Last night I dreamed I was standing next to a guide who told me to go through a door and I’d find a wall. I opened the door and there was indeed a wall. I pushed it down, it revealed a room with more walls. I kept pushing more and more walls down. It seemed like the walls would go on forever; I felt so alone. Then I awoke.
It reminds me of Sekkei Harada’s comment that the mind can never be healed. An infinite number of walls when we forget that the real wall is the mind itself.
A while ago I did a list of values that I live by and highest on that list was freedom and reviewing that this new year I don’t think it’s changed, but then the question is how one sees freedom. Unlike some I do not search for it outwardly, but rather I search for it in my own mind. Why not? Victor Frankl, paid testament to this in the concentration camps of the Third Reich. And in this view I find what Bodhidharma points to very interesting. Here are few snippets from the Blood Stream Sermon.
“Beyond this mind you’ll never see another Buddha… Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha… And the Buddha is the person who’s free… At every moment, where language can’t go, that’s your mind… If you seek direct understanding, don’t hold on to any appearance whatsoever, and you’ll succeed… And this nature is the mind and this mind is the buddha.”
Another thought that sticks with me on this topic is the universe in which we live. While Einstein may have demonstrated that spatially it’s finite, yet continuing to expand, Stephen Hawkings finding, at least as I understand it is that temporally it’s both finite and infinite. This blows my mind in the same way the Diamond Sutra did in my mid twenties. To me Einstein’s view that energy is indestructible amounts to much the same thought, just from another point of view. What meaning does becoming have in such a context? Truly everything is just so. There is no start, yet there is a start. Perhaps we are just like that.
“Like a meteor, like darkness, as a flickering lamp,
An illusion, like hoar-frost, or a bubble,
Like clouds, a flash of lightening, or a dream;
So is all conditioned existence to be seen.”
“One should use one’s mind in such a way that it will be free from attachment.” – The Diamond Sutra.
Life is short and then you die. Or do you. I must confess I don’t know whether you do or don’t. So these are merely my reflections, my own points of view and my beliefs. Don’t consider this any other way. What I will say in my own defense is that meditation does seem to provide a little bit of insight into the unknown.
Then on the other hand practices like Zen focus on the eternal now. The ever present present. Holding one’s awareness totally focused within the present moment releases us from the past and the future. Such a skill also releases us from our baggage, and from tension.
“…there are two concepts of a person. One is the temporary person or self, that is as we exist at the moment, and this is albelled on the basis of our coarse or gross physical body and conditioned mind, and, at the same time, there is a subtle person or self which is designated in dependence on the subtle body and subtle mind… These two intrexicably conjoined qualities are regarded, in Highest Yoga Tantra, as the ultimate nature of a person and are identified as buddha nature, the essential or actual nature of mind.”
The implication that continuity of consciousness lies within the buddha nature, what he later refers to as the “unconditioned mind”. You could easily draw the conclusion that this is the same as the “ever present” awareness.
This of course is an incredible simplification, but it strikes me that this practice of ours is also a practice in continuity of consciousness.