The zen of advaita the teaching mastery of sri nisargadatta maharaj Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

The zen of advaita the teaching mastery of sri nisargadatta maharaj Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan

on

  • 1,477 views

The Zen of Advaita The Teaching Mastery of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan...

The Zen of Advaita The Teaching Mastery of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan
A masterful and profoundly insightful survey of the Advaita teaching and the contemporary scene. This book will greatly contribute to a deeper understanding of this important movement, sweeping the West, and which eventually leads to Self Realisation.' Alan Jacobs, Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,477
Views on SlideShare
1,477
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
1
Downloads
43
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

The zen of advaita the teaching mastery of sri nisargadatta maharaj Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan The zen of advaita the teaching mastery of sri nisargadatta maharaj Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan Document Transcript

  • The Zen Koan Notebooks Course I Cracking the Code of the Zen Koan The Zen ofAdvaita-Vedanta The TeAChINg MAsTery ofsrI NIsArgAdATTA MAhArAj
  • Copyright 2010 Stephen H. Wolinsky, PhD An imprint of Quantum Press, under the auspices of Quantum Institute Inc.Stephen H. Wolinsky, PhD Library ISBN 0-9749954-3-6 website stephenhwolinskyphdlibrary.com Typesetting: Bramble Books www.bramblebooks.com Book cover design by Mike Dowdall shawdle@yahoo.com Copyediting by Simon Abbott zenydao@gmail.com
  • INTroduCTIoN There is no oneThere is nothing and no one to get No one to receive a teaching No one to give a teaching That being said Who hears? Who reads? Let’s begin Nisargadatta Maharaj: “There is no such thing as enlightenment, the realization of that fact is itself enlightenment.” 3
  • forwArdAll spiritual paths are pointersat best and become religiousdogma at worst. Zen, although a“clean” form of Buddhism with itsmagnificent Koans which both lureand attract the deconstructionor de-conditioning of the mind,nevertheless carries with it (ifthese Koans are taken as a realthing, a real roadmap a real path,that will do the job) the sametraps as any other dogma.Zen Saying: If you fall in lovewith the road, you will forget thedestination. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “I do not believe in spiritual paths….all paths lead to unreality.”“I” was drawn to Zen in the early1970’s with one of their mostfamous Koans, “What is the soundof one hand clapping?”Although hypnotized by thepuzzle, I did not “realize” and“experience” one of its meanings 4
  • until 1975, (that there is no suchthing as choice, and that therewas no purpose). In 1979 “I” spoketo Nisargadatta Maharaj aboutthis, (that there is no such thingas choice, and that there wasno purpose, and everything justhappens as it happens) wantingto “test my understanding”. Hereplied, “Obviously.”The structure of the Koan howeverwas not revealed in its entiretyfor almost 20 years.This book represents severalthings:1. A cracking of the code of the Zen Koan and appreciating the Koan, its “purpose”, “how it works”, and “where it leads.”2. A completion of the queue of the mind, with its extraordinary capacity to deconstruct, without any regard from a “me”. In other words it just happens.3. The realization of my beloved Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj as the 5
  • ultimate Zen Teaching Master, who used Enquiry like a Koan.4. For the “reader” and “myself” the danger of realizing that even the magnificent Koan is still a thorn to remove a thorn. Better said, the Koan deconstructs and points, but one cannot “nest” in the “beyond” or any “experience” that arises”, even satori. In short, the Zen Koan too, like the enquiry process, must go.5. Finally, this represents yet another tribute to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who was able to pinpoint where the imaginary “I” imagined it was, and set it free from its illusionary existence.This book is offered to Maharaj,whose Teaching Mastery leaves “me”in awe and reverence, even twenty-nine years after his passing. Jai Gurudev Nisargadatta Maharaj Ki Jaya! 6
  • seCTIoN oNe wATCh your sTeP! A word of CAuTIoN Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Question everything, don’t believe anything.”As you are about to go throughthis book, please note thatnothing you are about to read istrue. It is merely words whichrepresent things which do notexist. Please do not fall into the trap of words.Recall two Archetypes, (currentpatterns in the ocean thatform waves, then bubbles, the“I”, as droplets).The FirstArchetype is of the “Genie inthe Lamp”. In this current theright words (magic words) mustbe said (chanted) for the genieto appear and grant your wishes(kind of like mantras).The secondArchetypical current is “Using aTreasure Map to Search for the 7
  • Buried Treasure”. Like spiritualpaths searching for enlightenment(the Holy Grail of the “spiritual”quest).Why is this important to rememberas we tread through this seriesof books? Because all pointersand metaphors are using wordswhich represent and describethings which do not exist. Inshort, “Don’t fall into words andlanguage games”.Finally, be aware of precognitivetraps that offer pleasure andrewards for understanding andlearning the words and theirmeanings. This deeply embeddedcurrent only assures more cravingand a fixation on learning moreand more words to have more andmore experiences with the beliefthat both experiences words andunderstanding will lead to theultimate experience, termed someform of bliss for all eternitycalled “Enlightenment”. Nisargadatta Maharaj:“…all experiences will lead you tois more experiences…expect nothing from experiences…” 8
  • As we will see Koans, like EnquiryQuestions, are designed to breaklanguage patterns. BUT, throwthe thorn away, (step away fromword-meanings and understanding)otherwise you will fall into thetrap of words and the joy oflearning and experiencing theirmeanings. With Love Your Mirage Brother Stephen 9
  • INTroduCTIoN what is the history of Zen?Zen comes from the word ch’an inChinese which comes from the worddhyana in Sanskrit. Dhyana is partof the eight limbs of yoga (the7th limb) and means meditation.Zen therefore has its roots inIndia as early as 5300 years ago,although it was not revealed inits present form until about 2500years ago upon the appearance ofSakyamuni Buddha.Zen itself as its Chineseincarnation as Ch’an did notappear until about 500 A.D. withthe arrival of Bodhidharma inChina.What is Zen?Enquiry Koan: Is there Zen priorto the word Zen?Often times Zen masters are asked,“What is Zen?” From that questionmany paradoxical answers are 10
  • given. What becomes apparent isthat any understanding in wordsor concepts yields more and moreconcepts which keep you fromappreciating that whatever youthink it is, it is not. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Everything you understand, youunderstand through your concepts.”The easy way to define Zen ismeditation. Zen Buddhism datesback to India and the root of Zenis Hindu, which later was reformedas Buddhism some 500 years beforethe birth of Christ.Buddha was a Hindu. Hisrealization led him to define whatlater became Buddhism.Bodhidharma, who many consider thefounder of modern day Zen, broughtdhyana (meditation ) to China fromIndia about 500 A.D.The root of Zen meditation,like the root of meditation, invery general terms is neti neti,translated from the Sanskrit asnot this not this. 11
  • Transplanting ZenOne of the biggest problemsand one which still remainslargely unseen, is when thereis an attempt to transplant“spirituality” from one cultureto another. For example one mighttransplant Indian yoga to theWest. However the psychology, thecultural metaphors, in short theway that the mind is organized,might be very different in theWest from the East. Appreciatingthis, my teacher NisargadattaMaharaj tried to teach theparticular student according tohow their mind was organized.To illustrate, he taught “me”using Western scientificmetaphors, while many of hisIndian disciples receivedtraditional Indian culturalmetaphors. This is critical toappreciating the problems ofgetting techniques or teachingsthat are transplanted from oneculture to another, from one timeperiod to another, not to mentionfrom one person to another. 12
  • Many Zen stories of teachersdemonstrate these culturalmetaphors that relate to earliertimes in history and which do not“hit the mark” in the Post-ModernWorld. Pain oftentimes followsfor students when the cultureand time are not appreciated andare superimposed like a templateor a map or a belief system uponsomeone, or a group, that it isnot appropriate for.Krsna:”It is better to do your ownpath imperfectly, than another’sperfectly.”From a relative point of view,arguably much of the pain thatis felt within “spiritual”communities is because there isa tendency by teachers to givespiritual practices as a one-size-fits-all. In other words,everyone automatically gets thesame mantra, yantra, tantra, i.e.spiritual practice. This leads astudent for whom the approach hasbeen given inappropriately to feel“there must be something wrongwith me”. 13
  • Instead it is essential toreceive the right key to “your”door applied in the right momentin space-time to “liberate” the“you” you imagine yourself tobe. “I” know personally in mycase my teacher Sri NisargadattaMaharaj said to me one day quiteunexpectedly, “fluids cometogether and the I Am appears.” Atfirst glance, for another personwho might be sitting next to me,(one of the other five or sixpeople in the room), this mightnot have any meaning at all.However, Maharaj’s Enquiry Koanwhich he applied to me as he did,sent a piece of “my” consciousnessinto the world of neuroscienceleaving me with basic experientialYoga understandings that “I” wasnot “I”, that “I” and the sense ofbeing a person separate from otherpersons occurred through fluidsin the brain coming together, andthat there was no cause or effect,doership or location. In short,as he said to me, “It’s all anillusion.”Moreover, during the same timeperiod he told an India disciple 14
  • who was in the room with me thathis “spiritual” practice wasto study Quantum Physics. Theeffects of this statement needno discussion, as they should beobvious. uPdATINg The KeysMeeting the student “where theyare” and applying the exact“right” key/practice, as will bediscussed later, is the mark of atrue Teaching Master. Zen and the Art of Teaching“A true teacher must be ready topull out the nails, kicks outthe wedges and lets the entireconstruct collapse.” (pg 402Dharma Eye).Zen Saying: “A tough word fromthe teacher pries a rigid studentaway, and that is the correctaction.”Each student is different. Theteacher needs to meet each student 15
  • in the place where he or she canbenefit most from the teaching.Like Homeopathy, the rightmedicine must be given to theright disease.A teacher must first be able todiagnose the disease before he canprescribe the right medicine. spotting the “stuck states” or “stations”To begin with, there is nocorrelation between being a “good”teacher and the “realization” ofwho you are.Most people believe that withrealization comes the ability toteach. This is not the case. Inthe Zen tradition there are ZenMasters and there are TeachingMasters, i.e. those who canactually teach.A Zen teacher, or a teacher in anyform of yoga, spiritual process orpsychotherapeutic process, mustfirst be able to realize who it isthat is in front of them, theirown (the teacher’s) limitations 16
  • or lenses through which theirperception occurs, and how toapply particular understandings,wedges, levers, techniques ordevices to unlock the doorfreeing a student from theiridentification with thoughts,memories, emotions, associations,perceptions etc.It is said for example that theZen Teaching Masters of old hadthe ability to apply a Zen Koan,precisely the correct Koan, alsoreferred to as Turning Words, tothe correct person.This is the art of teachingas opposed to applying orsuperimposing a technique,template, map or a formula withoutthe understanding that eachindividual, given where they are,will require a different key,a different Koan, a differentEnquiry, a different mantra,yantra or tantra for a specifictime, for a specific purpose thatis unique to them, to unlock theirdoor.It is said that a Teaching Masteris able to “read” a student to 17
  • the point that by applying aparticular lever or wedge intotheir process, he both liberatesand dissolves the identificationwith a thought, feeling, emotion,association, perception, image,idea etc. which even the studentmight not realize that “she” or“he” is identified with.This ability, to liberate fromidentification through theapplication of a particularprocess at a particular moment oftime for a particular student, israre. Zen Teaching ApproachExampleHook With BaitMaharaj to “me”: “What spiritualknowledge have you receivedtoday?”Answer: (I was demonstratingthat there was no such thing asspiritual) “What do you mean byspiritual knowledge?”Set Up a Barrier, (and hook andbait). 18
  • Maharaj to “me”: ”What was yourexperience?”Answer: (very summarized) “Thepast lives I experienced were likea cinema, watching myself dyingand being reborn.”Test Question:Maharaj: “Who is the knower of theknowledge of your birth?”Answer: (I had not a clue, so Ijust sat there).Maharaj: “Find out!”Another ExampleHook and baitMaharaj: “What is your spiritualpractice?”Student: “I do VipassanaMeditation.”Maharaj: “What isVipassana meditation?”Student: (The student describedit) 19
  • Barrier:Maharaj: “That’s not it.”Translator: (aside to student):“Don’t worry, whatever you say youare doing Maharaj always says,‘That’s not it!’.”It was the Enquiry Questions heasked the students to considerwhich entered you like a virusabsorbing your consciousness untilits riddle was realized and achunk of the “I” you thought youwere disappeared.It was in that process ofrealizing the answer to theriddle that the deconstructionof thoughts, memories, emotions,associations and perceptions wouldoccur and thereby bring about theliberation from the illusion ofthe individual mind, leading tothe one mind as consciousness.After one had been through thatprocess it was fascinatingsometimes to sit and watch anewcomer arrive and go through asimilar process.In this way, any Teaching Masterneeds to: 20
  • Realize who is in front of themRecognize if the person evenbelongs there with themRecognize the limitations of theirown teaching and who it is rightfor and not right forBe willing to send the student towhere or to whom they need to goUpdate teachings, metaphors,enquiries and Koans to make themrelevant to your own time andplace.Zen Saying: “The chick and the henmust be of one mind, tapping andpecking in unison.”The teacher through interaction,dialogue and relationship, probesthe students’ positions and ideasand probes the edges of theirunderstanding, then and only thenapplying the right antidote todissolve the “I” which is imaginedto be stuck in a fixed position.A fixed position is the idea thatthe position or understandingexperienced by the student as“this is it” or “this is me” must 21
  • be seen as temporary and only asingle point of view, or pointto view from, suspended in spacetime and surrounded by and made ofemptiness-consciousness, as is itsperceiver. In short, the sense ofI am and separation is the “place”to which each device must befitted for it to dissolve.Enquiry Koan: “What if anythingoccurs when/if the perceiver turnsits attention on itself.”Exercise:Enquiry Koans:Is there an unwanted or wantedperceiver?”What is its perception?What was decided about that?Are you still deciding that?Who sees, hears or senses?Maharaj says that the eye actuallydoes not see or perceive, it isthe consciousness (emptiness). In 22
  • Zen it says that we should let goof the ear and the eye.Zen Koan: “Does the sound go tothe ear, or the ear to the sound?”Alternatively:“Does the object go to the eye, orthe eye to the object?”All of these lead to theunderstanding that the seer andthe seen and the hearer and theheard are in consciousness andarise and subside together inconsciousness, but “I” am prior toconsciousness.Zen Koan: “What is it that movesthe legs, lifts the arm, speaksand hears?”This Koan leads us not only toreveal the “I” that imagines itdoes this or that, but to theillusion of the perception orabstracted perceiver or knowerthat knows and believes itis. Moreover it deconstructsthe belief it is separate fromconsciousness and can act anddo “As If” it is a separateindividual conscious entity. 23
  • In an even “deeper” way, theknower resides in consciousnessand has specific knowing, BUTthis still is in and made ofconsciousness, which has nothingto do with “me.” sTudeNTsStudents work hard on theirspiritual practices encouraged byteachers. The teachers have leftthem hoping, grabbing and desiringan illusionary reflection in themirror of emptiness.Zen Saying: “The monkey grabs atthe reflection of the moon.”Oftentimes teachers use thepromise of liberation as acarrot and a stick, offering thedevastating and compensatorystate of hope, which keeps theillusion and the reflection going,rather than suggesting like RamanaMaharshi, “Go back the way youcame”, or as Krsna, ”You canachieve nothing through actions”.Or like 24
  • Nisargadatta Maharaj:“… Anyone who thinks that actions will get them somewhere is deluded…”This enabling through hope offersthe illusion of an “I” gettingor becoming enlightened and re-enforces the seeker identity. Theseeker identity has no intentionof finding, its only intention isseeking. Since we are that whichwe seek, as we seek and look, itremains unseen.Zen Saying: “As you aim for it youturn away from it.” Approaching Zen The path which comes close to deconstructing itself.Zen, like other “spiritual paths”,presents dialogues, i.e. thestudent who asks the master aquestion and the master who givesthe answer.Koans, like Nisargadatta Maharaj’sEnquiry Questions, are likearrows, wedges, pointers, levers,devices, in a word shocks, calledin Zen Turning Words. Koans act 25
  • as a shock that when delivereddirectly to the system bothshifts and deconstructs perceptualillusions.In most forms of psychotherapyor spirituality techniques areoftentimes prescribed as a mapor template and placed upon thestudent as a general technique.Using them as a prescription orformula is not the point. For trueZen Teaching Masters there is noprescription, rather each studentis given a particular Koan tounlock “their” door. No SignificanceA student might ask, “Are you aZen Master?” The Master mightreply, ‘The sun is shining.”Or the student might ask, “How canone become a Master Teacher?” Andthe Master might reply, “How canthe sun make itself hotter, or thegrass make itself greener?”In this way, like no otherapproach, nothing has anysignificance. A Zen Master ifasked, “How did you learn to 26
  • teach?” might say, “A dog isbarking.”For most of us from theWest this is quite striking,as our point of reference isimagining we are a separateindividual entity, person or beingthat can learn a skill, and bylearning a skill you can becomea Zen Master or a Zen TeachingMaster.For the Zen Master nothing couldbe further from the truth. Why?Because nothing is happening,a dog is barking, the sun isshining, the Zen Master isteaching, the grass is green, atnight the sky gets dark. In otherwords someone realizes it or not.Nothing is more significant thananything else and in Zen, (hint:another One Hand Clapping) all isone seamless occurrence or event.Not. No descriptionsIn Zen we do not name, label ordescribe. 27
  • Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Give up your tendency to define yourself.”In this way, to appreciate Zenat its “highest” level is toappreciate an interaction betweenan illusionary one mind to onemind whereby pressure in the formof a Koan is added to a shockpoint, (the place the imaginary“I” was formed and imagines it“is”).In this way questions thatstudents ask act as indicators ofwhere the shock points or stuckpoints are.Each questioner, by presentingtheir question is shouting out,announcing and presenting theirshock point, stating, “This iswhere I am stuck.”For many people reading Zencan be almost a frustratingprocess, “What are they tryingto communicate, what are theytrying to tell me?” But like noother system the question itselfand the answer itself is a key to 28
  • unlock the doors of the perceptualillusion.In this way Cracking the Code ofthe Zen Koan, like Enquiries ofSri Nisargadatta Maharaj, revealskeys, portals, holes, or doorwayswhich both deconstruct-deconditionand provide glimpses into the“essential world”.For “me”, after years ofsuffering, I came to appreciatenot the Indian stories that wereinterlaced with myths, but ratherthe direct face-to-face experiencewith Nisargadatta Maharaj, and howhe was able to probe, (throwingout a large net or fishing hookand seeing where you bit), andthen deconstruct or peck atyour shell so that the light ofday would lead you to “your”realization.Earlier we said that approachingZen is very similar to not this,not this. If a Zen Master isasked “What is Zen?” the answerwill often be either “not this,not this”, or “everything is Zen,ergo, and this, and this.” This is 29
  • reminiscent of the two major pathsof India, Vedanta’s neti neti(not this, not this) and KashmirShaivism’s tantra (and this, andthis).In the case of the former, theMaster frustrates the concepts asnot this, not this. In the latter,the responses reveal and this, andthis. As in the question, “Whatis the self?” a Zen Master mightreply, “A tree grows in the woods”or “When it rains the ground getswet.”This paradoxical approach onceagain is not to “move forward” andfigure out the answer. But ratherit is to realize prior to theanswer. For example, if I were tosay to you, “What is?” You mightrespond, “I am here.” My nextsecond question would be, “What isnot?” or “What isn’t?”The what is-what isn’t whenapproached simultaneously bothreveals or gives an answer andthen takes it away. This givingand then taking is a hallmark ofZen and how Nisargadatta wouldgive you a concept, like “Hold 30
  • onto the I Am” which deconstructedthoughts etc., and then laterinform you that theI Am was a concept to bediscarded.Zen Question: “What is theopposite of truth?Answer: TruthThis combined approach of not thisnot this along with and this andthis, affords the possibility ofgoing beyond or prior to thoughts,memories, emotions, associations,perceptions by both negation andaffirmation simultaneously.Zen Saying: “Unless the medicinestones you it won’t cure thedisease.” 31
  • KoANsZen Saying: “The purpose of aKoan is to liberate us from thesuffering caused by the rules withwhich we bind ourselves.”Its purpose is to take away allexisting hopes and ideas, or asNisargadatta Maharaj said, “I wantto smash your concepts and put youin the no-concept state.”Koans are meant to intimidate andtantalize the rational mind.All spiritual practices seduceus with the hope and dream ofgoing beyond ourselves. If we arefortunate the process shows us theabsurdity of that fantasy.This is because there is noself or “I” to go beyond. Andspiritual fantasies, which aremerely psychological regressedmodels and standards superimposedon consciousness, promote andoftentimes enable this dream topersist.The root of Zen meditation, likethe root of meditation in general, 32
  • is neti neti (not this not this).Even Buddhist concepts as conceptscan only yield more concepts. ButKoans, which act as pointers,unpack and ultimately deconstructor decondition the mind.Moreover Koans attempt to shiftthe language patterns, and soreveal the underlying emptiness,which “I” will refer to as theother side of the mirror.There is no reality prior towords.All problems are dependent uponlanguage.In this way spiritual practiceis the dissolution of abstractedrepresentations of something whichdoes not exist in the first place,i.e. something which has neveractually existed.It is something that neither goesnor stays.It is neither removed nor leftremaining. 33
  • Language“It is all a language game”(Ludwig Wittgenstein). All wordsrepresent things which do notexist prior to a perceiver and/orthe abstraction process.There is nothing behind words.In this way, Koans and EnquiryQuestions can at best be pointersor devices to take “you” prior towords and language.There is nothing behind or priorto words.Enquiry Koan: “Is there a problemprior to words or language?”For a Zen Teaching Master, theonly factors are:What words reach which “person”?What words have the potential topoint prior to words?What has to be unpacked, lookedat, discarded or dismantled?What is the organizing principle,which acts as glue holdingtogether identities, concepts, 34
  • words, a point of view or a fixedposition?As will be discussed throughout, aZen Teaching Master’s job is likea hen pecking from the outsideof the shell. It is to hatch thestudent/chick that is attemptingto break out of its shell, bynoticing exactly where to peck inorder to free the chick. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “…Breaking the shell comes from within…”Unlike the Neo-Advaita movementof today, the Advaita-Vedanta ofNisargadatta Maharaj determineswhere the student is stuck andliberates the non-existing “I”from that stuck point. In theformer case the existence of the“I” is denied, as its liberatinginsight, which is correct to apoint.However, this no-“I” state-experience-understanding does notaddress the knower of the no-“I”state or who or what knows thatthe “I” is not. Moreover it doesnot probe students to realize 35
  • their “stuck” points and liberate”them” from it. Cultural KoansThe biggest problem with Zen Koansin particular is that they tendto be culturally dependent. Forexample, the Koan: “The Barbarianhas no beard.”To appreciate this Koan you wouldhave to know the culture of 6thcentury China and that Bodhidharmahad a beard and appreciate themetaphoric symbols of this time.It is with this “understanding”that we will explore not onlyKoans, but also styles of Koans.How, like a homeopathic remedy,they must match the student. Andultimately how the Zen of old wasrealized in the Teaching Masterand teaching approach of mybeloved Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. whAT Is reALITy?At its deepest level Buddhism inthe Diamond Sutra not only teachesthat there is no self, no life, nopersonality and no soul. Buddha 36
  • also realized that all perceptionsare illusions, and therefore thereis no world.Unlike any other teaching,Buddha’s teaching matches thatof present day Science.Hindus,who naturally claim Buddha astheir own, consider Buddha anincarnation (appearance) ofVishnu, and more amazingly as themessenger bringing in Science.To appreciate how Buddhismcorrelates with its earlier Hinduancestor, several points need tobe recognized:The Buddha as Vishnu, whichmeans everything perceivable andconceivable is Vishnu calledeither consciousness or later inBuddhism likened to “The BuddhaMind.”To realize this, all perceptions,(which modern science tells usare abstracted representations ofthings which do not exist) areillusions. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “It’s all an illusion.” 37
  • For the Buddha, not only isthere no God, but there is nosoul or self. For now, if werealize that all is an abstractedrepresentation of something whichdoes not exist, then obviously ifwe turn our gaze “inward”, thebody and the self too are not.What makes Buddhism so unique isthat all states are understood astemporary (even states of bliss orsamadhi or satori) and as such areto be discarded. In the languageof Zen: “If one nests in satorithey will fall into poison.”In this way, Buddha’s insightinto the science of the 20th and21st centuries, and his ability toteach and deconstruct, led to whatwe can call the doctrine of NO (tobe discussed later). BuddhIsM’s BAsIC PrINCIPLesIn order to understand Zen, it isimperative to first appreciate its 38
  • larger context, namely Buddhism.Everything has Buddha NatureEverything that exists, existsin and as mind, and is part ofnature. There is no separateindividual self or soul which doesor acts. This is called BuddhaMind, or Buddha nature. Thiscan be likened to NisargadattaMaharaj’s statement that alloccurs through nature, and natureis a play of the elements andforces. There is no separate“I”, there is just nature, whichappears on consciousness, made ofconsciousness or the Buddha Mind.(As an aside, the wordconsciousness might leave lesstracks of anthropomorphicsuperimpositions).A monk asked Master Joshu, “I haveheard you met Master Nansen, is ittrue?”Joshu replied, “Chin Provinceproduces a giant radish.”With all as nature with no “I”,and as nature is all made of thesame substance, consciousness, all 39
  • judgments (this is better thanthat), evaluations (this meansthis about me), or significances(this is more important than that)dissolve.This beautiful realization thateverything is consciousness orBuddha nature flattens everything.Like:The wind blows for nobody specialor:The sun shines for nobody special.A student asked, “What role doesGod have in our practice?”The Master said, “None.”The student asked, “What aboutGrace?”The Master replied, “The east windbrings soft showers.”All that appears, appears as onewhole nature which is made ofconsciousness or Buddha nature.The sense of a separate self or“I” is intrinsic to the natureof the body, like greenness isintrinsic to grass, or heat to the 40
  • sun, there is nothing special ordifferent in it.In Quantum Psychology’s neti netithe question was always asked,“How do you know if you are in anidentity”, (the “I” sense). Theanswer, “If you feel special ordifferent from another, you are inan Identity.”Discarding the distractive anddelusional lifestyle of Buddhism,there are two Sutras which standout in as extraordinary pointersto Consciousness and the Absolute:The Heart Sutra, and The DiamondSutra. The heArT suTrA Although considered part of the teachings of the Buddha himself, actually the Heart Sutra appeared later and is credited to Avaloke- shwar.The Heart Sutra contains boththe essence of Buddhism and theessence of Nisargadatta Maharaj’sAdvaita, (Not Two). 41
  • For “me”, if you “get” the HeartSutra and the Diamond Sutra, youget Buddhism.The Heart SutraForm is EmptinessEmptiness is FormForm is not separate fromEmptinessEmptiness is not separate fromform.In the Shurangama Sutra: “Formis condensed emptiness”, and inQuantum Physics: ”There is no formonly more intensified areas of thequantum field or space.” AlbertEinstein.To realize the brilliance ofsuch a statement is no smallundertaking. For although itsmeaning is obvious like a fishseeking a teaching on what iswater, this description containsthe essential Buddhism and yeteludes even the most ardent andsincere.However, with emptiness appreciatedas subtle form and form as 42
  • condensed or solidified emptiness,the possibility of its realizationbecomes more available. The sTruCTure of The KoANZen is based on the formless mind.The Buddha mind (consciousness)The mind of Buddha (consciousness)The original mind Emptiness-Consciousness NatureBuddha natureEmptiness-ConsciousnessThe Zen Koan, like any form ofpractice or device, is an attemptto “free” the student from boththe conditioned mind, as well asthe language which unknowinglybinds. We must however realizethat the Koan de-conditions themind and leaves an empty state. Aswe shall see, this empty state tooneeds to be discarded. Nisargadatta Maharaj: …”Kill the words…” 43
  • Unlike many devices-wedges-techniques-pointers, the Koan,once it takes hold, can propelthe practitioner into differentlayers of their “inner Landscape”,by first “giving” a state, andthen “taking it away”. Thisapproach opens up the possibilityof unpacking and discarding theconditioned mind.In this way neti neti canbe roughly translated asprogressively revealing andultimately discarding all namesand forms (called nama rupa) untilthe “REAL SELF” is realized.In applying such an approachthe application would betwofold. First to realize the“student’s” stuck point andsecond to prescribe the antidoteor Koan to move the “I” from itsidentification. Nisargadatta and the Zen of BuddhismWhat is to follow explores andmagnifies the stages (currents-waves) discussed in earlier workof Nisargadatta Maharaj, and views 44
  • “how” and “where” the Koan mightattempt to lead us.Basic CorrelationsAll states are impermanent.For Maharaj all is a temporaryillusion (to be discussedlater).There is no independentorigination or, nothing arisesseparately or independently ofanything else.Nisargadatta called this the plusand minus, whereby everything hasa plus and a minus which leads tozero. “There is no coming, thereis no going” according to bothNagarjuna and Nisargadatta.Zen Koan: “What Buddha is beyondBuddha?”Answer: No Buddha. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “The Absolute is beyond or prior to consciousness.”Nisargadatta when asked “Whoare you?” replied, “Nothingperceivable or conceivable.” 45
  • There is only Buddha, your ownmind is Buddha, the mind isconsciousness.With this now set as its context,two things must be appreciatedin both Koan as well as Enquiryresolution:1. Where the alleged self imagines it is2. Diagnosis of where it is.3. Applying the right Koan/Enquiry to release the “I” from where and whom it imagines itself to be.4. The Koans themselves have a structural pattern, a code if you will, which once cracked reveals the beautiful simplicity of That prior to… 46
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT I The doctrine of NoZen, like its ancestor Vedantawith its neti neti (not this,not this) is steeped in NO.In fact as a prelude to whatis to come, NO to everythingperceivable or conceivable revealsits relationship to Vedanta’sneti neti. (There actually isa practice where everything,thoughts, perceptions etc. arejust NO).Again, when Nisargadatta Maharajwas asked, “Who are you?” Hereplied, “Nothing perceivable orconceivable.”Metaphors: From Quantumto No Quantum in BuddhismTo appreciate this, let’s use themetaphoric pointers of sciencealong the way to begin to Crackthe Code of the Zen Koan.To begin with No Quantum. First wehave to appreciate several basicpremises: 47
  • All perceivables and conceivablesare perceiver dependentIn Quantum Physics if we were toexpand the size of the nucleus ofan atom to the size of the sunand the electron to the size ofthe earth, there is more emptyspace between the nucleus and theelectron than there is between thesun and the earth.Put another way, the inside of anatom, which some imagine is madeof something, is 99.999999999999%empty.In neuroscience, the perceiverarises through a bio-chemicalprocess in the brain whereby anabstraction (omitting) process ofthe nervous system occurs.All of the emptiness is abstracted(omitted, excluded or discarded)and through this automaticabstraction process .000054percent is left. Therefore thesolid world which is perceived,(although unseen by us) isactually all emptiness. Ergo allperceivables and conceivables areempty and their perception anillusion. 48
  • Both Quantum Physics andneuroscience work well together tometaphorically describe or pointto the emptiness. Namely, thebrain and nervous system abstracts(omits) all the emptiness, leavingwhat appears to be a solid world,when actually it is empty.In Zen, when Bodhidharma was askedby the Emperor of China: “What isthe ultimate meaning of the holytruth of Buddhism?”Bodhidharma replied, “Vastemptiness, no holiness.” 49
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT II.When the Emperor askedBodhidharma, “Who are you?”Bodhidharma replied, “I don’tknow”.Another response was “NotKnowing”.Mantra: “I don’t know.”In the first response, “I don’tknow”, like the Doctrine of NO, aswe will see throughout, pervadesall of Zen. For as we take thismetaphor to another current ofunderstanding, both the “I” andthis perceivable body we assumethe “I” resides in are empty, andare abstracted representations ofa perceiver which is also subjectto the omitting process. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “In the Absolute, I do not even know that I am.”Why is the “I don’t know” mantraso critical? 50
  • First, since there is no separate“I”, then therefore there isnobody to know.Second, any knowingness orknowledge has to have a knower.Third, the abstraction processmeans that all knowledge, theknower and all knowingnessis an abstraction of nothing(emptiness).Finally, by holding on to the“I don’t know”, there is adeconditioning-deconstruction-collapsing of how the mind isorganized.Going back to the Heart Sutraand appreciating it at the nextcurrent, we could easily say thatneither form nor emptiness are,because they are both knower orperceiver dependent. And anythingknower or perceiver dependent isan abstracted representation ofsomething that does not exist. Nisargadatta Maharaj:“The seer too is also part of the mirage.” [illusion] 51
  • In the second response, “NotKnowing”, we see the descriptionof the metaphoric essential.Simply stated metaphorically, theocean (water) can be hot or cold,a wave, a crest, a current etc.Those are the temporary states ofthe ocean. However the essence ofthe ocean (water) is wetness. Inthis way, the quality of knowingor not knowing is a temporarystate. In the second response,there is neither knowing nor notknowing as the essence of “who youare.”(As an aside, wetness is theessence of water, however it isstill water in a mirage.)NO QuantumIn this way NO Quantum simplymeans that not only is quantumnot, so too the body and theemptiness are not.Why? Because they all require aseparate something to grant itsome form of isness, knowingness,or existence, when in realityisness, knowingness and existence 52
  • or even non-existence areabstracted representations ofthings which do not exist separatefrom an observer or a perceiver,(which also appear only due tothis omitting process).Dristi Shruti Vada: “The world isonly there as long as there is an“I” there to perceive it.” Nisargadatta Maharaj:“If you can forget it or remember it, it is not you, therefore discard it.”Bishop Berkeley’s question, oftenmistakenly accredited to Zen, is:“If a tree falls in the forest andthere is nobody there, does itmake a sound?”No…not without a perceiver.Once again notice how the Doctrineof NO pervades. 53
  • The diamond sutra or diamond Cutter: As It Cuts Through Anything And everythingThe Diamond Sutra, which alsotakes its shape in dialogue form,represents, along with the HeartSutra, the essence of Buddhism.To “get” the Diamond Cutterconsider the meditation:”Without depending upon what wehave explored throughout numerousbooks, CD’s and DVD’s......”Or consider:“Without depending upon thoughts,memory, emotions, associations,perceptions, a perceiver, the bodyor what you have been told....”(See Rays of The Absolute)Enquiry Koan: “Without dependenceupon the body-mind, what or whoare you?”In the Diamond Sutra, withoutperceptions, a perceiver or thebody-mind and all that goes withit, there is: 54
  • No form, form is emptyNo sensation, sensation is emptyNo perception, perception is emptyNo perceiver, the perceiver isemptyNo memory, memory is emptyNo eye, the eye is emptyNo ear, the ear is emptyNo nose, the nose is emptyNo tongue, the tongue is emptyNo body, the body is emptyNo mind, the mind is emptyNo shape, the shape is emptyNo sound, sound is emptyNo smell, smell is emptyNo taste, taste is emptyNo feeling, feelings are emptyNo thought, thoughts are emptyNo suffering, suffering is empty 55
  • No causal link, causal link isemptyNo end of causation, the end ofcausation is emptyNo source, source is emptyNo path, the path is emptyNo knower, the knower is emptyNo individuals, individuals areemptyNo dharmas, dharmas are empty. 56
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT III The double Negative in ZenThe beauty of Buddhism in generaland of Zen specifically, is itspowerful use and impact of thedouble negative in pointing at theno-state state.To illustrate, in the DiamondSutra the Buddha says “There isno dharma”. That is easy to get.However he adds, “There is no, notdharma.” This use of the doublenegative reveals and releasesthe other side of the holographicpiece, namely the no dharma state.Let’s take existence. Saying the“I” or “you” do not exist or arenot, misses the other side ofthe holographic puzzle, which isappreciating that the “I” neitherexists nor not exists. Thisreveals and releases the state ofno “I” “I”.Why is this important? Becauseany state that is permittedto persist and believed to be 57
  • permanent carries with it thecapacity to reorganize or re-coagulate (in a holographic sense)or re-organize back its opposite.Moreover, once the no “I” ornon-existent state is permittedto “exist”, it implies that thestate of no “I” actually is andactually exists, when it does not.This no “I” illusionary state isdependent upon a knower to knowit, therefore it too is part ofthe illusion. Once any state isnamed as”This is it”, it grantsisness, beingness, or existenceby not “seeing” its illusorynature. In this way the no “I”state reorganizes back the stateof “I”.To illustrate, years agoan Advaita guru came to one ofthe talks. He kept on saying to“me”, “There is no “I”, there isno “I”.” The response was, “Whois it that knows, understands, orexperiences this no “I” state?”Enquiry Koan: “What knower isknowing the no “I” state?Enquiry Koan: “By what, or who isthe “no “I” state known?” 58
  • The no “I” state is a state, andis a known, and as such is part ofthe knower-known dyad, thereforecarrying with it its holographicreorganization.Following this current the DiamondSutra emphasizes that bothexistence and non-existence arenot.Another way to view existence andnon-existence - we can see eachas words which are concepts whichrepresent abstractions that do notactually exist.In this way they are empty ofthe concept of existence or non-existence. This appreciationcan be “groked” (experientiallygrasped), if we simply imagine auniverse where the words and ideasof existence or non-existence werenot part of the vocabulary or“experience”.What is so impressive is thatBuddha realizes “experientially”even the “one” is empty. “He” doesnot cling to emptiness as a state. 59
  • All is emptygreed is emptyhate is emptysound is emptyobjects are emptyforms are emptydharmas and paths are emptyliberation is emptybondage is emptyNirvana is empty.There is nothing behind words andlabels.Dependent Origination: thatnothing arises independently ofanything else, or there is noindependent origination, is adescription and as such is empty.At best, it describes the Absoluteprior to words.In Buddhism there is no separate,independent, individual self orsoul with its own separate self-nature. 60
  • There is no self in the veil ofthe mind.What does all this mean? That“form” is made of “emptiness”, and“emptiness” is made of “form” andas such neither form nor emptinessare.(Please note the quotation marksindicate their absence or non-existence prior to the abstractionprocess). The diamond Cutter on steroidsAs we continue to dive moredeeply into the Diamond Cutter,it might be wise to first “get”it metaphorically. To explore theDiamond Sutra, or Diamond Cutter(as this Sutra can cut anything),we can again use the metaphor ofeither neuroscience or quantumphysics appreciating that inBuddhism “there is no self, nosoul, no life and no world.”Thus we can reapply No Quantum andNo Body-Mind, and No Neuroscienceto Buddha’s most powerful partsof the Diamond Sutra. And at 61
  • this point his statements becomeobvious, given what we havepreviously discussed.Buddha: “Although I have liberatedmany beings, no being has beenliberated.”Buddha: “Although we talk about orrefer to it as a being, there isno being, there are no beings toliberate.” BodhisattvasA Bodhisattva simply put is a“liberated” being, who incarnatesagain and again to help otherbeings become enlightened. Thisfor Tibetan Buddhism is actuallya practice, a belief system, withvows and all the “spiritual”accoutrements.No Bodhisattva: The basic premiseof a bodhisattva or liberatedbeing is deconstructed in theDiamond Sutra. Why and How?First if there is no self, soul,world, or life, who or what getsliberated? 62
  • Diamond Sutra: “A bodhisattva whocreates the perception of a beingcannot be called a bodhisattva…..no one can be called a bodhisattvawho creates the perception of aself, a being, a life or a soul.”Therefore there is No Bodhisattva,prior to the abstraction process.No perceptionsDiamond Sutra: “Without (Mu) beingattached to the perception of anobject.”All perceptions are abstractionsof a separate perceiver and assuch are illusions.Once again we can look at severalimportant factors:Perceptions are referred toperceptions, but there is noperception nor a perceiver.Letting go of dharma is easy.Realize that no dharma also is aperceptual experience and is not.Finally the realization that theknower of the dharma-no dharma, as 63
  • with the “I”-no “I” state, has noreference point and is not.This is the same as the “I”, or no“I” state, both have a knower, andare not. Appreciating this avoidsthe dilemma of a no-state statere-coagulating (wholographically)into a state.Prior to the Abstraction ProcessNo NeuroscienceNeuroscience is a perceivedexplanation of what is and assuch, it is not.Diamond Sutra: “There is noperception of a self, nor is therea perception of a being, a life ora soul.”There is neither a perception nora no perception.“….. every perception andattachment are no perception andno attachment………all perceptions ofbeings are no perceptions…”Most importantly, letting go ofperception is easy, it is lettinggo of no perception which is emptyof empty. 64
  • Diamond Sutra: “I shall liberateall beings, and I have liberatedno beings… All beings are said tobe no beings.”That which never begins is thename used for the Absolute. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Birthless”In the same way when the Buddhacalls something the perfectionof wisdom he is negating itsimultaneously, because it is inwords. Simply stated there is noperfection or imperfection priorto words. Again this can be bestcalled the doctrine of NO.Noted philosopher Martin Heideggeroftentimes wrote words with an Xthrough it as follows…I am I, to X X Xillustrate this point. The Buddha MindIn Buddhism it’s all mind which isone mind made of consciousness.Naturally, as we will see later,this is given and then taken awayas a teaching approach. 65
  • Master Baso when asked, “What isBuddha?” replies, “The mind isBuddha.”When asked again, “What isBuddha?” Master Baso responds, “NoMind, No Buddha.”Another Zen Master when asked thesame question responded, “The mindis not Buddha.”Given: “The Mind is Buddha.”Exercise:Buddhas and beings share the samemind. Focus on “your” mind and“The Buddha” as one mind.Exercise:Focus on “your” consciousness and“the consciousness” as the sameconsciousness.Taken AwayZen Koan: “No mind, No Buddha.”Without the mind, and itsabstraction process, No mind 66
  • (which is an abstraction), noBuddha (which is an abstraction).Taken Away AgainEnquiry Saying: The Mind is NotBuddha.If everything is Buddha, there isno Buddha.Zen SayingsZen Sayings and Zen Koans serve adifferent function.Zen Sayings aremore like global understandings.For example:“No fixed positions.”“The Great Way is easy, except forthose who have preferences.”These are more globalunderstandings which, as we willsee, can be applied to any stateof consciousness.Prior to Nothing Nothing is.Buddha: “There is no essence priorto the world.”This statement contains two parts.First there is only the Buddha 67
  • or consciousness. And second,there is no world prior to theabstraction process.There is nothing prior to words orlabels.In this way all is dependent uponperception and the perceptualapparatus of the abstracted-illusioned body. The world ofatoms are perceptions and as suchare not.Diamond Sutra: “All thesemolecules that make up the worldare not really such; furthermore aworld is not really a world; it iscalled world.”Here we see, as mentioned earlier,we call it a world, howeverthere is no world prior to theabstraction process. No Quantum revisitedThe Big Bang is a perception.All cosmological science is acreation myth.No Quantum is the realizationthat everything perceivable and 68
  • conceivable is dependent upon theabstraction process, and as suchwithout that process it/they arenot - even Quantum.In this way we can appreciateNisargadatta Maharaj’s question,“...on what does it depend?”Without dependence upon theabstraction process, there areno atoms, electrons, nor anabstracted body, no abstractedmind, no abstracted doer, andthere is no abstracted Quantum.In this way, the Diamond Sutradoes not suggest an individualnot be attached. But rather, donot be attached to any perceptionof person, place or thing, as allperceptions are illusions.In this way, all dharmas areempty, because the concept ofa dharma and all that goesalong with it, (i.e. a self,enlightenment, yoga, God, a souletc. etc.) is a perception basedupon the abstraction process. 69
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT IV No Perceiver No PerceptionA monk asked a Zen Master, “Thesolitary moon is in the sky, fromwhere does its light emanate?”The Master answered, “From wheredoes the moon emanate?”Because there is no perceptionoutside of an abstractedperceiver, there is no self ordharma without the abstractionprocess. Nor is there a world,let alone a moon, outside of theabstraction-wave.All attachments are attachments toan abstracted self. Consequentlya self, a perceiver of a selfand the attacher to a perceptionis based upon a perception, andis not prior to perception andthe abstraction process. Partof the perceptual process is toproduce a perceptual experience,state, station etc. which appearsboundaried and separate from otherstates. 70
  • All perceptions have a point ofreference like a thought, a body,a state etc. Once the perceptualillusion of separation dissolves,then the question would be, “Whoor what is attached to whom orwhat?” The Illusion of the sensesNama rupa is the Sanskrit for nameand form.All form in Buddhism appearsthrough the senses, eyes, earsetc. Metaphorically, since wordsare metaphorical, the “I” isproduced as are the senses alongwith their objects through eithera bio-chemical process or aquantum process.These processes give the illusionthat they are or appear “As If”they are ”inside” the skull,when actually they are not. Theskull as the source or locusof perception is an abstractedillusion. The production ofthe concept of an “inside” or“outside” is an abstracted-transduced construct assumed to betrue. 71
  • Consciousness has no referencepoint. Consciousness has nolocation.It is only through the abstractedperceiver, that “inside-outside”and “skull-consciousness”illusions appear.To illustrate: It is an illusionto imagine or believe that somehow“I” and the body will have non-dual “experiences”, or a non-duallife.Upon realization the “I” is anobject:“I” am not the body-centered “I”“I” am the formless consciousnessEnquiry Koan: “How does the “I”arise?”The above miss-understandingsbegin the pre-suppositionalmisunderstanding that both Maharajand in the Geeta’s Lord Krsnaboth attempt to correct. In theformer Maharaj claims that theknower and perceiver of form isconsciousness, not the eye, earskin etc. And in the latter 72
  • Krsna says, “I am the doer andenjoyer of all actions.”Both of these extraordinarystatements deconstruct thepresupposition ‘As If’ the eye isseeing, and that some “I”, be itbody-centered or not, helps toguide/point to the consciousness.Contemplation: “Who sees?”Zen Koan: “What is it that movesthe legs, lifts the arms, speaksand hears?”Enquiry Koan: “Who isunderstanding these words?”MetaphorsAs quantum is a metaphor:There is no quantum prior to aperceiverThe perceiver concept too is ametaphorThere is no quantum without aperceiverAs neuroscience is an abstracted-explanation: 73
  • So too, there is no inside, andnothing insideAs everything is or has BuddhaNature is a metaphor:There is no Buddha prior to theperceptual-conceptualThere is no BuddhaThrow away the thorns 74
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT VBreaking the Illusionary grip of Labels and descriptionsBreaking the assumption thatlabels and descriptions relate tosomething that is and that thereis something that is prior tolabels, highlights the breakdownin realization.There is nothing prior to words.Nothing is prior to words, soundsand labels.Koans that deconstruct meaning andlabels:Zen Koan: “What is the meaning ofBodidharma coming from India toChina?”There is no meaning or purposeto anything. All descriptions,labels, perceptions, and meaningsfurther take us into wave-abstraction. 75
  • Nature has no distinctions otherthan the abstracted categoriesused to describe it.Nothing means anything prior toabstraction-transduction.Zen Saying: “If you talk aboutdelusion and enlightenment, thenordinary and holy come intoexistence.”MeditateFind the source of your images…With each source return to theemptinessGive up all fixed positions evenemptinessLocation: “Where am I?”No Location Probably one ofthe most difficult things toappreciate is that there is nosuch thing as location and thereis no location. 76
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT VI The Paradoxical Nature of Koans: The Zen of yes-No, Both and NeitherThe paradoxical nature of Koans isrevealed within the illusion ofnegation.Koans carry with them thequadralectics of:1. Not this not this2. Not this and this3. And this and this4. And neither not this, nor and this.What makes them even moreinteresting is they have theability to deconstruct anddissolve several wave-layers atonce, and attack several wave-layers at once by negating the“earlier” layers. To illustrate: 77
  • Zen Koan: “What is the sound ofone hand clapping?”It first reveals all as one,prior to the word one, whilesimultaneously deconstructing the“one”.This means that to Crack theCode of the Zen Koan you haveto “experience” what layer theKoan is attacking and negatingsimultaneously. 78
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT VII: The seamless: Zen in place and positions.Zen Saying: “Not a snowflake landsin the wrong place.”Zen, like Kashmir Shaivism,includes all as and this andthis. There is no need to changeanything.It could be said that anything isinterdependent with everythingthat happens. And depends onanything and everything elsethat happens. In this way, anger,sadness, birth and death are alldependent upon each other. Inshort, being seamless, there is noseparate “you” which can changeanything as a separate entityseparate from anything else.How might this apply in terms ofthe first three of Buddha’s FourNoble Truths? 79
  • First Noble Truth:Life is suffering,(an existential fact)A Zen student asked, “What abouthatred, and ignorance?” The ZenMaster replied, “Greed, hatred andignorance are themselves Buddhanature.”This statement sets the recordstraight. Why or how could therebe such intolerance for all states(and this, and this), as all andeverything is the Buddha Nature?As mountains and the sky are allinterdependent, so too are allstates and stations (foam-wave-ocean).The intense desire for changecould be viewed as a spiritualabstraction process addingjudgment, evaluation, andsignificance to a person, place,thing, or event. Once judgment,evaluation and significance areremoved, mountains are mountains,hate is just hate, love is justlove. Even “spiritual” realizationis neutralized. 80
  • To illustrate this “It is as itis” understanding:A Zen Master was asked, “Afterso many years I have still notattained!”The Zen Master replied, “You arethe non-attaining Buddha.”This Koan gives an understanding,while simultaneously taking itaway. If we look back to Crackingthe Code of the Zen Koan Part V:Breaking the Illusionary grip ofLabels and Descriptions:Prior to them is the empty mind orempty mirror.Buddha: “No self, no soul…. noessential nature.”Buddha’s Second Noble Truth:The cause of suffering is desire.(The wish or desire to make thesuffering go away, change or bedifferent.)What makes this quiteextraordinary is that overlayinga “Western” World View lie foursubtle and unquestioned poisons 81
  • which keep re-enforcing theillusion that somehow things canbe different from the way theyare.Reframing-Renaming-Relabeling:this “deadly” illusion, filledwith a resistance to what is, is ahallmark of most of the new PostModern Therapies.The belief here is two-fold.First that by changing the wordsor language used to describesomething, somehow it changesthe underlying experience. Forexample, rather than “I havefear”, it is renamed to “I havean internal motivator”. Thisrenaming or reframing adds anotherlayer of self-deception. In thisscenario, the subtext of fear isimagined to be bad and thereforeunwanted, rather than appreciatingit as an experience of sensationwhich was/is automaticallylabeled as, in this case, bad orunwanted. Spiritual reframingwhich adds another layer of self-deception is when pain is labeledas an opportunity, or a growthexperience, or a lesson to be 82
  • learned. This “spiritual reframe”only adds more layers of deceptionto a system, rather than removinglayers.Hope: the greater the hope, themore compensated and “furtheraway” from the initial experience.To emphasize this societal“poison”, the famous myth andchildren’s story of Pandora’s Boxillustrates this with a twist.Pandora was given a box that shewas ordered not to open underany circumstances. Despite thiswarning, overcome by curiosityPandora opened the box. Upon doingso, the “evils” contained withinescaped into the world. Hope alsois released. As a child being toldthis story, all the bad ugly stufflike anger, hate, fear, greed,etc. explode out of the box, andat the bottom of the box is thisvirtuous beautiful thing calledhope. Of course as children we allfelt good, like hope prevails.However upon investigation hope isthe subtlest form of compensationand deception enabling us toresist experiencing what is. 83
  • Moreover it is “my” contentionthat hope is a major glue whichboth defends against what is,compensates for what is, and ergore-enforces the resistance to whatis. It is hope that is a primaryillusionary defense that organizesour psychology, (thoughts,memory, emotions, associations,perceptions etc.) and as such is amajor force for denial.Wanting: in order to appreciatethe elusive dilemma of wanting wefirst have to explore its origins.First wanting begins in survivalwith an abstracted sensation. Thesensation mixes with survival and(con)fuses needs, (such as food,water, air, etc) with wants (suchas a new car, a bigger house, moremoney etc.) This sensation, whenit goes unfulfilled, is labeled asfrustration.Next, comes an abstracted ideasuch as this thing, be it money,food, relationship etc. willsatisfy this sensation labeled asa frustration. Intertwined withthis is the deep unquestionedassumption that I have to fulfill 84
  • this frustration with thisparticular want (image), and if Ido not I will be depressed, sad,angry, disappointed, etc. etc.All of this, coupled withstrategies to get and have thesensation labeled as a want/desire, overrides the automaticmechanism. All of this is to beunfused and uncoupled in order tosee the fallacy of “The cause ofsuffering is desire.”Understanding this might givea glimpse into the popularityand yet frustrated attemptsof the Post-Modern therapiesand spiritualities to deliverthe promised results. In shortthis non-verbal organization ispopular precisely because itoffers an exact replica of themind’s unprocessed “age-regressed”organization. For example:“If I just do it right, or if Ijust change something, or if Ifind out the reason I did not getwhat I want and change it (makeanother choice, change my beliefs,change my behaviors, and become 85
  • different), THEN, I will get whatI want, enlightenment or money.”Both use the same non-verbal age-regressed structure just beingduplicated unknowingly in adifferent context.Organization: It has been said,that one of the purposes of thenervous system is to organizechaos.In this context of organizationsthree traps arise. First,the belief that there is anorganization to the “universe”,which leads to the belief thatthings happen for a reason orpurpose, like lessons. Second, thebelief that somehow there is anorganizational plan. And third,that there is someone or somethingin charge that is guiding “us” orthe “universe” and that there issome form of control, i.e. if Ido good things I get good stuff,and if I do bad things I get badstuff.All three help to both enable andre-enforce the change illusion, 86
  • which could be viewed as part ofthe natural socialization processladen metaphorically with age-regression and later superimposedupon a delusive sense or idea of“spirituality”.Third Noble Truth:Stop desiring and the stopsuffering.(Stop trying to change things.)This is reminiscent of Gestalttherapy’s law of paradoxicalchange: stop trying to changethings and just be where “you”are.Zen Saying: “You need not beaton a flower to get it to growfaster.” 87
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT VIII Breaking the reference point of language Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Anything you can forget or remember is not you ….therefore discard it.”Anything you can know or knowabout is not you... thereforediscard it.Anything you can perceive orconceive is not you… thereforediscard it.Anything you can experience or notexperience, is not you …thereforediscard it.Reviewing LanguageLanguage, according to JacquesDerrida, has a quality calleddifferance, that is differencespelt with an a, thus differance.This term which he coined meansthat language always defers 88
  • meaning by referring to otherwords (see DVD I Am That I Am PartII).Moreover according to LudwigWittgenstein, “it’s all a languagegame,” and nothing exists outsideof language. Although outside ofthe scope of this book, at thesame time it leads us to PostDeconstruction which says that alllanguage refers to things whichare abstracted representations ofthings which do not exist priorto words (see Post DeconstructionChart on www.miragelibrary.com).All language defers and refersto other words keeping us in alanguage game. And words representthings which do not exist outsideof the abstraction process.Buddha: “...we refer to it as abeing or a world, but there is nobeing or world.” Diamond SutraKoans Which BreakThe Reference PointKoans not only point, they alsobreak the trance of language bybreaking down ordinary languagepatterns, which grant reality 89
  • to that which is not, as wellas deconstructing points ofreference.To begin, we can start with thelatter and then the former will beself-explanatory.All language both refers to otherwords and language and defersmeaning.More subtly than that, alllanguage presupposes a somethingwhich is in reference to somethingelse. For example, let’s saythere is a thought called, “Ilove myself”. That thought has asalient presupposition that thethought refers to something, inthis case a body, and that thatbody refers to something, in thiscase a “me” or “I”, which residessomewhere within the body. Thisreferring tendency both grants“isness” and “existence” formationby a referencing-re-enforcingloop.However when this is broken downthey can be seen as thoughtfulillusions. 90
  • To illustrate, the thought called“I am a good person” refers to thebody.The body as “me” or “I” refersto something inside the body.However:Enquiry Koan: “What does the “I”or “me” refer back to?”Answer: no-thing.To illustrate, look at thefollowing Zen Koans:Zen Koan: “What is the sound ofone hand clapping?”This disorients by shifting thelanguage pattern. The brainand nervous system scramblesautomatically feeling confused,uneasy, maybe even a sense ofchaos. Then the system attempts tofind out what this odd linguisticstatement refers to or means.Next, we realize that there is noreference point, and therefore theglue that holds the linguisticmap collapses, and the underlyingwhatever, prior to concepts andideas shines through. 91
  • To illustrate again:Zen Koan: “What is your originalface before your mother was born?”First the linguistic message isdisrupted, throwing the brain andnervous system into confusion inan attempt to organize the chaos.Next, your face refers to you, andyour existence naturally comesafter mom, therefore referring tomom. When this is questioned yourface no longer refers to eitheryou, mom, birth, or the conceptof time. With this breakdown oflinguistic patterns, the collapseof the linguistic-perceptual mapoccurs and “That” underlying all,prior to the word all, appears.All points of view, and all pointsto view from are illusory “fixed”positions, which are not. The ZeN MIrror: The eMPTy MIrrorOne of the most powerful Zenmetaphors is the mirror. 92
  • To appreciate this and its depthis to appreciate Zen.The world and all perceivablesand conceivables is a reflectionin the mirror. The object ofreflection, or that which isreflected, is the emptiness-consciousness.Buddhist Saying: “Gazing into theancient mirror form and reflectionsee each other.”The world is the reflection inthe mirror. The Emptiness is theobject that is being reflected inthe mirror. The Emptiness is theemanator which emanates the world.OrThe reflected world is the objectbeing reflected (the emanatorwhich emanates in the mirror). TheEmptiness is the reflection in themirror. It goes both ways.No orderNo sequenceOr linear line or timeThe two are one 93
  • Neither are, as in a sequence intime, higher, lower or better thanNeither are, period.In this way, three Zen sayings areimmediately revealed:“The monkey grasps at thereflections of the moon in alake.”“The empty mirror.”“One moon many reflections.”In the first, the monkey is ametaphor for the mind, and thereflections are the world. In thesecond, the world is an emptymirror, as its object is empty ofthingness.Or as the Buddha said, “there isno fundamental reality.”“One moon many reflections” speaksto not only the two mirrors, butthe “unity” of the emptiness-consciousness-world, appearing asthe multiplicity of the world. 94
  • SMASH THE MIRRORSShattering the mirrorForm is emptinessForm is an impression on thescreen of emptinessThe form is one side of the mirrorThe emptiness is the other sideLike two mirrors facing each otherthat reflect one anotherIn the middleNeither areAdvaita: Not TwoZen Saying: “Two mirrors reflecteach other with no image in-between.”“When” the mirror is shattered,there is the “Absolute”.Prior to form and emptiness,neither are.Appreciating this opens the doorto unraveling, “there is no you”because the you is a reflection inthe mirror.The “me” as emptiness is areflection emanating from theworld mirror. The “Absolute” isthe “source” (without location 95
  • or beingness) of both the world(reflection in the mirror), andthe emptiness (the object beingreflected).All manifestation is a mirrorreflection of the emptiness.The reflection is all theemptiness is.The emptiness and its reflection,(the perceived world) are one.Ergo neither are.Enquiry Koan: “What is it thathas no form, yet whose reflectionappears as the world?”Similarly, The Great Way can bedefined as the Great Function…onewhole.The emptiness (the emanator) isthe “experience” of no “I”, andas such retains its holographicreconstituting nature. Thisdeconstructs the notion thatsomehow the world needs to behealed or transformed or thatthe spiritual aspirant needs tobe purified in some way, as themirror (world) has no impurities. 96
  • The abstracted path is areflection in the mirror. As themirror stops its reflection, theemptiness, which is the objectbeing reflected, is realized.The mirror shows a reflection ofa past, present and future whichis always a reflection of theconsciousness-emptiness, (theother side of the holographicpuzzle).The reflection (person),like the emptiness needs nowork, polishing, purification,or discarding. Spiritual pathsare reflections in the mirrorwhose reflected object is theconsciousness-emptiness.Enquiry Koan: “What is it that hasno function, no ability to change,and yet appears to be functioningand changing?”Buddha, “Nirvana is Samsara,Samsara is Nirvana.”“Emptiness is form, form isemptiness” are descriptions of twosides of the mirror (coin).Each side reflects the other.You are both and neither. 97
  • smash the Mirror“You don’t answer my call witheven a nod or a wink,but you gaze at your ownreflection,you don’t seem to see me, but Ithink you can see yourself.How does the mirror affect you?Do you see or hear or do I smashthe mirror?Do you see or hear or do I smashthe mirror?”(“Tommy”, The Who)In the metaphor of Hindu mythologyHanuman is the servant of Ram.Ram, is the Consciousness andbeyond, Hanuman the monkey mind.Hanuman says, “When I don’t knowwho I am I serve you, when I knowwho I am, I am you”.This depicts a process whereby themind turns inward and realizes itis itself as the consciousness,called the Buddha Mind,One MindThe Quantum Mind. 98
  • All that you think it is, orimagine it to be, or how it isperceived that it is, it is not.Zen Koan: “When Bodhidharma leftthe Emperor, he spent nine yearsfacing the wall. What was he doingfor those nine years?”This simple yet profound Zen Koanforces the aspirant to de-labeland de-frame and let go of alldescriptions and all frames ofreference and all reference toframe. “Why did Bodhidharma facethe wall?” is the same as asking“Why does the sun shine?”Because it does………“What was he, (Bodhidharma) doingfor those nine years?Looking at the wall.“Why?”…Because he was.“What was he expecting toachieve?”Nothing……… 99
  • Once Koans are de-labeled andde-framed and descriptions orabstractions are removed, theunderlying “reality”, the no voidvoid, appears to appear.Give up naming and describing.Break the language barrierExampleZen Koan: “What is the meaning ofthe founder (Bodhidharma) comingfrom the west?”When we give up meaning, namingand describing there is nomeaning.All states, stages, waves, andstations, since they containwords, yield the understanding andexperience that something actuallyis.In 1973, I was living in LosAngeles and I read a book, whichtoday I cannot recall. What Ido remember is a very amazingstatement that went somethinglike this, “when you realizethat something is nothing andnothing is something you will haverealized”. 100
  • Enquiry Koan: “Something isnothing, nothing is something.” 101
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT IXSextralectics: holding and notholding six states, along with theknower and not knower, realizingnone are.1. Things exist2. Things do not exist3. Things both exist and not exist4. Things neither exist nor not exist5. The knower of existence and non existence neither exists nor not exists6. The k(no)wer has no reference point.Infinite Negations 102
  • seCTIoN IIIdentifying, Unassuming andUnperceiving The Waves AndCurrents of Consciousness:Zen and the Art ofDeconstruction...Realization.As we begin this process, it isimportant to mention that thereare probably an infinite number ofstages, states or stations. Whatyou are about to read overviews ahighlighted version of the mostcommonly reported stages, statesand stations, and there is notnecessarily any order to them.To paraphrase a previouslymentioned Zen Saying:“If you nest in any state, evensatori, you will fall intopoison.”All waves, (stages, states, andstations) have three things incommon.First, they are dependent uponsomething. 103
  • Second, until they are “seen”through, they have a forwardmotion rippling effect.Third, they are holographic innature.The first means that their isnessor existence is dependent uponsomething else. For example, tohave a feeling, it has to bedependent upon a body and an“I.” To experience the Now, it isdependent upon a knower to knowthat. More subtly, to know orhave the experience of “No-I” or“No me,” requires that somethingmust be there to say or know orappreciate that is so.The second is best understoodmetaphorically. Imagine an ocean,in constant movement, both withwaves and crests. All waves,currents or states are subjectto that movement and alternatingprocess. Each state arises andsubsides, and as long as you arepart of that, there is no escape.The Absolute metaphorically is thewater and as such knows nothing. 104
  • For the water, there are no wavesor movement.Third, since all is the sameas everything else, each partcontains and recreates thew(hole), which is itself. Anythingthat depends upon something elsefor its beingness is part ofthe dream-mirage-illusion, andshould be realized as not this.The “Absolute” is not part of thedream-mirage-illusion.Yet The Absolute too is ametaphor. wave-station one: unraveling spiritual Paths: The Archetype: The Map Leading In search of Buried TreasureQuantum Psychology: “You can neverget out of an Archetype fromwithin the Archetype.”Breaking the belief in theillusionary abstracted/reflectioncalled the pathZen Saying: “The Path is theobstacle.” 105
  • Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Forget me, forget Maharaj,forget the teachings, stay in theconsciousness and your own unique path will emerge for you.”Zen Koans which act asinterventions deconstruct, unpack,the identification with point ofview so that the practitionercan realize the emptiness, the“underlying unity”, prior to theword unity, that we already are.Zen Sayings on the other hand aremore global “reminders” which canbe “remembered” at any wave. Forexample, “No fixed positions”, canhelp “you” realize that no matterwho or wherever “you” imagine thatyou are, is not it.The path is a reflection in thereflected side of the emptinessmirror.A wave in the ocean.“All paths are dependent uponperception and a Subject-I, bothare abstracted representations ofthings which do not exist.” (SeePost Deconstruction.) 106
  • Zen Saying: “The finger thatpoints at the moon is not themoon.”All techniques are linguistic andare a wave-abstraction. All ofthe perceiver’s perception, evenspirituality and a spiritual path,is part of the wave-illusion.Zen Saying: “You cannot understanduntil you are free of the stink ofreligion.”Both Buddhism and the “Path” carrywith them a lifestyle: of how tobe, do, have, and create. Thesecarry with them the “should” of aspiritual Identity bringing forthanother layer of behavior whichbecomes fused with the “spiritualpath” concept.Zen Stories On Spiritual PathsTe-shan was sitting outside doingzazen.Lung-t’an asked him why he didn’tgo back home.Te-shan answered, “Because it isdark.” 107
  • Lung-t’an then lit a candle andhanded it to him.As Te-shan was about to take it,Lung-t’an blew it out.Te-shan had a sudden realization,and bowed.Zen Saying: “The real trick is toreceive the seal but be free ofthe imprint.”Picture a stamp or seal. Both makean impression and leave a trace ormark.In this way, as a pointer, boththe pointer and that which itpoints to, dissolve.All teachings are illusionarypointers, words which areabstracted representations ofthings which do not exist.Let them dissolve.Ramana Maharshi: (paraphrased)The teaching is a stick thatstirs a fire, as the fire burnsbrighter and higher both the fuel(student), the fire and the stick 108
  • (teachings) burn themselves out,leaving nothing.Zen Saying: “People fall in lovewith the road and forget thedestination.”AGAIN Nisargadatta Maharaj:“Forget me, forget Maharaj, forget the teachings, just stay in theconsciousness, and your own unique path will emerge for you.” wave-station Two: The Mind: unraveling Identification with Waves Illusioned as MindThe Mind, or “going beyond” themind or ”letting go” of the mindis undoubtedly a major focusof most “spiritual” practice.In short, dissolving theidentification with thoughts,memories, emotions, associations,sensations, perceptions, aperceiver, and the body.All states are temporary. Theyhave arisen, and will disappear. 109
  • In Zen language, you never want to“nest” in a state, no matter howpleasant or enlightening.Nisargadatta Maharaj used to probefor a state then deconstructit. As in Zen, there was a“giving” of a state or concept,and then a “taking away” as soonas the state’s purpose, namelyof unpacking, was completed andit was time to move on. Alltechniques are for a specificperson, for a specific situation,and for a specific time.(As an aside, if a spiritualtechnique, mantra, yantra ortantra or practice is usedpast its expiration date, orif given incorrectly or giveninappropriately, the practitionerwill be left experiencing bothpain and frustration which yieldrigidity and fundamentalism.)This “taking away” of a state ortechnique had to be immediatelyapplied once a student imaginedthat it was “it”.Simply stated, as soon as youthink you’ve accomplishedsomething, you are stuck. 110
  • Pointers which do not work, areoutdated, or have finished their“purpose”, are called in Zen“stuck pointers”, as they keep thepractitioner stuck.What Is the Mind?Wave-Station Two occupies mostof the preliminary steps of“spiritual practice”. Let us firstthen begin by mentioning severalof the characteristics of themind. The outcome MachineMetaphorically, a wave in theocean and the perceived oceantoo is what might be called themind. Metaphorically the “mind”is formed by abstractions andtransductions forming thoughts,memories, emotions, associations,perceptions etc. and behaves likean outcome survival machine.Once “organized”, the mind appearsas an ongoing mechanism wherebythoughts, memories, emotions,associations, perceptions,actions, and behaviors areorganized and act as if they are 111
  • doing, and by the illusioned doingas if they will get a desiredoutcome.The imagined “I” compares,strategizes, organizes, judges,evaluates and makes things moresignificant than other things. Theautomatic mechanism is reactivatedby taking imagined pictures of thepast and projecting them into thefuture. Thus acting in such a wayas to believe that there is anorganization, a cause-and-effect,a reason for what is done andwhat is received, and that it isthe doer who has a choice and cansomehow participate in and controloutcomes. This is all a part ofthe abstracted-wave.What is automatically perceivedas what I do not want or do wantorganizes into strategic systemsin an attempt to get desiredoutcomes.Of course whatever the desiredoutcome is, is not what onethought it would be, or whatone imagined or felt one wouldexperience by getting the desiredoutcome. 112
  • This is reminiscent of the poemwhereby the pleasure is from thedesire, not from having what oneimagines a desired object brings.In this way, the subtle gettingwhat you want, which may be a newhouse more money or some kind ofenlightenment, falls into theoutcome machine mechanism of themind.The Trap of InsightInsight by discovering theimagined, fantasized cause froma past does not free one fromthoughts etc.Rather it keeps “you” in theillusion of believing the thought-map-model loop, “As if” when “you”understand it, “you” will be free.Ramana Maharshi: “When you cleanthe house, it is not necessary toanalyze the dirt.”Psychological PatternsThe illusionary appearance ofperceived psychological patternsare the nervous system’s way oforganizing chaos. Patterns are 113
  • highly abstracted and as such areseductive illusions. Moreovermirage-like abstracted patternsexist in language only and aretherefore just a way of thinkingabout things. All words containtransduced meanings which yield asense of a separate self.Koans and Enquires attempt tobreak through conventionallanguage patterns. getting off The wheelIn Quantum Psychology metaphoricallythe false core acts as the hubof a wheel with the false self asthe spokes. Remove the hub, thefalse core and the personalitydeconstruct.( see The Way of theHuman, Volume II).What is oftentimes overlooked inthe False Core-False Self map isthat each “person” must truly findtheir own false core, and thatmany times the map does not fitthe territory. Rather it givesan abstracted explanation ofbehaviors. 114
  • Zen Saying: “Realize the true manin a mask.”In order to crack the mask ofperceptions (the mind), firstremove the reflection of conceptsthat conceals the other side ofthe mirror (the emptiness). Oncethe perceptual mask, called mind,is cracked the emptiness “moves”from being an unnoticed ever-present background to an all-pervading foreground.However, ultimately, thisemptiness too is part of themirror of “perception”, theperceptual mask (mind), whichneeds to be unperceived.Zen Koan: “Two monks were arguingabout a flag. One said, “The flagis moving.” The other said, “Thewind is moving.” The Master said,“Not the wind, not the flag, mindis moving.”This Zen Koan focuses on thereflected side of the mirror,in this case the flag-wind-mindunity. However, initially, it doesnot attack the emptiness which isthe reflected object appearing inthe mirror. 115
  • Zen Koan: Master Baso said, “Thismind is Buddha.” Later MasterBaso said, “This mind is notBuddha.”And later,“No Mind, NoBuddha.”In this paradoxical Zen Koan,“This mind is Buddha”, is a thornto remove a thorn. The mind asconsciousness appears as a “form”or reflected object.“The mind is not Buddha”, asEmptiness the Mind is not Buddha.“No Mind, No Buddha”, withoutemptiness-form or the wave-abstraction there is no mind, andwithout a mind there can be noBuddha!In this triple paradox, the Mind,(emptiness and form) are Buddha,and as such are Not Buddha. Forwithout a mind and a perceiverthere can be no Buddha. This NotBuddha also stands as the NO NOTBuddha prior to the emptiness-form appearance. This points to amulti-layered/waved Koan. As theBuddha there is no mind and notBuddha. 116
  • This “jumping of layers” withina wave adds three dimensions.First, it is a thorn, The Mind isBuddha (consciousness). Secondit jumps and leads to the nextlayer, as the Buddha or One mindor consciousness, The mind isnot Buddha. And third, No Mind,No Buddha demonstrates thatBuddha, or consciousness, is awave appearance that is dependentupon movement, i.e. the wave-abstraction and therefore, it isnot it. 117
  • CrACKINg The Code of The ZeN KoAN PArT X without Transduction, Nothing Means Anything. Meanings Therefore, deconstruct ThemselvesAlong with deconstructing outcomescomes deconstructing meanings,(see The Trap of Insight above)which is also part of theabstraction-transduction process.As mentioned earlier this “will”to organize chaos by understandingconcepts and map-making is theabstraction process ordering atits next level.Zen Koan: A monk asked Joshu whyBodhidharma came to China. Joshusaid, “An oak tree in the garden.”Here again, if everythingis everything else and isconsciousness appearing as nature,with no “I”, then there is no why,how, when, where, etc. In short,no meanings or descriptions, asthey would require a separateindependent observer/knower to 118
  • describe or know them. “All” isjust “all” prior to the word“all”, and the perception orconception of a process, with apurpose other than to be what itis, is moving “forward” in theabstraction wave, “further” awayfrom the emptiness-consciousness.The thorn (Koan) has the potentialto remove the why, (hint: When yousee why, understand NO) with theflattening of all and everythingas an abstracted descriptionoccurring within a wave.Chaos: “the empty space whichexists prior to the creationof the physical universe;” thedisordered state of unformedmatter and infinite space,supposed in some cosmogonic viewsto have existed before the ordereduniverse.The purpose of the brain andnervous system is to organizechaos.Pacifying the MindZen Story: A monk says toBodhidharma, “My mind is notpacified, master, pacify my 119
  • mind.”Bodhidharma says, “If youbring me that mind, I will pacifyit for you.”The monk says, “WhenI search, my mind I cannot holdit.”Bodhidharma says, “Then yourmind is pacified already.”In a similar story by early 20thcentury sage Ramana Maharshi, astudent comes to Ramana talkingabout his mind. Ramana replies,“Show me your mind.”This too is exemplified in thework of Ludwig Wittgenstein,namely, that we conceive of themind as a thing, a substancewhich produces thoughts etc.However this concept of mind isa linguistic metaphor, a conceptwhich does not exist outside oflanguage.Once “you” see the mind,(emptiness-consciousness-form-emptiness) as a concept whichhas no existence outside of aperceiver-language and concepts,“you” are left with an experienceof a knower. However the knowertoo, (as will be discussed later),has no reference point and is anappearance. This undercuts the 120
  • illusionary concept of a “source”,which would leave “us” “nesting”in the idea that it (source/creator) is something that doessomething, has something andcreates something, and in a wordhas isness.Breaking down the organizationallanguage of the mind, (emptiness-consciousness-form-emptiness).Finding your own false core falseself.Enquiry KoansWhat is?What isn’t?What is?What isn’t?DISCARD AS NOT THIS NOT THISMUThis approach of enquiry revealsseveral layers. First it makes theimplicit explicit. Second, it goesafter the automatic organizingthat appears through abstraction,and acts as a key to realize that 121
  • you are not whatever arises.Third, it demonstrates that theoutcome that the outcome machinedesires is the trap.Meditation:Vijnana Bhairava: “I am notpsychic apparatus.”Realize you are not this outcomemachine.Realize that “you”, (prior tosound and words) know nothing ofthe outcome machine.Realize that the outcome machineis perceiver dependent and as suchis not prior to the abstractionprocess.Realize the outcome machines isconsciousness-emptiness.Enquiry Koan: “What is the“source” of your thoughts?” “Findthe “source” of your thoughts.”Student: “The “source” of mythoughts is the space.”Stephen: “What is the “source” ofthe space?” 122
  • (Hint: There is no source. Thereis no not source.)There is no source of theemptiness, the emptiness is partof the illusion. There is noemptiness.“All states are dependent onsomething. The Absolute (prior tosound and words) is not a state.” eXIsTeNTIAL sTATes: The ABsTrACTIoN ProCessLevel One: Omission of emptiness-consciousnessLevel Two: SensationLevel Three: Perceiving-labelingLevel Four: Perceiving-describing-explainingLevel Five: ETC.Deconstructing the Abstraction ofMind. 123
  • The “Going in” statement whichwe have all heard since earlychildhood, refers to Ramana’s,“Go back the way you came.” Itis realizing the sensation priorto labels which reveals theunderlying consciousness.Abstraction Backtracking:Psychological State and the FeltSense1. Described/labeled feeling state, such as sadness2. De-labeling notice the sensation.3. Sensation transmutes into consciousnessWithin Consciousness a knowerappearsEmptiness, (the subtle side ofconsciousness as a background“moves forward”).Supreme Witness-Knower-AwarerNOTPsychological Sticking Points 124
  • Practice: Find the sensation prior to itslabel or description, then realize theconsciousnessFear and trembling...a leap offaith. KierkegaardWe are always on trial...we don’tknow why, nobody will tell us why,and we don’t know what we didwrong, but it must be something…Franz KafkaI must hide my coreSee my false self........hide myfalse selfI was thrown into the world,Martin HeideggerThere is no meaning or purpose — Imust have a purposeI am empty inside..I must fill upmy emptinessWork hard get to heavenPractice: The Metaphor of theFalse CoreThe False Core is a story ofhow the mind gets organized andconditioned. The false core, 125
  • metaphorically, is the oneconcept, belief or idea that youhave about yourself that you useto organize everything in youruniverse. Very simply stated theFalse Core Driver drives thepersonality by offering the reasonor justification for separation(for example, “I am worthless”,”there must be something wrongwith me” etc).The False Self Compensatorcompensates for the falselybelieved reason. For example, ”Imust prove my worth or value”, or“I must prove that I am perfectand there is nothing wrong withme”. The False Core and theFalse Self act as a hub on thewheel of personality which goesaround again and again, and itessentially hides or masks who youare.Once this False Core belief andFalse Self are solidified, thenervous system begins to perceivethe world through its False Corebelief and to abstract out of allof the information available toit only those elements that ithas decided are significant. In 126
  • the case of a False Core beliefthat “I am worthless,” the nervoussystem will constantly be on guardin an attempt to defend againstbeing “found out” — usually byacting in ways that will “prove”that it is not worthless.There are numerous False Cores andcompensatory False Selves, butthe effect of the process is thesame — beginning at a very earlyage, the abstraction concept ofourselves and the world out of allof the information available to usis based on a False Core belief.And from then on we can only seethe world distorted through thatparticular lens.Automatically the nervous systemorganizes chains of similarexperiences for ourselves thatgrow out of this primary andformative event. The backtrackingabstraction process (see above)can also be brought to examineour False Core beliefs and FalseSelves.The following is a list of some ofthe most common False Cores andCompensatory False Selves. 127
  • fALse Core drivers fALse seLf CompensatorsThere is something wrong with meI must be perfectI am worthlessI must prove my worthI cannot doI must prove myself by overdoingI am inadequateI must prove that I am adequateI do not knowI have to knowI am aloneI must connectI am incompleteI must become completeI am powerlessI must be powerfulI am unlovableI must be overly lovingI am out of controlI must control the chaosI am crazyI must be sane 128
  • I am trappedI must get freeI am not safe IHave to create safety*The existential state underlying all states is:I don’t exist I have to existIf we want to know who we trulyare, we might consider using themetaphor/thorn of the Abstractionbacktracking process todeconstruct the various qualitiesand belief structures that ournervous systems took on in ourattempt to ensure or enhanceour survival. Give up all fixedpositions even emptinessEnquiry Koan: “What is prior tothe body and the nervous system?”Zen Koan: “What is it that movesthe arms lifts the legs andhears?”Utilizing the AbstractionBacktracking ProcessFeel the body. 129
  • Notice the experienced label“Realize” the sensations prior tothe felt sense label.Be the consciousness.Upon deeper investigation not onlyis there evidence that the bodydoes not feel, the body does notsee, the body does not hear, thebody actually does not even speak.Somehow the body believes it isthe focal point and alternatelythe experiencer of all that isexperienced. Nisargadatta Maharaj:“The body does nothing, it is the consciousness.”Even more striking, the bodybelieves it is the breather ratherthan the one being breathed. Thequestion that emerges is:Enquiry Koan: “What is itthat breathes?”And if the body is not thebreather:Enquiry Koan: “What is it thatactually breathes?” 130
  • The answer rests in thepossibility that not only does thebody not breathe, the body doesnot see, the body does not hear,the body does not feel, the bodydoes not know.Enquiry Koan: “Who knows andunderstands these words?”If we turn our attention aroundand look for the knower that knowsor has this information, there isonly nothingness. And as we stayin the nothingness, we realizethat the body does not hear, thebody does not see, the body doesnot feel, the body does not speakor listen or understand or read.Do not fall into the trap ofbelieving that somehow there is alocation or a breather out there.There is breathing with nobody,the body has no volition.To appreciate this in another way,due to the automatic abstractionprocess, the body too is not. Thebelief in its existence is anabstraction. 131
  • (As an aside, the abstractionprocess is a metaphor/thornultimately to be discarded.)This brings “us” to a phrase whichrepeats itself throughout theDiamond Sutra, “we refer to it asa being, but there is no being”…,“we refer to it as a world, butthere is no world”…, “we refer toit as transformation, but there isno transformation”. This is alsoreminiscent of: Nisargadatta Maharaj: “You are not a person”The Diamond Sutra or DiamondCutter, cuts through everything,as all is a perception, and allperceptions are abstractions, ergo“there is no self, there is nosoul, there is no life, there isno world.”In Buddhism the Diamond Sutracovertly implies giving upperception, even the perception ofthe body.(As an aside, as Buddhism derivedfrom Yoga, this fulfills the threemost basic principles of Yoga: 132
  • you’re not the body, you’re notthe mind, you’re not the doer.)“Buddhism is Hinduism reformed.”Alan Watts MINdAll forms are impressions of theone mind.As the one mind is Buddha.So all forms are an appearance onBuddha and made of Buddha.Paradoxically, as Buddha there isno Buddha.Everything is Buddha and as suchnothing is Buddha.Thoughts are more subtle.People, events and matter are moresolidified.All impressions aresolidifications of the one mindcalled Buddha.One Function.One straight shot.The wave is in the ocean.The ocean moves with the wave.One hand clapping. 133
  • MeditationBreathe in without attaching to“internals”.Breathe out without attaching to“externals”.Time, Distance, and LocationIf there is only one substance,(metaphorically called the ocean)then cause and effect are one andare not and there is no time priorto the abstraction process. Moreshockingly, there is no “timesequences” without abstraction.Time, along with distance andlocation, disappears with thisunderstanding. Time can only existif there is something or someoneseparate from it to say this isso. Take for example:Zen Koan: ”When a sound occurs,does the sound go to the ear, orthe ear to the sound, or does theseen go to the eye or does theseer go to the sight?”In both instances we are lookingat the same situation. The issueto become unpacked is not onlydistance and location, but the 134
  • psychological corner stone,the illusionary perception ofseparation, along with existing ina fixed position or location.Zen Koan: “Is the flag moving oris the wind moving?”If we explore this Koan evendeeper we come to realize thatthere is only one consciousness orBuddha mind (ocean), appreciatingthat it is the mind-consciousnessor Buddha which gives an illusoryappearance of movement.Another way of understandingthis Zen Koan is: no abstraction-wave, no “I”, no movement. Theabstraction-wave brings with itthe illusion of the concept ofdistance and location becausethere can be no movement withoutthe illusionary fixed localizedperceiver which imagines aseparation.Once again, if everything isconsciousness or Buddha, thenthere is no Buddha.Master Baso: “The mind is Buddha.” 135
  • Master Baso: “The mind is notBuddha.”OrZen Koan: “What Buddha is beyondBuddha?”The Master replies, “No Buddha.”Furthermore, this reveals theanswer to so many Zen verses.When a master is asked somethingprofound, he seems to respondwith have some tea, have a meal,clean your plate etc. Why? Becauseas everything is made of thesame substance, then each actgood or bad, high or low, rightor wrong, sacred or profane isthe same. And as such, ALL isthe Buddha or consciousness. Thebeauty and simplicity of thiscannot be overstated. For a trueZen Teaching Master, no state orexperience is permanent and nostates or experiences, be theypleasant like love or joy, orunpleasant like hate and anger,are separate from the Buddhanature or consciousness.A Zen Master was asked, “What isthe Self? 136
  • He responded, “An Oak Tree.”Cause and effect are one.MeditationObserve: thoughts arise, grow,process, decay.Enquiry Statement: The imaginaryself has imaginary experiences,the experience you are havingright now is one of them.Enquiry Statement: Experiencestake place in the temporary wakingstate. Therefore, any experiencewhich takes place in the wakingstate is an illusion. wave-station Three:Identification with the observer of ”my” thoughts.At this wave-station, there is amiss-conception that thoughts,memory, emotions, associations,perceptions, etc. belong to a“me”, which has a focus on an “I”which is “in” or around the body.At this wave-station-state theremight be an identification withthe one being mindful, also 137
  • called the observer and sometimesreferred to as the witness.MeditationFind the source of your images…With each source return to thespace. wave-station four: Identification with the “space” between two thoughts or the “space” between two breaths.In this wave-station there isbelief that the space with a small“s”, the gap with a small “g”,the emptiness with a small “e’,or the blank with a small “b” issomehow “IT”. Although this is aquiet, still, silent space, itis still the subtle side of theholograph of thoughts, memoryetc. Appreciating this space asthe other side of the coin ofthoughts etc. and as a temporarywave-station helps to understandwhy the space with a small “s”re-coagulates (holographically)into thoughts etc, shortly aftermeditation. 138
  • Enquiry Koan: “From where does thespace appear?”Enquiry Koan: “What is space anabstraction of?”This wave-station may contain theillusion that this vastness orspaciousness is somehow “me” or“mine”. This is obviously not thecase as it is a temporary stateand there is a perceiver, orknower present.Enquiry Koan: “From where does theattention appear?”Enquiry Koan: “What is attentionan abstraction of?”This is not unlike RamanaMaharshi’s: to where does thatthought arise or subside? However,in this scenario, it would be:to where does attention ariseor subside. Beyond the knower,to what in Zen is called non-minding. Non-minding is prior tomindfulness. In mindfulness, thereis a subtle assumption that theseare my thoughts etc. or that “I”am mindful of thoughts that belongto a “me”. In non-minding, these 139
  • are not my thoughts. So why botherminding them? wave-station five: The Belief that I am in thepresence, present time or Now, or that there is a presence, present time or Now, or beingness.In this wave-station the space islabeled as presence or presenttime or Now. Although this is“forward” of Wave-Station Four(the space) it is placed “here”because as the space appears thereis a “rapid” labeling of the spaceas Now, presence, present moment,or the illusion of beingness etc.Subtly this state might carry withit the sense of ownership, with aslight identification with “me”,As If “I” can be or “I am” in theNOW or am in present time, orpresence, or am a being.The problem here is, as we believethis, there is a tendency to“move-ripple forward”(loop) intothe state of “my” presence or“my beingness”, the belief in aNow, (with its subtext that Now 140
  • exists and is better than pastor future), which might lead tothe miss-perception of choice.Or, that this mind is mine(ownership). This also might carrywith it an abstracted sense oftime sequence as in “Now”, “Past”,“Present time”, or “Future”.Although a popular state,undoubtedly it carries with itall of the “problems” of nestingthere. wave-station six: Identification with the witnessof the spaciousness with a small“s”, emptiness with a small “e”, a gap with a small “g”.The problem with this wave-station is that the spaciousness,or empty space with a small “s”,also has the salient side of theholographic puzzle of thoughts,memory, etc.Here the spaciousness or vastnessis illusioned as “it” carrieswith it the “forward-wave-loop-movement” into solidness. 141
  • Another problem with thisseductive station is that it canbe called “The Inner Witness”,which implies an “inner,” which isinside a body or inside somethingwhich is, as mentioned earlier,a perceptual illusion. Recall,(above) the body is an abstractionand as such is a perceptualillusion.And anything based on a perceptualillusion has to be part of theillusion.The “Inner Witness” as a conceptis dependent upon a perceptualabstraction. In this way, the“Inner Witness” forms a loopwith thoughts etc., ergo it iscontinually reorganizing or re-coagulating the earlier wave-stations.This demonstrates the overallproblem of meditation. Theabstracted “I” still imaginesit is meditating and havingexperiences.Enquiry Koan: Are you themeditator, or does the meditatorand meditation occur/appear in or 142
  • on the “you” prior to the word“you”?”Enquiry Koan: “What is the witnessan abstraction of?”All “spiritual” experiences are“I”-perceiver-wave-abstractiondependent and are thereforeillusions.And all experiences occur in atemporary state called the wakingstate.The waking state plus allexperiences give the powerfulillusion of “beingness” or“Iamness”.In 1977 I asked PrakashanandaBaba, “What is your spiritualexperience?”He replied, “If I tell you myexperience I will think I hadthem…Spiritual Experiences areego.” 143
  • wave-station seven: No dependence on thoughts- memories-emotions- associations-perceptions-a perceiver-the body.This is called by NisargadattaMaharaj the I Am, and representsmore than 90% of Maharaj’steachings. This is because, mosteveryone, including “me”, was justtrying to get beyond the mind, andthe earlier stations. (By the way,at the time, none of us knew thiswas just a station). This wave-station represents the destinationof almost all “spiritual”practice, i.e. realizing you arenot the mind.However, Maharaj points out thatthe “I am” also is a temporarystate, in the style of the ZenMasters of old, he refuses toallow you to “nest” as this is not“It”, or “you”. wave-station eight: Nature with no “I”“Here” there is nature, with no“I”. However it still contains aknower with a known. 144
  • This no “I” state represents the“other side” of the “I” and isstill a state. As such, the no “I”state will eventually reveal the“I” state. Simply stated if younest in the no “I” state, (whichcould be called the No “I” “I”,as there is an “I” which knowsthere is no “I”), the “forward”-wave-current will re-coagulatethe no “I” “I” state you thoughtyou were, and reconstitute the“I”. This is a very familiar“occurrence” for Neo-Advaita fanswho nest in the no “I” “I” state,only to find “themselves” thrownback into “I” land.Enquiry Koan: “What is thebackground of nature without an“I”?”Enquiry Koan: “Who is the knowerof nature with no “I”?” wave-station Nine: Identification with the consciousness or, there is only one substance.A monk asked, “What is myself?”The Master said, “The oak tree inthe front garden.” 145
  • Once the “OF” dissolves (as inconscious “OF”) the emptiness-space-gap or I Am, theconsciousness is realized. (Formore detail see Rays of theAbsolute.)This is clearly a hallmarkmilestone. As theconsciousness, all stories,reasons, rationalizations andjustifications dissolve. It is aseamless “state”, without, energy,space, mass, time or location, nowor presence.The problem lies in consciousnessbeing part of the illusion. Andaccording to Nisargadatta Maharajconsciousness is a “…giganticfraud…”. As consciousness is partof the illusion, the “forward”current or re-coagulationpersists.Enquiry Koan: ”From where doesthe experiencer of consciousnessemanate?”“Current Forward”: As the current“moves forward” the illusionemerges that somehow consciousnessis contained within the skull and 146
  • is somehow mine or body-related,or has the body as its referencepoint or source.There is not ONE substance.Why is this so extraordinary?Because when everything is thesame substance, there is nosubstance.*As a note, experiencingno separation is a state,(metaphorically, an age-regressedstate). The experience of Non-duality is part of the illusion.As “that”, there is no such thingas non-duality. This descriptionis stated most beautifully byNagarjuna: “There is no duality,there is no unity” (non-duality).NO beginning, NO End:Deconstructing timeMetaphorically, if you ask anastronomer where the universe camefrom you will probably get thisstory:Around 13 ½-14 billion yearsago, everything blasted outfrom a primordial fireball—anunimaginably dense, hot soup of 147
  • fundamental particles—in a one-of-a-kind event called the Big Bang.Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turokasked, “What was the universe likebefore the Big Bang?”They propose a “cyclic universe”model, in which our Big Bang isjust one act in an eternal cycleof expansion and contraction.A trillion years from now, bytheir calculations, space, time,and matter will crunch down intoanother fireball and re-emerge asanother Big Bang. For eternity,the universe will swing betweenBig Bang and Big Crunch, a cosmicpendulum clock that never windsdown. Instead of the universeaccelerating into oblivion ascurrent cosmological thinkingpredicts, their model regardsexpansion as just a passing phase.Appreciating this as anabstraction, “one” realizes thatall cosmology is a creation myth. 148
  • wave-station Ten: Identification with the emptiness with a big “e”.As the consciousness isapprehended as a temporary state,the subtle side of consciousnessreferred to as Emptiness appears.Buddhism takes us into theemptiness with a big “E”. However,emptiness is consciousness,consciousness is emptiness, andas such is part of the illusion.The Emptiness is still a “known”and as such it carries with itthe elusive trap of a “knower”.It is the knower that knows theno “I” or Emptiness and with itthe perception of the Emptiness.The knower of the Emptiness theexperiencer of the Emptiness isemptiness.However the emptiness is notemptiness, it is a perceptioncalled emptiness. Emptiness isempty of emptiness without aknower.Zen Story: A man goes to a ZenMaster and says, ”My friend isalways in the emptiness, what 149
  • advice can you give him?” The ZenMaster says, ”Tell him to give-upthe emptiness.”Master Setcho: ”Voidnesss islamentable, therefore reject it.” wave-station eleven:Identification with the Supreme witness or supreme Perceiver.“Witnessing/Awaring” the Absolutefrom the Supreme Perceiver-SupremeWitness.Probably one of the most difficultthings to appreciate is that thereis no such thing as location ordistance. To begin to deconstructthis:Meditate“Where are you? Or where am “I”?The Supreme Witness, also calledthe Supreme Perceiver in KashmirShaivism, still has a tinge ofisness or beingness, and whenabstracted slightly “forward” thedelusional experience of non-duality appears. The SupremeWitness, fused with a perceiver- 150
  • experiencer-knower witnesses theconsciousness and the Emptiness(which is itself), while alsoimagining that it is aware of the“Absolute”, not appreciating thatits perception is an abstraction/perception of the Absolute, andnot the Absolute. The perceptionof the Absolute by the SupremeWitness is not the Absolute,but rather, a perception. This“perception” is The SupremeWitness fused with a “Knower”,witnessing the Emptiness, which itdoes not realize is itself.Zen Koan: “Realize the substanceof mind that dwells on nothing.”Zen Story: The Emperor askedBodhidharma, “What is the ultimatemeaning of the truth in Buddhism?”Bodhidharma replied, “Vastemptiness, no holiness.”Enquiry Saying: The experience ofnothingness is a perception.Enquiry Saying: We call itnothingness when actually theexperience of nothingness is justa name for a perception. 151
  • wave-station Twelve:Identification with Awareness,(which still contains a knower).The new Holy Grail, assumedto be the final pinnacle isreferred to as “Awareness.”Itis here non-duality and allits aforementioned delusionalconcepts arise. The “problem”with this wave-station, is thatthe light of this Awareness too ispart of the illusion and “prior”to it, is not.Awareness, (the light ofAwareness) is part of the“illusion”, as it has a knower ofAwareness.Enquiry Koan: “Who or what is theknower of awareness?” Nisargadatta Maharaj “What knower is knowing that?”Each knower has separate knowing.With each bit of knowledge-experience-perception there isa different knower. By asking,“What knower is knowing that?”the knower-known or knower- 152
  • experiencer-experience dyaddissolves.Nisargadatta Maharaj referred toprior to awareness or prior to thelight of awareness as unawareness.Or another way of saying it is NotAwareness.To illustrate another level ofNot Awareness or Not the Light ofAwareness, we can recall the Zenstory mentioned in Wave-stationOne, namely:Te-shan was sitting outside doingzazen.Lung-t’an asked him why he didn’tgo back home.Te-shan answered, “Because it isdark.”Lung-t’an then lit a candle andhanded it to him.As Te-shan was about to take it,Lung-t’an blew it out. Te-shan hada sudden realization, and bowed. 153
  • BuBBLe uNIVerses: (reALMs)Metaphorically, all that isperceivable and conceivable is ina bubble universe or realm. Asawareness expands outward past ourphysical universe, our perceivableuniverse, notice all is floatinglike a bubble in Emptiness.Contained within this bubbleuniverse are friends, enemies,assumptions, energy, space, past,time, distance, location, the body- in short, all perceivables andconceivables.Within our bubble universe liesthe concept of consciousness.Outside of that bubble universe,which we call “ours”, there isno consciousness nor is there aconcept of consciousness.Earlier saints and sages talkedabout visiting other universes,other “lokas”, other worlds, i.e.movements from one bubble universeto another.Unfortunately neglecting to pointout the background screen onwhich all bubble universes appear 154
  • to appear. Each bubble universeor realm, (the reflection inthe mirror) is made of the samesubstance as the Emptiness screen,(the other side of the mirror,or the object which is beingreflected in the mirror) on whichthe bubble universes or realmsappear.SMASH THE MIRRORSEnquiry Koan: “What is on theother side of the screen on whichthe bubble universes or realmsappear to appear?”If the bubble universes or realmsare made of the same substance asthe screen then there is no no no-thing.Tear the screen.What is prior to the Emptinessscreen and the bubble universesonce the bubble is burst?Once the bubble and the biggerscreen are “seen” as made of thesame substance, the “Absolute” is“revealed.” 155
  • At that point there is no longerthe emptiness-consciousness oreven a bubble universe or realmwhich contains the concept ofconsciousness or any of thecomponents such as energy, space,mass, time etc., or a knower whichknows space and time which holdsthe bubble universe or realm inthe concept of location (wherethings are located and where “I”am located in a place as perceiverwithin a perceivable picture).We are in a bubble universe.The consciousness (Buddha), aswell as the emptiness (Buddha),are in this bubble universe orrealm.Prior to consciousness, whichcan be termed No Buddha, orNisargadatta Maharaj’s Absolute.There is no Buddha, and yet allbubble universes appear in and onthe Buddha, which is no Buddha.Beyond the body-mind, there is noBuddha.It is only in the bubble universethat the Buddha concept appears. 156
  • Therefore, as a working metaphoronly, we could say we are allBuddha (consciousness).The concept of non-duality andBuddhas and gods etc. appearswithin the bubble universe alongwith body-mind.These bubble universes floatin and on the consciousness-emptiness. The consciousness-emptiness appears on the Absolute,“where” there is no concept of aBuddha (no Buddha), nor a knoweror the concept or knowingness toknow them.In this way, there is no Buddhaoutside of the bubble universes inwhich Buddhas appear.The Buddha of the No BuddhaAbsolute appears as a bubbleuniverse, “As If” it is.Appreciating this brings the“realization”:That on which the Emptiness andthe bubble universes or realmsfloat is beyond unchanging. Itis the essential you-Buddha- 157
  • NO Buddha, prior to “your”appearance.Yet it is not a thing, and itis that which can never be, orbecome, it is That which youalways are.You are your Buddha NaturePrior to the screen and the bubbleuniverse and the consciousness-emptiness and the awarer, theknowingness-awareness “resides”.All of that appears “within” the“Absolute”, like foam bubblesappearing on waves within theocean. The ocean knows nothingof the foam, bubbles, waves orcurrents. In the same way the“Absolute”, ocean, knows nothingof the foam bubbles, called “your”universe. wave Thirteen: The Absolute without Awareness: No BuddhaThe Absolute and no Absolute.Master Nansen: “It has no mind, ithas no Buddha, it is not a thing.” 158
  • The ABsoLuTe: The ultimate ThornRealize that empty is empty ofempty (there is no such thing asempty).And that empty is still aperceiver-knower-awarer-experiencer-based perception.We can appreciate that the“Absolute” is a way to deconstruct“All That Is”.Because the “Absolute” is not aperceivable-knowable-experiencableawarer-based perception.It is prior to the reflected worldand the consciousness-emptinessillusionary mirror.Without a knower-perceiver-experiencer-awarer there to knowitThe dream endsThere is “waking-up”Without 159
  • Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Nothing perceivable or conceivable.”Enquiry Koan Story: When you goto sleep at night, and dream of ahouse. Upon awakening the houseis gone. Where did the house go?What was the house made of?Indian Metaphor: A man walks downa road. There is a rope in themiddle of the road. Given thepoor light, he mistakes the ropeand sees a snake. Does the snakeexist?Buddha: “...what we refer to as abeing, or a world. But the beingor world does not exist. We justcall it a world or a being.”There is no such thing as non-duality prior to the word non-dualityEnquiry Koan: “Is there such athing as non-duality outside ofthe duality-non-duality dream?”Zen Story: A monk asked Daizui,“When the I Am dies, so does“your” world and everything init?” 160
  • Master Daizui replied,“Everything.”Upon awaking from dreaming of ahouse, does the house remain? wave-station fourteen:All is the Absolute Not: The shiftThe Absolute neither is, nor isnot.The Absolute does not becomeanything.As the ocean does not becomea wave without an “outsideperceiver.”“When” all “things” are theAbsolute, is the ultimate shiftfrom not this not this to and thisand this to NOTAs there is no “all that is” 161
  • Nisargadatta Maharaj:“We all are rays of the Absolute.”Waves of the AbsoluteAbstractions of the “Absolute”MUNo dreamNo dreamerWe are all waves of the AbsoluteWe are all abstractions of theAbsoluteEnquiry Koan: What are weabstractions of? without Absolute 162
  • BIBLIogrAPhyNisargadata Maharaj Seeds ofConsciousness edited by JeanneDunn Acorn 1990Nisargadata Maharaj I am Thatedited by Maurice Friedmancopyright 1973 Chetana BookstoreBombay India. Acorn Press in theUnited States 1982Nisargadata Maharaj Prior toconsciousness edited by JeanneDunn Acorn Press 1985Nisargadata Maharaj The UltimateMedicine Edited by Robert PowellNorth Atlantic Books 2006Nisargadata Maharaj The Experienceof Nothingness Edited by RobertPowell North Atlantic Books 1996Nisargadata Maharaj Their Nectarof Immortality Robert PowellNisargadata Maharaj Consciousnessand the Absolute edited Edited byJeanne Dunn Acorn Press 1994Two Zen Classics: The GatelessGate and the Blue Cliff Recordsby Katsuki Sekida ShambhalaPublications Inc., Boston MA.Copyrght 1995 163
  • The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-menKuan, (Mumonkhan) By Robert Aitkencopyright 1991 The Diamond SanghaThe Gateless Barrier by ZenkeiShibayama Shambhala PublicationsInc., Boston MA. Copyrght 1974The Gateless Gate by Koun YamadaWidom Publications, Boston, MA.Copyright 2004Unlocking the Zen Koan by ThomasCleary, Noth Atlantic Books,Berkeley CA. copyright 1993The Diamond Sutra by Wong Mou-lam Shambhala Publications Inc.,Boston MA. Copyrght 1972Paul Reps Zen flesh Zen Bones1957 Charles Tuttle Co. New YorkJaideva Singh Shiva SutrasMoltilal Banarsidass, New Delhi,India 1979Lakshman Joo Siva Sutras Edited byJohn Hughes Munshiram ManoharlalNew Delhi, India 2007Jaideva Singh Vijnana BhairavaMoltilal Banarsidass, New Delhi,India 1979Lakshman Joo Vijnana BhairavaEdited by John Hughes UniversalShaiva Fellowship, Culver City,Ca. 2007 164
  • The Sound of One Hand Tranlatedby Yoel Hoffmann Basic Books, NewYork 1975Talks with Ramana Maharishi InnerDirections San diego, CA.Stephen Wolinsky, Rays of theAbsolute, Mirage Library copyright2010Stephen Wolinsky Hearts On FireQuantum Institute Press copyright1984Stephen Wolinsky QuantumConsciousness Bramble Books 1993Stephen Wolinsky The NirvanaSutras Quantum Institute Press2004Stephen Wolinsky You Are NotQuantum Institute Press 2002StephenWolinsky Walden III QuantumInstitute Press 2003The Blue Cliff Record: Zen Echos,David Rothenberg, Codhill Press,New Paltz New York, copyright 2001Two Zen Classics Katsuki Sekida,Shambhala Publishing, Boston, MA.,copyright 2005 165
  • The Blue Cliff Record ThomasCleary, and J. C. Cleary ShambhalaPublishing, Boston MA., copyright1977Secrets of the Blue CliffRecord Thomas Cleary, ShambhalaPublishing, Boston MA., copyright2000 166