Posts tagged: the Self

Feb 13 2011

Reflection on “Ch’an Master Hui Hai Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening”

Having finished reading John Blofeld’s book – translation of “Ch’an Master Hui Hai Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening”, now is the time for some reflections. As stated in my previous spiritual blog post, even after reading just a few introductory paragraphs, the book looked promising.
What can I say now? My expectations were perhaps too high, or my “readiness” for absorbing this kind of advanced spiritual knowledge was not at the required level. It was not unexpected for the Zen cryptographic expressions. However, comparing it with “The Zen Teaching of Huang Po On the Transmission of Mind” the book lacked what I’d like to call an internal energy that leaves the reader empowered and feeling almost elated.
Yes, that’s not an exaggeration; this was my experience after reading numerous Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj texts, and of course, the Huang Po’ teachings. Looking for a reason, my (uneducated) guess is that indeed, as mentioned in the foreword, “Ch’an Master Hui Hai Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening” will make a special appeal to those readers with a detailed knowledge of the various facets of traditional Buddhist doctrine.
I’m not one of them. At the best, my place would be in the ranks of Zen Catholicism’s adherents, with my knowledge of the theoretical side seriously lacking.

But, I’m neither apologizing, nor intending to change that by immersing myself into voluminous scriptures and enlightened writings. Why? It’s really simple. Whenever faced with a choice: read a book or sit and meditate, the latter always takes the precedent. Yes, I follow powerful Siva Sutra which says that what you know is binding your unbounded self. “Knowledge is bondage” it says. If you think you know, then you don’t know. If you think that you don’t know then you know. This is true wisdom of the Self. Learning and studying of the holy texts is an easy escape route from the serious effort aimed at attaining the intuitive knowledge. Dharma is to be apprehended directly by going deep into one’s mind. Books, no matter how holy and inspiring, don’t “hold” Dharma. They can only be the accepted as a prod, or a pointer, to get one into an earnest exploration of one’s mind, with the ultimate reward of realizing the Mind. Have got myself sidetracked a bit from the Hui Hai subject matter…

Remember, no matter what you’re reading or studying; whether you’re attending a seminar or a discussion group, all those are merely an ersatz for the only direct apprehension of the Absolute there is.
In the words of Huang Po: “Were you now to practise keeping your minds motionless at all times, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying; concentrating entirely upon the goal of no thought-creation, no duality, no reliance on others and no attachments; just allowing all things to take their course the whole day long, as though you were too ill to bother; unknown to the world; innocent of any urge to be known or unknown to others; with your minds like blocks of stone that mend no holes – then all Dharmas would penetrate your understanding through and through.”
From now on, think twice before you turn a leaf of yet another book…