and the eyes lock onto the hand and the withering daisy.

If there is a goal it is to fully see that you are already the field in which the daisies grow. To see this is to see then what if anything needs to happen to let the daisies grow naturally and unpicked. The Hsin Hsin Ming explains this.

Only the minority who run around waving daises are seen.

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