Is there a safe place on earth?
Our mind is our laboratory. We don’t need to leave it, we are independent. Usually I don’t want to talk too much about Buddha because then we become religious. We need to encourage students from other traditions. Some students worry, for example, that they may lose Amitabha Buddha and then ultimate bliss, if they investigate Zen. They may fear disrespecting the Buddha by doubting him, and losing the West Pure Land.
We live in a software system. What we are thinking and what we are describing is all in language. How to separate from our body and our language? Language humans believe that this body is ours, that it is us. Many believe that when this body is dead this mind is also dead. Actually our mind is still there. If you think this body is for you then you have to separate from this body. If the body is dead is the system or software still there? In our practice we must trust Zen. Who or what is saying ‘I don’t know?’ Keep your zero mind. The ‘don’t know’ is like a torch in a dark room, which will become light.
No birth and no death:
This is language. We believe that this body is us. Before your birth and after your death, who are “you”? Once people have experienced awakening they need never ask “who am I?” or “what am I going to do?” This enlightenment experience must be a strong one. It must be branded into your deeper mind, never to be forgotten. Then one will never doubt or never forget as one would never forget being branded. You pick up a sword of awakening, or a key to enlightenment. This key is made from diamond and no other tool can destroy this key.
If you are sick and you use medicine which is past its expiry date in order to cure this sickness, it will not be good for your health. Use any kind of bridge but don’t become attached to it. If it is an old bridge, you will need to watch your step. Old teachings come from a different context and society. Similarly, don’t become attached to new teachings, or to anything that you investigate. Practice by yourself: discover this “system” by yourself.
The Buddha nature is like software. I use this language to describe our Buddha nature. I don’t want people to waste time. Over the last one hundred years scientists have spent a lot of time trying to help people. They have used a lot of tools discover things about the earth, space, the mind, medicine, and technology. Now the time is coming to move beyond this road.
I know what is happening in my mind. It is like a large computer system. We are similar to robots, but robots are metal and we are organic. The software system is similar to the bio chemical material in our mind. Our material or system however is upgraded and modern, because it is original.
Humans have wisdom minds, but our mind also creates trouble and suffering. Our modern minds have created things which make our lives convenient, but we have become more greedy. We worry about our lives in the future, our children, insurance:everything. Everything comes from this mind. The problem is ‘me and mine.’ ‘My’ mind, home, family, life and my money. This mind, though, disappears eventually. We need to know what is truly ‘I’, where ‘me’ comes from, and the data which is changeable, like a website.
Twenty years ago I worked in the field of computer data bases. I had many employees to manage the information in the data base. I also practiced meditation. Now many people’s lives are online, so I have tried to make a bridge from there to here so that perhaps one day people will wake up from their computers.
Perhaps people who investigate Zen are similar. They watch website pages, moving from this page to the next. They can investigate which website they prefer. They are like schools of fish, swimming here and there together. People are interested in the same movie or website. Many people chase God, or they chase gold, and then they all swim to another place attracted by new information. So in a way, information is us. We equal information. When we watch the movie the movie is us. We concentrate when watching the movie, and the mind is empty. Once we know we are watching the movie we experience our knowledge mind. This is ‘you’. The entirety of knowledge and perception is ‘you.’
Pictures and words move through the mind very quickly. We are attached and so we think that these images are us. The mind runs like a circular chain. We can’t find the beginning or end to this chain. Chains are everywhere, similar to a large fishing net, and together these chains occupy a huge space. Our minds reach everywhere. We have large amount of information inside of us. So who is “us”? Which is “you”? It is all interconnected. Which chain is us? Thus our mind is changeable and we cannot say who or what is “us”. So this is not really you or me. The world is like an illusion.
Once we discover the system mind stops but it is dangerous to just try to shut down the mind. First you must accumulate merit and awareness. If you desire deep meditation you need a master and a guide. To go inside you need more energy to reach this point. Once we uncover our Buddha nature we are close to enlightenment and we avoid the six realms of samsara.
How do we find true reality?
The first stage of this investigation is a long road to travel. We must discover the system, our Buddha nature. We may have to spend many years or perhaps our whole lives at this stage, because it is not easy to see this. This is the most difficult stage. If we go down the wrong road we turn to religion, nihilism or atheism. We need proper dharma, proper concentration, and proper receptivity. Thus the first stage is much more difficult to cultivate. So how do we seek out this reality? Not from the inscriptions of language. First we must remove our ego mind. We must become egoless.
If we know who we are our mind is not dependent on the body. The data information is ‘I’. If we want to know who we are, we can say that we are attachment. We are interested in ‘I’. This ‘I’ is attachment. It works very well once it is turned on. We connect our “computer” from this language to another language.
If you can calm down and abide in a mind of equanimity then your mind will be released and you will attain great happiness. Then you will come through 100, 000 lives and accumulate proper meditation and proper awareness. This is a new reality and it is not easy to achieve. We have to keep our ordinary mind and we have to remain very honest with ourselves.
Once we are enlightened we know we are not nothing, everything is very colorful and varied. We are everything.