We must carry ourselves and keep responsibility for ourselves. If the student had practiced Zen perhaps he would have awakened.
We have to break the egg shell of our ignorance first. Zen teaching doesn’t offer answers to questions. An answer leads to rigidity, through forming and becoming attached to our opinions, and by believing that we are always right. When an answer is given people say, ‘Oh yes! That’s it!’ People like to cling to or grasp at language.
Zen practitioners always say be free of attachment to speech, and be free of attachment to mind and its conditioning. Concrete or rigidly minded people appear to be very clever people, because their language and logic is very good. They speak very articulately, but a rigid mind is a stale mind. Scientists usually have a fresh, investigative mind. We need to open our minds and observe what is happening. It is important to be unattached to past experiences, and to not reach conclusions regarding your investigation too quickly. Perhaps your answer is wrong.
A key may be in our pocket but we don’t know that it is there. Through cultivation, meditation and practice we discover this key, which is the wisdom software of human language.
What is spiritual?
‘Spiritual’ is a dangerous word. Is it a high quality lifestyle? Is it a life without greed, or stupidity? Is it a religious life? Is the spirit your soul? What is the soul? What is a spiritual life? Do sheep or cats need spirituality?
We have to change greed, hatred and stupidity to insight, Samadhi and wisdom. If we put a stone on weeds the weeds will still grow once we remove the stone. When we leave a stone on top of weeds the weeds are still growing underneath the stone. When spring comes the weeds will grow again. If we cut the weeds they will grow again.
We have to change the desire, aversion and ignorance that are a part of human nature in such a way that this transformation flows, like a river to the sea. Don’t create pressure for oneself when practicing Zen. Some practitioners go in the wrong direction and only accumulate a peaceful outlook for themselves, but a peaceful mind can be disturbed by unwelcome karma which comes from outside of ourselves. It is easy to lose our peaceful mind. This kind of mind depends on our situation and we react by becoming happy or unhappy. This mind is like putting a stone on top of a weed. This creates pressure. We have to reach the root of the weed.
What is a really peaceful mind?
If we are awakened we may be angry but still have a peaceful mind. Therefore we must investigate real peace. If we know reality we know peace. If we have peace and unwelcome states come we remain peaceful. A truly peaceful mind is not easy to attain.
A man said, “Look! The fish is very happy there, swimming in the sunlit water.” Chuang Tzu replied, “How do you know? You are not a fish!”
We have to sweep out all dharma.
Dharma is language. The mind is walking language. Dharma is created by the mind. Why is dharma created by the mind? Dharma cannot be created without human beings. No people; no dharma. No human language; no dharma. Therefore no mind; no dharma. Like the finger pointing to the moon, dharma is changeable. Why is the end of dharma necessary? Through understanding the reality of all dharma we understand that dharma is the mark of language; we have to leave behind the mark of written words. We have to leave behind the mark of the mind and its conditioning, because mind comes from external language, and the mind is constructed through the senses.
What is mind at the moment?
Without the external language, what is in your mind at the moment? Buddha said that past experience cannot be obtained and future experience cannot be obtained. Time: when we say ‘now’ it is already gone. Time moves very fast. Take away the past, present, and future thoughts, and what is in your mind? The present thought very quickly becomes a past thought and future thoughts are very quickly on the way.
If we say something is truly mind are they right or wrong?
If people don’t know they are usually angry or stressed. Or if we don’t know we smile. How do we achieve this ineffable state when we are attracted to acquiring knowledge? Truly the unknown is very important. If you truly, deeply don’t know you will know everything. You are cleansing your language world, your language marks. Why do we have to leave behind the mark of speech, written words, the mark of the mind and its conditions? Why must we leave no mark of self, others, of human beings?
Who is here, cultivating the way? Who is here, practicing the dharma?
Why do we need to pose as if our minds are as pure as a baby’s?
If we pose as if we were a baby, who is without language, we may become rigid, which is dangerous. ‘You’ is your weapon, as well as your bridge. If you desire a pure mind you are posing. This is poisonous. Desire, aversion, and ignorance are the three poisons. Perhaps we are looking for Samadhi, wisdom and insight. If we are looking for Samadhi Samadhi becomes poison. We are already wise. Why are we looking for wisdom? Is a peaceful mind Samadhi? What is real Samadhi?
In daily practice ask: Who is eating? Who is walking?
The accumulation of merit is the spiritual path. OQ wisdom is a good key with which to open the dharma door. All language is ego, yet Language is very important. Who is ‘I’? Who is ‘you’? Every word is ‘I’, the ‘I’ of the self, and of attachment. ‘I’ is the cause of our suffering.
OQ wisdom is a new pathway for the mind’s work, and a new way of opening the dharma door. If we have the key to this door it is a powerful key, a key to awakening. First, we must meet ourselves, which is an external self and an egoistic mind. All self and all answers come from past language and past knowledge. We use this language to make decisions. This is ‘I’. This is a difficult stage of investigation. If we reach the next stage we discover this wisdom system or software of language, and we can open the dharma door. We still have an ego but it is an emptier ego. We no longer need to be happy or unhappy, to wake up or not wake up. Finally, the great power that comes is true emptiness.
What kind of practice to do?
We have to do proper dharma, with proper concentration, proper Samadhi. Samadhi, concentration, and meditation may go wrong. Some people become attached to this special power but this is not the correct use of power. It must naturally enter and naturally leave.
Observe your mind and you become an observer. Sometimes you have to give up and sometimes you have to concentrate. Don’t have the strings of the bow too tight. We must use the mind in balanced way: the middle way. Clinging to the energy of meditation is very dangerous. Treat it like a small gift.
How to become liberated? Are we free of mind at the moment? This is a lengthy work. If we want liberation we have to practice. We have to go within ourselves.
Samadhi is everywhere: in drinking a cup of tea, in talking. Always there is Samadhi. If we gain the key we have Samadhi which is a peaceful, enlightened mind, or we may achieve nirvana or realize true emptiness. All is Samadhi: a peaceful mind.
When we awaken we are no longer in the six realms.