Chop off the Pointing Finger!

This book of aphorisms [some excerpts below] is designed to help you realize your true nature.

Some call it the Buddha Nature.

Some call it the Great Self.

Some call it Nothingness or Emptiness.

Some refuse to give "it" any name at all.


How about clearly investigating if there's ever a "person" surviving intact through successive "moments" in time?

Shed the conceptual, like Shakyamuni did under the Demon - er, Bodhi - tree, and you will realize all your past lives, good and bad. Oh no.

Who were you before your parents were born?

Where will you be after you die?

These are the essential questions of Zen.

The use of these questions as ko-ans, such as Hakuin's "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" can liberate you by "stopping thoughts."

At that instant you will "see" it directly for yourself, like someone drinking water and knowing if the water is cold or hot!

My cat spat out the baby vole when I picked her up. It lay shivering for just a few seconds, then jumped up and dashed into the underbrush.

Starry Sky Meditation, the poor man's Madhyamika.

Do the Starry Sky Meditation until it works and You See It. Suddenly It Is.

It may take ten minutes or an hour, lying on one's back gazing at the Starry Sky, but if one is intent on the Starry Vastness Itself . . .

The main point is, of course, to be intent and single minded about looking beyond thoughts, no matter what thoughts pop up.

 Instead of extending awareness temporally (in thoughts of past and projections of future), try the lateral route.

"The lateral route" means: extending awareness into space, all directions at once. Via Starry Sky Meditation for example.

1,000000000000 things to do before you leave samsara.

The "ring-of-light" exercise found in Paolo Coelho's Aleph does "regress" one to past life moments, but one soon wonders: so what?

Owning to the self-disintegration of the grasping onto objects, one is entirely liberated from Samsara and Nirvana. -Virupa

According to Zenkei Shibayama, "discriminating consciousness" is precisely what causes Samsara, so how will you think your way to Nirvana?

The Lankavatara Sutra says, "Getting rid of the discriminating mind is Nirvana." Of course, those words themselves discriminate!

It's possible that most problems could be solved by living on a bowl of rice and some raw fruit and vegetables a day.

You are never more than an instant away from Direct Realization.

The Zen method developed by Chinese Masters is "direct entry with a sharp chopper."

Tradition says that Buddha himself predicted that the Dharma would be devoured from within, like a lion by thinking-parasites.

Buddhists no longer get Satori; they mock and "critique" it from the standpoint of a conceptual Emptiness.

Experiencing all concepts drop away, one also experiences forms melting away, along with a frighteningly intense energy and bliss.

 The physical universe is a transient, unstable manifestation of Ki.

The First Church of Buddha, Yogic Scientist.

Shakyamuni was a yogic scientist of the highest order, but his bonehead disciples collected his talks as scriptures rather than notes.

It's lucky for us that Buddha's words got written down, but it's too bad for us that they became the basis for a feudalistic religion.

Yogic science = exploring and observing how to shift, redirect and refine internal energy,  taking careful note of results, sharing notes.

Those who are unsuited for yogic science tend to be the ones who want a Guru to solve all their problems.

 In Ch'an the Two-fold Egolessness has to be instantly "realized," not intellectually grasped..

Revel in the absurdity of the momentary!

"After" Nirvana "before" Nirvana seems no different. It was always just "thus." Shakyamuni washes his feet and sits down.

Nirvana = extinction, total cessation. Of what? Of any mental grasping at name-and-form.

In one Pali Sutta dealing with contemplation of egolessness Buddha says that anybody who does it right will attain Nirvana in seven seconds.

First Rule of Nirvana Club. You don't talk about Nirvana Club.

Samsara is flooded with shoddy goods: toys that break as soon as you try to play with them, cheap glitter that rubs off on the first wear.

The "quality-control" problem is rampant in samsara.

 In Naked Awareness, the reality without heads or tails,it seems karma doesn't come up at all.

I've seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by Buddhism.

Master Hua sometimes told his students that any pile-up of strange coincidences was most likely demons trying to break their samadhi.

When one starts noting chains of weird coincidences, synchronicities, it's time to sit down and do some intense Zen.

Synchronicities are a veil of irritation you must go through -- keep your "right concentration" clear and don't worry about them.

I've seen talented and serious Zen people go right off the rails in the belief that they can now control reality with their thoughts.

Don't store anything. Wipe out your traces in Great Space.

"Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof." Raising the question of where "karma" could ever be stored

"Cast aside all things, become without thought and without mind." -Hakuin Zenji

"Duality" isn't anything objective but arises from a glimmer of possibility in the non-dual; in other words, duality is non-dual.

There are of course people one shouldn't "teach" or interact with but instead quietly avoid.

Although our subtle form is empty and all pervasive we've entered into a karmic game that is too interesting not to play out!

To the one behind all the words. (Point to your own face.)

Chop off the pointing finger/and all at once/ you might see the moon!"

In the martial arts it is easier to "know" the power of empty form.

Empty form is energetic form. This is not the same as conceptualized form -- "signs, marks (lakshana)."

China, Japan & other Asian areas never developed the dialectical idea of even and equal opposites that plagues us Western logic zombies.

 Dialectics -- slavery to logical norms -- never arose there. Nor in many other places, of course.

Here is an example: in Japanese thought is Mushin ("No mind") considered to be the polar and equal"opposite" of "mind"? Not at all.

It is quite fascinating to see the "thinking-process" fall apart as you go to sleep then spontaneously reassemble in dreams.

Even more interesting if you've had some experience in Dhyana of the thinking-process disappearing completely.

The profundity of Zen arises from its total simplicity.

If you have an analytic mind, instead of taking "Emptiness" on faith why not break everything at this instant down to most "basic elements"

"As I've told you, the Tonal and the Nagual are two different worlds. In one you talk, in the other you act." -Don Juan Matus

I truly don't have a problem with "duality" or anything philosophical. I'd like to help some people get over horrific stress, that's all.

That reminds me to pick and dry some yarrow stalks.

Unmoving mind -- one can achieve this by keeping mind in the Hara. Eventually it`s no longer necessary to make effort.

The basic condition of Samsara is that we're all nailed to a self-illusion. Consistent Hara-practice should take out the nails.

The Yoga trick of making the Universe disappear -- as you jump Qi from one chakra to another, for example. Mysterious! Wonderful!

Sometimes you remind me of a Zen U.G. Krishnamurti. -a  friend

Confusing the Self with ideas and judgments and other linguistic nonsense, you've conceived some absurd ideal of being right all the time.

The rope that was one hundred billion "snakes."

Anything you do once you have "cast off all things, become without thought and without mind" is instantaneously the Flower of the True Law.

It may be this simple. Your Operating System has been infected with the language virus, overloaded, and has slowed down to a crawl.

Yoga Tip #4: Move attention and energy from the front to the back of your head to suddenly experience "choiceless awareness" (Rigpa)

Hey! It's as if space doesn't even exist for you, because your brain is always projecting such a great and important imaginary world!

Note the energy concentrated right inside your brows as "thinking, remembering, conceiving, judging, imagining" and other such horseshit.

This life is appearance-emptiness like a water-moon. So past and future lives are also appearance-emptiness like water moons. -Tsultrim Gyatso

Enlightenment misconceptions #1: enlightened people don't get angry. Nisargadatta was famous for his rages.

Enlightenment misconception #2: Enlightened people like to tweet quotes by famous dead monks, rinpoches, tulkus and karmapas.

Yoga enlightenment is just seeing that it's only a dirty piece of rope. Kick it aside. Snakes are more interesting, I agree!

Enlightenment misconceptions #3: Every new enlightened person is a problem for you and a threat to you, because there is a scarcity of it.

Enlightenment misconception #4: Enlightened people aren't on Twitter.

Enlightenment misconception #5: Enlightened people don't die ordinary, dog-like deaths. Buddha died of food poisoning. Hui-K'o, decapitated.

Enlightenment misconception #6: There is a defined "path," like guru-yoga, that invariably leads anyone who follows it to enlightenment.

Enlightenment misconceptions #7: All enlightened people have certificates from other enlightened people certifying they are enlightened.

What is clear to me may still be obscure to you! I might spend an entire afternoon laughing to myself but that doesn't help you get Satori!

Zen. The suffering and the glory!

As a habitué of Great Space, I can certainly be "invoked" just like O-Sensei or the original Sai Baba or many others and we'll meet up there.

Let's not deny "sentience" to our enemies -- they are sentient, even if they are stupid or demons.

 What's more, "enemies" have a special karmic relation with us, like between a bee and a flower.

I congratulate all "sentient beings" (what other kinds are there? that's another issue) for subjecting yourselves to all this. Daredevils!

"I know there's an objective universe because other people experience it" -- that's an interesting idea right there!

Hosso Buddhism definitely agrees that co-subjectivity (group karma) is what creates an "objective" universe. So do the Australian Aborigines.

Plunging the Universe into the black hole of the Hara -- don't worry! It disappears then it comes back.

Life can be wearisome! But the Alien Armada is on its way, so we may soon be able to choose rebirth as a hyper-intelligent lizard.

My personal contribution to Zen doesn't lie in verbal paradox or mystifying claims but in quite direct and simple "Awareness-experiments"

How to get Satori and how to deepen and stabilize the satori-state into "everyday enlightened be-ing" (Daigo) was the point of Chinese Zen

Your weird religious temple doesn't pay taxes but you want the government to prosecute people who criticize your weird religious ideas!

Buddhas tend to spend much enjoyable time going over their past life and lives, re-experiencing what seemed terrible then as pure nectar.

This aggressive bee-like "gathering" of "experiences" offers a plausible solution to what Christian-nihilists call "the problem of evil"

Are you familiar with William Burroughs' idea that language is an Alien virus?

A sure way NOT to get enlightenment. Become Buddhist, spend most of your time with other Buddhists and be condescending to non-Buddhists.

Individuals have only one need, and that is -- to wake up to the fact that they are NOT "different individuals"!

To speak of different individuals or different teachings is to lose the razor's-edge direct path that is the Buddha Way!

Yet it's not a matter of denying life, denying the senses. How could it be? Awareness is "all this" -- and beyond.

You can do a kind of negative good to people by leaving them alone. (Consider this carefully, evil ones.)

"Small mind," (following the shoga/taiga distinction in Zen) is like a sock monkey puppet with Big Mind's hand stuck up its ass.

Big Mind magically shrinks itself into small mind. It's like having the dream where you're much stupider than you really are.

You go to a puppet show and later say "this puppet said this, that one did that"; but it's really the hidden guy who is saying and doing.

Big Mind is Punch, Judy, the baby that gets tossed out the window, the cop &c.

The Greatest Show on Earth! A real 7 billion ring circus.

"Subtler than the banyan seed, subtler than the hundred thousandth part of a hair, this Self cannot be grasped or seen." -The Upanishads

Let us meditate on the shining Self, the ultimate reality realized by all the sages in samadhi." (Tejobindu Upanishad)

So the essence of the Guru and of Guru Yoga is just "awakeness" or "being aware" itself!? Yes!

Buddha's Liberation was just the Instantaneous Realization of This-As-It-Is. However, his teaching obviously went through some contortions.

"The bare cognition of all Buddhas/, The flame of deep awareness, the excellent clear light."

It is! It is! It is!

I find the sheer number of my past lives embarrassing.

As if I needed to experience everything -- enjoy and suffer from every possible situation, face every calamity, glory in all victories.

Zen sword. You really don't care if you get cut or not.

The Mind-Dharma is that it all happens in Mind.

The Void Dharma, all that happens in Void.

Hua T'ou, Kensho, Satori, Bodhi, Amida, Pure Consciousness, "before thoughts," "don't know Mind," all the same.

Every moment in Zen is infinity.

Become aware of the need to meet your Mystical Friend.

When Manjusri was on Twitter.

Here-Now is Empty/of Both Form and Emptiness.

Don't have to die to "see the light." The light is everything and nothing.

When Awareness fixates on an object it stupidly forgets that Awareness itself is no object.

In picaresque Zen terms, Absolute Awareness searching anxiously for itself is "riding your Ox in search of your Ox." Where the fuck is it

Hey! Don't tell anybody, but the "universe" as any kind of object does not exist. There's just You. Great, isn't it?

In the Surangama Sutra (very important to Chinese Zen), Buddha gives a number of thought experiments to prove Seeing-Nature is infinite.

"Hey, Ananda! When your head turned just now, did the nature of Seeing turn?" "Actually, no, World Honored One."

Generally, when one does some real lucid past life regression (not hypnosis), one doesn't recall ruling a whole galaxy.

Rather than remembering being Marie Antoinette, however, you might just recall drinking cold water in the desert from an iron ladle.

Or, maybe you'll experience being a baby vole getting eaten by a cat. In any case, it's nothing to boast about.

Hell happens when mirages begin to conceive of their own personhood.

Theory of mind is the only mind there is.

In the Upanishads, the Self is said to be pervasive, ultimately real, without attributes. How is this different from the Dharmata? It isn't!

The Ganesh School of Intergalactic Zen. Who else but a drum playing elephant headed god?

Embodied -- do you mind?

At some point one moves to dream yoga, since the "small self-mind" -- shorn of its daily feather-fluffing -- will take refuge in the night.

History is made of wake-up calls, but most people just hit the "snooze" button and go back to sleep.

The Olympic Firing Squad team.

"The dharmas spoken by the Tathagata cannot be grasped and cannot be spoken. They are neither dharmas nor no dharmas."

The creation of an exalted "religious Ego," a "holy personality" -- Nietzsche described the underhanded resentment at work in all this.

 Nagarjuna says the same as Huang Po: drop all views, cut off all concepts, and Reality is instantly revealed.

In Zen seeing forms, hearing sounds and so on is all by itself Great Mind Realization!

"Seeing form is seeing Mind." -Huang Po

In Zen, "anger" -- even murderous rage -- is no obstacle to Enlightenment. Yet obsessive plotting, scheming and physical cowardice *are.*

As the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra says, anger by itself is pure Reality but *thinking* is not.

May we know furious anger, crazed jealousy, and unbreakable attachment as the Hannya dance of primordial wisdom.

Admittedly, my approach is direct yoga -- "cutting through." I know how easy it is to get entangled in words and miss This..

Go on a Raw Reality diet.

Raw Reality = Spontaneous Energetic Appearance. Unfortunately, the human brain compulsively "cooks" Reality via thinking.

The secret of Starry Sky Zen is to reduce thinking by half, then by half again, until it approximates zero. Then the Raw Reality appears.

Finger points to moon. Well, is it a worthy finger? Does it belong to a real Buddhist? Isn't it a bit crooked?

The Spontaneous Energetic Appearance has no right or wrong, no good or evil.

If this instant here-now isn't the supreme Tantra, with all the shining Buddhas present laying fragrant hands on your forehead, what is?

listening to an owl hooting in a dream/waking up --/same owl hooting,

There is no "path" from the pointing finger to the moon -- just seeing It clearly and instantaneously. "Ah!"

"Everyone can instantly become a Buddha." -Master Hsi Yun

Why not look into Martin Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics -- which has a different definition of "physical"

In the energetic play of Karma we all must pretend we didn't understand everything from the very start.

My Zen is so good it should be illegal. It almost was!

My Root Guru is a soccer ball named Wilson.

Pure Consciousness is actually closer to the idea of the "objective" than to the subjective.

It's really far more egotistical to identify oneself as a suffering, limited being than to appreciate one's original enlightenment.

May you someday get the exact knock on the head that allows the Starry Reality to rush in.

Personally, I don't ever remember not being aware. And even "being" is an idea that only appears, it seems, in Awareness.

"It's a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break through to the other side." - Hagakure

Don't know mind and Beginner's Mind are precisely the Hua T'ou and also "before thoughts" Sambodhi Mind. It makes no sense to be sectarian.

"Experiencing is all there is." This is so objectively pure it is transcendent. Someone in ancient China listening to a bird sing at dawn.

"All manifestations of phenomena are unrestricted within a state of wide open clarity . . . free of conceptual elaborations." Dudjom Lingpa

Apprehension" is grasping-onto experiencing. "Phenomenon" is abstraction-from experiencing. So, what about "experiencing" itself?

The Hui Ming Ching or Book of Consciousness and Life -- breath-energy yoga as the way to liberation.

Every "moment" of Zen is infinity. Realization self realizes. Neither of "us" needs to do a thing!

The instantaneous, before-words-and-thoughts, incredibly vivid realization of colors, forms, sounds -- isn't this the Great Mind-Dharma?

Experiencing isn't subjective.

I personally (ha ha) realized that Pure Consciousness was "objective" at 12 years old listening to a bird sing at dawn.

As "I" (12 years old) struggled with some very dark dreams and subjective dissonance, I had the bright idea of just "hearing" a bird sing.

Actually, it wasn't even an idea, it was just a turning away from "subjective consciousness" to the sharp purity of the bird singing.

The result was blissful instant reversion/opening up to to aboriginal non-dual Awareness -- or, if you prefer, a minor satori.

In Zen, "experiencing" itself in its rawest "nothing" state is before subjects and objects, and is all that is.

Try to find your head in space.

Dudjom Lingpa got transmission from many great mahasiddhi like Shri Simha -- in his dreams.

I don't lie which is why I have no money.

O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound of OM

A flying arrow that hasn't hit anything yet since the arrow is itself Everything.

Anybody who suddenly and completely drops the "labeling" function of "the mind" (by whatever means necessary) will get Satori.

It's in the Vedas. Prana creates dependent sub-dimensions and universes to hypnotic effect.

There is subtle Prana and not so subtle Prana. Everything is Prana.

Under all the mental labels and emotion-charged layers of conceptual overlay, what is it that's really here-now?

You will know you are "in this" by a feeling of exaltation, freedom, spaciousness, and spontaneous kindness and devotion. *Svaha!*

"What could it enjoy if not Itself? To what could it awaken if not Itself?"

In Zen we speak of the "white-ox vehicle" instead of rafts. Wouldn't you rather ride to Nirvana on a white ox?

Consider finding a unique smooth oddly shaped beach stone then training yourself so that every time you hold it your "thinking-mind" stops.

Yes, a modicum of self-hypnotic suggestion *can* be used in the service of Dhyana (Zen). What else is the lotus posture?

You can experience This anywhere anytime as Rigpa, choiceless awareness lacking any conceptually fixed frame of reference.

The Infinite is just the finite without ignorance that projects fixed names-and-forms.

My own "rebirth" or "reincarnation" model is that what we are is essentially extra-dimensional.

Yogic Science has to get beyond the various "religious" boundaries.

Nietzsche said that Christianity is the supreme curse laid on life; I say humorless people are.

Two monks were arguing at a movie over whether the images are moving or only the projector is. Hui-Neng said, "Your mind is moving"

Maybe neural activity is necessary strictly for the mental labeling and conceptual recall process, and not at all for Awareness as such.

It is true that even merely grasped intellectually, "Buddhism" can help people attain detachment and stoic resignation.

I do not deny that this is a help, just as classical Stoicism can be comforting and helpful (Marcus Aurelius, for example)

However, I'm talking about it from the angle of Satori, or "direct recognition of the intrinsic nature"

Give yourself some time each day for greater Awareness experiments. You can make up good ones, just as I can.

Greater Awareness -- the "mind" begins to function less as a social node and more as the Intrinsic Brilliance.

Eventually, you find yourself laughing like a madman at the Starry Sky, and the sound of dripping water brings on Satori

It is a practical, experienced, long-known fact that without purifying and heightening Prana (Qi, Ki), it is impossible to get Satori.

This is why "Buddhism" must always be parasitic on Shamanism (Vedic yoga, Tibetan Bon, Southeast Asian and Japanese nature spirit-worship).

That isn't a cut against "Buddhism," by the way -- it's just a recognition that intellect is by itself helpless.

It's like those little lice-picking birds that sit on top of rhinoceroses. I suspect those lice-picking birds feel that they are very tall, taller than and therefore superior to the rhinoceros!

Emptiness is full of shit, which is why I used to tweet as "Dried Shit Zen"

"The true Way is as vast and boundless as outer space. How can you talk about it in terms of right and wrong?" -Nansen

Although I subscribed for some time to the Yogacara "Mind Only" view, I was thrown one day by the realization that there is no mind, really.

What's the mind of a flower -- a golden California poppy, for instance? Tell me. Quick!

I was just watering the cucumber plants one day, and suddenly I glanced up at the sky, broke out in a cold sweat and I knew it.

A flower senses everything, uses everything -- it manifests the whole universe in a flash

Proving yourself to the world. Proving what? That you have ears, a nose and eyes?

Enlightenment misconception #9: Enlightened people all have fixed and crazy smiles on their faces and wear robes.

Express anger in the moment then the storm blows over. People who repress it end up unhappy and condescending.

"Enjoy your Self!" The Great Attitude

Vedic yoga and Zen both insist there is only "One Vehicle" -- the straightforward and Absolute Be-ing of inherent Awakeness you already are.

Yogic systems for Realization require no logical support; if effective, they are "proven"

"Annihilated now; Enlightened, after."

 Buddhadharma is a yogic system that A) describes everything as "empty" while B) claiming there is something to be gained (liberation).

Another way of putting it is Buddhism claims there is "no self"  but also that people are reborn and suffer from their karma.

I feel it's interesting to live in the Great Doubt, without drawing any conclusions.

Try defocusing your eyes just a little when any hint of a personal "confrontation" happens; look into the space all around the other person

Note that when Bruce Lee fights his eyes are always slightly unfocused and he is smiling.

Neurons are switching mechanisms, either "on" or "off." This can create "data" but does it create knowing of the data?

Luckily, since Zen like Advaita is experiential it's not necessary to know how the brain works in order to be liberated

Cut your mind at its root and rest in naked awareness. -Tilopa

A language Virus has hijacked the human mind-body system with distracting, absurd "pop up windows" (thoughts)

The thought "I am hungry" comes after the evident, experienced reality of "hunger" and adds nothing (but a self concept)

The thought is already an afterthought

If you were extremely hungry and somebody handed you a piece of bread, you would eat it without thought or frames of reference.

"Functioning" always happens before thought/frames of reference.

One instant is all instants. There is no time.

Looking into eye-consciousness -- is it not just a wide open expanse going far beyond the "eye" itself?

Bringing attention back to bare awareness of breathing, and practicing until breathing is natural and easy, pervading the body.

Your mind goes beyond thought, open like space.

The True Self can obviously never become an object of thought, nor even of devotion, since it's the non-objective source of both

 Lie down, roll your head slowly back and forth. Does your Awareness roll back and forth?

"Why does your eye see darkness. By what light?"

A satori so intense one begins hitting oneself on the back of head with one's gloves to stop it. Too "blissfully empty."

One acts with honor and kindness in everyday life. THIS cannot be taught.

The Moment of Terror! Great yogic opportunity for direct integration of naturally occurring awareness with overflowing Ki-energy!

Mind as wide as all of space. Heightened clarity of awareness free of thoughts. Spontaneous, blissful energy. Thank you, moment of terror!

"The only real demon is conceptual thought." -Dudjom Lingpa

Happenstance has no enduring stance. It's merely instantaneous.


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