The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Emptyness

There is no such thing as a person

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To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.

There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot.

To expound and propogate concepts is simple, to drop all concepts is difficult and rare. A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet.

As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does Self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady Self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj ~
Excerpts from “I Am That”


Field of Boundless Emptiness, by Zen Master Hongzhi

Source: Field of Boundless Emptiness, by Zen Master Hongzhi | Buddhism now

buddhismnow.com

Buddha, Probably Amitabha (Amituofo), early 7th century, China. © The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe field of boundless emptiness is what exists from the very beginning. You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away all the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits. Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness.

Utter emptiness has no image, upright independence does not rely on anything. Just expand and illuminate the original truth un­con­cerned by external conditions. Accordingly we are told to realize that not a single thing exists. In this field birth and death do not appear.

The deep source, transparent down to the bottom, can radiantly shine and can respond unencumbered to each speck of dust without becoming its partner. The subtlety of seeing and hearing transcends mere colours and sounds. The whole affair functions without leaving traces, and mirrors without obscurations.

Very naturally mind and dharmas emerge and harmonise. An Ancient said that non-mind embodies and fulfils the way of non-mind. Enacting and fulfilling the way of non-mind, finally you can rest. Proceeding you are able to guide the assembly. With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the centre of the circle of wonder. This is how you must penetrate and study.

Cultivating the Empty FieldExtract from,  Cultivating the Empty Field. The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi. Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton. ISBN: 9780804832403

Reproduced with many thanks to Tuttle.


Three Turnings of the Wheel

Source: Three Turnings of the Wheel | Great Middle Way

291px-Tibetian_Wheel.svgThe Three Turnings of the Dharma Wheel are the three cycles of the Buddha’s teaching, in which He emphasized various aspects. The First Wheel (in which He presented the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path) are focused on cause and effect, action and reaction —karma. The Second Wheel focuses on emptiness —that is, that our perceptions are conceptual elaborations, and have no independent existence. The Third Wheel focuses on Buddha Nature, the natural perfection of all sentient beings, which is ultimate reality.

One can go very deeply into all Three Wheels, but this is their essence: (1) as long as we live in duality, we must observe the law of cause and effect, avoiding harm and doing good; (2) we must understand that our perceptions are more indicative of our own perspective than of any substantial ‘facts’, and thus we must cultivate peace and clarity, purifying the mind of intrinsic and learned errors; and, (3) accepting every sentient being’s Buddha Nature, we must develop serene trust and great joy in the merit and wisdom of the Buddha, which are given freely to each and every one of us.

It need not be complicated. Extensive philosophical discussions are only necessary when we are attached to wrong views. If we can accept the teachings, then we need only practice with serene trust.

There is a very instructive story of a great philosopher who boarded a small boat to cross a river. The philosopher asked the boatman: “Do you know the doctrine of the four essential components of positive, negative, neutral, throwing, and completing karma?” The boatman answered “No”, and the philosopher said: “Then, I am afraid that you have wasted one third of your life.”

The philosopher then asked: “Do you know the doctrine of the twelve links of dependent origination?” The boatman answered that he did not, to which the philosopher replied: “Then, I am afraid that you have wasted two thirds of your life.”

As the philosopher was about to ask the boatman if he understood the doctrine of intrinsic emptiness, the weather turned very foul, and the boat started to make water. The boatman asked the philosopher: “Do you know how to swim?” The philosopher replied that he did not, and the boatman then said, with great sadness: “Then, I am afraid that you have wasted all of your life!”

It is better to know the essentials, and practice whatever we know, than to study much doctrine, and lack the practice which makes all the difference.

Do not worry. Enlightenment is our nature, our birthright.

om amideva hrih