Friday, April 18, 2014

Getting zen comfortable is getting caught

Hmmmm.....the heat of a late April sun is permeating your body. You are lying back in your hammock. You've just had a marvellous lunch. What a great connection you made with this new friend. And what luck: who'd have known you had invited a master of the culinary arts into your home. As you release a sigh of pleasure, you turn your head and notice the last vestige of a morning dewdrop vibrate on a spider web, as its creator travels to and fro. Hey, could life be better? The orchestral birdsong about you agrees. A heaviness invades your eye lids. Why not you think... must be time for a little nap.....

In the practice of Silent Illumination, the quiescence of the self centeredness can be a very comfortable mind state in which to abide. Far away from the troubles of the day,  perhaps you've never before experienced such a profound depth to your samadhi. The self centeredness, which inherently discriminates and attaches to its discriminations, finally seems to be resting. You are happy and content in this profound meditation experience. Never been better!

Ahh careful here! A little attention here please. Some children are throwing sticks at a hornet's nest just on the other side of the hedge! It may not be the time to fully relax into the pleasure of these sunny doldrums. And maybe this profound meditation experience is not such a good place to reside in afterall.

The practice of Silent Illumination involves not just the silencing of the self centeredness. It also involves the illumination of the silencing. Not just profound samadhi. Instead, simultaneous samadhi and illumination.

In perfect balance. Samadhi and Illumination in perfect balance.

How do we maintain this precarious balance?  When the silence in Silent Illumination begins to fall towards a comfort state, towards a seemingly profound peaceful state, a state which seems so blissful we would like to stay there forever, we must tip the scales toward Illumination. How do we do this? We say to ourselves in our mind, "This is the mind's jugglery."

And we drop the state of mind that we were just experiencing.

Remember, Silent Illumination is the 'letting-go' practice. Whatever comes up, let it go. Drop it! We say to any state of mind we are abiding in, "This is the mind's jugglery." Whether the state of mind is  profoundly peaceful or if its chattering away in disharmony, we start over.....start over....start over...

Upon hearing these words of the Diamond Sutra, "Without abiding in anything, the mind arises." the 6th Patriarch awakened to an 8th level enlightenment.

In Silent Illumination, there is clear awareness that the phenomena of the presence of the body is just sitting....The practice of Silent Illumination is the clear awareness of the quiescence of the self centeredness; first through unification of the body and the mind, second through unification of the body and the environment, third with the cosmos....through to No Mind.

And even though thoughts may occur, without any attachment to even the slight uprising of thought.

Without abiding in anything, the mind arises.

Always the relaxation. Always the awareness.

1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at
5. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee  Chan group at
6.the Western Chan Fellowship at
8. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum
9. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; and

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