Thursday, March 21, 2013

THE ZEN TEACHINGS OF MASTER DRIED SHIT STICK


1.  Reality is appearing right here now, complete as it is. Or incomplete, if you prefer. It is not a product of teachings. It has nothing to do with ideas or beliefs. Nothing is held back in this instantaneousness.

2.  "Is" just means this -- appearing right here now. Can you experience it? Yes. Can you grasp it? Can you pick up a broom and sweep all the dust from empty space?

3.  This experience of isness is Enlightenment. Life itself, with all its sorrows and difficulties, is Supreme Realization.

4.  Does or can anything, then, ever obstruct this instantaneous Reality? Yes! Teachings, ideas, beliefs, worries and expectations when clung to by the so-called "mind" obstruct Reality and thereby create feelings of confusion and un-ease. [Takuan Soho calls this "moshin," the false mind or mind of delusion, as opposed to "honshin," which is the natural and inherently self-liberated Mind. "The Original Mind, Honshin, is the mind which does not stop anywhere or become fixed to or identified with anything but pervades the whole body and being. When this Original Mind becomes fixed on particular things it fails to function and becomes Moshin, ignorance and suffering. Original Mind is like water, flowing freely into various shapes, while deluded mind is rigid like ice."  Honshin and Moshin are not opposites. Nor are they "one." There is a pragmatic difference between water and ice. But they are "not two." Here is another way of putting it: the Mind of Instantaneous Reality is always just the Mind of Instantaneous Reality, but when it gets distracted by and mis-identified with particular phenomena it becomes the Small Mind of Delusion without ever ceasing to be the Mind of Instantaneous Reality. However, trying to understand this wonderful truth with the Small Mind of Delusion is useless, because Moshin believes only in the Either/Or world of name-and-form, made up of rigid distinctions and opposites such as "good and evil," "existence and non-existence" and so on and so forth. So if a Zen Master like Master Dried Shit Stick tries to explain it to you, you'll scoff that it's not rational. It isn't rational; that's a fact! It just is. Stop believing in the "rational" dogma of this Small Mind of Delusion and you'll wake up instantaneously, like a thunderclap out of a clear blue sky!]

5.  An indescribable ease and bliss is achieved simply by dropping any and all adherence to the entire mass of teachings, ideas, beliefs, worries and expectations. (Drop it all! Or better yet -- burn it all up like the trash it is!) [Note Mumon Ekai's somewhat overheated evocation of this simple, indescribable state: 如奪得關將軍大刀入手、逢佛殺佛、逢祖殺祖、於生死岸頭得大自在、向六道四生中遊戲三昧 "It will be as if you snatch away the great sword of the valiant general Kan'u and hold it in your hand. When you meet the Buddha, you kill him; when you meet the patriarchs, you kill them. On the brink of life and death, you command perfect freedom; among the sixfold worlds and four modes of existence, you enjoy a merry and playful samadhi." -Mumonkan]

6.  Once you've woken up to This, live like a simpleton! Just look at what is in front of your face and don't create concepts about it; act in a direct and minimal way according to whatever changing circumstances happen to demand.

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