A Short Guide to Direct Realization

Let's cut right through all the horseshit. This is a short guide to getting Satori.

Satori is the realization of the I-mind that doesn't belong to a particular "person." It's your true nature -- the direct self-awareness of absolute being. Getting this is inseperable from a breakthrough into real spontaneous love and devotion. Many Zen figures were somewhat grouchy but this doesn't mean they weren't pervaded by love and devotion.

Consider bowing to someone with the deepest respect. The bow isn't fake, a put on, or a collection of staged movements or moments -- it's one thing. You just bow; that bow, because it is full of true reverence, expresses the Universal Law. That bow is itself Bodhi. Who deserves this? The whole universe as the storehouse (Zo) of Buddha, Awake-being, deserves this!

You bow the way a waterfall creates a rainbows, or a flower blooms out of a crevasse in a rock. If there's anyone who has offended you, bow to them. If you offend anyone, bow to them. Bowing like this is the direct function of Buddha nature. It's also a good way to look into the essence of your mind. When you bow, what is bowing? Ask yourself that. You have awareness. You are aware of bowing. But does your awareness bow at the same time as your body? Interesting! Can you bow in total awareness without any thinking getting in the way, without "thoughts" or mental images getting between your awareness and the act of bowing? Can you bow with the total intention of love and devotion to all things and beings? Try it and see!

You are already familiar via your senses with this natural state. What we're going to do in Zen training is turn your attention away from objects and beings "out in the world" for a little while and rivet it absolutely on "Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching" themselves.

This is startlingly unusual. In normal life we use seeing to see objects, to distinguish colors and shapes, and to find our way around. We use seeing. But in actual experience, where is Seeing? What is it? Where does it come from? What is its location in physical space? What was it before your parents met?

Doing Zen, whether sitting, walking around, standing, bowing, or lying down you are going to look so intensely into the nature of your own seeing, hearing &c. that you will get dizzy, like the feeling of standing on the edge of a thousand foot cliff looking down.

How do you do this the right way? By cutting away every single mental formation or representation or "filler" that stands between your hair-raisingly alert attention and Seeing (or Hearing &c) Itself which is shapeless and colorless -- Naked Awareness.

It's like a tiger hunt but it's the "mind" hunt. Don't beat any drums. Just go into it with deep conviction and resolve. This is the true ancient Zen method. It's the same method Buddha uses in the Surangama sutra to point Ananda to the True Awareness Nature. It isn't the same as just sitting on an ass-cushion, or chanting, or lighting incense though it can be combined with these activities. In Zen this is called raising the "Great Doubt" and sitting in a black lacquered barrel in an ice cave under a frozen mountain.

To survive this intense experience and to break through to the experiential truth you are going to have to cultivate some energy by walking around or doing some kind of physical activity or work that won't take you away from your fixed contemplation of the inner nature of seeing, hearing &c. You will also have to "purify mind" in the sense that you will have to deliberately "cast away all things" in order to live in the Great Doubt. You will have to "become without thought, become without mind." Then you will have to cut through the false world that a lifetime of "thinking" has created, a world that seems solid and stable because it is socially accepted and agreed upon.

Once you really do all this, I promise you will get satori and have the actual taste of what the "I" really is. You will also see what form really is -- color, sound, &c. It will all be completely clear.

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