Re: The Struggle Between True Nature and Consciousness

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Buddha's Village Forum ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Susan S ( on October 30, 2000 at 09:35:07:

In Reply to: The Struggle Between True Nature and Consciousness posted by Master on October 30, 2000 at 00:08:51:

: The Zhan (meditation, or Zen) school in Buddhism stresses "the
: direct cultivation of the Mind and seeing your own original nature
: to attain Buddhahood". The most important thing in this doctrine is
: "to see one's original nature". At the very beginning, when Buddha
: Shakyamuni held a flower and smiled, Buddha Kasyapa become
: enlightened. Later, the doctrines passed on to Ananda. By the time
: of the 28th Patriarch in India, Buddhidharma was selected, who
: came to China and established the Zhan ( or Mystic School), and
: he became the first Patriarch in China. Among the six patriarchs of
: the Zhan sect, the last patriarch, Hui Neng, was very noted for his
: development of the doctrines. The Zhan sect reached its heyday
: during the Tang dynasty, with Master Ma Zu at the head, who
: advocated "seeing one's original nature to attain Buddhahood".
: By the last years of the Song Dynasty, the Zhan Sect developed
: into a practice of studying enigmatic phrases as advocated by
: Master Gao Feng. (There is usually one enigmatic phrase in a
: mystic question, to which the answer is not based on logic or
: inference, but on some enlightened wisdom.) Gradually, the
: doctrine of "seeing one's original nature" was changed into "written
: Zhan" or "verbal Zhan", indicating a sharp decline of the Zhan
: sect. The studying of enigmatic phrases was splendid (for example,
: there are 1700 so-called "public cases" published in which witty
: but mystical dialogues are recorded for teaching purposes.), but
: the true meaning of the enigmatic phrases is beyond ordinary
: people.
: To make your own nature appear, you have to understand the
: doctrine and engage in actual practice. It should be remembered
: that our True Nature is our Original Nature that transcends the
: actual form. The true nature we are talking about now resides at
: the Heavenly Heart (the brow-point); it is our "true face" which
: remains at the eye-brow chakra when the soul enters a rebirth.
: The spirit of consciousness resides in the heart down below, that
: is, the heart of flesh and blood, covered by the lungs. The spirit of
: consciousness is also called the "heart of dust". (Dust here refers
: to objects of the sense organs, which cause evil passions to arise in
: the heart and afflict it.), or it changes alongside the changes in our
: consciousness, such as unhealthy thinking, unwholesome ideas,
: the seven feelings and the six desires, stubborn views, or one-sided
: insight. It panics when taken aback, gets angry when slandered,
: saddens upon hearing some beloved one has passed away, and
: becomes intoxicated with beautiful women. These are the
: functions of the spirit of consciousness.
: This writer often says that there is a suitable metaphor about the
: relationship between our true nature and the spirit of
: consciousness. The two are like two gods-the true nature is a good
: god, a Buddha, while the latter is a Mara, a devilish god. They are
: in a constant struggle for superiority. If the spirit of consciousness
: gets the upper hand, it would bully the True Nature and incite it to
: act with murderous intent, stopping at nothing. Such a person's
: True Nature is muddle-headed, whose light cannot focus at the
: Heavenly Heart. The person will definitely go to Hell in the nether
: world.
: For people who practice meditation or concentration, their True
: Nature will reveal itself and stay at the Heavenly Heart, whose
: light will conquer the spirit of consciousness. The True Nature
: usually appears during concentrated mediation, with a strong beam
: of light to control the spirit of consciousness. This light focuses at
: one point, and has spiritual powers and self-mastery, making
: everything ready for Buddhahood. This "art of meditation" has
: remained secret for thousands of years.
: I always feel that, in this world, human beings are very much like
: mayflies, with an extremely short life to live. If they crave for
: pleasure, enjoy themselves to their hearts' content in the morning,
: but pass away in the evening, then life is indeed as empty as a
: bubble. Without their true nature ever appearing, they go on and
: on in the cycle of the six forms of existence, with countless
: rebirths and deaths, deteriorating with the passage of time. This is
: why I often advise people to practice. Without practicing, you
: have only a very short life to enjoy, as a mayfly does, rendering
: life insignificant or meaningless.
: Today, I want to point out this following in particular:

: The Heavenly Heart is the Land of Mind. The Land of Mind is
: the Pure Land. The Pure Land is the Land of Buddhas, where
: our True Nature resides.
: The True Nature is the Spiritual Light, which is innate Qi (chi,
: or vital energy), which, in turn, is Tantric method, where
: Luminosity (enlightenment) resides.

: The Inner Alchemy in Taoism-"taking the spiritual light for its
: use", takes "the Pure Land as its Refuge", and takes "the semen"
: as its basis. To put this in more detailed terms, the spirit relies on
: the spiritual light at the Heavenly Heart while the soul relies on the
: spirit of consciousness at the bodily heart. We have to cultivate the
: spirit to sustain the spiritual light, so as to conquer the soul and cut
: off consciousness. In ancient times, the secret method for Taoist
: cultivation was to use the spirit to subdue the soul. In other words,
: use the True Nature to subjugate consciousness. In this sense,
: Buddhism and Taoism are closely connected to each other.
: I would like to point out the following in particular:

: The Land of Mind Taoists cultivation is the method of the Pure
: Land Sect in Buddhsim.
: The Spiritual Light Taoists cultivation is the method of the
: Tantric Sect in Buddhism.
: The Breathing Practice Taoists cultivate is the method of the
: Zhan sect in Buddhism. (Breathing is, in fact, the True
: Nature.)

: For Taoists to retain the semen is like Buddhists following the
: precepts. With abundant semen, the spiritual light can focus, both
: the Land of Mind and the Pure Land will be solidified. In Taoism,
: this is called "the crystalization into a saint"; in Buddhism, it is
: "rebirth into the Pure Land" or "attainment of Buddhahood in the
: present life". In my own meditation, I can quickly make the spirit
: light concentrate at one point. This ability comes from long-time
: practice.

: It is like a hen sitting on her eggs-the mild
: heat accumulates until the chicks break the
: eggshell to see the world. I tell my readers
: with great sincerity that if you practice
: meditation for a lengthy period of time, the mild heat will
: accumulate and the True Nature will show itself. This is not a
: question of belief or doubt, rather a question of whether you
: practice it or not. The appearance of the True Nature is like the
: little chicks breaking the eggshell to put out their heads. When
: Taoists realize the Way, they see the True Nature.
: How is it that the spirit and the soul are respectively attached to
: the True Nature and Consciuousness? Let me explain as follows:
: The spirit is Yang (positive, male, light), a gust of clear and light
: air, residing with the True Nature. They soul is Yin (negative,
: female, dark), a gust of foul, devilish air, residing with
: consciousness. If the spirit is strong, you go to Heaven to be a
: Buddha. When the soul wins over, you go to Hell to be a ghost.
: Taoists practice hard in order to exhaust the Yin, the soul. When
: the Yin soul is depleted, only "Pure Yang" remains. Patriarch Ln
: Dong-bin (Northern Song Dynasty) achieved "pure yang" by this
: practice and became a celestial being.

: I once visited some lineage master of Buddhism.

: The master said, "You are a Mara of the heart."

: A believer in Yi Kuan Tao criticized me, "You are a trying
: Mara."

: Some lay men pointed at my nose, saying, "Superstition!"

: Some jealous people shouted at me, "You spread fallacies to
: deceive people!"


: However, how would they know the truth; there are not many
: people in the world who know these facts, and I am one of those
: in the know and the most real one at that. Facing a thousand
: accusing fingers I secretly practiced and practiced. Following the
: Pure Land teachings, I chanted Amitabha without interruption, and
: practiced without distracting thought, for a rebirth in the Buddha
: lands. Following the visualization method in Tantric Buddhism, I
: used the spiritual light to conduct an empowerment. Following the
: Zhan sect, I cultivated for the revelation of the True Nature and
: got to understand all the Buddhist teachings, with nothing left
: unknown.
: I take all things I saw in meditations as incarnations of things;
: knowing all, I was neither moved nor joyous.
: Once I met a handsome, spiritual child, standing before me with a
: lotus in his hand. Holding the lotus, he was standing on a lotus
: seat, dressed in celestial clothes, with a Holy crown on his head.

: "Where did you come from, lotus child?", I asked.

: "From the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds."

: "It's a long way from the Western World. What have you come
: here for?"

: "To deliver the sentient beings."

: What if they don't see your point?"

: "All depends on their causations and conditions; at least one or
: two of them may have such conditions."

: The child was not angry. He then jumped up and entered my
: crown, nowhere to be seen.

: Thinking it over, I finally understood that I came from the Maha
: Twin Lotus Ponds, in the rebirth of a lotus child. That
: good-looking lotus child is no one but my True Nature. In this
: way, the True Nature is me; I am the True Nature. The Buddha is
: me; I am the Buddha!

: That session of meditation gave me profound revelation. The lotus
: child came to this world to deliver the living beings, to set up the
: Ling Xian Sect to recruit all sentient beings, both the intelligent and
: the dull, who have the necessary conditions and causations to
: study Buddhism and get to the other shore. Those whose karmic
: conditions are not very favorable can come and go as they like.
: Salvage one if only one can be saved; salvage two if two can be
: saved, all depending on karmic conditions.

: In my previous life, over my head was a white umbrella covering
: auspicious clouds, with great-mirror luminosity, and I was wearing
: a red crown with strings of pearls and precious stones, holding a
: great Wisdom Seal in my right hand, a blooming Lotus Seal in my
: left hand, a white lotus flower between the thumb and middle
: finger, a string of prayer beads hanging upon my chest, ornamental
: pearls, jade, gems and other precious stones all over the body. I
: was covered by a luminous celestial cloak, standing on a white
: lotus, the whole body radiating strong light, majestic looking from
: head to toe.

: This fact told me that I have made up my mind that I have nothing
: else to desire except salvaging the sentient beings. I am indifferent
: to worldly things. My life is one of cultivation and salvation of
: living beings.

I tried to delete the message so it wouldn't be down at the end of it but for some reason my computer wouldn't do it. I just printed out your paper so I can sit and read it later on. It was so good and know that it took a lot of time to type of this in the computer. You brought Zhan which I like and then you brought up Taoism that I throughly love and so you can made my day for me. Thank you very much.

Susan S

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Buddha's Village Forum ] [ FAQ ]