Any path that does not treat the ultimate continues a perpetual
regress and will never find the path out...like five people standing
in a room looking for the keys to a car. Are they under the cushions
of the couch? Are they under a book on the cocktail table? Are they
on the bookshelf? In a jar or container? The quest is still in the
room, and yet the keys may be outside the house altogether! The
thought has not yet occured to look elsewhere, in this analogy behind
conceptual theories and into the nonconceptual.
Here's the catch, you can go behind those conceptual theories only to
produce more conceptual theories. The point is that its ALL going to
be conceptual theory. Flowing waters are empirical data that we can
see and experience. And yet, all these conceptual ideologies are just
signposts to lead us to make the right decisions and avoid the wrong
ones to create the ripening of the karma we will need to experience
this EMPTINESS directly in our meditation. In that moment, you won't
need to have a validation from any GURU or MASTER because you know
that you have experienced the Dharmakaya wisdom of the Buddha
yourself. You know you have put the bobby-pin in the right place on
the mechanism and are rendering it functionless as it slowly breaks
up and falls apart. The negative deeds that the "fight or flight"
part of the brain have projected as "out there" are now failing to
produce a negative consequence "from them." They are not that way
from their side, they require the organization of the data YOU THINK
YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THEM to label them, this or that.
You simply are inseparable from the ripening of your karma now. In
fact, as Geshe Michael Roach said so well "you are simply the total
sum of the ripening of your karma now". If you aren't separate from
your past deeds, who are you? Mr. or Mrs. TEFLON? Stainless from
these happenings? Or you are a Buddha. A Buddha has seen how the
mechanism works and knows that only the MIND that grasps to things
and the self as REAL can render things to become manifest realities
to the perceiver. Once one has seen emptiness directly, without the
conceptions that veil the experience, one has seen that the mechanism
will soon be out of order. You come out of that experienced and are
still seeing things as inherently real - the virtual reality glasses
are still working dear angel, but they will cease to work because you
know that the plug has been pulled!
All the other religious experiences, even the Buddhist ones, simply
give us a scratching post upon which we sharpen our spiritual claws.
We do the right deeds and say the right things to bring us to a point
where our spiritual IQ is heightened...and then the conditions are
ripe to experience this emptiness directly. There has never been a
buddha statue to get up and eat the orange or smell the flowers that
you have placed before it. However, who is really getting? You have
seen yourself give to someone, and the knowledge of emptiness is that
that statue is NOT OTHER THAN A BUDDHA. This becomes powerful karma.
The direct perception of emptiness has a "combination", like a lock.
If you do the right things and cultivate the right understandings,
you will find the combination and Voila! You'll experience the elixir
yourself! This is not something that is unique to Mahayana...and I
believe not just to Buddhism as a whole. But, the language that
Buddhism uses tries to convey a more neutral position than to say
that it is a loving God and then condemn or destroy others that don't
get it! It becomes confusing living in a world made up of labels and
words when you know that the labels and words can never describe that
experience that you have had.
If the senses (eye, ear, nose...etc) are simply channels for
awareness, then they render information from coming into contact with
the objects they detect. Without the interpretations of the data into
labels and placing those labels back out there, we find
simply "awareness data". Just shapes and colors. This is much like a
mirror. Since a mirror cannot place labels onto things, it simply
reflects the data that is before it. The nonconceptual aspect of
perception and the mirror - things appear before them and they simply
reflect. Something not appearing before your mind will not render an
awareness; nothing triggers the "fight or flight" response, and no
sensation of it arises. The mirror MUST reflect objects that pass by
its surface. An object that doesn't pass by renders no reflection.
Next time you are looking into a mirror, try to see the
surface...past the reflection, or through it. Can you see it? Can you
see the shiny surface without the images in it? Doubtful. Then, try
to meditate on the mind, the subtle-most awareness...and look past
the images that are within your sense fields as though they were
images in the mirror. Tell yourself "I refuse to succumb to seeing
mere reflections," and then drop the projections. This takes sooooo
much time and practice. Eventually, you will find that even the "I"
is a reflection in that mirror and is not inherently real. It is the
arising of karma that beleives the self to be "existen". Sure, it
exists: common experience shows us that we can eat and we can run and
type and all sorts of things.
Surely, the flowing waters analogy is beautiful. Someone treading
water that can't swim well will create ripples and bubbles and all
sorts of commotion. But where do all those ripples go to? The SHORE!!
If the person stops fighting and just simply floats, in time he/she
too will float to the shore!
Marc Preston Moss
Please don't get caught up in my words...or anyone's words. They're