silence is the benediction
bless yourself and others often and abundantly
let even your words hold silence
listen to the trees
“The awakened man is free, serene, and happy. He has no fear of the vicissitudes of life. He is master of himself. Nothing is added at the moment of Awakening.
Once Awakening is reached, the practitioner is master of himself; while living in the world of conditioned things, he lives his life of liberty.
Concerning the relation between matter and mind, phenomena and true nature, knowledge and action, Cuu Chi, a Vietnamese monk of the Vo Ngon Thong sect who lived in the eleventh century, said:
‘All methods aiming at the realization of Awakening have their origin in your true nature; the true nature of everything is in your mind. Mind and Matter are one, and not two different things. Conditioning, slavery and error do not really exist; true and false, sins and merits, are only illusory images. So is the law of cause and effect. Your activity must not be based on conceptual discrimination; otherwise your activity will not be completely free. The free man sees all, but nothing is seen by him; he perceives things, but is not taken in by the concepts of things. Why? Because when he looks at things he sees their true nature; when he perceives things, he penetrates their interdependent relational nature. Thus, while living in the world he possesses the secret of the production and manifestation of phenomena. It is the only way to arrive at Awakening. There is no other.
Once free of errors caused by concepts, you can live in peace and freedom in the world of karma; by using skillful means, realize your calling of Awakening in this conditioned world, without even thinking that the world is conditioned or unconditioned.’
The EXPRESSION “the interdependent relational nature” of things is tied directly to the concept of non-identity just discussed. To see things in their interdependent relational nature is to perceive their nature of non-identity. Put another way, it is to recognize their existence, even when they are not present. Let us look, for example, at a table. It exists at this very moment. We recognize its existence only when the interdependent conditions, upon which its presence is grounded, converge; but we cannot recognize its existence before these conditions are brought together. Nevertheless, the table existed before being there; it existed formerly through the play of interdependent factors such as the wood, the saw, the nails, the carpenter, and the multitude of other elements directly or indirectly connected with its existence. If one can see the existence of the table through these interdependent conditions, one can also see it in unlimited space and infinite time. This profound vision of reality delivers man from the fear that results from concepts such as ‘existence/non~existence,’ ‘permanent/impermanent,’ ‘I/Not-I,’ etc.”
Reality is not a concept.
source: Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Keys p. 89, 90
When the mind becomes quiet – not “is made quiet” – but becomes quiet by itself because it realizes that any movement of thought is within the mind itself and it cannot escape. The utter futility of spinning further concepts is then seen by the mind. It realizes that IT IS ITS THOUGHTS – the observer IS the observed. Then its dynamic to search, search, search, grasp, grasp, grasp – subsides because this dynamic naturally implodes upon itself.