Zen master Hui-Hai: Right View and the Buddha-Eye

buddha head

Let us allow the gentle wisdom of Hui-Hai to clearly unfold the Buddha Dharma to us:

Question: What is the right view?

Zen master Hui-Hai: To perceive without perceiving any object whatsoever is the right view.

Question: What does “to perceive without perceiving any object whatsoever” mean?

Hui-Hai: Perceiving all sorts of things without grasping — that is, not being clouded by the arising of any thought of love or hate, etc. — is perceiving without any objects. If one can see without seeing any object whatsoever, that is using the Buddha-Eye, which is like no other eye.

On the other hand, if one sees all sorts of things that cause thoughts of love and hate, etc., to arise, that is known as “perceiving objects” with ordinary eyes, and sentient beings have no other kind of eyes. This is true, likewise, with all of the other sense organs.

No person, no problem

kingston-upon-thames phone boxes

We had a lovely meeting in Kingston at the Druids’s Head Pub yesterday, and it’s amazing how a spontaneous teaching can apparently arise through interactions with others. This morning I felt moved to write down some of what was said, so here it is:

Towards the end of the apparent seeker’s apparent journey, the very interest in non-duality or liberation itself becomes a hindrance. What are you looking for? And who or what is looking?

The answer to the first question is you are looking to feel better/not feel bad. The answer to the second question is that it is the illusory ego/’small self’ that is looking. So the seeking is perpetuating the ego, or the seeking is the ego.

The ego/mind can logically start to realise that lasting freedom cannot be found in any object whatsoever, gross or subtle, and it can also recognise that all experiences or states of consciousness, no matter how lofty or sublime, are all objects that are fleeting and so eventually lead to suffering and so push the motion of the hamster wheel that is called samsara (suffering). Therefore chasing experiences and states of consciousness is not the answer – this just leads to more suffering.

What is the solution?

1. It can be seen that there is no lasting satisfaction resulting from the search, so there is no point to seeking.

2. It can be intellectually known that Liberation is not an object and that Liberation must already be here (if it exists at all) if it is something permanent or lasting.

Reflect on these.

More fundamentally than either of these 2 above, which are both forms of ego-intellectual understanding, it can be seen that there is no person/body/mind, that these are illusory appearances that we engender with an artificial sense of self by conceptual projection and overlay and self-reinforcing labelling of felt/perceived energies.

Put simply, there is no-one here. There was never anyone here. It was all just an illusion in consciousness (when this is seen, then it is also seen that the path to enlightenment and the spiritual practices are also illusory). We don’t even need to use the word consciousness really, but it can be a useful pointer.

No person, no problem.

Meditate/reflect on this: as long as there is a person (ie. belief in being a person, or thinking the body or mind are real), there is suffering, and there must be suffering, for the body is subject to change and decline and all the other things that come along with this that you can hopefully reason out for yourselves.

Lastly, may I point that all of this is a teaching, and these words work to remove the ignorance. The teachings are antidotes given to the seeker and wielded by the seeker. No words are the truth. Please read the above in this context. The words are never quite it (and of course they are it, as everything is it, and there is no ‘it’, ‘it’ being just an expression…oh dear!)

Pranams and blessings to you


Q. If truth is always present and available, what prevents someone from seeing it?

veil maya illusion sari hindu india

Q. If truth is always present and available, what prevents someone from seeing it?

Tom: Pre-occupation with and belief in the content of thought.

Q. How can I drop all this activity and take that leap of faith?

Tom: Ignore your thoughts.

Q. How long should I ignore my thoughts for? What if I do it for a few days and nothing has happened?

Tom: This is also a thought.

Q. Is it possible to live whilst ignoring thoughts in a modern urban lifestyle?

Tom: Yes. The body-mind will take care of itself. Notice how thought is trying to prevent you from ignoring it, how it is throwing up various fears. Ignore all this.

Q. Thank you so much for holding me when I feel like collapsing 🙏

Tom: It’s my pleasure, I am humbled by your gratitude. Best wishes to you 🙏


Also see Nisargadatta Maharaj: Ignore your thoughts


The belief in separation 

river meander advaita

It is the belief in separation
That allows for the belief in doership.
Otherwise all there is is One-Movement.

There is not even one movement:
If we go by the evidence presented to us by experience,
There is only movement happening.

No evidence for a doer-entity,
No evidence for an entity with ultimate responsibility.
Instead there is just life happening,

From the point of view of a person,
A body operating and functioning,
Seemingly by itself,
With all the workings and humanity of the organism manifesting,
However it manifests.

As truth is seen,
Layers of deception and wrong thinking fall away,
And the Freedom that always was and is,
Is revealed.

Like the sun when the clouds parts,
Nothing needs to be attained,
Only the obscuring clouds of wrong notions,
Need to be seen through.


The importance of suffering and seeking

Most people stop short of the goal

So many people cling to beliefs, either knowingly or unknowingly, caught up in confusion, sometimes teaching it to others.

If you really want truth, would you accept a belief, a concept, an idea? Would you accept second-hand words, teachings and phrases uttered by others? Would you worry about what others think and get preoccupied in puerile semantic debate?

Or would you continue to seek, genuinely investigate, until you have genuinely found, in your own direct experience, the end to your suffering, an end to your seeking?

Buddha: How to approach the teachings


Going back to the Pali suttas, the Buddha also repeatedly warned against being attached to any particular teaching or teaching tradition:

‘Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of texts, by logic, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think, ‘This ascetic is our teacher.’
AN 3.65 Kesaputti [Kālāma] Sutta

This really is quite a stark warning, and we could see this as a very ‘modern’ and scientific way of approaching this search for freedom from suffering.

The above text is an except taken from a larger article: Buddhism: How enlightenment happens