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Yet another claim

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Yet another claim
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12/21/13 6:55 AM
From ABHISHIKTÓNANDA’S NON-MONISTIC ADVAITIC EXPERIENCE By JOHN GLENN FRIESEN Submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY in the subject RELIGIOUS STUDIES at the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA
NOVEMBER 2001

Shastri “reintegrated Patañjali” with reference to Ramana. In other words, Shastri explained how yoga was essential for the advaitic experience. But was Shastri’s interpretation of Ramana correct? Ramana’s own words seem to indicate that yoga is not necessary. The method of Self-Enquiry is a “direct method”. Kundalini yoga is only preliminary to full Realization. The experience of kundalini sakti at the sahasråra cakra at the top of the head is only a temporary realized consciousness. The blaze of light that is experienced is when the mental predispositions have not yet been destroyed.

If one concentrates on the sahasråra there is no doubt that the ecstasy of samadhi ensues. The våsanås, that is the latencies, are not however destroyed. The yogi is there found to wake up from the samådhi, because release from bondage has not yet been accomplished. So he passes down from the sahasråra to the heart through what is called the jivanadi, which is only a continuation of the sushumna. The sushumna is thus a curve. It starts from the solar plexus, rises through the spinal cord to the brain and from there bends down and ends in the heart. When the yogi has reached the heart, the samådhi becomes permanent. Thus we see that the heart is the final centre.

It is not the experience of the sahasråra that is the key experience, but rather the experience is in the Heart. The path of the energy of sakti is up the pathway of the sushumna and then down again to the heart. In the Heart the aim is to drain away the våsanås. It is by “diving into the heart” that one searches for the origin of the ego. This is the direct method of self-enquiry (vichara) for Self-Realization; you do not have to worry about attaining the kundalini experience. The method of Self-inquiry is sufficient. It opens a tiny hole in the Heart, with the result that I-I consciousness shines forth.

In this experience of the Heart, one experiences the true relation between the Self and the body or the mind. One must give up one’s mistaken identity with the changeful body or the mind. The body and the mind obtain their existence from the unchanging Self. Ramana compares the relation between the Self and the body or the mind to that of a clear crystal and its background. If the crystal is placed against a red flower, it shines red; if placed against a green leaf it shines green, and so on. When one’s mistaken identity is given up, the ever-shining Self will be seen to be the single non-dual Reality.

The emphasis in this experience of the Heart is therefore on seeing the Self or Brahman within everything. It is a kind of perception. Seeing Brahman means that it has content and is therefore different from Pure Consciousness or the state reached by yoga. Yoga is only preliminary to the real awakening, the experience of the heart.

(this is the experience I encountered.
The mind a bundle of energy with self enquirery, suddenly ceased to exist, the awareness was not centered in the body nor was the body absent, it was there like a car is when you sit in the drivers seat. Still there is practice but the mind is incapable of becoming; as the heart opens and swallows consciousness.The enstatic experience lasted about 2 years.

This is slowly resolving now as I am quiet capable of getting angry and depressed though maintaining those states is difficult. Another aspect is the apparent connection to a higher knowledge a gnostic awareness of an intelligence though at times separate at times you.

From a conventional psychiatric point of view a dissociation experience)

RE: Yet another claim
Answer
12/21/13 5:22 PM as a reply to Robert Healion.
You should read this however it is not Buddhist. However Buddha began from a advaita perspective and from my limited reading only corrected advaita not expounded a new religion. that came latter.

I admit there is strong tantric overtones.

Chidakasha - The Heart space in the head.
The Triadic Heart of Shiva. - Acharya Kedar
I began reading the Chidakasha Gita many years ago. Then there was a long period when Bhagawan Nityananda appeared to me often in Meditation and while Chanting. My unfolding understanding of the verses has explained many of the experiences I have had in Meditation and over the long course of my Sadhana. These teachings ring true on every level. I have read and reread the entire Chidakasha Gita many times through and I continue to read it, even now. Each time I read it I have a new realization and another breakthrough in the experience of the Heart. ALL of the teachings of Vedanta and ALL the teachings of Shaivism are contained in the Chidakasha Gita. It is the highest of realizations.

Although the Chidakasha Gita is ripe with many wonderful spiritual teachings, there are 12 main principles that, in my experience, Bhagawan Nityananda emphasizes over and over again. These 12 principles form the very essence of the work and the very foundation of His teachings.

1. Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that God is in humankind and humankind is in God. There is no difference between the two. Sentient and insentient are one in the same. All are reflected in the same "mirror" that is the Sky of Consciousness referred to as Chidakasha, the Heart space or Triadic Heart of Shiva. Bade Baba tells us that the Heart is not the physical Heart, nor the heart chakra located in the area of the physical heart. He tells us that the Heart is the one, indivisible Sky of Consciousness that is the Absolute. This Heart is beyond the body and the senses and can be accessed through the Crown Chakra in the head. This Chidakasha, He states, is triangular with three points (Shiva, Shakti, Nara (Narayana is the twin-brother incarnation of the preserver-god Vishnu; the original man; In the Mahabharata Krishna is often referred to as Narayana and Arjuna as Nara)) and becomes a constant experience upon the dawning of Mukti (release; liberation from samsara). Chidakasha is the seat of Lord Shiva and the abode of His Shakti. It is comprised of Light, Vibration and Sound and from that sound manifests Omkar.

2. Bhagawan Nityananda wants us to know and realize where God is. He tells us that God is not in the Murti or statue or idol in the temple, but that God exists inside each of us and that each of us is the temple wherein God resides.

3. Sri Bade Baba tells us that Omkar, and the mantra Aum that it produces, is what gives power and form to the Universe of all sentient and insentient beings. It is also the very vibration of Chidakasha that is known in Shaivism as Spanda or Visarga.

4. Bhagawan Nityananda is not big on philosophy. He is very practical. In the Chidakasha Gita, He uses simple experiences from the interaction with objects of everyday life to help us understand the deepest most profound connection between God and humankind. He emphasizes a very practical means of attaining Mukti or Moksha by means of the Sushumna Nadi. He declares over and over again that this central channel or central nerve (subtle body) that is contained in every living creature, is the only true spiritual path. He emphasizes that Moksha (deliverance or liberation) cannot be attained until Kundalini Shakti is fully awakened by a Siddha Guru. Once this Kundalini is awakened, He states, Prana Shakti must be directed into the Sushumna Nadi and then constantly made to rise upward into the Crown Chakra in the head. Bhagawan instructs that the breath must be directed in this way without taking any air in from the outside (this correlates to the Shaivite practice of "Sushumna breathing"). He refers to this as Prana Vayu and emphatically states that this is the only means to directing your awareness to become absorbed in Bindu Nada (point of sound experienced in the Heart space in the head). Once your mind dissolves in this Bindu Nada, Mukti is attained. The goal of meditation, he tells us, is to keep our awareness in this Bindu Nada, even while going about our daily, mundane activities. This, he states is true Dhyan and Dharana. This alone is Samadhi. It is the means to live in the world without being of the world.

5. Bade Baba describes this Bindu Nada in two ways; first as the sound similar to the dull roar of the ocean or the vibration of a large bell just after having been struck; and second as ajapa-japa, the sound made of the two syllables So’ and Ham (the two feet of Lord Shiva) as one breathes in and out. Of these two, he emphasizes the first, telling us that even the mantra So’ Ham (Hamsa) that sounds on its own (Anahata, the unstruck sound) dissolves in the vibration of Bindu Nada. How will we know when we have attained Liberation? Bhagawan Nityananda tells us we will know when our entire conscious awareness is absorbed in this Bindu Nada constantly. He tells us that this Bindu Nada is the primary quality and experience of Chidakasha. It is the very Vibration of Ananda (Bliss) that is attained when Sat (being) and Chit (pure perceiving awareness) unite. This unification, He states, is brought about by causing Prana (breath) to rise inside the Sushumna Nadi without taking any air in from the outside. (Warning: Do not attempt this practice without the direct guidance of one who has mastered it.) In this state, one experiences the Sky of Consciousness or Chidakasha for one’s self. This, He tells us, is the seat of all Yoga. This is the true place of pilgrimage and, once you have arrived here, no other pilgrimage to any other place is necessary and no ritual is necessary either. In fact, Bade Baba tells us to make this form of Pranayam our only ritual; that, while in this state, the awareness of the Mantras Om and Hamsa, is the ritual bath.

6. Bhagawan Nityananda declares over and over again that the goal of a human birth, the goal of all life is to merge in the Absolute, to attain Mukti while still in the body. He tells us don’t wait, do it now. And then he emphasizes, throughout the Chidakasha Gita, that the Guru is the means. He is very clear about this. One must receive Kundalini awakening and the guidance for Sadhana from a "Siddha," "Guru" or "Acharya" as he puts it, who has become a Jnani. At several points in the work, Bade Baba reiterates that "There is no place in the world for one who does not have a Guru. Such a person is lost….You cannot realize the Truth without a Guru." And he emphasizes that one needs to follow the instruction of the Master, until one is set on his/her own path, at which time Lord Shiva himself takes the yogi the rest of the way across.

7. Bade Baba does not leave us in the dark about who can be a Guru or Preceptor. In this regard he is very specific. He tells us that a Swami, Sanyasin, Brahmin, Jnani, Brahmachari is not simply one who holds such a title and wears ochre robes carrying a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his hands. Likewise, one who is well-versed in the Vedas, Puranas and other sacred texts is not such a person either. Bhagawan Nityananda emphasizes that a Siddha, a Guru, who may also be referred to as a Swami, Sanyasin, Jnani and so on, is only a person who is desireless and whose mind has merged with the Absolute One Paramatma or Paramshiva. He goes on to describe the qualities of such a Guru by stating that such a being sees all as the same one God and behaves in alignment with this state. A Jnani, Sanyasin, Swami or Guru is one whose mind constantly rests in Buddhi, the Divine Will and Intelligence of the Atman. Such a being is one who sees only God in everything and everyone, everywhere and such a being does not distinguish between "mine" and "thine", "good" and "bad," "honor" and "dishonor," nor classes of people and races. Such a being has a constant, uninterrupted experience of Bindu Nada and knows that there is no such thing as duality or diversity. Such a being experiences that the entire Universe is contained inside himself and that he himself pervades all objects (people, places and things). Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that only such a being can be known as a Siddha, Jnani, Swami or Sanyasin and that one should only take such a being as one’s Guru.

8. Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that, for the relationship between Guru and Disciple to work, the seeker must have and continue to cultivate Faith in God and the Guru. This Faith is expressed by way of vigilance in daily spiritual practice as instructed by the Master.

9. Sri Bade Baba tells us, over and over again, that the basis for Sadhana is the willingness to turn away from worldliness and the willingness to destroy our attachment to sense pleasures and worldly pleasures. He tells us that this happens through the destruction of the body-idea, also known as the ego (along with the senses). "Atma is not perceptible to the senses," He tells us. By this statement we understand that God can only be realized by going beyond the senses. If our attachment to worldliness is not destroyed in this way, he tells us we will fail in the end.

10. Bhagawan Nityananda emphasizes the importance of Equality Consciousness and He explains what that is. Equality Consciousness is the experience of "sameness," the direct experience that there are not many individual experients (souls), but that there is only one Universal Experient, only one being who experiences through all of the forms. This one being comes and goes on the breath. Because all are this One God, all are equal. This, He tells us, is the real Equality Consciousness. Without it, we cannot know God.

11. He tells us that "Without Bhakti there can be no Mukti." Here he emphasizes the absolute necessity for Devotion and Surrender to the Master and the path. It is the intensity of your feeling for God and the Guru that causes Jnana (wisdom) to rise within you. Once your have Jnana, your Bhakti increases automatically. And with intense Bhakti, Jnana manifests of its own accord. The two work hand in hand. Through the cultivation of Bhakti and Jnana, desire for objects (people, places and things) is destroyed and perfect Peace is attained.

12. Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that Viveka (the ability to perceive the subtle in the gross) and Vairagya (dispassion or detachment) are vital to realizing the Truth. Without Viveka, he tells us, you cannot learn to choose God over desire because you are not able to discriminate between what takes you towards God and what takes you away from God. And you cannot remain absorbed in your Natural, Free state of being without Vairagya. This dispassion is what allows you to keep your mind focused on Buddhi long enough for you to realize that there is no outer world. All takes place inside the body of Supreme Consciousness of Shiva that is also contained inside you, inside your mind, within your imagination.
These twelve paragraphs summarize my experience of the teachings and principles Bhagawan Nityananda offers us in His Chidakasha Gita. For these reasons, it is worth reading and contemplating over and over again.

With Supreme Love and Devotion, I offer this at the Lotus Feet of that Supreme Being, Sri Bhagawan Nityananda.

RE: Yet another claim
Answer
12/21/13 5:55 PM as a reply to Robert Healion.
Second part
Firstly I have never been a fan of kundaline or chakra meditation. I find them silly. Breathing with a great deal of attention on mental imagery which is contrary to what you should be striving for.

I feel energy moving when I mediate. It corresponds to the charkas only in there is an apparent hierarchy of attention. A lifting from the mundane physical social, to the mental. The Buddhi state, the state of self awareness which is linked to cognition, is obtained sometimes quickly sometimes after a long sit. Watching a movie the night before often charges the mind with image, violent sexual or other, all of which need to be dealt with. Then you might experience sexual, emotional then mental energies as your apparent energy rises. Remember this is all mind generated.

For a technical explanation look to at the Mu explanation.
Has a dog Buddha nature.
The answer is Mu.

(Mu (wit) was the character used by Zennists to translate the sanskrit word sunyata, meaning "emptiness" or "devoid of self-nature". As such it was possibly supercharged with multiple meanings.)

Mumon's Comment:
For the pursuit of Zen, you must pass through the barriers (gates) set up by the Zen masters. To attain his mysterious awareness one must completely uproot all the normal workings of one's mind. If you do not pass through the barriers, nor uproot the normal workings of your mind, whatever you do and whatever you think is a tangle of ghost. Now what are the barriers? This one word "Mu" is the sole barrier. This is why it is called the Gateless Gate of Zen. The one who passes through this barrier shall meet with Joshu face to face and also see with the same eyes, hear with the same ears and walk together in the long train of the patriarchs. Wouldn't that be pleasant?

Would you like to pass through this barrier? Then concentrate your whole body, with its 360 bones and joints, and 84,000 hair follicles, into this question of what "Mu" is; day and night, without ceasing, hold it before you. It is neither nothingness, nor its relative "not" of "is" and "is not." It must be like gulping a hot iron ball that you can neither swallow nor spit out.

Then, all the useless knowledge you have diligently learned till now is thrown away. As a fruit ripening in season, your internality and externality spontaneously become one. As with a mute man who had had a dream, you know it for sure and yet cannot say it. Indeed your ego-shell suddenly is crushed, you can shake heaven and earth. Just as with getting ahold of a great sword of a general, when you meet Buddha you will kill Buddha. A master of Zen? You will kill him, too. As you stand on the brink of life and death, you are absolutely free. You can enter any world as if it were your own playground. How do you concentrate on this Mu? Pour every ounce of your entire energy into it and do not give up, then a torch of truth will illuminate the entire universe.

Has a dog the Buddha nature?
This is a matter of life and death.
If you wonder whether a dog has it or not,
You certainly lose your body and life!

Mumon's Comment
In order to master Zen, you must pass the barrier of the patriarchs. To attain this subtle realization, you must completely cut off the way of thinking.

If you do not pass the barrier, and do not cut off the way of thinking, then you will be like a ghost clinging to the bushes and weeds.

Now, I want to ask you, what is the barrier of the patriarchs?

Why, it is this single word "Mu." That is the front gate to Zen.

Therefore it is called the "Mumonkan of Zen."

If you pass through it, you will not only see Jõshû face to face, but you will also go hand in hand with the successive patriarchs, entangling your eyebrows with theirs, seeing with the same eyes, hearing with the same ears.

Isn't that a delightful prospect?

Wouldn't you like to pass this barrier?

Arouse your entire body with its three hundred and sixty bones and joints and its eighty-four thousand pores of the skin; summon up a spirit of great doubt and concentrate on this word "Mu."

Carry it continuously day and night. Do not form a nihilistic conception of vacancy, or a relative conception of "has" or "has not."

It will be just as if you swallow a red-hot iron ball, which you cannot spit out even if you try.

All the illusory ideas and delusive thoughts accumulated up to the present will be exterminated, and when the time comes, internal and external will be spontaneously united. You will know this, but for yourself only, like a dumb man who has had a dream.

Then all of a sudden an explosive conversion will occur, and you will astonish the heavens and shake the earth.

It will be as if you snatch away the great sword of the valiant general Kan'u and hold it in your hand. When you meet the Buddha, you kill him; when you meet the patriarchs, you kill them. On the brink of life and death, you command perfect freedom; among the sixfold worlds and four modes of existence, you enjoy a merry and playful samadhi.

Now, I want to ask you again, "How will you carry it out?"

Employ every ounce of your energy to work on this "Mu."

If you hold on without interruption, behold: a single spark, and the holy candle is lit!


(I am fond of this koan, I view this as an instruction on a form of self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is not asking yourself who am I but looking for the source of whence the thought I arises. The bundle of reed, the mountain of smoke. There is no I.

This great iron ball is a reference to your mind. Like a hot iron ball which no thoughts can land on and remain. Concentrate your mind. On what, on itself. Maintain attitude of constant self-awareness. A massive feedback looking at your state of awareness.
You keep cleaning the mirror of attention. you maintain this until the mirror breaks or the ball smashes. Or realistically your consciousness drops like a piece of fruit into your heart.

That is the nature of reality becomes apparent. You understand the prajanaparametra)

RE: Yet another claim
Answer
12/21/13 6:47 PM as a reply to Robert Healion.
Third part
Can I be enlightened? As there is no I, this statement and statements surrounding I, I felt, I experienced; are all great oxymoronic statements. It the individual cannot understand this then there has been no experience of prajanaparamitra, Atma or suchness.

From The Zen Koan as a means of Attaining Enlightenment by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
Ch3. Another name for satori is 'ken-sho' (chien-hsing in Chinese) meaning 'to see essence or nature', which apparently proves that there is 'seeing' or 'perceiving' in satori. That this seeing is of quite a different quality from what is ordinarily designated as knowledge need not be specifically noticed. Hui-k'ê is reported to have made this statement concerning his satori which was confirmed by Bodhidharma himself: '[As to my satori], it is not a total annihilation; it is knowledge of the most adequate kind; only it cannot be expressed in words.' In this respect Shen-hui was more explicit, for he says that 'the one character chih (knowledge) is the source of all mysteries.'

Ch2. Satori is not a state of mere quietude, it is not tranquillization, it is an inner experience which has a noetic quality; there must be a certain awakening from the relative field of consciousness, a certain turning-away from the ordinary form of experience which characterizes our everyday life. The technical Mah ā yanā term for it is par ā vritti,1 'turning-back' or 'turning-over' at the basis of consciousness. By this the entirety of one' s mental construction goes through a complete change. It is wonderful that a satori insight is capable of causing such a reconstruction in one's spiritual outlook. But the annals of Zen testify to this. The awakening of Prajñāpāramitā, which is another name for satori, therefore, is the sine qua non of Zen.

My experience is not seeking satori, but just sitting. I would practice when the opportunity presented itself periods of intensive practice. No TV no visiting no going out except to purchase food. No destructions, just mindfulness. Not a formal day of mindfulness full of mind stuff. A talk a sitting a shared, lunch a discussion. Just continually bringing the mind back to itself. What are you thinking what motivates you. This would occur when my wife journeyed overseas to visit her family. No distractions. However no satori experience.

My breakthrough came in a Sunday sitting of three hours. I was confronted with a very emotional issue surrounding a threat against me and possibly my family. Mindfulness was existent, I was angry and vengeful. Though I kept repeating the process of returning my thoughts to the salient, understanding and forgiving. Suddenly in the heightened attitude of emotionality I experienced a sudden decent of my consciousness into my heart space. Then true Buddhichitta awoken.

The teaching in advita is first the fruit forms then it ripens. Then when it is ready it falls.

Is there a God? Is there an intelligence surrounding and incorporating us? You are that which you question, however not the reflection in the mirror nor the bag of emotionality and thoughts that accompany that image. As the great sixth said there is no mirror stand there is no mirror. How can you polish. Yet this is the medium for practice and to quote Sai baba. Bend the body, mend the senses, end the mind.

Remember the well-aimed arrow finds no target.

RE: Yet another claim
Answer
12/26/13 4:43 PM as a reply to Robert Healion.
In the spirt of one hand clapping 'a lone voice shouting'.

From The Essential Record of Zen Master Hakuin A translation of the Sokko-roku Kaien-fusetsu by NORMAN WADDELL

"If you are not there for even an instant then you are just like a dead person."

Buddha means "one who is awakened."1 Once you have awakened, your own mind itself is Buddha. By seeking outside yourself for a buddha invested with form, you set yourself forward as a foolish, misguided man. It is like a person who wants to catch a fish. He must start by looking in the water, because fish live in water and are not found apart from it. If a person wants to find buddha, he must look into his own mind, because it is there, and nowhere else, that buddha exists.
Question: "In that case, what can I do to become awakened to my own mind?'
What is that which asks such a question? Is it your mind? Is it your original nature? Is it some kind of spirit or demon? Is it inside you? Outside you? Is it somewhere intermediate? Is it blue, yellow, red, or white?
It is something you must investigate and clarify for yourself. You must investigate it whether you are standing or sitting, speaking or silent, when you are eating your rice or drinking your tea. You must keep at it with total, single-minded devotion. And never, whatever you do, look in sutra, or in commentaries for an answer, or seek it in the words you hear a teacher speak.
When all the effort you can muster has been exhausted and you have reached a total impasse, and you are like the cat at the rat hole, like the mother hen warming her egg, it will suddenly come and you will break free. The phoenix will get through the golden net. The crane will fly clear of the cage.
But even if no breakthrough occurs until your dying day and you spend twenty or thirty years in vain without ever seeing into your true nature, I want your solemn pledge that you will never turn for spiritual support to those tales that you hear the down-and-out old men and washed-out old women peddling everywhere today. If you do, they will stick to your hide, they will cling to your bones, you will never be free of them. And as for your chances with the patriarehs' difficult-to-pass koans, the less said about them the better, because they will be totally beyond your grasp….

… If you want to attain mastery in the Buddha Way you must, to begin with, empty your mind of birth and death. Both samsara and nirvana exist because the mind gives rise to them. The same for the heavens and hells; not one of them exists unless the mind produces them. Hence there is one and one thing only for you to do: make your minds completely empty.
Falling right into step, students set out to empty their minds, make them utter blanks. The trouble is, though they try everything they know, emptying this way emptying that way, working away at it for months, even years, they find it is like trying to sweep mist away by flailing ay it with a pole, or trying to stem the flow of a river by blocking it with outstretched arms. The only result is greater confusion,
Suppose, for example, that a wealthy man mistakenly hires a master thief of the greatest skill and cunning to guard his house. After watching his granaries, treasures, and the rest of his fortune dwindle by the day, he orders the thief to seize several suspicious servants and to interrogate them around the clock until they confess, Family members are worried sick. Relations between husband and wife are severely strained. Yet their fortune goes on mysteriously shrinking. And it all happen because of the mistake the man had made in the beginning, in employing and placing his complete trust in a thief.
The lesson to be learned from this is that the very attempts to banish birth and death from your mind are, in themselves, a sure sign that birth and death is in full progress….

…. In recent times, monks are given the Mu koan to work on.8 With diligence and concentration, one man among them—or half a man—may be passed by his master.9 But in achieving this first small breakthrough, the student forgets about his teacher. He gets the idea that he has enlightened himself and goes around crowing about it to anyone who will listen—sure signs that he is still confined within samsara. Then he proceeds to hatch ideas of his own on various matters pertaining to Zen. With cultivation, these grow find prosper. But the gardens of the patriarehs are still beyond his farthest horizons.
If you want in reach the ground where true pence and comfort is found, the more you realize, the harder you will strive. The further you reach, the further you will press forward. When you finally do see the ultimate truth of the patriarehal teachers, there will be no mistake about it—it will be as if it is right there in the palm of your hand. Why is this? You don’t trim your nails at the fool of a lamp.10…..

….. In the fourth chapter of a collection of Zen records titled Ch'an-yu nei-chi is a Dharma talk the Ming priest Yung-chian gave to his assembly during the December practice session:
Ch'ien-feng said that the Dharma-body has three kinds of sickness and two kinds of light; he also says that there is an opening through which to pass beyond these obstructions. Now, even if I have to lose my eyebrows for doing it, I'm going to explain the true meaning of Ch'ien-feng's words to you.2
As a rule, mountains, streams, the great earth, light and darkness, form and emptiness, and all the other myriad phenomena obstruct your vision and are, as such, impediments to the Dharma-body. That is the first of the sicknesses Ch'ien-feng refers to.
When you go on to realize the emptiness of all things and begin dimly to discern the true principle of the Dharma-body, but are unable to leave your attachment to the Dharma behind—that is the second sickness,
When you are able to bore through and attain the Dharma-body, but you realize upon investigating it anew that there is no way to grasp hold of it, no way to postulate it or to indicate it to others, attachment to the Dharma still remains. That is the third sickness.
The first sickness is a kind of light that doesn’t penetrate freely. The second and third sicknesses are likewise a kind of light; it doesn’t penetrate with unobstructed freedom either.
When a student has bored his way through the opening mentioned, he is beyond these obstructions and is able to see clearly the three sicknesses and two lights, with no need for even the slightest bit of further effort.

Zen Master Hakuin: Complete nonsense! Discriminatory drivel of the first water. When I read that, my hands involuntarily closed the book. Doubting my own eyes, I shut them and sat there, utterly appalled. How could anyone. believe such feeble remarks are capable of clarifying the ultimate principle of Zen?.....

…. Long ago, when Zen master Nan-yueh sat in front of Ma-tsu's hermitage and began polishing a tile, he did so because of his desire to make Ma- tsu's grasp his true meaning. When teachers of the past left phrases behind them, difficult-to-penetrate koans that would strip students' minds of their chronic inclination to attach to things, they did it because they wanted to kick over that comfortable old nesting place in the Alaya consciousness. Hence a master of the past said, "I made the mistake of burrowing into an old jackal hole for over thirty years myself; it's no mystery to me why so many students do the same."
(Nan-yuch, seeing his student Ma-tsu practicing zazen, took a tile and began polishing it. When Ma-tsu asked him what he was doing, he replied that he was making a mirror. Ma-tsu told him that is was impossible to make a mirror from a tile, Nan-yuch first replied, "And how do you expect to become a buddha by doing zazen?" Then he spoke the words Hakuin quotes here. ‘The great teacher Nan-yueh said, "Suppose an ox is pulling a cart, and the cart doesn’t move. Should you hit the cart? Or should you hit the ox? "’)
There's no doubt about it, the practice of Zen is a formidable under taking….

In his later years, the Zen master Fa-yen enjoyed strolling the south corridor of his temple on Mount Wu-tsu. One day he saw a visiting monk pass by reading a book. He took it from him and, glancing through it, came to a passage that caught his attention;
"Most Zen students today are able to reach a state of serenity in which their minds and bodies are no longer troubled by afflicting passions, and their attachment to past and future is cut away so that each instant contains all time. There they stop and abide contently like censers lying unless and forgotten in an ancient cemetery, cold and lifeless with nothing to break the silence but the sobbing of the dead spirits. Assuming this to be the ultimate Zen has to offer them, they are unaware that what they consider an unsurpassed realm is in fact obstructing their true self so that true knowing and seeing cannot appear and the radiant light of extraordinary spiritual power (jinzu) cannot shine free."15
Fa-yen closed the book and, raising his arms in a gesture of self-reproach for his ignorance, exclaimed, "Extraordinary! Here is a true teacher! How well he expresses the essence of the Zen school!"

.....When Ta-hui went to study under Zen master Yuan-wu for the first rime, he had already decided on a course of action. "By the end of the ninety-day summer retreat," he declared to himself, "if Yuan-wu has affirmed my understanding like all the other teachers I've been to, I'm going to write a treatise debunking Zen."
Ta-hui, did you really think Yuan-wu wouldn't be able to see through the fundamental matter you secretly treasured? If you had persisted in clinging to it like that, revering it and cherishing it for the rest of your life, how could the great "Reviler of Heaven" ever have emerged?
Fortunately, however, a poisonous breeze blowing from the south snuffed Ta-hui's life out at its roots, cutting away past and future.16 When it happened, his teacher Yuan-wu said, "What you've accomplished is not easy. But you've merely finished killing your self. Your not capable of coming back to life and raising doubts about the words and phrases of the ancients. Your ailment is a serious one. You know the saying, 'Release your hold on the edge of the precipice. Die, and then be reborn'? You must believe in those words."
Later, upon hearing Yuan-wu say, "What happens when the tree falls and the wisteria withers? The same thing happens." Ta-hui suddenly achieved great enlightenment. When Yuan-wu tested him with several koans, he passed them easily.17