the urge to see

freedom from the urge to see

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What does this mean? The urge to see is the mind seeking security: the urge to know the future – what is coming. Also the urge to hold in the mind the true nature of this existence. But the mind must give up and drop in order for ‘seeing’ to be, for ‘seeing is being’. There cannot be a subject (the mind) who sees and an object (existence) that is seen. This statement is very confounding for the mind and can bring it to a kind of ’tilt’ state. There is nowhere our cognitive faculty can go from here. This may be what Zen means with the term “ichigyo zammai“.

This Japanese Zen term translates as “one practice samadhi”, meaning everything you do is performed with a sense of your complete body-mind. In this way fragmentation of consciousness, one of the main reasons for suffering, is reduced or eliminated. The present moment then opens up and you begin to taste the depth of this NOW. You no longer entertain the thought about the ‘next moment’. It is the discipline of no longer feeding thoughts that come from the accumulated past and project into a ‘future’ moment. Ramana says this about the state of jagrat-sushupti (waking state-deep sleep):


“There is the awareness of the waking state and the stillness of sleep. 
It is called jagrat-sushupti [waking sleep]. Call it wakeful sleep or sleeping wakefulness or sleepless waking or wakeless sleep. It is not the same as sleep or waking separately. It is atijagrat  [beyond wakefulness] or atisushupti [beyond sleep]. It is the state of perfect awareness and perfect stillness combined.  …

“The thoughts make all the difference between the stillness of sleep and the turmoil of waking.”

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Once there is there conviction that my true nature is freedom from thought, I no longer feed the thoughts that arise but let them play out their own dynamic without further interest. When my interest is on thoughts, my attention goes there and my energy feeds them. Then they are like seeds that sprout and grow and grow. I can then allow them to take me away from myself into interminable journeys that lead nowhere, but fascinate my mind. The alternative to following that fascination is to stop and endure the initial feeling of loss, or dullness and apathy. This is because the mind is being starved of its habitual food which is: I am the doer doing something, how wonderful!

There is sometimes a swath of boredom that assails the mind and suggests that it is nonsense to stop – there is nothing there to be found – give it up. This is the process of cutting through the Gordian Knot (chit-jada-granthi) and there is a certain kind of agony involved in the process. It can be swift and it can drag itself out over days or weeks in cycles going deeper and deeper. Once it is clear that the only way out of this delusional state is to gain more and more clarity then it is clear that all thoughts distort understanding. Only in the space free of attributes is real clarity and then it is free of words: it can only be ‘known’ as that which is one-without-a-second. Who, then, is there to tell about it?

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the vigor of search

for the root of thought

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The first touch of tea on the tongue engages so much of the body’s sensory network and seduces me into the sleep of dwelling in the sense organs. The awareness of the evanescence of all phenomena is lost. Putting emphasis on the “beautiful and interesting things” in the world is like grasping a fistful of water. Continue reading