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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3436, Saturday, February 7, 2009, Editor: Mark

Q: If our own Mind is the Buddha, how did Bodhidharma transmit his doctrine when he came from India?

A: When he came from India, he transmitted only Mind-Buddha. He just pointed to the truth that the minds of all of you have from the very first been identical with the Buddha, and in no way separate from each other... Whoever has an instant understanding of this truth suddenly transcends the whole hierarchy of saints and adepts... You have always been one with the Buddha, so do not pretend you can ATTAIN to this oneness by various practices.

Q: If that is so, what Dharma do all the Buddhas teach when they manifest themselves in the world?

A: When all the Buddhas manifest themselves in the world, they proclaim nothing but the One Mind. Thus Gautama Buddha silently transmitted to Mahakasyapa the doctrine that the One Mind, which is the substance of all things, is co-extensive with the Void and fills the entire world of phenomena. This is called the Law of All the Buddhas. Discuss itas you may, how can you even hope to approach the truth through words? Nor can it be perceived either subjectively or objectively.

So full understanding can come to you only through an inexpressible mystery. The approach to it is called the Gateway of the Stillness beyond all Activity. If you wish to understand, know that a sudden comprehension comes when the mind has been purged of all the clutter of conceptual and discriminatory thought-activity. Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.

- Huang Po, from: The Wan Ling Record of the Zen Master Huang Po

The undisturbed mind is like the calm body water reflecting the brilliance of the moon. Empty the mind and you will realize the undisturbed mind.

- Yagyu Jubei

To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders

- Lao Tzu

People the world over are always seeking secret or mystical spiritual techniques, hoping they will provide a short cut to enlightenment. There are no special techniques other than the basic principles revealed here. If you turn to the Chrisitian contemplation practices espoused by St Augustine you'll find cessation and contemplation. If you turn to the Jewish Kabbalah, or the self-remembering techniques of Gurdjeff, or even the practices for moral self-improvement advocated by Benjamin Franklin, you'll find cessation / contemplation practices once again. Most of the spiritual practices are based on the principles of stopping (samadhi) and observation (prajna), so if you really wish to master the road of spiritual cultivation, there's no way you can accomplish this feat without understanding the priciples of cessation and contemplation, and applying these in your spiritual sadhana (practice).

- excerpt from Twenty Five Doors to Meditation, A Handbook for Entering Samadhi,  William Bodi & Lee Shu-Mei

The beginner's mind is an open mind, an empty mind, a ready mind, and if we really listen with a beginner's mind, we might really begin to hear. For if we listen with a silent mind, as free as possible from the clamor of preconceived ideas, a possibility will be created for the truth of the teachings to pierce us, and for the meaning of life and death to become increasingly and startlingly clear.

My master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said: "The more and more you listen, the more and more you hear; the more and more you hear, the deeper and deeper your understanding becomes."

- Sogyal Rinpoche

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