Thursday, March 15, 2018

Taste It

Frustration is a curious experience. Nobody likes frustration. It drives us nuts and we can’t wait to be rid of it. And that acknowledgement is a vital awareness of moving forward down a path that leads to freedom. We don’t like it and we are thus motivated to fix it. What few of us realize is that we are not really free so long as we live with a fundamental delusion: the delusion of thinking we know what is our mind but in truth we don’t. The simple task I gave you yesterday was the first step in moving you down the road to genuine freedom. So long as anyone believes they have already arrived at a destination, even if it is the wrong destination of misidentifying themselves as an ego, they will not move, and the result is more suffering.

What is ordinarily considered to be your mind are thoughts, images, and emotions but these are what’s produced by your mind. These three are the effect but not the cause. They have to come from someplace and that place is either your perceptible ego mind (not really your mind) or your real not to be found mind. If you want to find the source you need to turn this around and go backward instead of forwards. Acquisition is always the result of adding. When we subtract we return to the source where nothing is acquired because it’s already there in that space known as Śūnyatā, where we find nothing but is the source of everything.
 With nothing added or subtracted the source is complete. And that is why in the Heart Sutra the Buddha said, Form (everything) is Emptiness (nothing). When you find your true mind you find nothing but from that nothingness comes everything. It’s a profound mystery. 

The father of Zen (Bodhidharma) said this, “To say that the real Dharmakāya of the Buddha resembles the Void is another way of saying that the Dharmakāya is the Void and that the Void is the Dharmakāya...they are one and the same thing...When all forms are abandoned, there is the Buddha ... the void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma. This spiritually enlightening nature is without beginning...this great Nirvanic nature is Mind; Mind is the Buddha, and the Buddha is the Dharma.” 

While this may seem a paradox it is the truth, which means that at the core of every single sentient being there is a buddha awaiting to be awakened. Nobody is an image or a thought (ordinarily considered the mind). Instead, you are the source of everything you wish to create. Every single being can create a heaven or a hell once they awaken their true minds. Until that point what we mostly create is an ego-centric hell. The other side of us all is this spiritually enlightened mind. It can’t be seen or understood by our thinking mind, but without that, we (the bodily part of us) couldn’t exist at all.

More than likely, before yesterday you thought you were already at the destination of freedom because you thought you could find your mind. Now, through your own experience, you know you failed the test. I could have told you but if I had told you, it wouldn’t be your own experience. And with experience comes motivation. Now you’ve tasted the bitterness of frustration and now you’re motivated to solve the mystery. When you do solve it you’ll discover that all of the time you were in bondage and didn’t even know. And you will also know what freedom actually feels like for the first time. No longer will you be the slave of your ego. There is no better teacher than your own experience, either for the good or for the bad. Genuine knowledge isn’t abstract and intellectual. It is a real taste in your mouth that you can’t describe but nevertheless know.
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