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Hui Neng en de praktijk van Zen

boeddha_aan_water.jpgHui Neng was een bijzondere meester, die de basis legde voor de Zen. Hij was de 6de patriarch in China, na Boddhidarma, die boeddhisme naar Tibet en China bracht. Hui Neng kwam uit een eenvoudig gezin en bereikte al vroeg het inzicht dat de basis van de verlichting te vinden is binnen het bewustzijn zelf. Dat het bestuderen van teksten niet leidt tot verlichting, maar dat het direct herkennen van het bewustzijn als bron van alles elk moment mogelijk is. Zijn Sutra over dit thema is bewaard gebleven. Hier enkele korte citaten uit deze inspirerende Sutra over de praktijk van meditatie.


The wisdom of enlightenment [bodhiprajna] is inherent in every one of us. It is because of the delusion under which our mind works that we fail to realize it ourselves, and that we have to seek the advice and guidance of enlightened ones before we can know our own essence of mind…. Those who recite the word prajna the whole day long do not seem to know that prajna is inherent in their own nature. But mere talking about food will not appease hunger, and this is exactly the case with these people…. Talking alone will not enable us to realize the essence of mind, and it serves no purpose in the end…. What we have to do is to put it into practice with our mind.

Hier geeft Hui Neng mee aan dat automatisch reciteren van heilige woorden zinloos is, mantra’s zingen en reciteren kunnen op zich ontspannend werken, maar helpen niet de geest helder te maken en in contact te komen met onze eigen stralende en lege essentie. De metafoor is veelzeggend, praten over eten helpt ook niet, van heilige woorden chanten wordt je niet heilig…

What I can tell you is not esoteric. If you turn your light inwardly, you will find what is esoteric within. To meditate means to realize inwardly the imperturbability of the essence of mind. Those who train themselves for imperturbability should, in their contacts with all types of men, ignore the faults of others.

All depends on self-practice…. The dharma doesn’t wait for you. Vehicle [yana; implies motion] means practice; it is nothing that can be discussed but is something that you yourself must do.

Exert yourself in order to see face-to-face the essence of mind, and relax not, for death may come suddenly and put an abrupt end to your earthly existence.

Hui Neng is een meester die wat lijkt op de meer hedendaagse meester Gurdjieff, die ook aangaf dat je niet moet praten en dromen over verlichting, maar in hert Hier en Nu aanwezig zijn voor alles wat is. Je moet doordrongen zijn van het feit dat je elk moment van de dag aandacht voegt bij wat je doet, en bewustzijn mag gieten in alles wat je doet. Alleen zo ontstaat een contact met het grenzenloze bewustzijn waarvanuit alle fenomenen zoals het denken zelf, en de emoties, ontstaat.

We sluiten af met een korte Zen waarheid, die uit de mond van Zenji:

As the eternal tranquillity of Truth reveals itself to us,

and this very body

is the body of the Buddha.

Hieronder een paar links naar grote Zen teksten. En daaronder een aantal voorbeelden van Zen inzichten.

Zen teksten




Voorbeelden van Zin inzichten

FAITH IN MIND By Seng Ts’an, Third Patriarch of Ch’an

The Supreme Way is not difficult If only you do not pick and choose. Neither love nor hate, And you will clearly understand. Be off by a hair, And you are as far apart as heaven from earth. If you want it to appear, Be neither for nor against. For and against opposing each other

 This is the mind’s disease. Without recognising the mysterious principle It is useless to practice quietude. The Way is perfect like great space, Without lack, without excess. Because of grasping and rejecting, You cannot attain it.

Do not pursue conditioned existence; Do not abide in acceptance of emptiness. In oneness and equality, Confusion vanishes of itself. Stop activity and return to stillness, And that stillness will be even more active.

Only stagnating in duality, How can you recognise oneness? If you fail to penetrate oneness, Both places lose their function. Banish existence and you fall into existence; Follow emptiness and you turn your back on it. Excessive talking and thinking Turn you from harmony with the Way.

Cut off talking and thinking, And there is nowhere you cannot penetrate. Return to the root and attain the principle; Pursue illumination and you lose it. One moment of reversing the light Is greater than the previous emptiness. The previous emptiness is transformed; It was all a product of deluded views. No need to seek the real; Just extinguish your views. Do not abide in dualistic views; take care not to seek after them. As soon as there is right and wrong The mind is scattered and lost.

Two comes from one, Yet do not even keep the one. When one mind does not arise, Myriad dharmas are without defect. Without defect, without dharmas, No arising, no mind. The subject is extinguished with the object. The object sinks away with the subject.

Object is object because of the subject; Subject is subject because of the object. Know that the two Are originally one emptiness. In one emptiness the two are the same, Containing all phenomena. Not seeing fine or coarse, How can there be any bias? The Great Way is broad, Neither easy nor difficult. With narrow views and doubts, Haste will slow you down. Attach to it and you lose the measure; The mind will enter a deviant path. Let it go and be spontaneous, Experience no going or staying. Accord with your nature, unite with the Way, Wander at ease, without vexation.

Bound by thoughts, you depart from the real; And sinking into a stupor is as bad. It is not good to weary the spirit. Why alternate between aversion and affection? If you wish to enter the one vehicle, Do not be repelled by the sense realm. With no aversion to the sense realm, You become one wit true enlightenment. The wise have no motives; Fools put themselves in bondage. One dharma is not different from another. The deluded mind clings to whatever it desires. Using mind to cultivate mind

Is this not a great mistake? The erring mind begets tranquillity and confusion; In enlightenment there are no likes or dislikes. The duality of all things Issues from false discriminations. A dream, an illusion, a flower in the sky

How could they be worth grasping? Gain and loss, right and wrong.

 Discard them all at once. If the eyes do not close in sleep, All dreams will cease of themselves. If the mind does not discriminate, All dharmas are of one suchness. The essence of one suchness is profound; Unmoving, conditioned things are forgotten. Contemplate all dharmas as equal, And you return to things as they are. When the subject disappears, There can be no measuring or comparing. Stop activity and there is no activity; When activity stops, there is no rest.

Since two cannot be established, How can there be one? In the very ultimate, Rules and standards do not exist. Develop a mind of equanimity, And all deeds are put to rest. Anxious doubts are completely cleared. Right faith is made upright. Nothing lingers behind, Nothing can be remembered. Bright and empty, functioning naturally, The mind does not exert itself.

It is not a place of thinking, Difficult for reason and emotion to fathom. In the Dharma Realm of true suchness, There is no other, no self. To accord with it is vitally important; Only refer to "not-two." In not-two all things are in unity; Nothing is not included. The wise throughout the ten directions All enter this principle. This principle is neither hurried nor slow.

One thought for ten thousand years. Abiding nowhere yet everywhere, The ten directions are right before you. The smallest is the same as the largest In the realm where delusion is cut off. The largest is the same as the smallest; No boundaries are visible. Existence is precisely emptiness; Emptiness is precisely existence.

If it is not like this, Then you must n
ot preserve it. One is everything; Everything is one. If you can be like this, Why worry about not finishing? Faith and mind are not two; Non-duality is faith in mind.

The path of words is cut off;

There is no past, no future, no present.

Models for Sitting Meditation By C’han Master Cijao of ChangLu

1. Those who aspire to enlightenment and who would learn wisdom should first arouse an attitude of great compassion and make an all-encompassing vow to master concentration, promising to liberate other people, not seeking liberation for your own self alone.
2. Then and only then should you let go of all objects and ought to rest all concerns, so that body and mind are one suchness, and there is no gap between movement and stillness.
3. Moderate your food and drink, taking neither to much nor too little. Regulate your sleep, neither restricting it too much nor indulging in it too much.
4. When you are going to sit in meditation, spread a thick sitting at in a quiet, uncluttered place. Wear your clothing loosely, but maintain uniform order in your posture and carriage.
5. Then sit in the lotus posture, first placing the right foot on the left thigh, then placing the left foot on the right thigh. The
half-lotus posture will also do; just put the left foot on the right leg, that is all.
6. Next, place the right hand on the left ankle, and place the left hand, palm up, on the palm of the right hand. Have the thumbs of both hands brace each other up.
7. Slowly raise the body forward, and also rock to the left and right, then sit straight. Do not lean to the left or right, do not tilt forward or backward. Align the joints of your hips, your spine, and the base of the skull so that they support each other, your form like a stupa. Yet you should not make your body too extremely erect, for that constricts the breathing and makes it uncomfortable. The ears should be aligned with the shoulders, the nose with the navel. The tongue rests on the upper palate, the lips and teeth are touching.
8. The eyes should be slightly open, to avoid brining on oblivion and drowsiness. If you are going to attain meditation concentration, that power is supreme. In ancient times there were eminent monks specializing in concentration practice who always kept their eyes open when they sat. Chan Master Fayun Yuantong also scolded people for sitting in meditation with their eyes closed, calling it a ghost cave in a mountain of darkness. Evidently there is deep meaning in this, of which adepts are aware.
9. Once the physical posture is settled and the breath is tuned, then relax your lower abdomen. Do not think of anything good or bad. When a thought arises, notice it; when you become aware of it, it disappears. Eventually you forget mental objects and spontaneously become unified. This is the essential art of sitting Zen meditation.
10. In spite of the fact that sitting Zen meditation is a scientific way to peace and bliss, many people do it in a pathological manner that brings on sickness. This is because they do not apply their minds correctly. If you get the true sense, then your body will naturally feel light and easy, while your vital spirit will be clear and keen. True mindfulness is distinctly clear, the savor of truth sustains the spirit, and you experience pure bliss in a state of profound serenity.
11. For those who have already had an awakening, this can be said to be like a dragon finding water, like a tier in the mountains. For those who have not yet had an awakening, it is still using the wind to blow on the fire, the effort required is not much. Just make the mind receptive and you will not be cheated.
12. Nevertheless, when the Way is lofty, demons abound, all sorts of things offend and please. As long as you keep true mindfulness present, however, none of this can hold you back.
13. The Shurangama-sutra, the Tiantai manuals of "stopping and seeing," and Guifengs Guidelines for Cultivation and Realization fully explains bedevilments. Those whose preparation is insufficient should not fail to know these.
14. When you want to come out of concentration, slowly rock the body and rise calmly and carefully avoiding haste.
15. After coming out of concentration, at all times use whatever means expedient to preserve the power of concentration, as if you were taking care of a baby. Then the power of concentration will be easy to perfect.
16. Meditation concentration is a most urgent task. If you do not meditate calmly and reflect quietly, you will be utterly at loss in this domain. So if you are going to look for a pearl, it is best to still the waves; it will be hard to find if you stir the water. When the water of concentration is still clear, the pearl of mind reveals itself.
17. Therefore The Scipture of Complete Awakening says, "Unhindered pure wisdom all comes from meditation concentration." The Lotus Scripture says, "In an unoccupied space, practice collecting the mind, stabilizing it so that it is as immovable as the Polar Mountain." So we know that in order to transcend the ordinary and go beyond the holy, one must make use of quiet meditation; to die sitting or pass away standing, one must depend on the power of concentration.
18. Even if you work on it all your life, you still may not succeed; how much more so if you waste time! What will you use to counteract karma? This is why the ancients said that if one lacks the power of concentration one willingly submits to death, living out one’s life in vain, unseeing, like a wandering vagrant.
19. I hope that companions in meditation will read this tract over and over, to help themselves and help others alike to attain true awakening.

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