THE MIND – Zen Master Bankei New MJ Awakening Blog
July 19, 2019

Bankei

Zen Master Bankei (1622-1693)

THE MIND

“The mind, as Bankei describes it, is a dynamic mechanism, reflecting, recording and recalling our impressions of the world, a kind of living mirror that is always in motion, never the same from one instant to the next. Within this mirror mind, thoughts and feelings come and go, appearing, vanishing and reappearing in response to circumstances, neither good nor bad in themselves.

Unlike the man of the Unborn, however, the impulsive person suffers from attachment. He is never natural because he is a slave to his responses, which he fails to realize are only passing reflections. As a result, he is continually “hung up,” entangled in particular thoughts and sensations, obstructing the free flow of the mind. Everything will operate smoothly, Bankei insists, if we only step aside and let it do so.

He illustrates this to the members of his audience by pointing out that, even while engrossed in listening to his talk, they automatically register and identify everything else around them—the calls of crows and sparrows, the various colors and aromas, the different sorts of people in the room. No one is deliberately trying to do this; it simply happens. That, Bankei says, is how the Unborn functions.

For Bankei, the important thing is letting go, breaking the mold of our self-centeredness (mi no hiiki) and bad habits (kiguse). These are familiar Japanese terms that Bankei used to describe the chief components of delusion. Self-centeredness is the basis of the false self. It is “ego” in the pejorative sense, the reflex that leads us to judge everything from a narrowly selfish viewpoint.

What fuels and informs this attitude is bad habits, character flaws that, like self centeredness, are the result of conditioning. We grow up imitating the people around us, Bankei says, and in the process acquire certain failings which finally become so ingrained that we mistake them for our real selves.

Unlike the Unborn Buddha Mind, however, neither bad habits nor self-centeredness is innate; both are assimilated from outside after birth. When we become deluded, we temporarily forfeit the Buddha Mind we started out with, exchanging it for these learned responses.

The only way out of this dilemma, Bankei maintains, is to go back the way we came, to return to the unconditioned, the uncreated, the unborn.”

-Peter Haskel (from the Introduction to BANKEI ZEN)

 

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Your true nature is prior to birth. New MJ Awakening Blog
January 31, 2018

009-Head-born-Fermont-Fotografie

“The Way of Divine Ignorance, which I am moved to communicate and to demonstrate, rests on the presumption which precedes our birth, our life, and our death. This is the presumption of Ignorance. No matter what arises, ‘I’ do not know what a single thing is–not even the body, not even the sense of my own separate existence.

In this disposition it becomes clear that ‘I’ is not independent of the body, nor is the body-I an independent or absolutely separate entity, self, or being. Such is only an illusion, a reactive presumption, a hopeful or hopeless but always tentative solution to the dilemma inherent in our birth.”

-Adi Da Samraj

MICHAEL: The “mistake” that almost all spiritual seekers make is thinking of themselves as the body and then trying to “get free” as that. Not only is this not possible, it leads to much suffering.

In the above quote, Adi Da is saying something much different and extremely rare: that you do not know what anything truly is. Yes, you can know ABOUT things, their label (name/sound) and info about the label, but you can never, never, ever know what ANYTHING actually IS. (Let this sink in!)

It’s this admission of pure ignorance that, ironically, leads to peace. Note, this is not playing ostrich, and pretending that you don’t know what anything is. It’s realizing, with clarity, that in fact your actual condition is one of pure ignorance and this has always been the case. Naturally, this reveals the ego as a fraud, an illusion, one who pretends to know but truly doesn’t.

Of course, the ego will deny this and give you arguments why you do need it and why it knows lots of things. But the earnest seeker is no longer buying it. They smell a rat. And so instead of resisting this realization of ignorance, it is a celebration, a release from the habitually unconscious act of “self-contracting.” For finally you realize that the only thing you know is that you don’t know anything.

When this is seen, you find yourself naturally being as silence/presence is presently being. Free of the influence of all temporary imaginings and thoughts, because you are PRIOR to anything that arises, including the body. For your true nature is prior even to birth. 

Rest in the unborn… new MJ Awakening Blog
May 19, 2017

buddha om

Rest in the unborn, your ineffable true nature, and everything else will take care of itself because there is nothing else. If it’s knowable, if it comes, sooner or later it will go. Thus it is not unborn.

As long as our attention wanders into the born, i.e., something knowable (a thought, a feeling, an idea, a concept, an opinion, a belief, etc.), the unborn remains obscured to us. Just like if our attention constantly goes to clouds, we lose sight of the sun.

Michael Jeffreys

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