ON ENLIGHTENMENT ÂŠ 2010, Taoshobuddha
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Cover design and graphics: Anand Neelamber Photography: Taoshobuddha
he word Taoshobuddha comes from three words, ‘tao,’ ‘sho,’ and ‘Buddha’. The word Tao was coined by the Chinese master, Lau Tzu. It means that which is and cannot be put into words. It is unknown and unknowable. It can only be experienced and not expressed in words. Its magnanimity cannot be condensed into finiteness. The word Sho implies, that which is vast like the sky and deep like an oc carries within its womb a treasure. It also means one on whom the existence showers its blessings. And lastly the word Buddha implies the Enlightened One; one who has arrived home. Thus, Taoshobuddha implies one who is existential, on whom the existence showers its blessings and one who has arrived home. The Enlightened One!
Enlightenment is when all hope disappears. Enlightenment is disappearance of hope. Enlightenment is not any achievement instead an understanding. Enlightenment simply means an experience of your consciousness that is not clouded by thoughts, emotions, and sentiments together or individual! When the consciousness is totally empty, there is something like an explosion, an atomic explosion. Your whole insight becomes full of a light which has no source and no cause. And once it has happened, it remains. It never leaves you for a single moment; even when you are asleep, that light is inside. And after that moment you can see things in a totally different way. After that experience, there is no question in you.
nlightenment means fully conscious, and aware. Ordinarily we are not conscious and not aware. We do things and act either out of habit or out of biological instinctsâ€Ś Just as Freud's conscious mind, unconscious mind, and Jung says collective unconscious mind, I say there is a super conscious mind and collective conscious mind. To reach to the collective conscious mind they are going to the roots and I am going to the flowers. ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT But they are all interconnected and all the devices and matters are to discover in you, something which is simply watchfulness. For example, I can watch my body—certainly I'm not the body. I can watch my hand: it's hurting, but I'm not the hurt—I'm the watcher. I can watch my thoughts, then I'm not the thought. I'm the watcher and I can watch even the watcher. That is the moment beyond which you cannot go and enlightenment comes. Enlightenment is simply that you become so conscious, so full of light, that it starts overflowing your life, your being. You can impart it. When one is enlightened one is conscious, but one is not conscious of consciousness. One is perfectly conscious, but there is no object in it. One is simply conscious, as if a light goes on enlightening the emptiness around it. There is no object. There is nothing the light can fall upon. It is pure consciousness. The object has disappeared; your subject has flowered into totality. Now there is no object—and hence, there can be no subject. The object and subject both have disappeared. You are simply conscious. Not conscious of anything, just conscious. You are consciousness. Enlightenment is not an achievement. Enlightenment is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve. No degrees! No honors! No certificates! Nothing that your world of cognition understands is enlightenment. Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Enlightenment is to come to know that there is nowhere to go. Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all. Life is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. You are already there -you have never been away. You cannot be away from there. ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT God has never been missed. Maybe, you have forgotten and that is all. Maybe you have fallen asleep, this is the reason. Maybe you have gotten lost in many, many dreams, that is all. However you are there. God is your very being. So the first thing is, never think enlightenment a goal to be achieved at some latter time. It is not. It is not a goal; it is not something that you can desire. And if you desire it you will not get it. In desiring a thousand and one things, by and by you come to understand that all desire is futile. Each desire lands you in frustration; each desire again and again throws you into a hole. This has been happening for millions of years but again you start hoping, again you start thinking that this new desire that is arising, sprouting in you, will maybe lead you to paradise. That this will give you what you have longed for, that it will fulfil you. Again and again hope arises. Enlightenment is when all hope disappears. Enlightenment is disappearance of hope. There is nothing to worry when I say that enlightenment is a state of hopelessness. Hoplessness is not negative. Hope arises no more; desire is created no more. Future disappears. When there is no desire, there is no need for the future. Both past and future disappears. The canvas of the future is needed for the desire. You paint your desires on the canvas of the future. When there is nothing to paint, why should you carry the canvas unnecessarily? You drop it. When there is nothing to paint, why should you carry the brush and the color unnecessarily? They come from the past. The canvas comes ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT from the future while the color and brush and technique, all comes from the past. When you are not going to paint you can throw away the canvas, you throw away the brush, and the colors too then suddenly you are here now. This is what Buddha calls Chittakshana – a moment of awareness, a moment of consciousness. This moment of consciousness can happen any moment. There is no special time for it, there is no special posture for it, and there is no special place for it. It can happen in all kinds of situations. It has happened in all kinds of situations. All that is needed is that for a single moment when there should be no thought, no desire, and no hope. In that single moment, the lightning.... One day Chikanzenji was mowing down the weeds around a ruined temple. When he threw away a bit of broken tile it clattered against a bamboo tree. All of a sudden he was enlightened. Where at he sang: Upon the clatter of a broken tile All I had learned was at once forgotten. Amending my nature is needless. Pursuing the task of everyday life I walk along the ancient path. I am not disheartened in the mindless void. Wheresoever I go I leave no footprint For I am not within color or sound. Enlightened ones everywhere have said: ‘Such as this is the attainment.’ This poor monk, Chikanzenji, had been working for at least thirty years. He was a hard seeker. Also he was a very, honest ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT and sincere and serious seeker. He practiced all that was told to him. He visited many masters, and lived in many monasteries. He did all that was humanly possible. He practiced yoga, he practiced Zazen. He did this and that but all to no avail. Nothing was happening; in fact, his frustration was growing more and more. The more the methods failed, the more and more frustrated he became. He had read all the Buddhist scriptures. It is said about this Chikanzenji that he had all these scriptures in his room, and he was constantly reading, day and night. And his memory was so perfect he could recite whole scriptures. But still nothing happened. Then one day he burned his whole library. Seeing those scriptures in the fire he laughed. He left the monastery, he left his master, and he went to live in a ruined temple. He forgot all about meditation, all about yoga, and all about practicing this and that. He forgot all about virtue, sheela, discipline, and he never went inside the temple to worship the Buddha. But he was living in that ruined temple when it happened. He was mowing down the weeds around the temple not a very religious thing to do. He was not doing anything specific, just taking the weeds out. When he threw away a bit of broken tile, it clattered against a bamboo tree and in that moment, Chittakshana, the moment of awareness, happened. In that very clattering of the tile against the bamboo, a shock, a jerk happened and his mind stopped for a moment. In that very moment he became enlightened.
ON ENLIGHTENMENT How can one become enlightened in one single moment? One can indeed, because one is enlightened already one just has to recognize the fact. It is not something that happens from the outside, it is something that arises from the inside. It has always been there but you were clouded, you were full of thoughts. Chikanzenji burned all the scriptures. That was symbolic. Now he no longer remembered anything. Now he had forgotten all searches. Now he no longer cared. Unconcerned, he lived a very ordinary life. He was no longer even a monk. He had no pretensions anymore or ego goals. Remember, there are two kinds of ego goals: the worldly and the otherworldly. Some people are searching for money while others are searching for power, prestige, and pull. Some people are searching for God, moksha, nirvana, and enlightenment. However the search continues. And who is searching - the same ego. The moment you drop the search, you drop the ego also. The moment there is no seeking, the seeker cannot exist. Just visualize this poor monk who was no longer a monk instead living in a ruined temple. He had nowhere else to go. He was just clearing the ground maybe to put some seeds there for vegetables or something. He came across a tile, threw it away, and was taken unawares. The tile clattered against the bamboo tree and with the sudden clattering, the sudden sound, he becomes enlightened. Upon the clatter of a broken tile the monk said all I had learned was at once forgotten.
ON ENLIGHTENMENT Enlightenment is a process of unlearning. It is utter ignorance. But that ignorance is very luminous and your knowledge is very dull. That ignorance is very alive and luminous, and your knowledge is very dark and dead. He says, All I had learned was at once forgotten. In that moment he knew nothing. In that moment there was no knower, in that moment there was no observer. Just the sound alone was there. And one is awakened from a long sleep. And he says, amending my nature is needless. That day he felt that he was just struggling unnecessarily. Amending my nature is needless. You need not amend yourself. You need not improve yourself! Beware of all those who go on telling you to improve yourself, to become this or to become that, to become virtuous. Who go on telling you that this is wrong, do not do it; that this is good, do it; that this will lead you to heaven and this will lead you to hell. Those who go on telling you to amend your nature and improve upon yourself are very dangerous people. They are one of the basic causes for your not being enlightened. Nature cannot be amended. It has to be accepted. There is no way to be otherwise. Whosoever you are, whatsoever you are, that is how you are and that is what you are. It is a great acceptance. Buddha calls it Tathata, a great acceptance. Nothing is there to be changed. How can you change it, and who is going to change it? It is your nature and you will try to change it? It would be just like a dog chasing its own tail. The dog would go crazy. But dogs are not as foolish as man. Man goes on chasing his own tail, and the more difficult he finds it ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT the more he jumps and the more he tries and the more and more bizarre he becomes. Nothing has to be changed, because all is beautiful and that is enlightenment. All is as it should be, everything is perfect. This is the most perfect world, this moment lacks nothing. The experience of this is what enlightenment is. Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Maybe you are lost in many dreams. That is all but you are already there. God is your very being. So the first thing is, do not think about enlightenment as a goal, it is not. It is not a goal. Also it is not something that you can desire. And if you desire it you will not get it. In desiring a thousand and one things, by and by you come to understand that all desire is futile. Each desire lands you in frustration. Each desire again and again throws you into a hole. This has been happening for millions of years but again you start hoping, again you start thinking that this new desire that is arising, sprouting in you, will maybe lead you to paradise. Life is wasted in the pursuit of longing. You think this will give you what you have longed for, and that it will fulfill you. Again and again hope arises. Enlightenment is when all hope disappears. Enlightenment is disappearance of hope. When there is nothing to paint, why should you carry the brush and the color? They come from the past. The canvas comes from the future and the color and brush and technique, and all that, comes from the past. When you are not going to paint you throw away the canvas, you throw away the brush, you throw away the colors -- then suddenly you are here now. ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT This is what Buddha calls chittakshana -- a moment of awareness, a moment of consciousness. This moment of consciousness can happen any moment. There is no special time for it, there is no special posture for it, there is no special place for it -- it can happen in all kinds of situations. It has happened in all kinds of situations. All that is needed is that for a single moment there should be no thought, no desire, and no hope. In that single moment, the lightning.... What is enlightenment? Coming to understand, coming to realize that you are not the body. You are the light within; not the lamp, but the flame. You are neither body nor mind. Mind belongs to the body; mind is not beyond body, it is part of the body—most subtle, most refined, but it is part of the body. Mind is also atomic, as body is atomic. You are neither the body nor the mind—then you come to know who you are. And to know who you are is enlightenment…. Enlightened means you have realized who you are. Enlightenment simply means becoming aware of yourself. Ordinarily, a man is awake to everything around him, but is not aware who is awake and aware of all the things around. So we remain on the periphery of life and the center remains in darkness. To bring light to that center, consciousness to that center is enlightenment. It is just being absolutely centered in yourself, focusing all your consciousness upon yourself as if nothing else exists; only you are. Just be natural so that you can remain in tune with existence. So that you can dance in the rain, you can dance in the sun and you can dance with the trees, and you can have a communion ON ENLIGHTENMENT
ON ENLIGHTENMENT even with the rocks, with the mountains, and with the stars too. Except this, there is no enlightenment. Let me define it: Enlightenment is to be in tune with existence. To be in tune with nature—the very nature of things—is enlightenment. Against nature there is only misery—and misery created by yourself. Nobody else is responsible for it. It will be difficult logically to understand it. It is something to be experienced. Since the moment I found the ego evaporating from me, I have not felt part of the universe, but the universe itself. And yes, I have found many moments when I am bigger than the universe—because I can see the stars moving within me, the sunrise happening within me, all the flowers blossoming within me. This is enlightenment. Drown in the silence and the dance of it. I have attempted to speak of experience that cannot be put in words.