seeing that one cannot see the absence of things is true seeing...
(Shen hui) all matters without exception are lies and gibberish...
I recoil from the notion and intuition of impermanence because, to this ego-self, it represents nonexistence, death. Even as, to my inner, out-flowing, “spiritual” aspiration for freedom, it represents life.
I call the recoil from impermanence “fear-greed” or “the primal No,” as in “No, not this, not here, not now” (which is also desire for “that, there, then, else”). It’s the habitual rejection of what “is.”
This “No”—this present-moment rejection of the reality of impermanence—is called self-power. In the Shinshu phrase “namu-amida-butsu,” it’s namu. It’s the error embedded in the (amida-butsu) truth. Amida-butsu symbolizes True Reality, the Dharma of impermanence.
Namu-amida-butsu is the awakening, here and now, to self-power-in-action—delusion-in-action, falsity-in-action—as it tries to resist its own ceaseless out-flowing in-and-as impermanence.
“In-and-as impermanence” refers to the nonduality, the “one taste,” of error and truth; in other words, to the actual impermanence of apparent permanence and apparently fixed objects like concepts and other delusions.
The concepts (dreams) that boil up as a result of the fear-greed bodymind contraction (grasping and attachment sustain these hallucinations) are relinquished when the pain of grasping and attaching to them is clearly seen, felt, and spontaneously confessed.
Self-power, when caught in the act, itself becomes in a flash or “one-thought-moment” the sudden, silent suspension of self-binding, of contraction, of coil and recoil. I can see what I'm chronically, painfully doing, and so this bodymind, habitually grasping, loses the compulsion-inspiration to contain (retain, possess, hoard) the out-flow.
When the grasping compulsion is seen, it expires: “Ah? Ha!” This goes on all the time.
Freedom is discovered here-and-now negatively through the unmasking of the active binding agent: self-power. Self-power is the in-pulling “No” (unreality) that’s erased by its own ultimate nature as out-flowing, impermanent “Yes” (reality).
After your faux pas or crime — the slap or the murder — and having faced the music, smile.
That’s how losers win.
Effects we see dancing around and as us are caused causes.
There are no uncaused causes so there was no first cause.
This is the end of Chapter 1: “Conceptualizing.”
The most radical thing you can do, and the funniest:
Open your here-now eyes.
Stop acting on your impulses and people will think you’ve changed. I’ve experienced this. Stop flying off the handle. Bite your tongue. Turn the other cheek. Count to ten.
Not a cure, but a chance to add some space, some distance between your known emo-buttons and the fraught fingers of all these button-pushing jerks.
When you’re not compressed by your reactions or theirs you can passively identify with the buffer zone. That’s your infinity now no matter what happens next!
In zangedo (confession praxis) I don’t dwell on it, I just blurt it out: “This is me, three poisons.”
Not to live there, but to leave there.
It blurts me out.
I thought the thinker was an evolutionary advance.
But thinker is just fear-greed metastasized.
Like that neo-tumor blooming from the brainstem.
I wash up onto the shore. I’m beached.
Then I’m drug back into the depths of thought, mood, libido, mortido, physical and psychological sensation...
Then I wash back up again, blinking, blurry, breathing:
This primeval career.
* Ego fails.
Ego fails to be.
I have a tally clicker. I click it every time I note that I’m recoiling from what is into fear-greed, or I’m recoiling from fear-greed itself.
Click. Click. Click.
A running tally of my successes.
This is so subtle and so immediate it precedes you.
You can’t grasp it but you can easily grasp your grasping.
When you do you’ve accomplished everything.
The projection of personhood onto impermanence is charming.
Doubt is the nonexistent barrier that separates you from you.
I’m so jealous of the peace that contains me. I’m so deranged and it’s so arranged or vice versa.
Locate and isolate the doubt — the No — and you find its boundless context.
Boundless, as in, unhindered by doubt.
You find the contradiction by accident.
You hear the preacher. You wait for the inconsistency. But you won’t find it on purpose. So you surrender to the sermon, let it wash over you.
Then, like a pricked nerve or a foot-cramp on the cusp of a nap — there! The false note. Ouch!
There’s a noiseless crack and the whole structure crumbles.
The contradiction is the exploding key. And the exit.
Peace of mind?
Peace of beyond-mind.
A tall ladder of words leads to the summit on my side of it and a tall ladder of words leads to the summit on your side of it but the summit where we meet is wordless.
Temperament is not a factor when it comes to waking up.
For example, take my polluted temperament: despite it, I’m awake to it.
As the most important person in your life you might want to stop to consider where that places you on the pyramid.
Well, you’re on top. You are the peak, the summit.
Only future archeologists will care about the dusty biscuits inside your fat triangle.
Or, you’re like a gull on a stone berg’s tip. Are you stuck there? I don’t think so.
Bow to awakening once. More than once is idolatry.
As an ongoing practice, bowing to awakening is redundant and obnoxious. As religion, it turns adherents into rugs.
Awakening is this flaming world, this liquid life.
It’s not yours. It is what is no matter what you do.
My personality is differentiated.
Our reality is undifferentiated.
Doubt and hesitation, like thoughts in general, have no extension in spacetime.
We produce them ongoingly from raw emptiness.
I wake up to, not from, the crazy presumption of permanence.
Attention (consciousness) is appetite.
“No not this not here not now not me” revealed as “Yes this here now me.”
Not through acceptance but through simple recognition of nonacceptance.
Your chronic sense of dissatisfaction, incompleteness and uncertainty will not be cured.
But when you confess it, it is revealed as an aspect among aspects of the boundless realm you are.
The H-line (horizontal) is intersected at every point by the V-line (vertical). Somethingness intersected by nothingness here.
The intersection point — the point where H and V are the same — is their mutual zero point. It’s their identity.
But horizontal mind is peering through this zero point as if it’s a porthole, looking for vertical mind beyond.
This observation isn’t captured as a knowledge point (a “something” or a “nothing”). Rather, the effort-to-capture, itself, is found to be a hoax, a joke.
H-line and V-line — both — point to punchline.
All despair, all greed, all fears are contained in, summed up by, one word: I.
Fear-greed — f&g— effigy— every iffy effing thing nailed to an aching flame: one crux to rep the rest...
Between actual 911 life-threatening emergencies, thinking there’s a problem with [fill in the blank] is just a thought.
So you can (a) think a fix-it thought or (b) see that all thoughts are dreams.
(a) is the progressive path with no end.
(b) sees the progressive path (and everything else) as a thought-stream of nothingness now.
(a) crawls, (b) stands.
All my constant problems are “within.”
Not mundane problems. I’m talking about spiritual problems: psychological, emotional, philosophical — the Spawn of Angst.
But “within” is a verbal construct. Without words, there is no “within.”
Turn inward to discover the futility of inward turning.
A radical notion can shock us. There might be an awakening! Brain chemistry spiced up, neuronal pathways and connections revived … A lovely drug.
Irrelevant to the peace that owns us.
Rejection of equalness would halt the flow, and it tries.
Suddenly waking up to total aloneness is a precipice experience.
Seven billion reduced to one, teetering on zero’s rim.
The automatic default to problem-consciousness is fear-mind’s need for gravity.
Forget that gravity itself is weightless.
Untouched by the tyranny of concepts due to their inherent voidness...
This a priori liberation from stagnation is absolute.
There’s the recoil, and then the recoil from recoiling.
Rejection of what is, and then rejection of rejection.
Fear, and then fear of fear.
All of which are gone.
Welcome to the “Isle of Gold” where even our refusal to see omnipresent goldness is gold.
Thing (ice) melts into no-thing (water).
Delusion into reality.
But ice is water.
“More ice: more water.”
Thoughts are effects of causes from the infinite past.
“Infinite past” (before before) means uncaused.
Uncaused means unborn.
...Thoughts have no fixed or unfixed existence.
Existence–as-appetite, this zombie life.
The freedom-flash is its own validation.
Note the simultaneity and goneness of our experience. That is our oneness.
Freedom is reduced to a simple recognition that’s erased as it erases: recognition of conceptual grasping and clinging now, and now…
Society’s fears (family fears) are your fears, and they are countless. But when you batch and count them all as one, society unconsciously fears you.
The chatterbox doesn’t disappear. It moves from front to back.
Conceptualizing doesn’t stop. It’s seen as a causeless flame of equalness like absolutely everything else.
Ask “who am I?” & you’re stuck in destructive continuation.
Ask “what am I?” & you creatively end it.
Factually, it’s impossible to create a fixed object.
But people can’t care about this because care applies only to things.
1. “True entrusting” is liberation.
2. Bodymind recognizes its incurable non-entrusting habit now.
3. Inconceivable liberation is boundlessembrace.
Does the brain squeeze the guts or do the guts squeeze the brain?
It’s the squeezing that hurts, and its production of spiritual bile.
Head-stories, turned edgewise, are like radio static with banjos, in a wood chipper.
Until the gravity of the fleshy ear compresses them back into shapes and places them right-side up between mirrors.
In the primitive hope that death is afraid of crispy wafers.
Tight whirlpool is boundless ocean: namu-amida-butsu.
Look up from your device at least once.
By “device” I mean thought-stream.
True Dharma words evict.
This universe is anthropomorphic: without content.
The entire Dharma of the Real Me is hidden in plain sight: it occupies its own denial.
Karmic self, composed of non-karmic Self, lives within non-karmic Self.
Nisargadatta Maharaj’s pronounced view “I Am That” is nonduality; it’s a boiled-down expression of ineluctable oneness. His “natural yoga” is a non-path path of instant recognition of Advaita-reality, not-twoness, or dynamic no-thing-ness.
The Ch’an (Zen) insight expressed in the well-known and variously translated “hsin hsin ming” is also “not-two,” an instant recognition of the impossibility of duality and boundaries.
The sudden Dzogchen shout “PHAT!” startles and instantly shatters the apparent formation of mind-objects; it’s a flash/recognition of the falseness of duality and thingness.
The nondual Shin Buddhist phrase namu-amida-butsuis also a recognition—a recognition of the impossibility of permanence, of fixed objects, of a true separate self in reality.
The formation of the illusory or limited self is like a whirlpool of water in the ocean; the whirlpool (aka, ocean water) is not cured or eliminated; it is, itself, recognized as impermanence!
These apparently disparate teachings tell us essentially the same thing. They all point to the living Dharma in (as) us, and they work to bust it out of the dungeons our minds have created—in our heads, our hearts, our guts, our tenseness. No, they expose the dungeons as void.
The living Dharma—the “light”—pours out of us, despite us. We thought we were recipients but we’re source!
The jail-bars are mirages created by our own well-trained (ill-trained) bodyminds, but they only sustain the appearance of solidity for the duration of our active insistence that the bars exist. Upon recognition, that insistence loses its fuel, its force. The bars are gone. They were always gone.
Nisargadatta’s nothingness is Zen’s emptiness is Dzogchen’s spaciousness is Shin’s impermanence. All of which are the living Dharma, the “Pure [flowing] Land” that (metaphorically) pours from, not to, our hearts through recognition of the error of the presumption of permanence.
Through the error? This is, in a sense, a negative view: we recognize, in a flash, our chronic coil and recoil in the face of this flowing reality. We doubt that this ungraspability is safe. We fear it because we are trained to see the death of the separate (illusory) self as a real death—but it’s life!
This is non-theistic. It doesn’t appeal to hardcore believers in fixed self, soul, God, and afterlife.
With the honorable exception of Nisargadatta, this is the Mahayana Buddhist view (if labels are necessary). Shakyamuni didn’t talk about God, he talked about self-examination and the recognition of self-caused suffering.
Impermanence (nothingness, emptiness, spaciousness…reifications all) is inescapable reality. We doubt that and suffer. We fear it instead of trust it. But recognition of that doubt and fear, and the fist-like constriction it forms in our bodyminds (that forms our bodyminds into constriction) is itself “true entrusting.” In other words, recognition (confession) of failure is success! Initially this is hard to accept, but sooner or later our ingrained view shows itself to be absurd and painful. In that sense, the error is the teacher and we wake up — to error.
When the perfect freedom of impermanence confronts us—in a flash—we chill out; it's as if we exhale all the falsehoods we’ve been clinging to.
And, as Nisargadatta said, “this must go on all the time.”