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Nondual Highlights Issue #1645 Saturday, December 13, 2003 Editor: Mark

Zen Master Hongzhi

The Subtlety of Zen

To learn the subtlety of Zen, you must clarify your mind and immerse your spirit in silent exercise of inner gazing. When you see into the source of reality, with no obstruction whatsoever, it is open and formless, like water in autumn, clear and bright, like the moon taking away the darkness of night.

Finding Out for Oneself

The mind originally is detached from objects, reality basically has no explanation. This is why a classical Zen master said, "Our school has no slogans, and no doctrine to give people." Fundamentally it is a matter of people arriving on their own and finding out for themselves; only then can they talk about it.

Zen Mind

Just wash away the dust and dirt of subjective thoughts immediately. When the dust and dirt are washed away, your mind is open, shining brightly, without boundaries, without center or extremes. Completely whole, radiant with light, it shines through the universe, cutting through past, present and future. This is inherent in you, and does not come from outside. This is called the state of true reality. One who has experienced this can enter into all sorts of situations in response to all sorts of possibilities, with subtle function that is marvelously effective and naturally uninhibited.

Everyone's Zen

Ever since the time of the Buddha and the founders of Zen, there has never been any distinction between ordained and lay people, in the sense that everyone who has accurate personal experience of true realization is said to have entered the school of the enlightened mind and penetrated the source of religion.

Zen Experience

When you are empty and spontaneously aware, clean and spontaneously clear, you are capable of panoramic consciousness without making an effort to grasp perception, and you are capable of discerning understanding without the burden of conditioned thought. You go beyond being and nothingness, and transcend concievable feelings. This is only experienced by union with it - it is not gotten from another.

Zen Life, Zen Action

The worldly life of people who have mastered Zen is buoyant and unbridled, like clouds making rain, like the moon in a stream, like an orchid in a recondite spot, like spring in living beings. Their action is not self-conscious, yet their responses have order. This is what those who have mastered Zen do. It is also necessary to turn back to the source, to set foot on the realm of peace, plunge into the realm of purity, and stand alone, without companions, going all the way through the road beyond the buddhas. Only then can you fully comprehend the center and the extremes, penetrate the very top and the very bottom, and freely kill and enliven, roll up and roll out.

Autumn and Spring

When Zen practice is completely developed, there is no center, no extremes, there are no edges or corners. It is perfectly round and frictionless. It is also necessary to be empty, open, unpolluted, so "the clear autumn moon cold, its shining light washes the night. Brocade clouds flower prettily, the atmosphere turns into spring."

The Light of Mind

When material sense doesn't blind you, all things are seen to be the light of the mind. You transcend with every step, on the path of the bird, no tarrying anywhere. You respond to the world with clarity, open awareness unstrained.

Spontaneous Knowledge

All realms of phenomena arise from one mind. When the one mind is quiescent, all appearances end. Then which is other, which is self? Because there are no differentiated appearances at such a time, nothing at all is defined, not a single thought is produced - you pass before birth and after death; the mind becomes a point of subtle light, round and frictionless, without location, without traces. Then your mind cannot be obscured. This point where there can be no obscuration is called spontaneous knowledge. Just this realm of spontaneous knowledge is called the original attainment. Nothing whatsoever is attained from outside.

Zen Mastery

The action and repose of those who have mastered Zen are like flowing clouds, without self-consciousness, like the full moon, reflected everywhere. People who have mastered Zen are not stopped by anything: though clearly in the midst of all things, still they are highly aloof; though they encounter experiences according to circumstances, they are not tainted or mixed up by them.

Aloof of the Tumult

When you understand and arrive at the emptiness of all things, then you are independent of every state of mind, and transcend every situation. The original light is everywhere, and you then adapt to the potential at hand; everything you meet is Zen. While subtly aware of all circumstances, you are empty and have no subjective stance towards them. Like the breeze in the pines, the moon in the water, there is a clear and light harmony. You have no coming and going mind, and you do not linger over appearances. The essence is in being inwardly open and accommodating while outwardly responsive without unrest. Be like spring causing the flowers to bloom, like a mirror reflecting images, and you will naturally emerge aloof of all tumult.


The time when you "see the sun in daytime and see the moon at night," when you are not deceived, is the normal behaviour of a Zen practitioner, naturally without edges or seams. If you want to attain this kind of normalcy, you have to put an end to the subtle pounding and weaving that goes on in your mind.

Enlightened Awareness

Buddhas and Zen masters do not have different realizations; they all teach the point of cessation, where past, present and future are cut off and all impulses stop, where there is not the slightest object. Enlightened awareness shines spontaneously, subtly penetrating the root source.

Shedding Your Skin

The experience described as shedding your skin, transcending reflections of subjective awareness, where no mental machinations can reach, is not transmitted by sages. It can only be attained inwardly, by profound experience of spontaneous illumination. The original light destroys the darkness, real illumination mirrors the infinite. Subjective assessments of what is or is not are all transcended.

- Ch'an master Hongzhi from
Classics of Buddhism and Zen - the collected translations of Thomas Cleary submitted to NDS by Ben Hassine.


Yoga is the restraint of fluctuations of the mind.

In this Sutra Patanjali gives the goal of Yoga. For a keen student this one Sutra would be enough because the rest of them only explain this one. If the restraint of the mental modifications is acheived one has reached the goal of Yoga. The entire science of Yoga is based on this. Patanjali has given the definition of Yoga and at the same time the practice. "If you can control the rising of the mind into ripples, you will experience Yoga."

- Excerpt from
The Yoga Suitras of Patanjali, Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda published by Integral Yoga Publications, Yogaville, Virginia.

Sanderson Beck's translation:



Both the man and the animal have disappeared, no traces are left,
The bright moon-light is empty and shadowless with all the ten-thousand objects in it;
If anyone should ask the meaning of this,
Behold the lilies of the field and its fresh sweet-scented verdure.

Oxherding pictures:

Bach spend his life in the presence of God; he wrote BWV639 for organ:

(click right then "save target as")
but you can find it on viola da gamba (a sort of alto violin) or guitar in CD shops;

listening carefully to bwv639 you notice that Bach took a small portion of eternity, this piece should really be play in a loop in eternity; you have the underlying current of bliss as a muscial motif and the mind as a meandering motif that doesn't try to fight peace anymore.

now as most what the Master wrote if you listen several times to this piece it will gently stick to your mind all day long and progressively swallow all your short/stress/excitement thoughts and leave you with Bach's naked intention, this is japa/mantra; Bach's naked state... turya

- submitted to NDS by Eric Paroissien


Canned tomatoes
pulled from the pantry -
summer in a Ball jar.

- Haiku by Michael P. Garofalo

Lots more here:


When you realize yourself as completely empty and devoid of all form... this is wisdom,

When you realize yourself as the fullness of Love overflowing itself without object... this is bliss,

And when you are aware of yourself incarnate in the appearance of form... this is leela."

- Eli Jaxon-Bear

More here:


Ma said: "This is the aspect of one-pointed ness: the One that is many in One, in many, that same One; it is that one-pointed ness in which it is complete. Where the kriya is perfect, there the self reveals as perfect. There only Infinity is in One, the One is in Infinity - the One only... is in two also, and those two are, indeed, in One too. That the Self alone exists in the form of a complete Indivisible Whole -this truth has to reveal all points; it pertains to that one-pointed ness (of Thakurma).

More Anandamayi Ma here:

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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