Wonder: The presence

self has no identity (mid)

The ‘self’ has no identity, only a presence.

Discover your pure presence that’s untainted by concepts, and recognize who you truly are.

Advertisements

Knowledge and suffering

Nature has no regard for ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. When She kills, She kills – ‘good’ people, ”bad’ people, any people. She operates according to the law of survival. Survival of the fittest.

Humans can’t help knowing ‘right’ and ”wrong’. And that is why we were kicked out the garden of innocence. The fruit stain of knowledge is so pervasive that our every thought and every action stems from our determination of what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’.

Yet we will never know if the ‘good’ is really good or if the ‘bad’ is truly bad. Such is the nature of reality. And so we will know constant anxiety. We will know constant worry. We will never be at peace – always restless, always afraid, always insecure.

How many of us can abandon this knowledge? How many of us can act without knowledge arising? How many of us can dance simply through our pure awareness of music and be that innocent child again?

For until we do so, we can only accept suffering. Because knowing is suffering. And once known, it is known. You can’t pretend and escape from that.

How can something arise from nothing?

‘Nothing’ is like hidden. It hides all possibilities. Thus ‘nothing’ is also like the source of ‘everything’.

*

‘Something’ is like a bubble in water. It is possibilities revealed in time. So that as time goes by, the bubble bursts and is ‘gone’. Where has it gone to? How can something become nothing?

Well, the air of the bubble goes to the air. The water of the bubble goes to the water. And you can say, there never is a bubble anyway. Because the bubble is not a fixed ‘something’ that’s independent and existent on its own. It is an interdependent event emerging from the interaction of air and water. It is a dynamic system of causes and conditions producing a temporary and illusory form. Just like you can view water as one molecule or as three interacting atoms (2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen). Just like you can view hydrogen as one atom or as two interacting subatomic particles (1 proton and 1 electron). And so on and so forth.

So is the bubble gone when it has burst? What is a bubble?

Even the supposed same ‘bubble’ is always different. It is always changing. A new one is always being revealed and then hidden. Revealed and hidden. Just that when it bursts, the ‘gone’ is more drastic and obvious, and where its constituents go to (the air and water) is more subtle and unnoticeable. We are aware only of the obvious and not the unnoticeable. And so we declare the bubble gone.

*

Like the fish doesn’t see the water, the bird doesn’t see the air. We don’t notice the ‘nothing’ (even though it surrounds us). And so we call it nothing. Yet it is the ultimate source of ‘everything’. It is in fact, everything.

*

‘Nothing’ and ‘something’ (which are essentially the same thing) follow the Way we call Tao, the Way we call fate, the Way we call karma.

‘Nothing’ is always changing to ‘something’. It is always giving birth. To one. To two. To three.
And three is the magic number. Because from three, all else is born.

‘Something’ is always changing to ‘nothing’. Decaying. Dying. Entropy.

But why the always changing? Why the number three? Why entropy?
There is no why, only how.
The Way is so, and so there are all the ways.

You can’t explain the Way; you can’t apprehend it. You can only awaken to its nature. And we call such awakenings – enlightenment.

Trying to describe the Way to those who are not enlightened is like trying to describe the colour red to a person who has never seen red. You can’t describe it. It has to be seen. But once you’ve seen red, you can appreciate it.

For words and concepts are like labels, representations, like the finger that points to the moon. The finger is not the moon. It only points. So don’t be trapped by convenient words and concepts. Don’t be trapped by convenient ideas of nothing and something. Observe nature instead. If you understand a single flower, you understand the whole world. Because it is always following the Way.

So, the famous zen story: Buddha giving a wordless sermon by holding a flower – only Mahakasyapa smiles.

性空缘起

Cup with a hole

Everyone’s cup has a hole.
Though most people try to fill it full with thoughts and fantasies and love and desire, the cup leaks.

You can pour a sea of whatever in it; all drips away inevitably. You can pour an ocean of everything in it; still all drips away. Eventually. We are dissatisfied. There seems no way we can be fulfilled for long. There’s just nothing we can hold on to. And we try so hard, so very hard refilling the cup, only to keep losing the things and people we love. They just go away. They keep on going away. Everything. Everyone. The cup leaks.

How then can we keep the cup full, always?

Immerse it in the stream. The cup is always draining and it is always filling too. We don’t have to do anything. Just immerse in the flow.

What is the flow? Current.
What is current? The present.
What is the present? A gift magical and always.

This is the secret of awakening. The secret of fulfillment.

Why empty the mind?

Emptying the mind is mainly for the purpose of awakening – the brief moment when consciousness is aware of nothing but pure awareness itself. It is not for the purpose of living.

If enlightened living is having an absolutely empty mind at all times, we might as well be rocks and stones. (Anyway, there’s no way to sustain a totally empty mind. It generates something the very next instant.)

Instead enlightened living is having a fluid flowing mind with consciousness fresh and alert at a singular point of stillness. This mind has no fixed purpose; it is easy and spontaneous. Such a state of living is generally attained and sustained only after an awakening.

So, know why you empty your mind and when to let it flow. They cannot be separated but they are not exactly the same too.

Images in the mirror

Consciousness is like a mirror and wiping its surface is not going to help clear the images away.

Recognize that consciousness is already pure and clean, that’s why it can be like a reflecting mirror.

Realise that consciousness is untaintable and incorruptible regardless of the content. Much like the mirror cannot be contaminated and defiled by the images it reflects.

And witness that you are pure incorruptible consciousness itself, in that instant when the mind is empty and the mirror reflects nothing.

After awakening to your true self, meditation will begin to make sense. You can start transforming some parts of your mind that send things to consciousness.

Where do they come from?

When you say something to someone – do you think and conjure up the words first before releasing through the mouth? Or do they come and go as they are, while you, only aware of them after having spoken?

The words you are using and talking. Do you choose them? Or do they choose you?

Where do words come from in the first place? They seem to just spring up and string themselves up on their own – forming phrases, sentences, speeches.
Still we believe we know what we are talking about. Rationalizing, justifying, bull-shitting – only on hindsight.

How is it we can speak without first being conscious of the words? What’s the point of consciousness then?

And where do they go afterward? Do they disappear? Do they die? Waiting to reincarnate in another phrase, another sentence, another speech?

We shall find the source, oh yes, we shall find the source… of all words where they come from, and all words where they die.

This is what some zen masters call – 照顾话头。

Things you hold on to

Would you like people to attend your funeral? Why?
Would you like people to remember you after you are dead? Why?
Do you feel sad when the world has forgotten you? Why?

Why does it matter when you are already dead?

Knowing the answers to these questions help but a little. Because the ego of mind holds on to things still.

It learns only to truly let go, from the experience of total letting go, when fear is lost and bliss is found instead.

The idea of total surrender is scary but the actual act is liberating.