What's the difference between knowledgeable, intellectual, wise and intelligent?
The Great Way by Zen master Sosan (Sengtan)
This offering goes against all social media video 'best practices'. It is more than 15 minutes. There is no attempt at all to entertain. In fact, it is not meant for viewing. It is a profound of meditation.
The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one activity or the other
you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things
is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain an the dualistic state;
avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace
of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One,
do not even be attached to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend,
and when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.
When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes,
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind);
the mind (subject) is such because of things (objects).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way
is neither easy nor difficult,
but those with limited views
are fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go,
and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited;
even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way,
and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature),
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,
for everything is murky and unclear,
and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived
from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way,
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one Dharma, not many;
from the clinging needs of the ignorant,
to seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air:
foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong:
such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things
are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence
is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally
the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible
in this causeless relationless state.
Consider movement stationary
and the stationary in motion,
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist
Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality
no law or description applies.
For the unified mind in accord with the Way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no exertion of the mind’s power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination
are of no value.
In this world of Suchness
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality
just simply say when doubt arises, “Not two”.
In this “not two” nothing is separate,
nothing is excluded.
No matter when or where,
enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or
diminution in time or space;
in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands
always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small:
no difference, for definitions have vanished
and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and non-Being.
Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments
that have nothing to do with this.
One thing, all things:
move among and intermingle,
To live in this realisation
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.
The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
Please click here for the downloadable live meditation and dialogue circle to accompany this video.
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The story of a common person in an epic journey. The route is long and treacherous; the odds are insurmountable. Overpowered, outwitted and outnumbered. Again and again, mortality is questioned. Again and again there are miraculous escapes and unexpected allies. The hero repeatedly steps into the unknown, love for purpose outshining the fear and doubt. Vulnerable and not weak, complying and not yielding. Armed only with sincerity and innocence, the hero continues, for the cause is noble.
The story is as new as this moment and as old as the most ancient tale. A perennial quest spanning generations, cultures and continents. Mahabharata, Homer, Sinbad, Noah, Ali Baba, Rocky, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars. Why are we so drawn to this fable? Why does this never grow old?
A tale that withstands the test of time, almost by definition, addresses a fundamental human condition. It typically starts in an idyllic setting with a being, not significantly different than another, enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Then there is a sudden disturbance and all that is precious is in jeopardy. The unreasonable journey towards the seemingly unreachable elixir thus commences.
An interesting aspect of the hero’s story is often hidden from the spectator. It is the journey that simultaneously happens within. The hero is forced by circumstance to let go of the notion of merely being thoughts and physical attributes. Circumstances coax the hero towards a more intimate understanding of who the hero is. It is this ‘Hero’ that transcends reasonable capabilities. This ‘Hero’ that is unaffected by situations that reasonable people find inconceivably stressful.
Perhaps this is what keeps us coming back to the story and experiencing it as if it was the first time. The inner journey that goes beyond the physical noise of external events and mechanics; beyond the mental noise of self-discipline and willpower. The journey is happening and the hero is merely a part of this. It is being done to the hero just like digestion and circulation. The journey and the hero are happening.
The journey of true yoga practice typically begins with a disturbance, either a personal discontentment or at least an openness to greater potential. Attention is then directed to the inner adventure that follows. The outer journey naturally and simultaneously arises and unfolds. It is a difference in perspective on the same journey. Either one can be premeditated while the other simultaneously occurs.
It is not unprecedented that we may soon share this hero’s quest together, as a global community. Caused by anything from economic, technological, geopolitical to environmental instability.
Our Hero’s Quest.
Friends, as many of you know, I've been a steward of daana (www.globaldaana.org) and an advocate of generosity for the past few years.
daana means 'cultivating generosity'. Having a front-row seat in this adventure, I am discovering a lot about generosity along the way. It is my intention to release a series of videos over the next several weeks, sharing with you what I am learning from all the awesome people around me. An especial bow of gratitude to all my generosity mentors (you know who you are) _/\_
I have come to the realization that, not only is cultivating generosity fundamental to me for skillful living, it is also an urgent practice of our times.
To set the foundation, here is a rough draft of a talk I was recently requested to present. I'd love for you to join me on this 'generosity journey'.
Looking forward to your insights!
#daana #generosity #wellness #community
Musings, insights, stories and tips on skillful living.