Zen is just a bridge. We don’t need to describe a lot of Zen or Chan. There has been too much talk and too many books published about Zen or Chan. Many students or monks are attached to the old language. They spend a lot of time learning the story, the language. This language is a tool, although it is an old tool, like an old software program. We have to refresh the program with new software, and attain true enlightenment. How do we do this? How do we practice? The OQ wisdom path is a new tool, a proper dharma. The mind’s work is to trust in the teacher, and with the master’s blessings, to practice.
The stages of awakening
When we go through the karma door we experience many small states of awakening: great happiness, compassion, high spirituality and spiritual power, a unification of self, a state of grace. We feel better than before, but this is a minor attainment.
Then we experience the medium state of awakening which is recognizable as: Illumination; egoless ness or no sense of self; openness; calm abiding; and no idle thoughts. We find our own natural state, we are unaffected by events, and we are equanimous. This is the Samadhi state. When the mind is in samadhi there are no clouds in the sky. This is a spiritual state which is good. However, we have to sweep out all dharma, and leave all marks of attachment behind. Do not become attached or averse to good or bad meditation states. People become attached to good meditation states but they are like dreams. Good and bad dreams pass.
Two monks came to a river where a beautiful young woman asked the old monk to help her and carry her across. Breaking his vows he carried the young woman across the river and then he put her down on the other side. After a few miles the young monk asked him “why did you break your vows and carry that woman?’ The old monk replied “I put her down a long time ago. Why are you still carrying her?” We have to put everything down, because it all comes from the software program.
Next we leave behind the mark of the mind. We reach zero. There is no mark of self, of other living beings. We leave behind the marks of the mind and its conditioning, speech, and the written word. There is no trace of self and others. When we find our Bhuddha nature, our wisdom software, we have OQ wisdom. We have the key. We have broken the karma door. There is no fear of egoless ness.
After awakening comes confirmation or certainty. Your mind is like a diamond and no one can destroy it. After awakening your master will come and certify your experience. The key to awakening is a universal key and it is all powerful. This single key can open the door. One no longer needs to ask questions of monks or to read sutras to know who he/she is or where he or she has come from. In fact, there is neither coming nor going. In the end, monks or masters cannot cause you to doubt yourself, or draw you into sectarian conflict. You know that your wisdom software is similar to the Buddha’s. You have left the six realms of samsara. You are liberated, enlightened. There is no attachment, no delusion, and no karma. There is ultimate emptiness. This is the great reality. This is the great awakening.
We also have to leave all traces of samadhi. People who think that they have Samadhi still have the trace of the mind. Meaning is like drawing a picture of a cake, which we can’t eat. Like all of the vocabulary to describe the Buddha nature and Buddha’s teachings, it is history. Language is like a snake with many feet which we must tidy and sweep out. Meaning is like a bridge. We don’t have to carry this bridge once we have crossed it. The OQ wisdom path has different stages so you know what you are going to do in the future regarding meditation. All of this is good but don’t become attached: keep going.
Ultimate space is powerful. It is everything. It is freedom, absolute freedom. Once we have this key we are like a bodhisattva. We are like a clear, full moon traveling in ultimate space.
The karma door: the troubled, confused, ignorant, regretful, suffering, mind is lost and unhappy. You don’t know who you are or where you are going. This door is big dream, a big vehicle. Human beings are inside the karma door. We are wise beings. We already have this system inside of us.
An open mind is a revolutionary mind.
It is a mind which likes to investigate. It asks: what is true happiness? What is the true nature of our ego? What is true permanence? Is the end simply unhappiness and defilements of the mind? Are we looking for a beautiful dream? A pure realm? Permanence is impermanence. We need to examine permanence to realize impermanence. What is happiness? It is really unhappiness?
It is better to investigate Zen earlier rather than later. People become old or they have health problems or problems of the mind, or they are hungry or they are in pain. We need a fresh mind and a lot of energy to investigate Zen. Buddha was 30 years old when he awakened. People need experience to know who this ‘I’ is. We begin with our data to find our system. We start from zero mind to investigate our mind. We reach the point of uncovering our own wisdom software. We need a strong awakening experience. We have to almost shutdown our system, which can be very dangerous. If you have deep faith or trust in this proper dharma and you are without doubt or fear, you may be sure that you have already practiced authentic dharma in previous lives. This pure practice will be followed by excellent and experienced dharma teachers appearing.
What are previous lives?
Perhaps past lives are present, or past, or perhaps they are happening now but in a different dimension or space. For ease of understanding Buddha spoke of past lives because our thinking is usually linear, and we view time as past, present, or future. However, reality is different and more complex. We have many internal layers. There is much space inside and many different experiences of time. Perhaps there are no previous lives. Perhaps this life is a previous life. Maybe this is karma. We use our different senses in different ways. For example, a cat has much more acute hearing than a human being. But what is it that makes us different from animals? Some people investigate Chan and some people need religion. Why do we make these different choices?
The old vocabulary is attached to an old society. Religious people may not agree on the meaning of words. Therefore it is necessary to remove the old religious vocabulary and to simplify it and make it more pure so that people can understand it more easily. All of the sutras are adaptations according to their time and place, and according to students’ capacity. We have to investigate attachment so that after deep meditation we are empowered to renew ourselves. We need to conduct our lives without limitation and hindrance. We need to refresh our web pages. Our software is unlimited: there is no birth and no death. Our data make us individual but our system is the same. We all have our individual life experiences on this earth but we all share the same place.