Monday, November 29, 2004

How to be enlightened:

I want to share this excerpt.

From the Zen Teaching of Huang Po, the Wan Ling Record #26:

Were you now to practice keeping your minds motionless at all times,
whether walking, standing, sitting or lying; concentrating entirely
upon the goal of no thought-creation, no duality, no reliance on
others and no attachments; just allowing all things to take their
course the whole day long, as though you were too ill to bother;
unknown to the world; innocent of any urge to be known or unknown to
others; with your minds like blocks of stone that mend no holes—then
all the Dharmas (laws of existence or universal laws) would
penetrate your understanding through and through. In a little while
you would find yourselves firmly unattached. Thus, for the first
time in your lives, you would discover your reactions to phenomena
decreasing and, ultimately, you would pass beyond the Triple World;
and people would say that a Buddha had appeared in the world. Pure
and passionless knowledge implies putting an end to the ceaseless
flow of thoughts and images, for in that way you stop creating the
karma that leads to rebirth—whether as gods or men or as sufferers
in hell.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Hsi Yun, of Huang Po Mountain: Doctrine of One Mind:

"All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearence. It does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of new or old. It is neither long nor short, big nor small, for it transcends all limits, measures, names, traces and comparisons.

It is that which you see before you - begin to reason about it and you at once fall into error. It is like the boundless void which cannot be fathomed or measured."

"All you need to remember are the following injunctions:

First, learn how to be entirely enreceptive to sensations arising from external forms, thereby purging your bodies of receptivity to externals.

Second, learn not to pay attention to any distinctions between this and that, arising from your sensations, thereby purging your bodies of useless distinctions between one phenomenon and another.

Third, take great care to avoid discrimination in terms of pleasant and unpleasant sensations, thereby purging your bodies of vain discriminations.

Fourth, avoid pondering things in your mind, thereby purging your bodies of discriminatory cognition."

These teachings are ALL based around negations. In only you will negate enough, they seem to say, grace will occur.

In fact, the four instructions are among Huang Po's most positive injunctions. Step one and two are learning practices. Step three is an observation practice, and step four is a metacognitive practice.

The question I asked the Group is: how does one know by subjective experience that one is enlightened?

As Janet puts it, she is

"questioning my own awareness and must consider other

I do feel reluctant to respond here, however, I know
that is how to learn."

That is how I feel. Maybe it is useful to assume that, "before enlightenment, everything one can know is only half true".

Incidentally, Huang Po recommends the work of attaining enlightenment to shovelling manure, just something you do and do and do, without really thinking about it. Hawkins recommends in a similar vein that contemplation become part of daily life. This reassures me that my mental interest in enlightenment will one day turn towards the more useful work of shovelling perceptual poo.
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