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Don't know mind

Don't know mind

"Don't-know mind cut through thinking. It is before thinking. Before thinking there is no doctor, no patient; also no God, no Buddha, no "I,” no words — nothing at all.
Then you and the universe become one. We call this nothing-mind, or primary point. Some people say this is God, or universal energy, or bliss, or extinction. But these are only teaching words.

Nothing-mind is before words. Zen is attaining nothing-mind, and using nothing-mind. How can you use it? Make nothing-mind into big-love-mind. Nothing means no I-my-me, no hindrance, so this mind can change to action- for-all-people mind.

This is possible. Nothing-mind neither appears nor disappears. It you do correct meditation, nothing mind becomes strong and you perceive your situation clearly: what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch are the truth, without thinking. So your mind is like a mirror. Then moment to moment you can keep your correct situation.

When a doctor is with his patients, if he drops I-my-me and becomes one with them, then helping them is possible. When a doctor goes home and he is with his family, if he keeps his father's mind 100 percent, then understanding what is best for them is clear. Just like this. The blue mountain does not move. The white clouds float back and forth."

~Seung Sahn

Source:

ONLY DON'T KNOW
SELECTED TEACHING LETTERS OF ZEN MASTER SEUNG SAHN

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Invincible_summerpegembaraCinorjerGuimmo
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Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 2015

    <3
    You will notice the potential to be mahayanic in the end part of this quote. It is why enlightened teachers/people are so beneficial and so desperatily needed. Such an unfolding is a natural deepening as the effects of realization fall away from the shiny mirror ... =)

    Cinorjer
  • Towards the end of his teaching life, Ajahn Chah would visit the Western monks at Wat Pa Nanachat once a week to take a sauna for his health. He would also give a Dhamma talk before his sauna, to offer us some wisdom, encouragement and inspiration. On one of these occasions I remember that after the Dhamma talk, I thought for once, instead of going right away to help care for Tan Ajahn, I would sit meditation and use some of the inspiration from his talk to aid my meditation. So I went around to the back of the Dhamma hall at Wat Pa Nanachat, where no one was and I sat meditation. I don't know whether it was for half an hour or one hour. I had a very nice meditation, a very deep meditation. When I came out afterwards I had a lot of happiness and clarity in my mind.

    Of course, the first thing that came to my mind after that meditation was to see if I could assist my teacher, Ajahn Chah. So I got up and started walking towards the sauna. Half way between the Dhamma hall and the sauna, I met Ajahn Chah coming in the opposite direction with two or three Thai laymen. He had completed his sauna and he was on his way back to Wat Pa Pong. When he saw me, he obviously perceived that I'd had a very deep meditation and that my mind was clear, so it was one of those occasions when he tried, out of compassion, to enlighten me. He looked me in the eye, as Ajahn Chah could do, and said, "Brahmavamso, tam mai?" which means, "Brahmavamso, why?" I said, "I don't know". He laughed and said, "If anyone ever asks you that question again the right answer is, 'Mai me arai' (there is nothing)". He asked me if I understood, and I said, "Yes", and he said, "No you don't".

    I'll always remember his reply. As he walked off it was like a profound teaching that he had just shared with me. What he was actually saying here by his teaching, 'Mai me arai' was, there is nothing, just emptiness, anatta. This is a powerful teaching because in our world we always want to have something. We always want to grab on to something, and to say "there is something". But actually, there is nothing.

    http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Ajahn_Brahm_ANATTA.htm

    lobsterCinorjer
  • Oi dunno!

  • What a great story @pegembara thanks for sharing. <3

    I am just besotted with Seung Sahn's stick which reminds me of a ceremorial stick in another thread ...

    Your story also reminds me of my favourite Buddhist story which you can read here ...
    http://sillysutras.com/kalu-rinpoche-the-zen-master-and-the-orange/

    how
  • Sometimes we assume there is secondary or hidden answer to a query when the obvious is the only answer.

    It is a trap easily set and fallen into by any and all of us.

    "SNAP!" Oh dear, I got me again!

    silver
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited November 2015

    I still grasp and nothing makes it more obvious than people using the label "nothing" as if it's supposed to mean anything.

    "Nothing at all... Then you and the universe become one."

    If there is nothing at all then there is no universe and no you and certainly not one. There wouldn't even be the potential for the universe, you or one.

    Everything else may resonate and jibe perfectly but as soon as the word "nothing" pops up you may as well be talking about God of the Gaps.

    silver
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Every time I heard the 'God of the Gaps' it reminds me of the London underground "Mind the gap"

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said:
    Every time I heard the 'God of the Gaps' it reminds me of the London underground "Mind the gap"

    You forgot the pause.
    You can't have 'Mind the gap', without the pause.

    "Mind - the Gap."

  • Hmmmm...

    Shoshin
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited November 2015

    "Don't know mind" seems a much better label than "nothing mind" but the best label would be one that invokes an image (or non-image) of "purely fluid awareness" in my opinion (which could be wrong).

    "Don't know mind" seems to imply not only a lack of knowledge but a topic on which to reside... An original question we lack an answer to. If that's the case then primordial mind would be asking, not answering. Probably something like "What the heck is going on?"

    Right?

    "Nothing mind" contradicts itself and perhaps that's the point but to me, it is misleading as there cannot be mind and nothing at the same time. There can be mind without residing on anything or no thing in mind but if there is nothing, there is no mind and no potential for awareness of any kind.

    Labels are nothing but tools but we should still use the best tool for the job.

    It could very well be that I'm just looking to find faults but I honestly think either it's mostly just a communications problem in translation or people try to make it all sound more complicated than it needs to be.

    Barah
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @ourself said:
    Everything else may resonate and jibe perfectly but as soon as the word "nothing" pops up you may as well be talking about God of the Gaps.

    That's why he says in other talks to "not attach so much to words and letters". :)

    Nothing mind, don't know mind, big mind, true self, etc, etc. They are all intended to mean the same thing. :) The particular words are not important, but what the words are pointing at. They all point to the same thing.

    David
  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    How does one know, that don't know mind, is the true self, if he doesn't know?
    "Ignorance is bliss", but how does one know it has anything to do with awakening?

    Jeffrey
  • PöljäPöljä Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @ourself said:
    If there is nothing at all then there is no universe and no you and certainly not one. There wouldn't even be the potential for the universe, you or one.

    What if the universe is a hologram, a 3D illusion created by one-dimensional strings that are next to nothing?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yeah, what if? Answer your own question.....

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Barah said:
    How does one know, that don't know mind, is the true self, if he doesn't know?
    "Ignorance is bliss", but how does one know it has anything to do with awakening?

    I always found this interesting, from the zen "Wake up sermon". :)

    If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both. Those who don’t understand don’t understand understanding. And those who understand, understand not understanding.

    People capable of true vision know that the mind is empty. They transcend both understanding and not understanding. The absence of both understanding and not understanding is true understanding. Seen with true vision, form isn’t simply form, because form depends on mind. And mind isn’t simply mind, because mind depends on form. Mind and form create and negate each other. That which exists exists in relation to that which doesn’t exist. And that which doesn’t exist doesn’t exist in relation to that which exists. This is true vision. By means of such vision nothing is seen and nothing is not seen. Such vision reaches throughout the ten directions without seeing: because nothing is seen; because not seeing is seen; because seeing isn’t seeing. What mortals see are delusions. True vision is detached from seeing. The mind and the world are opposites, and vision arises where they meet. When your mind doesn’t stir inside, the world doesn’t arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is true vision. And such understanding is true understanding.

    To see nothing is to perceive the Way, and to understand nothing is to know the Dharma, because seeing is neither seeing nor not seeing and because understanding is neither understanding nor not understanding. Seeing without seeing is true vision. Understanding without understanding is true understanding.

    lobster
  • @seeker242 said:
    I always found this interesting, from the zen "Wake up sermon".

    I think, we can agree, that only a person of great knowledge can write such a sermon.
    This is not a "don't know mind", this is "know a lot" mind, which poses understanding without effort.

  • In "Bloodstream Sermon" we read:
    "You can’t know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself." _
    "Only the wise knows mind, this mind call nature, this mind called liberation.
    "
    "Just know your mind. Beyond your mind there’s no other Buddha. The sutras say, "Everything that has form is an illusion." They also say, "Wherever you are, there’s a Buddha." Your mind is the Buddha. Don’t use a Buddha to worship a Buddha."
    ... and many more...

    Something opposite to don't know mind.
    For those who are not familiar with those texts, those are Bodhidharma sermons.

  • @seeker242 I did a half hearted search for the wake up sermon. Outstanding incidentally.
    Sadly or gladly I was misdirected by Google to this Zen advice:

    JEWISH BUDDHISM

    • The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao is not Jewish.

    • Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You’ll never meet the Buddha with posture like that.

    • There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?

    • To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: Get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?

    • The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings. Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?

    • Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

    • If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

    • Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

    • Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip, joy. With the second, satisfaction. With the third, cheese danish.

    • Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

    • To find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.

    • Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

    • The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single oy!
      http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/Spiritual_Humor.html

    I can no longer take the google search seriously ... o:)

    silvermmo
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said:
    I think, we can agree, that only a person of great knowledge can write such a sermon.
    This is not a "don't know mind", this is "know a lot" mind, which poses understanding without effort.

    I don't think that is the case. I think you are misunderstanding what "don't know mind" is intended to mean. It doesn't actually mean you don't know anything. Zen master words, a lot of times, aren't meant to be taken literally. Especially so for words of Seung Sahn. :) Bodhidharma had a "don't know mind". That's why he was a great master to begin with.

    lobster
  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    I think you are misunderstanding what "don't know mind" is intended to mean. It doesn't actually mean you don't know anything.

    So, what does it mean?

    @seeker242 said:
    Zen master words, a lot of times, aren't meant to be taken literally.

    What is the point of a teaching which is misleading? It's like pointing to something else, than you actually mean. O.o

    @seeker242 said:
    Bodhidharma had a "don't know mind". That's why he was a great master to begin with.

    Are you suggesting that because he was a great master, he had a "don't know mind"? That would count as worshiping.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said:
    So, what does it mean?

    It means your true nature, true self, etc.

    What is the point of a teaching which is misleading? It's like pointing to something else, than you actually mean.

    The point is precisely that, to point! But, it's not the teaching that is misleading. It is the nature of words, thought and language that is inherently misleading. Since the ultimate truth of your true nature cannot be expressed with mere words, the best one can do is point in the direction of it.

    Are you suggesting that because he was a great master, he had a "don't know mind"?

    No, I'm suggesting the opposite. He became a great master because he had a "don't know mind"

    lobster
  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    It means your true nature, true self, etc.

    No, I was not looking for a different name for it. Now I will have to ask, what is true self, true nature.
    What is "don't know mind"?
    If you say that my understanding is wrong, yours must to be correct. Share it with me.

    @seeker242 said:
    The point is precisely that, to point! But, it's not the teaching that is misleading. It is the nature of words, thought and language that is inherently misleading. Since the ultimate truth cannot be expressed with words, the best one can do is point.

    Ok, but what is the point of pointing to something different than the true meaning?
    If language is inherently misleading, than every teaching is like that. What can be achieved by listening and applying it?

    @seeker242 said:
    No, I'm suggesting the opposite. He became a great master because he had a "don't know mind"

    How do we know that?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said:
    No, I was not looking for a different name for it. Now I will have to ask, what is true >self, true nature.
    What is "don't know mind"?
    If you say that my understanding is wrong, yours must to be correct. Share it with me.

    It has many different names. They all mean the same thing. They all point to the same thing. "What is your true nature" is the question that is answered when someone becomes awakened. What it is cannot be said directly. Seung Sahn himself taught that "Don't know mind is your true nature". It was his primary teaching motto, so to speak.

    Ok, but what is the point of pointing to something different than the true meaning?
    If language is inherently misleading, than every teaching is like that. What can be >achieved by listening and applying it?

    What can be achieved is how to find out what one's true nature is, for oneself. AKA awakening, enlightenment, or whatever you wish to call it.

    How do we know that?

    It can be known by seeing one's true nature for oneself!

    lobster
  • MetaphasicMetaphasic NC, USA Explorer
    edited November 2015

    The unsure mind versus the empty mind?

    When I weighed in on the "Do you even exist?" thread, I said; "I think I exist, therefore I might. But I could be wrong."

    There is no way to prove, or disprove anything at all, including your own existence.

    In the same vein as the general rejection of a deity, which is especially impossible to prove or disprove, I would say this debate is moot, and there are much more worthwhile activities one can spend their time on. Sometimes you guys often overthink things.

    Ask your self this: if it is impossible to know anything, for certain, then how can anybody else presume to tell you what you do, or do not know?

    I practice what I call "core" Buddhism, which means I do not claim a school or sect. As a result, I only have the noble truths, the eight fold path, karma, rebirth and reincarnation to guide me, leaving me free of the hundreds of little precepts that seem to bog down those who claim a school or sect.

    Truths should be self-evident. If you have to work this hard to grasp something, then it is probably not a truth.

    silver
  • @seeker242 said:
    What it is cannot be said directly. Seung Sahn himself taught that "Don't know mind is your true nature".

    It makes not sense. If it cannot be said directly, why his direct answer is correct and mine isn't? I am asking for your clarification, because you need to have something to make this distinction. The fact, that it was his motto, doesn't make it true.

    @seeker242 said:
    What can be achieved is how to find out what one's true nature is, for oneself. AKA awakening, enlightenment, or whatever you wish to call it.

    How can this be achieved through applying misleading teachings? What I am asking for, is to present this teaching in such a way, that it is not misleading. If I need to be awaken to understand that, than such a teaching is worth nothing, as it's nothing but poetry.

    @seeker242 said:
    It can be known by seeing one's true nature for oneself!

    So, you are saying that knowing that is was a great master because he had "don't know mind" requires seeing one's true nature for oneself? I don't think that this is a valid answer, unless you know it in this way. To confirm that, I will have to ask you about your seeing your own true nature? Do you see it?

    Sorry for that interrogation, but if a view cannot withstand scrutiny, what good is it?

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Metaphasic said:
    There is no way to prove, or disprove anything at all, including your own existence.

    Acutually, that the most obvious and immediate thing we know. Of course, it all depends on how you define yourself, but the mere existence is so obvious that it sounds almost weird when somebody doubts it.

    In the same vein as the general rejection of a deity, which is especially impossible to prove or disprove, I would say this debate is moot, and there are much more worthwhile activities one can spend their time on. Sometimes you guys often overthink things.

    I advice you to read Nagarjunas debates. We are children in the sandbox when it comes to logical thinking, compared to him.

    Ask your self this: if it is impossible to know anything, for certain, then how can anybody else presume to tell you what you do, or do not know?

    You start investigating what "knowing" is. Debates shouldn't be only used to convince others, they are very good tools of inquiry.

    I practice what I call "core" Buddhism, which means I do not claim a school or sect. As a result, I only have the noble truths, the eight fold path, karma, rebirth and reincarnation to guide me, leaving me free of the hundreds of little precepts that seem to bog down those who claim a school or sect.

    That's not a bad idea, at least you carry less bricks on your back. The question is, why bother to carry any?

    Truths should be self-evident. If you have to work this hard to grasp something, then it is probably not a truth.

    It is self evident, the problem is, that some preconceived ideas are deeply rooted, and there is no other way to release oneself from them, then to investigate. Ofc, there is always lobotomy ;)
    In my discussion with Seeker242, I am asking about the foundation of a particular view. It he is able to reveal it, then he will enlighten me. If he is not able to do so, I will free him from a preconceived view. Win-Win.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2015

    @Barah: let me make this simple.

    Consider the gap between thoughts. Notice, attentively, that momentary instant when the Mind is still, there is no mental traffic, no invasion of babble, labelling or identifying.
    Just stillness and peace, a calm abiding, neutral in its observation of everything, not deciding something is either 'good', 'bad or anything in between.

    Now expand that stillness, until you succeed in making it your norm. Notice, attentively, that skipping thought which comes to your Mind, and leaves just as quickly because it is irrelevant, redundant and of no use or consequence. It was, and now isn't.

    Consider observing everything you think, see and hear, all that you witness mentally or physically, as neutral. Nothing is bad, nothing is good, nothing 'is'.

    That is a 'don't know' mind.

    It's a mind that is expansive and open to all and every possibility, without preemption, judgement, evaluation, discernment, or bias.
    It takes in, digests and lets go.
    It 'knows' nothing, because it does not hold onto opinions, views or assumptions.
    It takes nothing for granted, but holds nothing as important.

    Is that clearer?

    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Barah said:
    It makes not sense. If it cannot be said directly, why his direct answer is correct and mine isn't? I am asking for your clarification.

    It seems to me that you implied that "don't know mind" means you don't know anything. I know this is not the case because I'm very familiar Seung Sahn's teaching. I practiced with him before he died and all of my current teachers are his former students.

    How can this be achieved through applying misleading teachings? What I am asking for, is to present this teaching in such a way, that it is not misleading.

    The point is that this is not possible to begin with. This is why Seung Sahn also taught "open mouth is already a mistake".

    Although, CASE 37 of the MUMONKAN provides an extraordinarily direct answer. It's about as direct as you can get.

    A monk asked Joshu, "With what intention did Bodhidharma come to China?" Joshu answered, "The oak tree in the front garden."

    Mumon's Comments:
    If you grasp Joshu's answer precisely, there is no Shakyamuni Buddha before you and no Maitreya Buddha after you.

    Words do not express fact,
    Phrases do not reveal the delicate motion of mind.
    He who accepts words is lost,
    He who adheres to phrases is deluded.

    Joshu here is directly saying what is your true nature.

    So, you are saying that knowing that is was a great master because he had "don't know mind" requires seeing one's true nature for oneself?

    Yes, precisely.

    To confirm that, I will have to ask you about your seeing your own true nature? Do you see it?

    Can I see an oak tree? Sure. But then again, so can everyone else! This is why Seung Sahn also taught "you already understand" or "You can already see your true nature because it's staring you in the face right now" and other similar teachings. :)

    silverWalker
  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @federica said:
    Barah: let me make this simple.

    Consider the gap between thoughts. Notice, attentively, that momentary instant when the Mind is still, there is no mental traffic, no invasion of babble, labelling or identifying.
    Just stillness and peace, a calm abiding, neutral in its observation of everything, not deciding something is either 'good', 'bad or anything in between.
    Now expand that stillness, until you succeed in making it your norm. Notice, attentively, that skipping thought which comes to your Mind, and leaves just as quickly because it is irrelevant, redundant and of no use or consequence. It was, and now isn't.

    Consider observing everything you think, see and hear, all that you witness mentally or physically, as neutral. Nothing is bad, nothing is good, nothing 'is'.

    Ok, I can agree with that. With one small exception, that's what I consider as a good practice.

    That is a 'don't know' mind.
    It's a mind that is expansive and open to all and every possibility, without preemption, judgement, evaluation, discernment, or bias.

    Wouldn't you say, that there is no place for thoughts in such a mind?... and that's where problems start. You need a constant attention guarding your from thoughts, which is nothing but a thought itself. We have the power to start or stop a thought, but not before it arises. So, your peaceful abiding will be interrupted by habitually arising thoughts. Unless you have a good basis for not reacting to them, you will get caught up. :)

    It 'knows' nothing, because it does not hold onto opinions, views or assumptions.
    It takes nothing for granted, but holds nothing as important.

    Is that clearer?

    It is clear, but is it true? Did it work for you?
    To be able to use it, you must remind yourself about it, otherwise you will forget it, falling into habitual tendencies. That is why understanding is needed, because understanding works as a basis, it does not require recalling. This is the only way to make it into norm.
    Understanding needs explanation, this is why I am asking for clarification.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Barah said: Wouldn't you say, that there is no place for thoughts in such a mind?... and that's where problems start. You need a constant attention guarding your from thoughts, which is nothing but a thought itself. We have the power to start or stop a thought, but not before it arises. So, your peaceful abiding will be interrupted by habitually arising thoughts. Unless you have a good basis for not reacting to them, you will get caught up.

    Not so.
    The brain is a mechanical physical device designed to think, evaluate, cogitate, memorise, and has control of all senses. The brain cannot cease to function.
    Thus, Mind will always 'see' thoughts. It's meant to. One cannot stop or start a thought, one can only observe it and dismiss it, or observe it and note it for its relevance. THEN dismiss it.
    As with all things, it's not what arises that matters. It's what you do with it, when it does, that matters.

    It is clear, but is it true? Did it work for you?

    Yes, there is notable improvement. You'll doubtless be very pleased to note that I am 'present' far more frequently than 'absent'.

    ;)

  • @federica said:
    Not so.
    The brain is a mechanical physical device designed to think, evaluate, cogitate, >memorise, and has control of all senses. The brain cannot cease to function.
    Thus, Mind will always 'see' thoughts. It's meant to. One cannot stop or start a thought, >one can only observe it and dismiss it, or observe it and note it for its relevance. THEN >dismiss it.
    As with all things, it's not what arises that matters. It's what you do with it, when it >does, that matters.

    So, here we disagree. =)
    Earlier you said "without preemption, judgement, evaluation, discernment, or bias", and now you are saing "it's what you do with it that matters". So, we are back to judgement, evaluation, etc.

    @federica said:
    Yes, there is notable improvement. You'll doubtless be very pleased to note that I am 'present' far more frequently than 'absent'.

    Very good.

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    It seems to me that you implied that "don't know mind" means you don't know anything. I know this is not the case because I'm very familiar Seung Sahn's teaching. I practiced with him before he died and all of my current teachers are his former students.

    This clarifies nothing :).

    @seeker242 said:
    The point is that this is not possible to begin with. This is why Seung Sahn also taught "open mouth is already a mistake".

    If it is not possible to see your own nature through teachings, why bother teaching? He was mistaken many times, it seems. What for?

    @seeker242 said:
    Joshu here is directly saying what is your true nature.

    It is not possible to directly point to something through negation ;). Can you express it in positive way?

    @seeker242 said:
    Can I see an oak tree? Sure. But then again, so can everyone else! This is why Seung Sahn also taught "you already understand" or "You can already see your true nature because it's staring you in the face right now" and other similar teachings.

    That's not the answer to my question. Maybe modesty, who knows...
    Anyway, how does, "You can already see your true nature because it's staring you in the face right now", has to do with "Don't know mind"?

    We are going into many directions, and I don't see the ground in any of those. It was different with @federica, because she openly expressed herself, without hiding behind unknowing. Maybe you should also try. I mainly ask questions here, but that does not mean that I have no knowledge about the subject. I know Bodhidharma sermons very well and was studying "don't know mind" for some time. Prajna paramita sutras are good example of this practice, although their content may be misleading. Anyway, unless there is certainty, talking about "don't know mind" is just sharing views.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said: So, here we disagree. =)
    Earlier you said "without preemption, judgement, evaluation, discernment, or bias", and now you are saing "it's what you do with it that matters". So, we are back to judgement, evaluation, etc.

    No, you're not evaluating the quality of the thought. You evaluate your reaction and response to it. The thought manifests. It is a thought, plain and simple. How you meet, greet and treat it, is when you tie yourself up in the judgement.

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @federica said:
    No, you're not evaluating the quality of the thought. You evaluate your reaction and response to it.

    By quality, do you mean content of a thought? Thoughts are basically pointers, so the content will be that which a particular thought points at. Let go though it, step by step.
    A normal scenario: You are meditating, and suddenly a thought arises: "I wonder if someone answered my last forum post". What do you do?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2015

    ignore it. It's irrelevant. let it go without giving it any significance.
    (When am I NOT meditating.....?)

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    Ok, but to be able to say it's irrelevant, you need to judge it. If that thought would be "Damn! I forgot to pick up my child from school", you would react giving it great significance.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said:
    This clarifies nothing

    I agree! Which is why he also taught "you have to find out for yourself"

    If it is not possible to see your own nature through teachings, why bother teaching? He was mistaken many times, it seems. What for?

    To help other people find out for themselves.

    It is not possible to directly point to something through negation ;). Can you express it in positive way?

    An oak tree in the courtyard. :)

    That's not the answer to my question.

    If your question is "what is true nature", no one can answer that question. It has to be answered for oneself.

    We are going into many directions, and I don't see the ground in any of those.

    Perhaps that is a good thing as the ultimate truth is said to be "groundless" to begin with.

    Anyway, unless there is certainty, talking about "don't know mind" is just sharing views.

    I am certain that "don't know mind" doesn't mean one doesn't know anything. And I'm certain it doesn't mean ignorance. :) I am certain that it does mean true self, true nature, Buddha nature, ultimate truth, ultimate reality, awakening, enlightenment, etc, etc.

    lobster
  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    I am certain that "don't know mind" doesn't mean one doesn't know anything. And I certain it doesn't mean ignorance.

    Does it mean extinction of suffering?

    I am certain that it does mean true self, true nature, Buddha nature, ultimate truth, ultimate reality, awakening, enlightenment, etc, etc.

    Through experience, or belief? In other words, are you a Buddha, or a fanatic? :)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Barah said:
    Does it mean extinction of suffering?

    Sure, you could say that, since "thinking mind" is what makes suffering to begin with.

    In other words, are you a Buddha, or a fanatic? :)

    Neither. I'm a student of Seung Sahn :)

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    Sure, you could say that, since "thinking mind" is what makes suffering to begin with.

    If that was true, lobotomy would be the great gate of nirvana :).

    @seeker242 said:
    Neither. I'm a student of Seung Sahn

    You quoted Bodhidharma, so let me ask you the same questions, in his language. Are you a mortal, or a Buddha? I don't know why are you so reluctant here. Do you think you have anything to lose?

    I think we will get nowhere with this discussion. No thinking mind is a result realization, not a practice to follow. Some people think, that they may think their way through to not thinking. Bodhidharma taught about that: People who don’t see their nature and imagine they can practice thoughtlessness all the time are lairs and fools. It's much better to be plain and honest. Why hide behind doctrines and mystery?
    Don't know mind, is a method that was know even in ancient Greece, and it is based on simple explanation. Since nothing can be fully known, no certainty can be achieved. This brings detachment, and letting go of knowledge, which in turn loosens expectations, desires, and things like doubt, or guilt. Nothing mysterious, plain honesty. I don't know why people need teachers for that.
    Don't know mind is a thought, so it doesn't cut through thinking, it moderates it.

    seeker242
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @seeker242 said:
    Nothing mind, don't know mind, big mind, true self, etc, etc. They are all intended to mean the same thing. :) The particular words are not important, but what the words are pointing at. They all point to the same thing.

    It's turned into an interesting discussion...

    I do know this but the problem I have is that they can all imply different things. So while they all may be pointing to the same thing, some are more direct.

    There are many ways to go about explaining it and some ways avoid explanations. Some explanations contradict each other in subtle and yet profound ways.

    Would he be talking about fluid awareness with no abiding?

    Some would say there could be no awareness without a point of reference and the only times I may have tapped into it have been through this living body/mind connection so any beliefs I can form are suspect.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Barah said:
    If that was true, lobotomy would be the great gate of nirvana

    Not according to the masters as no thought does not mean no thought. Like it says in the platform sutra no thought means no thought within thought. :)

    You quoted Bodhidharma, so let me ask you the same questions, in his language. Are you a mortal, or a Buddha? I don't know why are you so reluctant here. Do you think you have anything to lose?

    I'm reluctant here because they're both wrong. :)

    I think we will get nowhere with this discussion. No thinking mind is a result realization, not a practice to follow. Some people think, that they may think their way through to not thinking. Bodhidharma taught about that: People who don’t see their nature and imagine they can practice thoughtlessness all the time are lairs and fools. It's much better to be plain and honest. Why hide behind doctrines and mystery?

    If you think don't know mind or no thinking means thoughtlessness then yes we won't get anywhere because that's not what it means

    Don't know mind is a thought, so it doesn't cut through thinking, it moderates it.

    Don't know mind isn't a thought. Don't know mind is what appears after thinking has already been cut off, hence the statement don't know mind is your true nature. But if you want to reify don't know mind yes, that's a mistake. However, It's not supposed to be reified to begin with!

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    However, it's not supposed to be reified to begin with!

    Will there be a test? o:)

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @seeker242 said:
    no thought does not mean no thought.

    Really?
    That's just playing with nonsense, it has nothing to do with Buddhadharma.

    I'm reluctant here because they're both wrong.

    Both Buddhas and mortals are wrong? Are we entering a new religion here?
    I will reply by quoting Bodhidharma:
    When you don’t understand right seems wrong. When you understand, wrong isn’t wrong, because wrong doesn’t exist.
    I really like those sermons :).

    First you say:

    If you think don't know mind or no thinking means thoughtlessness then yes we won't get anywhere because that's not what it means

    And later:

    Don't know mind is what appears after thinking has already been cut off

    Let me rephrase it for you. If thinking has been cut off there is no thinking. No thinking is thoughtlessness. This quote was not saying that thoughtlessness is wrong, but rather that it is impossible to practice it.
    We are at a point where you repeatedly contradict yourself, and you are fine with it. This looks like a zen talk of someone who think that it's all about making no sense. Let me just tell you, it isn't. Not only it's futile, it's also misleading and counter productive.

    Seung Sahn school is based on his education in Rinzai branch, which has two great pillars. One is the founder, but I will not quote Lincji here, because there is not slightest similarity between his teaching and Saung Sahns. I will quote the second great master, who revitalized Rinzai school in Japan.
    "If, on the other hand, you follow the trend of the times, when you gain entry into the eighth consciousness's dark cave of unknowing you will begin crowing about what you have achieved. You will go around telling one and all how enlightened you are. You will proceed to accept, under false pretenses, the veneration and charity of others, and become one of those arrogant creatures who declares he has attained realization when he has not." - Hakuin
    How accurate.

    And here is something that precisely expresses what I was pointing at in this topic
    Hakuin:
    "But if this same person experiences kensho, everything changes. Although he is constantly thinking and acting, it is totally free and unattached. Although he is engaged in activity around the clock, that activity is, as such, non-activity. This great change is the result of his kensho. It is like water that snakes and cows drink from the same cistern, which becomes deadly venom in one and milk in the other.

    Bodhidharma spoke of this in his Essay on the Dharma Pulse:

    If someone without kensho tries constantly to make his thoughts free and unattached, he commits a great transgression against the Dharma and is a great fool to boot. He winds up in the passive indifference of empty emptiness, no more able to distinguish good from bad than a drunken man. If you want to put the Dharma of non-activity into practice, you must bring an end to all your thought-attachments by breaking through into kensho. Unless you have kensho,you can never expect to achieve a state of non-doing."

    Earthninja
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said:
    Ok, but to be able to say it's irrelevant, you need to judge it.

    It depends what you mean by 'judge'.
    I mean 'assess, determine'. You mean, 'evaluate, criticise'.

    Your definition shows bias.
    Mine does not.

    If that thought would be "Damn! I forgot to pick up my child from school", you would react giving it great significance.

    First of all, the 'damn!' would not feature.
    The thought would demonstrate my own careless inattentiveness.
    I would be frustrated with my own failing.
    Not the content of the thought.

    You appear to not like it when people pose situations you find cryptic and questionable.
    Interesting to see how you react when the boot is on the other foot.

  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @federica said:
    I mean 'assess, determine'. You mean, 'evaluate, criticise'.

    I am totally fine with assess, or determine. Evaluate would also be ok, but criticise is totally missed. Is assessing or determinig "don't know" mind? Undoubtedly, you need knowledge to perform those activities.

    @federica said:
    Your definition shows bias.

    Wait a second... you contrived, what you think would be "my definition" , and now you say that my definition shows bias? Cmon...

    @federica said:
    The thought would demonstrate my own careless inattentiveness.
    I would be frustrated with my own failing.
    Not the content of the thought.

    It's hard to be mad at a thought that helps you, isn't it? As I said before, thoughts are just pointers, they themselves are never the target our our attention. Anyway, your 'don't know' mind is now shattered, your are frustrated (which is undoubtedly criticism of yourself). You did precisely what you assumed to be wrong.

    @federica said:
    You appear to not like it when people pose situations you find cryptic and questionable.

    That may be true, but I did not encounter such a situation yet, in this topic. :)

    @federica said:
    Interesting to see how you react when the boot is on the other foot.

    As you can see above, you are not yet on the "winning" side.
    Your interpretation of "don't know" mind is different than Seeker242, but it's also not consistent. It receives severe criticism, even in those quotes from my previous post.

  • MetaphasicMetaphasic NC, USA Explorer

    As this thread is still going on, my earlier point stands. It has entered the realm of deep speculation, which I find to be a bad practice, and an indicator that the solution is unreachable or does not exist. The dust this debate is kicking up will most likely cloud the mind. Why peruse such a thing?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Barah said:

    @seeker242 said:
    no thought does not mean no thought.

    Really?
    That's just playing with nonsense, it has nothing to do with Buddhadharma.

    Yes, really. It's a direct quote from the platform sutra of the 6th patriarch. "No-thought" means "no-thought within thought.". The definition of Japanese terms hishiryo, munen or mushin all say that also.

    Both Buddhas and mortals are wrong? Are we entering a new religion here?

    No, but the way you are framing the question to me specifically, both of my answers would be wrong.

    Let me rephrase it for you. If thinking has been cut off there is no thinking. No thinking is thoughtlessness.

    No it isn't. That's an incorrect understanding of what hishiryo means. What you are referring to is fushiryo. Hishiryo and Fushiryo are two different things.

    We are at a point where you repeatedly contradict yourself, and you are fine with it.

    Yes! Contradictions are not a problem when you don't attach to words so much.

    And here is something that precisely expresses what I was pointing at in this topic
    Hakuin:

    If you understand Hakuin and Linji, then you should also understand that Hishiryo or mushin does not mean "a lobotomy". :)

    Hakuin:
    "But if this same person experiences kensho, everything changes. Although he is constantly thinking and acting, it is totally free and unattached.

    AKA "Don't know Mind", AKA mushin, AKA Hishiryo, AKA true self, etc, etc, etc.

    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Will there be a test? o:)

    Yes, and the grim reaper is the one that administers it. Ha! :)

    lobsterVastmind
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