Chan (Zen) Master Huang Po: How is it possible to develop the Supreme-Enlightenment Mind?

Huang Po Zen Teachings

Question: How is it possible to develop the Supreme-Enlightenment Mind?

Huang Po: Bodhi [enlightenment or enlightened mind]* means nothing to attain. Even now, just as you allow thought to arise, you get nothing. Thus, realising that there is absolutely nothing to attain is the Bodhi Mind.

The realisation that there is nowhere to abide and nothing to attain is the Bodhi.

Therefore, Shakyamuni Buddha [the original Buddha, also known as Gautama Buddha] said ‘…there was really no Dharma [teaching or method] by means of which the Tathagata [the Buddha] attained Supreme Enlightenment…’

*[Tom – square bracket comments added by me]

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Almost got it?

mike

If you have found a spiritual or non-dual teaching that makes sense for you, or if you think you have ‘almost got it now’, know that it is way off the mark! This doesn’t make sense! 😂 Non-duality or advaita doesn’t make sense! Liberation or enlightenment doesn’t make sense! It cannot be understood!

What’s more – no learning is required. It just is! It is everything. It is ‘what is’. And ‘what is’ works all by itself without need for a ‘me’ or ‘you’. Simply THIS in its totality, beyond all concepts and including all concepts.

But words, even the most precise and wonderfully erudite words, may only give a flavour, an indication of what they are pointing to.

You CAN get quite a good conceptual understanding of liberation- eg. just THIS, as it is, empty of belief in separation/me/subject-object, empty of the personal stories, but allowing everything/all without exclusion (you can substitute in your own personal understanding of non-duality or liberation here if you like).

But the words and concepts are not it – they are never it. They are (initially at least) for the illusory ‘me’ that believes it lives in time and space and has free will. The ‘me’ now thinks it understands, and this conceptual understanding allows the perpetuation of this illusory ‘me’ as well as the concomitant suffering.

…yes, where the ‘me’ is, suffering follows…

There may, however, and apparently, be a ‘transmission’ beyond the words…’one Guru enlightening another Guru’ (not that there are really two)…and the ‘me’ may totally and completely collapse…it is Mystery…it is Grace in Action…what is left cannot be understood at all! It is Self-Celebrating and it doesn’t need to be understood.

…but, paradoxically, there is also no need for any transmission, no need for any collapse, no need for a ‘moment’ – for THIS cannot go anywhere or be lost – it is already whole and unfractured – it is already complete and not lacking a single thing – it has never been lost, and always IS whatever IS.

(How can you lose ‘whatever is’?)

Jesus – ‘do not love the world’

Jesus walks water
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:4

…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
1 John 5:19

…the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:5

Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.
John 18:36

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:24

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
1 John 3:13

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15:18-19

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
1 John 2:16

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:17

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
John 17:14

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13

Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Luke 6:26

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:13

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27

The Ultimate or Highest Truth according to the Upanishads

There is a famous verse in the Upanishads that explicitly and specifically proclaims to hold the highest truth.

This verse was considered important enough that it was also incorporated into Shankara’s masterpiece Vivekachudamani and also Gaudapada’s main work, his commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad (the Mandukya Karika).

In fact it is the only verse that I know of that is repeated not only in more than one Upanishad, but is also repeated by the two greatest traditional exponents of Advaita Vedanta (ie. Shankara and Gaudapada) in their subsequent works.

Here is the verse:

There is neither destruction (Nirodha) nor creation (Utpatti), none in bondage (Bandha) and none practicing disciplines (Sadhaka). There is none seeking Liberation (Mumukshu) and none liberated (Mukta). This is the ultimate or highest truth (Paramartha).’

As I said above, this verse is found repeated in the Amritabindu Upanishad in verse 10, in the Atma Upanishad in verse 2.31. It was later incorporated by both Gaudapada (Mandukya Karika 2.32) and Shankara (Vivekachudamani verse 574) in their writings.

What do you think of this verse?

Powerful quotes from Sri Ranjit Maharaj

Sri Ranjit Maharaj was the guru-brother of the more famous Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, that is they had the same guru – Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj. Here are some quotes from Sri Ranjit Maharaj:

The body and the world

Everyone gives value to the world. The realised being, who has gone beyond the world, beyond knowledge, only gives value to zero. When you understand that the world is untrue and that everything is zero, then all that remains is Reality.
 
You reduce yourself to being a body and then you constantly worry for it. Why? By thinking “I am the body”, you have reduced yourself to such a small creature. The body is nothing. It comes from zero and will soon return to zero.
When you lose all love for the illusion, He automatically is there. You get absorbed into Reality because He and you are the same, nothing else. There is no “you” or “self” in Reality. Forget about self. The real understanding is, “I don’t exist.”

The world is nothing but a long dream, take it for granted.

There’s nothing there, so what is there to say? As long as the body is there, he acts, no doubt. He calls his mother “mother”, and his wife “wife”, but still he knows. If somebody asks him, “What is your name?”, he gives his name, but he knows, “I am not this.”

The Master

The master is the greatest illusion because all that he says with full hear and frankness is false. But the false words that the master tells you can make you reach Reality.

The master takes you to that place where there is no one to understand anything. There is no knowledge nor ignorance and so understanding has no meaning. Let everything appear within That, but say that it is not true. There is no need to change anything because it doesn’t exist. When you forget the sense of the world, which is nonsense, then you will know the real sense and Reality opens up to you.

An enlightened person says at once, “One plus two is three! I know!” He says it so strongly. Understanding should come. Master awakens your understanding.
Nobody comes, nobody goes. All is a dream. In a dream you can become a great master, but when you wake up, you come back to your ordinary state. Who has gone there and who has come back? Nothing has happened.
The concept of a “great master” has come upon you, and you have become the “great master”, but when you wake up you feel, “All this is nonsense. How can I be a great master? I know nothing!” Still, in the dream, you were giving lectures and were talking easily about all these things, but when awakening comes, all this knowledge vanishes. It was only a dream.
The so-called sage who says, “I am the reincarnation of God”, doesn’t know Him, doesn’t know Reality. On the contrary, he is the slave of his ego, of illusion. When knowledge itself has no entity, there is no question of all these things.
Thinking that the master has a form is only ignorance. I tell you. When you accept what He tells you then you are always with Him.

The ego

The ego is like the son of a barren woman – it doesn’t exist. It is a false projection of a confused and ignorant mind.

Knowledge & Understanding

Understanding should come, and finally one should see that knowledge is also not true. Forget everything. Knowledge, ignorance . . . all is zero.

Understand this way: that you should be free from ignorance and finally from knowledge, also. Knowledge is the greatest ignorance. Understand this way and forget everything. In that moment, you are He.

First mental understanding is required and after that comes a practical understanding. Intellectual talent is the greatest thing. Without the intellect, one cannot understand. So, you have to understand with the full intellect and then, that knowledge, or that understanding will submerge, because knowledge is a thought. A good thought or a bad thought, both are thoughts. So, knowledge is a golden thorn, and ignorance is an ordinary thorn and both are bondage. Suppose your hands have been put in handcuffs. Maybe they’re iron cuffs or maybe they’re golden, but it’s still bondage. So, both are thorns. One should understand and throw them away. It is very difficult to throw out the knowledge, because ego remains up till knowledge. Knowledge is the ego, nothing else. To erase that knowledge, one should say, “I know nothing.”

Ignorance came by hearing and is dispelled by hearing. By words you have become bound and by words you can be free. Words are false, but their meaning is true. The illusion is needed in order to go beyond it.

The only way

There is only one way to know Reality – forget everything and instantly you are He. Short and sweet. There are no words for Reality. Forget the illusion and He is there. Do everything, but say that it is not true. That is the main point.

A disciple should put a zero on everything, including himself, otherwise he cannot advance. No one wants to put a zero on their self because they fear not being accepted by others. Be mad and do it!

The Ignorance and the wise

An ignorant person always sees the world as true. The realised sage sees the world as not true. That is the difference.

Nothing

When you feel that something can touch you, or harm you, it means that you are in the illusion. How can nothing touch you? Everything in the illusion is nothing.
Why to fear? Nothing is there. Everything is illusion. Keep your mind in that fearless state only. Just as the poisonous tooth is taken out, in the same way, play with the world, play with the illusion, there is no harm. It won’t affect your mind. Live fearlessly; no death, no fear, knowing that “I am that real power.” There is nothing! What will harm you?
In the same way, here we experience many things due to the objectivity of the mind. You see all the objects and immediately believe that they are real. At the moment you realise who you are, you see that everything is nothing. That is the main point. Mind should accept that everything is zero. Once the mind accepts that everything is nothing, then nothing remains and my Self is Truth.

God

The world is full of Him. Nothing is there except Him. What you see is Him.

No matter if you are poor, sitting on a throne or lying in the gutter, still you are always Reality. The outside appearance has nothing to do with who you are. Everyone is He, no matter what state you may be in.

Fearless

For example, when you sleep you dream, and in the dream somebody gives you a slap on the face. You feel the slap and immediately you you wake up to find only pillows. You then realise, “Oh, it was nothing ! Nobody slapped me.” In the dream, somebody kills you, “Ahhh, I am killed!” Then you wake up. “All is false, nobody was there to kill me.” Then your fear goes away. Awakening brings makes you fearless. One should realise that by nature you are fearless. Being fearless, the mind becomes completely naked and you know that nothing is true.

Q. Are we not an individual viewpoint of Cosmic Consciousness?

Q. We are all connected, like buds on a rosebush are all connected. And when a rosebud blooms, we do not state “there is no rosebud, there is no bloom.” And yet, you seem intent on denying the flowering of your own local focal point of consciousness. You are an individual viewpoint for the Cosmic Consciousness (aka Brahma). Like a rosebud, you have bloomed. 

I understand that awakening is unlike an academic or professional accomplishment. It’s not something that you have printed out on a sheepskin and get framed and hang on your wall. It’s not something to brag about. Its not something to check off on your spiritual “bucket list.” But to deny that the mind/body combination known as Tom Das has had his awakening to oneness makes as much sense as denying that a rosebud has opened and is in full bloom. Those Satsangs that you share with the world as part of your Sadhana are you sharing the fragrance of truth. What purpose does denying your awakening have?

Tom: I know it may appear that Tom Das has awakened, etc, but actually Tom Das is just an appearance, nothing. There is no-one here that knows anything, although it may appear that way within the waking dream. The ‘me’ identifies itself & believes itself to be a body-mind entity and projects that identity onto others, and so believes that Tom Das or whoever has ‘woken up’. But this is all part of the apparent dream. I agree there is no point denying the appearance (I do appear to be Tom Das), but it is empty and non-significant with respect to liberation/non-duality. The scriptures have tried to explain this in many ways, I will try to find you a few quotes…Namaste

Here are the quotes I later put together: Ramana Maharshi Quotes: Nobody here/ the jnani is not a person

ONLINE MEETING tomorrow (Thursday 6th June) 8pm UK time

You are very welcome to join me in an ONLINE MEETING this Thursday 6th June at 8pm (UK time) to talk about all-things Non-Duality & Liberation.

All are welcome to attend and it’s easy to join me if you have not done so before:

To join simply make a payment of £10 beforehand here. Then click here at the meeting time to join and just follow the instructions.

(If you have never used Zoom before – it’s a bit like Skype but easier to use – it will prompt you to download the program onto your computer/phone/tablet. The full link to the Zoom meeting if you need it is here https://zoom.us/j/9409264979)

Here’s a recent testimonial for my meetings:

I’ve seen many teachers on the path of seeking. All wonderful and they all had a piece of the puzzle but they all came from their ‘thing’ – their own perspective on the teaching. They answer the seeker from their point of view.
Tom is the only one I’ve seen who doesn’t come from his point of view, he always comes directly from the silence and meets the seeker exactly where they’re at. If they need a practice, he has it, if they already have one but are stuck he knows how to move them, if they’re just beginning he knows how to guide them…it’s wonderful to see.
His meetings have truly been a gift to me.
Danny, UK

Hope to see you soon

Tom

 

 

A truly non-dual teaching?

A truly non-dual teaching?

ALL teachings are dualistic, even the so-called non-teachings, and ALL teachings utilise fictions, at least initially, and your favourite non-dual teaching is no exception!

For example:

-Pointing out teachings or descriptions of what-is and teaching of any kind all imply duality. What (object) is being pointed out? And to whom (subject)? Pointing implies a subject-object duality, at least initially. Non-duality strictly speaking doesn’t need a teaching.
-To compare different teachings to each other is dualistic.
-To call one teaching truly non-dual and another dualistic is itself dualistic and relativistic, obviously.

Not that there is anything wrong with apparent duality!

A matter of degree

It’s just a matter of degree: some teachings are far less dualistic than others and point the way out directly and efficiently, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are better teachings, whereas others take a different route, which actually may be more helpful than the more direct teachings at certain points on the journey.

ALL teachings are non-dualistic?

So either ALL teachings/expressions/non-teachings are dualistic….or alternatively one could say that ALL teachings are essentially non-dualistic, as non-duality is all there ‘is’!

To have it any other way would be dualistic, and duality is a fiction!

Oneness Being

Another way of putting is that there are not really lots of different teachers and teachings at all – although that is how it may appear from within the fictional dualistic paradigm – there is only Oneness Being ❤

 

What do you need for Liberation?

Answer 1: There is only Liberation. This pointer is for the person who is seeking Liberation elsewhere, eg. seeking a state of mind or consciousness which is yet to be attained or to be attained somehow in the future by various means. It is pointed out that in fact there is only Liberation, and that Liberation need not be sought, for it is already everything.

Answer 2: Nothing – you are already Liberated. Like Answer 1, this answer points to the fact that everything is already whole and complete and no further seeking is required.

Answer 3: There is no liberation. This answer points out that liberation is simply a concept, a fanciful idea conjoured up by the mind and then sought after. No need to seek for an imagined fantasy. This answer stops the ego seeking its own mentally projected notions on liberation and enlightenment. It can also be pointed out that liberation is a dualistic concept that is opposed to it’s opposite, ignorance, and that non-duality is pointing out that this paradigm way of thinking of things is false, as per Answer 1.

Answer 4: Just remove ignorance. What is ignorance? It is the belief in a separate ‘me’ that thinks it authors its own thoughts and actions and has free will, choice and responsibility. Sometimes this ‘me’ is also called the ego. When the ‘me’ is believed in, it is also believed that the ‘me’ lives in ‘a world’ which is has to navigate, negotiate and survive.

Question: How to remove ignorance, the belief in a separate ‘me’/egotism?

Answer: There is no real ignorance – it is merely a thought or concept that is believed to be true, by no one. Within the seamless experience of this, a thought may arise which says ‘I believe I am a ‘me’ that has free will, choice, responsibility, etc.

But in experiential reality there is only this: beliefs may appear, thoughts may appear, anything may appear, but it is not happening to someone (despite the belief to the contrary that may think otherwise) – rather you could say it is simply a spontaneous appearance that arises, with no subject. Of course this is not something that can be understood by the mind, which tends to assume or imagine a subject being present who sees the objects, whereas experientially this is not actually the case.

So ultimately we don’t need to remove ignorance, as it is not real – it is just an appearance, a concept that floats in and floats away again. Just this! Life: a spontaneous mysterious magical display.