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#1693 - Friday, January 30, 2004 - Editor: Gloria

It is pitiful that we are
living in a treasure mountain
but cannot see it.
If we develop an
enlightenment seeking mind,
everything becomes the
practice of enlightenment,
even if we are in the midst
of the various worlds of samsara.

- Dogen (1200-1253)

Cease practice based
On intellectual understanding,
Pursuing words and
Following after speech.
Learn the backward
Step that turns
Your light inward
To illuminate within.
Body and mind of themselves
Will drop away
And your original face will be manifest.

- Dogen (1200-1253)

People in the world cannot
identify their own mind.
They believe that what
they see, or hear, or feel,
or know, is mind.
They are blocked by the visual,
the auditory, the tactile, and the mental,
so they cannot see the
brilliant spirit of their
Original Mind.

- Huang-po

To cling to oneself as Buddha,
Oneself as Zen or the way,
Making that an understanding,
Is called clinging to the inward view.
Attainment by causes and conditions,
Practice and realization,
Is called the outward view.
Master Pao-chih said, “The inward view
And the outward view are both mistaken.

- Pai-chang (720-814)

Quotes from:   

Alan Larus - Red Cabin

this and more photos:

A Net of Jewels

"To see everything as imagination born of desire is necessary for
self-realization.  We miss the real by lack of attention and create
the unreal by excess of imagination."    

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

  Along the Way          

One will always find that the most evolved sages
        can be amused; that is why they are pleasant to
        meet and to speak to.  Worrying comes from self-
        pity and fear, and fear is made of the clouds of
        ignorance; the light will dissolve it.  Humor is the
        sign of light: when the light from above touches
        the mind it tickles the mind, and it is the tickling
        of mind which produces humor.

                         Hazrat Inayat Khan

Ben Hassine - Awakened Awareness

Typed from A Guide to Awareness and Tranquillity, Pearls of Great Price, pages 38-39    

Pearls of Great Price    

More often than not, the gems of the Heart are diametrically opposed to the world's proud common sense. Mankind argues loudly about matters it does not understand. Man is ruthless with whatever points out the nothingness of his personal ego. Those still satisfied with their misidentification as great judges of Life are not bubbling over at the prospect of losing their dearest possession, the intellect. Truth is the absolute destruction of all that goes to make up the personal belief and dream of a world filled with intelligent, mind possessing mortals. It marks the end of the old nature, 'man with breath in his nostrils', the 'old man' to be put off.  

The belief of a separate personality capable of possessing this Now-Awareness is exploded and ended in the Heart. Here in the Heart one finds Truth, the Eternal Flame, the all-consuming fire destined to overcome the world of fictious separateness. First, mankind looked for truth to come as something from out the sky in the future. Then, it was determined to be from within that it would be found, but the 'within' was thought to be within a personal mind, contained and controlled by man. Man has been looking for Truth within his intellect, within his reasoning and calculating mind; but no wisdom, no Truth, no Reality will ever come from the thinking, reasoning, planning, evaluating, judging, opinion-holding intellect. It comes forth from the Self-Identity.  

How close is the Christ-Truth? Can anything be closer than the Self you are? "The place whereon thou standest is Holy Ground!" Right now! Already! Now is all we are faced with!  

  The Daily Meditation

Western medicine emphasizes surgery too much. Doctors want to take out things that  are not wanted. When we have something irregular in our body, too often they  advise us to have an operation. The same seems to be true in psychotherapy. Therapists want to help us throw out what is unwanted and keep only what is  wanted. But what is left may not be very much. If we try to throw away that we  don’t want, we may throw away most of ourselves.

Instead of acting as if we can dispose of parts of ourselves, we should learn the art of  transformation. We can transform our anger, for example, into something more  wholesome, like understanding. We do not need surgery to remove our anger. If we  become angry at our anger, we will have two angers at the same time. We only have  to observe with love and attention. If we take care of our anger in this way, without  trying to run away from it, it will transform itself. This is peacemaking. If we are  peaceful in ourselves, we can make peace with our anger. We can deal with depression, anxiety, fear, or any unpleasant feeling in the same way.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step, Bantam Books, USA, 1992


There's an old koan about a student monk who went to his master Benkei.  

The student asked, "I'm a very angry person, and I want you to help me."

The master said, "You have something very strange. Show me your anger."

The monk said, "Well, right now I'm not angry. I can't show it to you."

And Bankei asked, "Then when can you show it to me?”

“It arises unexpectantly,” replied the student.

“Then,” concluded Bankei, “obviously it's not you, your true nature, since sometimes it's not even there. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over."

Who we are has many faces, but these faces are not who we are.

101 Zen Stories

Gill Eardley - Allspirit Inspiration

I think our concept of God is a product of our own dualistic
thinking, which is that things are either transcendent or
immanent. And I do not believe that anymore.

Spirit and matter are not split in the manner we have stereo-
typically thought of it. My experience of God is of being
transcendent and immanent all at once...

I no longer belive that God is up there, and I do not believe
that God is only within me, and I do not believe that God is
merely out there in history. I think we are actually in God
at all times.

~Sister Madonna Kolbenschlag

Gill Eardley - Allspirit

This is from: 'Sounds of Valley Streams - Enlightenment in Dogen's Zen' Francis H. Cook


The following section, "No self," continues the theme of the self, both in its illusory form as something enduring and substantial, and in its true form, the "Original Man":

 A person rides in a boat, looks at the shore, and mistakenly thinks that the shore is moving. If one  looks carefully at the boat, one sees that it is the boat that is moving. In like manner, if a person is confused about the mind-body and discriminates the myriad things, there is the error of thinking that one's own mind or self is eternal. If one becomes intimate with practice and returns within [to the true self], the principle of the absence of self in all things is made clear.

Here Dogen says unambiguously and clearly that the self we seem to detect in introspection and that seems to be always the same self or subject, perhaps even eternally so, is an illusion. If you "look carefully" by means of zazen practice, we notice that the "self" is nothing more than a rapidly changing series of sense impressions, moods, thoughts, and the like. Nothing remains static and unchanging in the midst of these ever-new succeeding drops of experience. The assumed self, as hinted in earlier sections of the essay, is not an unchanging "me" that has experiences but rather turns out to be just the drops of experience themselves as each achieves some kind of unity and then perishes to be replaced by successor. Consequently, when there is no more sense experience, no more change of mood, and no more thought, then there is no more person. There is nothing unchanging or eternal within this mind-body complex.

If there is no self or enduring person in the midst of eternal and drastic change, then how can Dogen use such terms as "Original Man" (in the preceding section), and how can Zen followers in general use the language of "true self," "essential nature," and "original face"? Terms such as "Original Man" and the like are just metaphors that attempt to point to a primordial and essential way of being, prior to self-objectification and self-attachment, prior to the tendency to grasp all experience from the perspective of the craving self. Such a way of being is a way of experiencing as not self and so, consequently, the "Original Man' or "True Self" is no self.


This is from: 'Transformation and Healing' by Thich Nhat Hanh

If the rose is on its way to becoming garbage, then the garbage is also on its way to becoming a rose. She who observes discerningly will see the non-dual character of the rose and the garbage. She will be able to see that there is garbage in the rose and that there are roses in the garbage. She will know that the rose needs the garbage for its existence, and the garbage needs the rose, because it is the rose which becomes garbage. Therefore, she will know how to accept the garbage in order to transform it into roses, and will not be afraid when she sees the rose wither and turn into garbage. This is the principle of non-duality. If true mind (the rose) can be discovered in the raw material of deluded mind (the garbage), then we can also recognize true mind in the very substance of illusion, in the substance of birth and death.

To be liberated is not to run away from or abandon the Five Skandhas of form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. Even if our body is full of impurities and even if the world is of the nature of illusion, it does not mean that to be liberated we need to run away from our body or from the world. The world of liberation and awakened understanding come directly from this body and this world. Once Right Understanding is realized, we transcend the discriminations between pure and impure, and illusory and real objects of perception. If the gardener is able to see that the rose comes directly from the garbage, then the practitioner on the path of meditation can see that nirvana comes directly from birth and death, and she no longer runs away from birth and death or seeks after nirvana. "The roots of affliction (Sanskrit: Mesa) are the same as the awakened state. Nirvana and birth and death are illusory images in space." These quotations express deep insight into non-duality. The substance of this insight is equanimity or letting go (Sanskrit: upeksa), one of the Four Unlimited Minds.

The Buddha taught very clearly that we should not be attached to being or non-being. Being means the desire realm. Non-being means the realm of nihilism. To be liberated is to be free from both.


  Daily Dharma  

"Patience has a quality of insight.  One realizes that plans can be made but that anything can interfere with them.  Sometimes this may even be a good or kammic result.  One is willing to accept setbacks.  If we can’t accept what happens in our own life, we have double suffering. When we push against something hard enough, our hand starts to hurt.  If we put our hand gently on a door or wall there is no pain.  Resisting or wanting, that’s where all our suffering comes from."

 ~ Ayya Khema

From the book, "Being Nobody Going Nowhere", published by Wiscom Publications – Boston


  Viorica Weissman - MillionPaths    

There was a cowherd boy who took his cows to the meadows every morning and brought them back to the cowshed at the end of the day. One evening, as he was tying the cows up for the night, the boy found that one of them was missing her rope. He feared that she might run away, but it was too late to go and buy a new rope. The boy didn't know what to do, so he went to a wise man who lived nearby and sought his advice. The wise man told the boy to pretend to tie the cow, and make sure that the cow saw him doing it. The boy did as the wise man suggested and pretended to tie the cow. The next morning the boy discovered that the cow had remained still throughout the night. He untied all the cows as usual, and they all went outside. He was about to go to the meadows when he noticed that the cow with the missing rope was still in the cowshed. She was standing on the same spot where she had been all night. He tried to coax her to join the herd, but she wouldn't budge. The boy was perplexed. He went back to the wise man who said, "The cow still thinks she is tied up. Go back and pretend to untie her." The boy did as he was told, and the cow happily left the cowshed. This is what the guru does with the ego of the disciple. The guru helps untie that which was never there. Like the cow, due to our ignorance, we believe that we are bound by the ego when, in fact, we are completely free. We need to be convinced of this, however.
-Mother Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)   

  Ben Hassine - Awakened Awareness  

Typed from "Classics of Buddhism and Zen - the collected translations of Thomas Cleary" subsection "Zen Essence" and from that section page 188 - 191.       

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 centre 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 marvellously 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 conceivable 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 centre 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 centre, 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.   

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: