Sunday, March 6, 2011

mind and attachments

Here's some more on why Buddhists are so wound up on attachments...this is the Zen version: There is the expression, "A response instantaneous as a spark struck from flint."

At the very instant you strike together [two pieces of] flint, a spark appears. And since the moment the flints are struck, the spark is produced, there's no interval or gap anywhere between. 

So this, also, expresses the idea of there being no interval in which the mind can attach [to anything]. It's an error to understand this solely as a matter of speed. It's a matter of not attaching the mind to things, a matter of the mind not even attaching to speed. When your mind attaches to something, your mind will be
captured by your opponent. So if you act quickly with the deliberate intention to act quickly, your mind will be captured by that deliberate intention. 

In the Zen school, if someone asks, "What is Buddha?" you should make a fist. And if someone asks, "What is the ultimate significance of Buddhadharma?" before the words are even out of his mouth, you should reply, "The plum flowers on the branch," or, "The cypress tree in the garden."

The point is not to pick and choose between these answers, but to revere the mind that isn't attached. The mind that isn't attached isn't drawn either to color or to smell. The substance of this mind that isn't drawn to things we worship as the kami, revere as the buddhas; we speak of it as Zen mind and ultimate mastery. However, when you have first to form your thoughts, and then afterward speak them, even golden words and marvelous phrases will be [nothing more than] delusion as the abiding ground of ignorance

The expression "A response instantaneous as a spark struck from flint" describes the swiftness of a flash of lightning. For example, when someone calls, "Uemon!" and you instantly answer, "Yes!" that's what's meant by immovable wisdom. On the other hand, if someone calls, "Uemon!" and you start to think, "What does he want?" and so forth, the mind that then wonders, "What does he want?" and so forth, is delusion as the abiding ground of ignorance. The mind that attaches to things and is then pushed around and deluded by them is called delusion arising from attachment. This is the mind of ordinary beings. On the other hand, when someone calls, "Uemon!" and you answer, "Yes!" that's the wisdom of all the buddhas. Buddhas and sentient beings are not different. Nor are kami and humans. That which accords with this mind we call kami or Buddha. The Way of the kami, the Way of poetry, the Way of Confucius--there are many different Ways, and yet all express the brightness of this one mind.

If you are only capable of interpreting the mind using words, then that's the kind of mind in which you and others [like you] will live, day and night. And then, following your karmic destiny, whether you do good things or bad things, you'll end by abandoning your family and destroying your country. Good things and bad things
both result from the karmic activity of mind...from

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