We cannot divorce practice from our lifestyle, because the material for practice comes from our life. When the opportunity arrives, prepare to meditate and to investigate Zen.
Why do people choose to investigate Zen?
There are many schools of Chinese Buddhism. The Tang and Han dynasties were great, rich and powerful. People who liked to become independent practitioners liked to doubt and to investigate because society was prosperous and liberal. Like scientists they wished to investigate.
The Zen School is scientific, leading to the investigation of mind, just as Buddha did under the bodhi tree. What Buddha did was revolutionary. He said that human beings have the same Buddha nature, and because we are ignorant and attached we lose this nature. Today we have enough information, and enough food. Today we need a new investigation of Zen, and a totally different practice.
How do we find the master and the way to practice?
People choose what they like; this choice depends on the student and what kind of level they are at. We have to upgrade our level. If our level is high we can recognize a good teacher and what is a good Buddha way. So it depends on our level, on luck, the accumulation of merit, awareness, on wisdom acquired in previous lives, and on our affinity with the teachings.
How do we upgrade our level?
We can increase meditation, and reduce our pressures. Through meditation fresh air can come to our minds, so that they will be highly spiritual. Our minds receive a lot of pressure from society, which may make us lose our spirituality. During long meditation our mind will be fresher and upgraded, so we will know how to follow the way of the Buddha. This is the spiritual path.
Our bodies are like organic robots, because we are pre-programmed by our DNA. Another meaning of the software inside is spirituality. Upgrade the software and more spirituality will come. All the activity of the mind, all evaluation, and all knowledge comes from society, and our mind cheats itself easily, because we can’t avoid our mind unless we investigate Zen.
Once we go through the first stage and find our data or language website, we find that each site or piece of data is ‘I,’ and it is changeable. When we find out that this data website is ‘I,’ we reach the second stage, and we find our wisdom software. Once we have done this we are becoming enlightened. All people have the same system, even the Buddha. What is this system? Buddha called this our Buddha nature. He saw his Buddha nature, and then he woke up.
Who is controlling your choice of website?
What is your favorite website? Is your website you, or are you your website? Who decides to switch websites? We have to investigate Zen. So how do we meet our software? We can’t use our knowledge software. Unfortunately our data is too limited to describe enlightenment. We can only find imagined software, an imagined enlightenment, which hides inside the software. We use human knowledge to describe this software, and to describe enlightenment. This is like taking a measuring tape to try to measure the sky. We are limited in our understanding of enlightenment.
What is ultimate self?
Maybe ‘nothing’ is oneself. Nothing is everything. The great energy is full of outside and inside; there is no time, no space and no activity. It is peaceful there, and very pure. It is constant and unchangeable. This is us.
Our self has 4 levels: the first is our organic self, and after this we find that we have data. Once we have discovered the third level of our wisdom software we are no longer limited. The fourth level is the enlightened, permanent self. Which self are you?
Why are we not enlightened? Because of ignorance and attachment, we can be compared to a crystal ball which we have put into a gift box. Our enlightened nature has disappeared. We are trapped inside our data, and so we identify our self as being our body.
How to prepare?
This depends on peoples’ level of spirituality. Unfortunately we trust scientists’ medicine, but not the Buddha light. People who only trust what they see, what they know, what they have heard, trust that these things exist. Unfortunately, they cannot find the Buddha light, which is hidden inside.
We need to investigate Chan, to concentrate, and to practice cultivation. This is the door to dharma. All material comes from real life, and all knowledge is material. We don’t need to go to old sutras, nor do we need to understand the mark of religious idols. These are illusions created by the human mind. All is illusion. Once we acquire language the internal mind is attached, and we have lost our liberty. This happens repeatedly. This is mass karma. Perhaps we have many more than six internal samsaric realms. We are active and changeable, and so each life can flow into another life. However, the centre is peaceful, unchangeable, and contains great energy.
Human beings have limited time and a short life, and so they follow the body. Some believe that once the body dies there is no longer life. People’s minds are changeable. They do not know where their lives or their minds come from. Randomization characterizes our active mind. For example, a minute ago we were thinking of America, and a second later we are thinking of New Zealand. The mind runs everywhere. All is random and changeable. Most computers have windows software, but the web pages are changeable. Similarly, our minds are changeable. Inside, the wisdom software is still there, and this is unchangeable.
We have to be clean and sharp.
We must sweep out all dharma, and leave all marks of attachment behind. We have to make a bridge from the old to the new century. This new bridge is a new dharma. If we remain attached to the old language marks we become a Buddha professor, and describe many sutras. We live inside of books, and with our attachment to culture. Religious culture attracts people who have internal peace. Some students prefer Zen to waking up because they like the icons and the religious feelings, rather than what being human means.
All problems from life and society bring suffering, and happiness and satisfaction is only temporary. We are ignorant. All language marks are attachment and grasping, including those of technology, beliefs, thousands of years of history, politics, culture, religious beliefs, and so on. We must be free of all attachment to speech, the mind and its conditions. Now is the dharma end age because our mind is full of knowledge. We have downloaded a lot of information from thousands of years ago. This is all karma or samsara.
How do we investigate the meditation topic?
In the end liberation is not easy. We need to root out the rigid mind and give it up, and live more introspectively than we have before. We have to investigate the meditation topic of idle thinking. We create one idle thought in order to control other idle thoughts. We want to know what perception is, and what the answer is. If we get an answer in language then we feel satisfied. We investigate the jail of our six senses and try to use these senses to find answers. Don’t try to gain answers as a result of this investigation because our answer is an imprint of language and images. We form pictures, not only in language or vocabulary but also in images. Our minds are web pages, don’t try to get the answer: keep going. With an answer we stop there, and begin grasping ,and becoming attached to the answer. All meditation and investigation is in order to become enlightened, and to lead a happy life. it is not for idols, for the Buddha, or for religion. Therefore let us investigate Zen.
Knowledge is poison but when we are troubled we need medicine, which is also a poison. We need knowledge to remove old poison. All varieties of knowledge mind are a meditation topic. All is a sutra. Language is our samsara, so if we want liberty we have to go through language, because we are linguistic beings.