Look at the puppets performing on the wooden stage:
Their jumps and jerks all depend on the person behind.
"To attain this subtle realization you must completely cut off the way of thinking. If you do not cut off the way of thinking you will become like a ghost clinging to the grasses and weeds." -Zen Master Mumon Ekai.
"No-thought is the Absolute Reality, in which the mind ceases to act. When one's mind is free from thoughts, one's nature has reached the Absolute." -Fa-jung
"If you want to see, see directly into it; but when you try to think about it, it is altogether missed." - Tao-wu
"Just end the mental objectivization of the world. A single thought of the wandering mind is the root of birth and death in the world. Just don't have a single thought and you'll get rid of the root of birth and death." -Zen Master Ma Tsu
"If only you could comprehend the nature of your own Mind and put an end to discriminatory thought, there would naturally be no room for even a grain of error to arise. As it is, so long as your mind is subject to the slightest movement of thought, you will remain engulfed in the error of taking 'ignorant' and 'Enlightened' for separate states." -Zen Master Huang Po
"Pure and passionless knowledge [Enlightenment.] implies putting an end to the ceaseless flow of thoughts and images." Huang Po
"The only real demon is conceptual thought." -Dudjom Lingpa
“Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.” -Bodhidharma
“People of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.” -Bodhidharma
"Getting rid of the discriminating mind is Nirvana." -The Lankavatara Sutra
"Argumentation gives rise to delusory consciousness. Thus Bodhidharma sat rapt in meditation facing a wall, and did not create opinions." -Huang Po.
"Just stop thinking and see it directly." -Linji.
"If there are thoughts then there is mind, and for there to be mind is contrary to enlightenment. If there is no thought (wunian) then there is no mind (wuxin), and for there to be no mind is true enlightenment." -The Transcendence of Cognition treatise (Chüeh-kuan lun) of the Oxhead School
"We should control the mind and strip it of all wandering thoughts before we can speak of Chan practice. Therefore, the first step is to put an end to the flow of thoughts, but we also know this is the most difficult thing to achieve. If we fail to stop our stirring thoughts, we will not be able to practice self-cultivation."* -Charles Luk, from The Secrets of Chinese Meditation
"Empty your mind. Now, without thinking of good or bad, what was your original face before your parents met? . . . If you want to know the essence of mind, just do not think about good or bad at all. Then you will spontaneously gain access to the pure substance of mind, calm and always tranquil, with subtle functions beyond number." -Hui-Neng, Sixth Chinese Zen Patriarch
"All differentiations and particularizations are not separated from the Mind in itself. The Mind has immeasurable size and its function is limitless. Using the eye, it perceives its shape; using the ear, it hears sounds, with the nose it smells odors, and with the tongue knows taste, and from such movements and turnings forms the idea of self. In one cut, slice time from its middle and destroy the way of words and speech, along with thought and its resting place." -Bodhidharma
"Zen is just getting rid of the discriminating mind." Tsunemoto, The Hagakure
"Cast away all things, becoming without thought and without mind." -Hakuin-Zenji
"Whether you are walking, lying down, sitting, drinking tea or eating rice, let go of thought after thought as the best way of striving (kufu) to attain satori." -Takuan Soho
"All that is necessary is that there be no perceiver or perceived when you perceive -- no hearer or heard when you hear, no thinker or thought when you think. Buddhism is very easy; it spares effort, but you yourself waste energy and make your own hardships." -Master Foyan.
"Think the unthinkable. How to think the unthinkable? Be without thoughts, this is the secret of meditation." Dogen Zenji
"This abstaining from all thought whatever is called real thought". -Dazhu Huihai
"When no thought arises in the mind it is called za and to look at one's nature inwardly is called zen. Have your mind be like space and entertain in it no thought of emptiness." - Hui Neng
"Our fundamental substance is the self-mind; how can it be sought in books? Now just cognize the self-mind [chien hsing, kensho] and stop your thinking process, and troubles will come to an end." -Master Baizhang
"Followers of the Way, the Dharma of the Heart-Mind (xin) has no form and pervades the Ten Directions. In the eye, it is called seeing; in the ear, hearing; in the nose, smelling; in the mouth, talking; in the hands, grasping; in the feet, walking. Fundamentally, it is one light; [conceptually] differentiated, it becomes the six senses. When one's whole heart comes to a full stop, one is delivered where one stands." -Master Linji
"Thus, Mahamati, when the Manovijnana is got rid of, the seven Vijnanas are also got rid of. So it is said: I enter not into Nirvana by means of being, of work, of individual signs; I enter into Nirvana when the Vijnana which is caused by discrimination ceases." -The Lankavatara Sutra
"Right now, even as deluded thoughts arise, your awareness of the arising of deluded thoughts is not deluded. This is exactly the Buddha. There is no other. Put a complete stop to the arising of concepts, and you will have a slight chance of sudden awakening to the truth." -Huangbo
"The universal mind is no mind and is completely detached from form. Only study how to avoid seeking for or clinging to anything. If nothing is sought, the mind will remain in its unborn state. If nothing is clung to, the mind will not go through the process of destruction. That which is neither born nor destroyed is the Buddha." Master Hsi Yun
"Put down all entangling conditions, let not one thought arise." -Master Hsu Yun
"When nothing whatsoever is conceptualized, /How could you possibly go astray?/ Annihilate your conceptions. And rest." -Machik Labdrön
"Twenty-four hours a day you think about clothing, think about food, think all sorts of various thoughts, like the flame of a candle burning unceasingly. But just detach from gross mental objects, and whatever subtle ones there are will naturally clear out, and eventually you will come to understand spontaneously; you don’t need to seek. This is called putting conceptualization to rest and forgetting mental objects, not being a partner to the dusts . . . The only essential thing in learning Zen is to forget mental objects and stop rumination." -Master Foyan
"You must clean it all up; when your defiling feelings, conceptual thinking, and comparative judgments of gain and loss and right and wrong are all cleared away at once, then you will spontaneously understand." -Master Yunmen
"Study only how to avoid seeking for or clinging to anything . . . If you would spend all your time – walking, standing, sitting or lying down – learning to halt the concept-forming activities of your own mind, you could be sure of ultimately attaining the goal of Zen." -Huang-Po
"If your mind exists, you are stuck in the mundane for eternity; if your mind does not exist, you experience wondrous enlightenment instantly." -The Blue Cliff Record
"Because the Buddha Mind is unborn, it has no thoughts at all. Thoughts are the source of delusion. When thoughts are gone, delusion vanishes too." -Bankei
Pick up this broom, sweep all the dust from empty space!
After the rooster's frantic cackling, a beautiful clear blue sky.