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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Enlightenment -

THE ANCIENTS SAID:

IF THE TRAINING IS EFFICIENT, ENLIGHTENMENT WILL BE ATTAINED IN ONE FINGERSNAP.

IN DAYS GONE BY CH'AN MASTER HUI CHUEH OF LANG YEH MOUNTAIN, HAD A DISCIPLE WHO CALLED ON HIM FOR INSTRUCTION. THE MASTER TAUGHT HER TO EXAMINE INTO THE SENTENCE: "TAKE NO NOTICE."

SHE FOLLOWED HIS INSTRUCTION STRICTLY WITHOUT BACKSLIDING.


ONE DAY HER HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE, BUT SHE SAID: "TAKE NO NOTICE."

ANOTHER DAY, HER SON FELL INTO THE WATER AND WHEN A BYSTANDER CALLED HER, SHE SAID: "TAKE NO NOTICE."

SHE OBSERVED EXACTLY HER MASTER'S INSTRUCTION BY LAYING DOWN ALL CASUAL THOUGHTS.


ONE DAY, AS HER HUSBAND LIT THE FIRE TO MAKE FRITTERS OF TWISTED DOUGH, SHE THREW INTO THE PAN FULL OF BOILING (VEGETABLE) OIL A BATTER WHICH MADE A NOISE.

UPON HEARING THE NOISE, SHE WAS INSTANTLY ENLIGHTENED. THEN SHE THREW THE PAN OF OIL ON THE GROUND, CLAPPED HER HANDS AND LAUGHED.

THINKING SHE WAS INSANE, HER HUSBAND SCOLDED HER AND SAID: "WHY DO YOU DO THIS? ARE YOU MAD?"

SHE REPLIED: "TAKE NO NOTICE."


THEN SHE WENT TO THE MASTER HUI CHUEH AND ASKED HIM TO VERIFY HER ACHIEVEMENT.

THE MASTER CONFIRMED THAT SHE HAD OBTAINED THE HOLY FRUIT.



IF THE TRAINING IS EFFICIENT, ENLIGHTENMENT WILL BE ATTAINED IN ONE FINGERSNAP.
There is no path as such, but there is a certain discipline to wake you up. That is called "training." Training has nothing to do with your character but something to do with your consciousness. Training simply means a certain space, a certain context has to be created around you in which awakening is easier than falling asleep -- just like when you want somebody to be awake you throw cold water into his eyes. Not that you teach him to be virtuous, not that you teach him to be non-violent -- those things are not going to help him to be awake. But cold water, that is a totally different phenomenon; that is creating a context. Or you give him a cup of tea; that helps him to wake up. Or you tell him to jog, run, shout; that will help him to wake up more quickly.
All Zen methods are like that: cold water thrown in your eyes, a hammer hit on your head. Zen is totally different from other religions. It does not give you a certain character; it certainly gives you a context.

IN DAYS GONE BY, CH'AN MASTER HUI CHUEH OF LANG YEH MOUNTAIN, HAD A WOMAN DISCIPLE WHO CALLED ON HIM FOR INSTRUCTION. THE MASTER TAUGHT HER TO EXAMINE INTO THE SENTENCE: "TAKE NO NOTICE."
NOW, THIS IS CREATING A CONTEXT. The Master told her to meditate on this small sentence: "Take no notice." And it has to be meditated on in different situations, in all possible situations. It has not to be forgotten any time; it has to be remembered continuously, whatsoever happens.
SHE FOLLOWED HIS INSTRUCTION STRICTLY WITHOUT BACKSLIDING.
ONE DAY HER HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE, BUT SHE SAID: "TAKE NO NOTICE."
Now, this is creating a context. This is real training, this is discipline. The house is on fire and she remembers the instruction: "Take no notice." It is easy when the house is not on fire and everything is running smoothly, well, and you can sit silently in a small corner you have made in the house to meditate -- then you can say, "Take no notice." It is easy, but it is not going to wake you up; it may even help you to fall asleep. But when the house is on fire it is difficult, very difficult. Your possessiveness is at stake, your life is in danger, your security is gone, your safety is gone. You may be just a beggar the next day on the street with nothing left
But the woman must have been a real disciple.

SHE SAID: "TAKE NO NOTICE."

And not only did she say it, she took no notice. She relaxed, as if nothing was happening. And the moment you can see your house on fire and can see it as if nothing is happening, nothing happens. The house will be burned, but you will come out of that experience for the first time with clarity, with no dust on your mirror, with great insight. Everything is on fire! The whole life is on fire because we are dying every moment. Nothing is secure, nothing is safe. We only go on believing that everything is secure and safe. In this world of flux and change, where death is the ultimate end of everything, how can there be any security?
If you can see your own house on fire and go on meditating silently, relaxedly, in a deep let-go -- take no notice -- you will come out of it a totally different person, with a new consciousness, reborn.

ANOTHER DAY, HER SON FELL INTO THE WATER AND WHEN A BYSTANDER CALLED HER, SHE SAID, "TAKE NO NOTICE."
Now even more difficult -- because a house is, after all, a dead thing. We can make another house, money can be earned again. But your son falls into the water, is drowning...this is a more difficult situation, more attachment -- your own son. And for the mother, the son is her extension, part of her, part of her soul, of her being. Still she says, "Take no notice."

SHE OBSERVED EXACTLY HER MASTER'S INSTRUCTION BY LAYING DOWN ALL CASUAL THOUGHTS.
If this is possible...because these are the two problems in the world: possessiveness of things and relationship with people. These are YOUR problems too. That's where people are asleep: either they are possessive with things or they are in heavy relationships with people. These are the two points which keep you clouded, confused, unaware.
She passed both the tests. And if you can pass these two things: if you can become aware that you possess nothing.... Use everything but possess nothing, and relate with people but don't become part of any relationship.
Relating is one thing, relationship quite another. Relating does not take you into any bondage; relationship is a bondage. Love people, but don't be jealous, don't be possessive. Relate with as many people as possible, but remain free and let them also be free of you. Don't try to dominate and don't allow anybody to dominate you either.
Use things, but remember: you come into the world with empty hands and you will go from the world again with empty hands, so you cannot possess anything.
If these two insights become clear and you start taking no note, all casual thoughts will disappear from your mind. And all thoughts are casual, no thought is essential. The essential is silence; thoughts are all casual. When thoughts disappear, the essential surfaces. Great silence explodes in a tremendous melody. And that experience is liberating, that experience is divine.

ONE DAY, AS HER HUSBAND LIT THE FIRE TO MAKE FRITTERS OF TWISTED DOUGH, SHE THREW INTO THE PAN FULL OF BOILING (VEGETABLE) OIL A BATTER WHICH MADE A NOISE.
UPON HEARING THE NOISE, SHE WAS INSTANTLY ENLIGHTENED.
THAT'S WHAT I CALL...if you are ready, if the context is ready, then ANYTHING can trigger the process of enlightenment -- ANYTHING. Just:

UPON HEARING THE NOISE, SHE WAS INSTANTLY ENLIGHTENED.
Nothing special was happening, just an ordinary noise. You come across that kind of noise every day many times But if the right context is there, you are in a right space...and she was in a right space: non-possessive, unrelated to anything, to any person, non-dominating. She was in a state of liberation, just on the borderline. One step more and she would move into the world of the Buddhas. And that small step can be caused by anything whatsoever.

UPON HEARING THE NOISE....
That noise became the last alarm, the last straw on the back of the camel.


...SHE WAS INSTANTLY ENLIGHTENED. THEN SHE THREW THE PAN OF OIL ON THE GROUND, CLAPPED HER HANDS AND LAUGHED.

Why did she do that: CLAPPED HER HANDS AND LAUGHED? When one becomes enlightened, laughter is almost a natural by-product; spontaneously it comes -- for the simple reason that we have been searching and searching for lives for something which was already there inside. Our whole effort was ridiculous! Our whole effort was absurd. One laughs at the great cosmic joke. One laughs at the sense of humor that God must have or the existence: that we have it with us already and we are searching for it. One laughs at one's own ridiculous efforts, long long journeys, pilgrimages, for something which was never lost in the first place. Hence the laughter, hence the clapping.

THINKING SHE WAS INSANE, HER HUSBAND SCOLDED HER AND SAID...
And of course, anybody who is still asleep seeing somebody suddenly becoming enlightened, clapping hands and laughing, is bound to think that the person has gone insane. This breakthrough will look to the sleeping person like a breakdown; it is not a break-down. But the sleeping person can't help it; he can understand only according to his values, criterions.

...HE SCOLDED HER AND SAID: "WHY DO YOU DO THIS? ARE YOU MAD?"
SHE REPLIED: "TAKE NO NOTICE."
She continues: her meditation is still there. She is following her Master's instruction to the very end. The husband is calling her mad and she says: "Take no notice."
The world WILL call you mad. The world has always been calling Buddhas mad. Take no notice. It is natural; it should be accepted as a matter of course.

THEN SHE WENT TO MASTER HUI CHUEH AND ASKED HIM TO VERIFY HER ACHIEVEMENT.
THE MASTER'S FUNCTIONS ARE MANY.
First: to help you to wake up, to provoke you into an awakening; to create the situation in which sleep becomes more and more difficult and awakening becomes more and more easy; and when for the first time you ARE awakened, to confirm it, because it is very difficult for the person himself. The territory is so unknown. The ego is lost, all old values are gone, the old mind is no more functioning. Everything is so new; nothing seems to be continuous with the old. There seems to be no way to judge, evaluate, be certain. One is in deep awe and wonder. One does not know what is happening, what has happened, what it is all about. One is simply at a loss.
Hence the last function of the Master is to confirm, to say, "Yes, this is it."

THE MASTER CONFIRMED THAT SHE HAD OBTAINED THE HOLY FRUIT.

Zen people call this "the holy fruit," the fruition, the flowering -- coming to the ultimate awakening, coming to the ultimate experience of yourself and existence. But remember: it can only happen in the moment. It can only happen in the instant. It can only happen now -- now or never.
You will ask: "Then why all these methods, trainings?" They are just to bring you back to the now. You have gone too far away in the memories and in imagination. They are not to create any cultivation; they are not for self-cultivation but for bringing you back home.

Remember this woman who was meditating on "Take no notice." Such totality is needed. The house is on fire and she says: "Take no notice." Her son falls into the water and she says: "Take no notice." Her husband calls her mad and she says: "Take no notice." Then such a simple meditation -- of taking no notice -- creates the necessary milieu in which she becomes aflame, afire. Her inner being explodes. She is no more the same old person; she is reborn. She is reborn as enlightened. She becomes a Buddha.



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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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