Do we tidy our mind or our environment?
Is inside or outside more important? Some say that they can’t meditate because of a large noisy family in the house. Perhaps, they think, it will be better for them to leave the house and family, and to meditate in solitude.
I tell them that when you live in the home you are the master. It is easy to do meditation in your home. It is easy to tidy your environment. If you can tidy your environment you can tidy your mind. First you must organise your lifestyle for meditation. A simple life is good for meditation. Some like to read but not to meditate. They find a superficial answer and then they are happy, but they haven’t uncovered all.
Some think that Buddha found nothing when he awakened. Some think that the lifestyles of the rich are comfortable and happy and that they don’t need to investigate their life. Some people don’t believe in impermanence, seeing that the sun rises everyday. However, we only have limited time, and a limited life. Buddha spoke about unhappiness, death, the six realms and hell to show us the need to investigate and to be active. All of the awakened ones tell people that time passes very quickly. A happy life passes very quickly.
The knowledge mind is pure experience. Who or what is a language being? We are all wisdom beings. What is our true mind? What is really natural? We do not have an adequate range of vocabulary to describe reality. After awakening what do you gain? Buddha said don’t wait until you get old. There is no energy and the brain is not as active.
In any kind of job you need to work hard and to concentrate. Knowledge can’t be trusted by the mind. People read books and sutras. They read books by masters. These are all changeable. Why do we still suffer? Why can’t we awaken? The reason is that the mind is changeable and we have new data coming in from the outside, and so the mind can not be peaceful.
Why did Buddha say he gained nothing?
Knowledge is everywhere. Wisdom humans are everywhere. We cannot use vocabulary to describe emptiness. Emptiness is colourful. It has space and time, and it has no space and time. When we realise emptiness we have left behind the traces of words and language and the stains of attachment. As soon as you say “I have attained emptiness” you are attached and this is not emptiness. Why did the sutras say emptiness or no wisdom, no gain, no eyes, no ears, no tongue, no nose, no body, no consciousness, no mind? Why does the sutra say this? What is the Buddha door, or zero door?
Many people are unhappy. It is necessary to reduce selfishness and egoism. We must reduce our poisons if we want peace. Perhaps we can only find a pure world in our dreams. People mistake phenomena as being permanent, for example, the sunrise, and sunset. The truth is, however, that impermanence is all pervading. It can be seen in death, through accidents, earthquakes, floods, war, and disease. Some students want to wait until retirement before they investigate the mind, or until they are rich enough, but don’t let age, or a desire for money, kill your fresh mind. I prefer a fresh minded student.
What is a fresh mind?
We can use Zen for contemplation and observation. This zero door is like a big window in your mind. The vocabulary will discover itself: mirror to mirror, observer to observer. The second door or gate will become one door. Who is this grand thief who steals our mind from time to time? We need a torch to find the mind. However, this torch is not reality. Zero mind is the big torch. This torch is our observation of the activity of the mind. What does this mind steal? This knowledge mind won’t believe that this is permanent. Last year some believed in God, and this year they believe in gold. Who takes this torch to watch the police? One day the police will know that they are the thief, and that the thief is ‘you.’
How then to awaken and attain enlightenment? Does enlightenment choose you or do you choose enlightenment? This is not easy to learn from books.