zen: A WORD OF ADVICE IF YOU MEDITATE

The Six Precepts of Tilopa

No thought, no reflection, no analysis,

No cultivation, no intention;

Let it settle itself.

Zen Buddha

Here is another version of the same text by Tilopa. 

Six Words of Advice from Tilopa

Let go of what has passed.

Let go of what may come.

Let go of what is happening now.

Don’t try to figure anything out.

Don’t try to make anything happen.

Relax, right now, and rest.

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A WORD OF ADVICE IF YOU MEDITATE

Leave this mind of yours

in its natural state where there is nothing artificial.

In this state, seeing a thought move,

rest on it, relaxed.

In this state, stability will come.

No attachment to stability

no fear of movement,

aware that there is no difference

between stability and movement,

mind arising from mind.

In this state, where there is no grasping, no attachment,

rest natural and relaxed.

In this state, natural reality itself,

the essence of your own mind,

primordial awareness, empty clarity

will arise… and you won’t know what to say.

In this state you will settle, suspended and relaxed.

Without grasping at the stability as something,

naturally in place, naturally free ;

without seizing on or rejecting the mind’s productions,

please settle… THERE.

LAMA GENDUN RINPOCHE

Tendrel 3, January 1983

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8 thoughts on “zen: A WORD OF ADVICE IF YOU MEDITATE

  1. I have gone through a rather turbulent period lately – this insidious Wasteland is abusively but subtly perverting everything, constantly stealing and depriving us of our real force and energy, so lately, I for one have been very confused, no longer knowing where I am heading.

    Earlier today, sitting in a cafe, I kind of heard within this voice saying clearly, “I am the one with no past or future, I am movement without moving…”

    There were other things being “said” inside of me, but I was kind of short of words…. “You won’t know what to say” really applied to me in that moment…

    So I opened this post of yours – for which I THANK YOU FOR -, and really… reading it, I felt that GENDUN RINPOCHE´S words, were the words that I felt but couldn´t utter myself!!

    What an incredible serendipity. Such epiphany in the midst of my sadness. It felt that the post was almost written for me.

    “Let go of what has passed.

    Let go of what may come.

    Let go of what is happening now

    Don´t try to figure anything out

    Don´t try to make anything happen

    Relax, right now and rest.”

    Furthermore:

    “In this state, stability will come.

    No attachment to stability

    no fear of movement,

    aware that there is no difference

    between stability and movement,

    (…)

    In this state, natural reality itself,

    the essence of your own mind,

    primordial awareness, empty clarity

    will arise… and you won’t know what to say

    In this state you will settle, suspended and relaxed.

    Without grasping at the stability as something,

    naturally in place, naturally free ;

    without seizing on or rejecting the mind’s productions,

    please settle… THERE.”

    So beautiful and true!!!!

    • Beautiful, Dear Julien! For me this brought home (once again 🙂 ) that Reality cannot be touched or affected by all this nonsense, even though such a statement doesn’t compute in the mind. Somehow we get ‘touched’ by the absoluteness of Reality and then everything looks different. The word “settle” had a strong effect on me and that is why I was moved to post this. Cheers! ☼ tomas ♥

  2. Hi Tomas, I love this painting of Bodhidharma heading East! I love this progression of Zen, it “shakes us” to the core of being. Tilopa was conveying a glimpse beyond the illusory world, which in a way seems to negate physical reality. He is attached to emptiness, but how else can he relate his experience to lay people through words? It’s like trying to hit the moon with a stick. Although we “know” what he’s trying to teach conceptually, all teachings are ultimately unnecessary and can be the very obstacle to realization. All is revealed when we discard all notions of duality or concepts. So we must mentally learn, only to mindfully “forget it”. That’s when we liberate ourselves from samsara – ideas of “right” and “wrong” because these are only referential concepts, tools to help us understand and evolve beyond the mind. Awesome insights from this post, thank you Tomas.

    • You are so very welcome, Der Maddy! This painting is extraordinary. As so often I ‘stumbled’ upon it while looking for something that would fit Tilopa’s precepts. These teachings are like jumping off points from which we can leave the ‘security’ of the conceptual world when we are ready, which seems to happen spontaneously and in its own ‘time’. Cheers! ☼ tomas

  3. Love the repetition of the words “settle” and “rest.” Some thing very calming about those words. Don’t fight for peace, settle with peace. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • The first version is translated by Alan Watts, who says this about the last line “Let it settle itself”: “Rang-babs-bzhag is literally “self-settle-establish,” and “self-settle” would seem to be an almost exact equivalent of the Taoist tzu-jan, “self-so,” “spontaneous,” or “natural.” Yes, those words have a soothing effect. ♥ tomas

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