Mind Itself Is Buddha

Mind itself is buddha.
Practice is difficult. Explanation is not difficult.
Not-mind. Not-buddha.
Explanation is difficult. Practice is not difficult. -- Dogen Zenji

For those who have cultivated a sharp intelligence, this is a nearly impossible puzzle to solve. The resolution requires seeing what "explanation" itself rests on. The realization is quite a shock to the ego. I know it was to mine.
IAmNotGryn IAmNotGryn
36-40, M
7 Responses May 6, 2012

I find Adyashanti a great help, and I know that his main teacher was not a lineage bearer, so maybe you are saying that he misrepresented that? I don't get into group stuff like passing the torch and all that anyway either. I find him accessible and great at cutting out the ritual from a practice and instead getting to the heart of what is helpful. He challenged a bunch of assumptions in me that when I examined what he was saying, he was right on, and I have grown tremendously in the last few years. I don't mind at all if other people find his teaching less helpful. People learn differently and need different things to be ok with letting go of their views and just being. It's a pretty individual process I think. I am not sure what you mean by a perfect flaw. If you mean that he uses stories to bend the truth or exaggerate it, I haven't experienced that. What would you say your perfect flaw is? <br />
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I am not after total deconstruction of conditioning and getting rid of habits. I just want to be able to see who or what I really am, without all these misconceptions in the way. It is a lifelong urge. I think some of the conditioning is intriguing - like doing art and figuring out what is pleasing to the eye and why. I find the grittiness of the human condition beautiful and poignantly poetic. I don't want to deconstruct my way out of it, just understand what is really going on, and what is my place in it. <br />
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I wonder if our practice is similar? I sit and let go into the silence (ground of being, whatever you want to call it) beneath (and permeating and surrounding) the thoughts and emotions that pass by. I am slowly becoming that silence, though I physically have a hard time sitting (my back goes out a lot - need to do yoga more), so I also practice while doing chores and such, though I am aware that doing one thing at a time bears much more fruit. My best meditations happen when I wake up early and meditate before getting out of the bed - when I wake up, the sense of me has not solidified yet, so usually those meditation periods are very subtle and powerful. The longer I do this, the more I feel this great force of compassion taking over. The more the sense of me has dropped, the more room this force has to live through me. It's funny that I can feel that same energy in Mooji or Thich Nhat Hanh just watching video clips of them, or feel it almost bowl me over when I went to see Eckhardt Tolle in person, but Adya does not have as much of that energy emanating from him. Does your teacher have that type of presence, as well? <br />
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Was (or is) your wild ride from rising Kundalini energy? I have this kind of energy gently heal me physically, but I haven't had any overwhelming experiences of it like I have heard that other people have. I also get visions and dreams that guide me. <br />
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I'm glad my communications help. I am very curious about other people's experience and path. I don't get to talk to other people about spirituality usually, so this is great!

I have no desire to get into the insider baseball around lineages. :)

I see lineage as a distraction from dealing with the baggage we are bringing into the now. Everyone is my teacher as we are not really separate, including you. I did have an "avatar", for lack of a better word, help me at critical stages.

I had "panic attacks", which from my subjective perspective were completely time &amp; space warping events. I would even say they were a set of near death experiences with the same taste as many others describe. Mine was very "Book of the Dead", but everyone has a slightly different flavor based on their background. Kundalini blockage is also an appropriate label based on what I've researched. I resolved my panic attacks completely now thanks to meditation and insight our original nature.

I enjoy communicating with you, too. Adya, and even ones like Osho (who had large flaws), still are acting from great compassion in helping those going up to the mountain top. I like helping those returning home as well, as it's sometimes a difficult part of the journey as well.


Oh, you are like me, where some of your identity is gone, but there is still more to process. Do you have a regular practice? Are there things you find particularly helpful as far as working with conditioning and habits? <br />
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I just noticed that you joined the Adyashanti group. I listen to Mooji on youtube, and just started attending Adyashanti's satsangs. Adya is my teacher. The advaita part is new to me and I have a little resistance to such a heady way of looking at experience, but it is such a direct method, I see why both Mooji and Adya follow the way that Ramana Maharshi taught to sit with the question of who you are. Are you very familiar with Adya's teachings?<br />
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I am also so happy with where I am now. I love deconstructing self. It used to be a painful process, but lately it's just fascinating and enjoyable. The whole human condition is so vastly complex and intriguing. I am happy to have some perspective on it now. <br />
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I am having a great time writing to you, too. Thanks for the wonderful responses!

I don't know if there is an end to the process of emptying and dissolving habits and conditionings. We need a certain minimal set of habits just to function in the relative (e.g. I don't drop the habit of trusting the law of gravity). What those are we all need to resolve on our own.

I enjoy Adyashanti and his stories. He is an excellent story-teller, which may be his perfect flaw. A friend who is a soto zen priest reports he has fibbed a bit on his lineage before he became well-known. We all have a flaw that is perfect for us in context with our path. I see lineages as a hindrance, but within the Zen community it's still important to be straightforward about them.

Post-satori I turned to zazen practice (shikantaza) to stabilize after the wild ride. Works great so far.

Thanks for the communications! They help me as well.

Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. It resonates with me deeply. When I was a little girl, there was a huge bookcase in my room that had my toys on the bottom and my parents books on the top. I would climb up to the zen section of books and get Zen Mind, Beginer's Mind down and read from it. It so resonated with me - reside in empty mind and curiosity and compassion arise spontaneously. Well that is the state of happy childhood, so I knew that this person got what life is really about. Thank you so much for reminding me of this. What could be more beautiful? And I am so happy to hear that you abide from that place!

I wouldn't go so far as say I abide in that space. I can usually enter it readily now, but that has taken a lot of practice and not for all my habits and conditioning have been resolved yet (it's amazing what can survive past the Void). None of us are perfect, but I'm very satisfied with being imperfect in the present.

Hi IAmNotGryn,<br />
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I have similar experiences from the view of the soft sciences and humanities. I studied art and psychologist and was an art therapist for a while. When looking at how the Self communicates, it is in symbols whose meaning evolves with the person over time. There seems no end to different interpretations and what one can learn from looking deeply at symbols that represent the human experience. <br />
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I am reading a book called The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha's Path to Freedom, where the author talks about not creating, by which she means letting things be as they are, not trying to manipulate anything. Here is a passage that resonates with what we are discussing:<br />
"Not creating takes some trust -- the kind of trust the Buddha had when he gave up all views and sat beneath the Bodhi Tree. And from this viewless space, the Buddha came to understand the nature of all things, which enabled him to articulate the path of wisdom - the pilgrimage that leads us from misunderstanding to enlightenment."<br />
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Here's to not knowing!

The koan which triggered my sudden awakening... "I know nothing" : )

Ok, I sat with this a while. I can answer my own question - I am thinking in dualities. No-mind and mind are not two exclusive states, but are just complementary, and ultimately can be seen as facets of the same gem of reality. <br />
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Is this what you were getting at? <br />
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Thanks for the wonderful post. It is exactly what I am working out in my practice lately!

It was a great question!

One hard lesson, from one who was a materialist prior to my awakening, is that certain interrogations of the universe and/or existence can only lead in infinite strange loops. One unpacks an insight to discover more "insights" and on and on... until you get the sick feeling that the process will never end. Almost like the universe is creating reality just to meet your insatiable need for insight itself.

For the science-minded (like myself), I usually cite Godel's incompleteness theorom, paradoxical experiments in Quantum mechanics, etc for a taste of what I am pointing to. I want to help them see it's okay to be with not knowing as a seed that may ripen to save my friends some grief if they stumble into a satori like experience in the future.

I have a question about this. I can go into no-mind and have beautiful meditations and experiences in the relative quiet of my home or nature. But then when it is time to engage the mind, like having a conversation with a stranger, mind is so noisy that I often lose the space to even remember to settle into Buddha-nature. Yet, I know that mind is also Buddha-nature. I so long to have right speech - to speak from truth, and not have to bother with shallow speech that does not allow one to touch another's humanity. So I am very frustrated. <br />
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Well, to me, this quote says that being in mind and therefore dealing with concepts makes practice hard, but explanation easier; whereas being in no-mind, and therefore the pre-verbal state that existed before we were taught concepts, makes practice easy because you are in the now instead of in our concept of something, but being in the now is very hard to explain. <br />
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So how does one live in the everyday world of concepts and utilize the mind and not forget one's Buddha-nature? <br />
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So I find your explanation that, "the resolution requires seeing what 'explanation' itself rests on," puzzling. I take it to mean that when dealing with mind that expresses in concepts, explanation is easy; whereas when dealing with a deeper non-conceptual knowing, how do you explain? I guess you find a way for mind and no-mind to work together. This does not sound like what you had in mind. I think I am taking the quote rather differently than you. Could you say more?