[Amended] Stick-free Thoughts from a Sticky Mind
Stick-Free Thoughts from a Sticky Mind
A normal pan sticks to the food on it, making it troublesome to cook and wash. A non-stick pan* makes cooking and washing easier because nothing sticks to it. Likewise, an untrained mind is attached to many unnecessary things, making it difficult to "cleanse", to be clean enough to be truly useful. A "non-stick mind" is skillful because while it sticks to nothing and nothing sticks to it, it can function afresh in each moment, and "behold" everything it encounters in its true light without any preconceived ideas. It sees the Truth.
In the Platform Sutra, the Sixth Patriarch Master Huineng said, "When he (the Fifth Patriarch) taught the line (in the Diamond Sutra), 'One should use the mind without abiding anywhere, (应无所住而生其心)' I at once became thoroughly enlightened, and realised that all things in the universe are the essence of mind itself."
A pure mind clings to nothing whatsoever. That is how the mind should be established -
by not establishing anywhere, by not dwelling on anything, be it sight, sound, smell, taste, touch or thought, greed or non-greed, hatred or non-hatred, delusion or non-delusion. It does not dwell on the past, present or future. A non-stick mind neither creates nor retains any stubborn "stains", and harbours neither attachment nor aversion. It makes peace with the rising and falling of pain and pleasure, gain and loss, fame and defame, praise and blame. It knows the temporal and therefore empty nature of the above eight worldly concerns, and is thus "unconcerned" of their ultimately unsubstantial effects on oneself.
Such is a liberated mind, at one with all, trapped by nothing, free from everything, functioning directly from one's Buddha-nature, flowing with natural compassion and wisdom. When our mind truly does not dwell on anything, it is truly capable of anything in its immeasurable openness. It is then one with the boundless universal womb of emptiness, which gives birth to infinite possibilities. Realise that everything manifests from the mind, that in dwelling on its manifestations and thoughts about them, we miss the true unadulterated original nature of everything - the Truth itself.
The closing verse of the Diamond Sutra says "All conditioned phenomena is like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows, like dewdrops and lightning flashes. One should contemplate thus." What then, can truly stick in your mind? Thinking that "to have and to hold" is possible in the first place is but wishful thinking, a figment of our deluded imagination. Realising the Truth will set you free. But the Truth is, you already are free. -shian