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Song of Enlightenment
Topic Started: Mar 10 2018, 11:06 PM (89 Views)
Ardy
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Just found this classic and surprised I had never read it before. Ignore the Zen and think about Enlightenment.

Sho-do-ka – Song of Realization

Yoka-daishi (d.713)

An ideal Zen student neither seeks the true,
Nor avoids the untrue.
They know that these are merely dualistic ideas
That have no form.
Non-form is neither empty nor not empty.
It is the true form of Buddha’s wisdom.


To assist you in the interpretation of this stanza I shall paraphrase a portion of Shin-jin-mei, a poem written by the Third Patriarch in China.
“Truth is like vast space without entrance or exit. There is nothing more, nor nothing less. Foolish people limit themselves, covering their eyes, but truth is never hidden. Some attend lectures trying to grasp truth in the words of others. Some accumulate books trying to dig truth from the pile of trash. They are both wrong. A few of the wiser ones may learn meditation in their effort to reach an inner void. They chose the void rather than outer entanglements, but it is still the same old dualistic trick. Just think non-thinking if you are a true Zen student.
“There you do not know anything, but you are with everything. There is no choice nor preference, and dualism will vanish by itself. But if you stop moving and hold quietness, that quietness is ever in motion. If children make a noise, you will scold them loudly so that the situation is worse than before. Just forget and ignore the noise, and you will attain peace of mind. When you forget your liking and disliking, you will get a glimpse of oneness. The serenity of this middle way is quite different from the inner void.”

The mind mirror illuminates all ingenuously.
Its penetrating, limitless rays reach everywhere
In the universe.
Without exception everything is reflected
In this mirror.
The whole universe is a gem of light
Beyond the terms of in and out.


Here is another portion of the Shin-jin-mei to interpret the preceding stanza:
“Zen transcends time and space. Ten thousand years are nothing but a thought after all. What you have seen is what you had in the whole world. If your thought transcends time and space, you will know that the smallest thing is large and the largest thing is small; that being is non-being and non-being is being. Without such experience you will hesitate to do anything. If you can realize that one is many, and many are one, your Zen will be completed.
“Faith and mind-essence are not separate from each other. You will see only the ‘not two.’ The ‘not two’ is the faith. The ‘not two’ is the mind essence. There is no other way but silence to express it properly. This silence is not the past. This silence is not the present. This silence is not the future.”

When a Zen student sees emptiness one-sidedly,
They are likely to ignore the law of causation,
Then live aimlessly with impure thoughts and wrong actions.
This idea is morbid as they deny the existence of anything,
But admit an entity of emptiness.
To escape drowning, they have thrown themselves into the fire.


To “see emptiness one-sidedly” is to give another name to relativity, phenomenality or nothingness. When Buddhism denies the existence of anything, this of course includes the existence of emptiness. There is order; there is the law of causation. The use of the word “emptiness” implies that which cannot be spoken.

One who rejects delusions to search for truth,
May achieve skill in discrimination,
But such a student will never reach enlightenment
Because they mistake the enemy for their own child.


Some Christians admire an angel but hate a devil. Some Confucians pine for the ancient kingdom but complain of the present government. All of them attempt to take hold of the true by abandoning the false. They struggle endlessly, but never attain true peacefulness. Zen students who try to reach truth by rejecting delusions are making the same mistake. Learn silence and work on constantly in silence, to see clearly what the mind is.

People miss the spiritual treasure and lose merit
Because they depend on dualistic thinking
And neglect the essence of mind.
To pass through the gate of Zen,
One must correct this error.
Then one can attain the wisdom
To enter the palace of Nivana.


Buddhists often refer to the ‘seven treasures’ (paramitas), which are faith, perseverance, listening, humility, precepts, self-surrender, and meditation and wisdom. Meditation and wisdom are considered as one, inner cultivation and outer illumination. To acquire these seven treasures, one must first of all see Mind-Essence clearly, just as Aladdin had first to find the lamp before he could produce other wonders.
Wobaku, a Chinese Zen master, once said, “Buddhas and sentient beings both grow out of One Mind, and there is no reality other than this Mind…Only because we seek it outwardly in a world of form, the more we seek, the farther away it moves from us. To make Buddha seek after himself, or to make Mind take hold of itself, this is impossible to the end of eternity. We do not realize that as soon as our thoughts cease and all attempts at forming ideas are forgotten, the Buddha is revealed before us.”

Yoka-daishi (d.713) Commentary by Nyogen Senzaki 1953
Excerpted from Buddhism and Zen edited and translated by Nyogen Senzaki and Ruth Stout McCandless 1953
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crow
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"...We do not realize: that as soon as our thoughts cease, and all attempts at forming ideas are forgotten, the Buddha is revealed before us.”

Punctuated for clarity. This is the real message.
Nobody knows that mind is why nobody knows.
An iron ball and chain, attached to every human, slowing, restricting, incapacitating, holding captive...

The term 'mindlessness' is infinitely more accurate and valuable, than is 'mindfulness'.
Reality is to be discovered beyond the human mind.

So, to all intents and purposes, the human never once discovers it.

Not even the Buddha was able to transfer what the Buddha knew.





"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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The Buddha could not transfer it because there is nothing to transfer. The reality comes from nowhere the same as we exist in nowhere. The reality as you call it is the fundamental building block of a metaphysical life.

Afterthought. Who can know that mind when there are no thoughts to support that mind?
Edited by Ardy, Mar 11 2018, 02:20 PM.
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crow
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I feel an ongoing sense of astonishment that nobody can grasp the fact that life occurs outside the mind.
All is simulation, all the time, until this is embraced.


"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Oscar
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Thank you for supplying all these Zen texts, Ardy. :)

re discussion: The moment that you ask, for instance, 'who' or 'why' am I? is the moment that you don't know. You create confusion by introducing, well, yourself: the thinker.

Then we sometimes allow for other people to supply us with answers. People could lead us further astray, and I'm inclined to think that it is usually so, or they could help us return to a less confused state.

The mind seems to have an answer for every question. If people could drop thinking that they know the answers and recognize that they don't know them, only the questions would remain. Then the next step is to drop the questions.
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crow
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Human: "Why?"
Reality: "Why not?"
Human: "WTF?"
Reality: "ROTFLMAO!"

Once a human starts on the questions, its own mind starts answering them, losing track of Reality altogether.


"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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Crow - ROTFLMOI ???
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crow
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ROTFLMAO defined...
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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