Monday, September 29, 2008

Singing: empty faked zen

Say one word,
and that is gone.

Don´t say two words,
and you are gone beyond.

You can sit for ten kalpas,
but you will still be in the formless realm.

If you don´t practice real ZEN,
your practice becomes your jail.

All genuine Zen practitioners left behind,
their old contriving practices.

If you want to remain among the dead,
keep sitting like a corpse.

Don´t take anything for granted:
Zen is simple, but not foolish.

If you want to find out what Zen is not,
get into a Zen Institution.

Then you will know if your motivation is true;
Then you will see the shadow of ZEN.

Sitting like rocks, and boiling like water,
zen priests will try to kill your mind.

If you succumb to their death discipline,
you will fall into the pit of pride and envy.

If you think I am wrong, I wish you good luck:
sooner or later you will unveil this truth.

If you doubt about what I am saying,
then just investigate and drop all assumptions.

If you know what I know,
then you are a member of the lineage.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hui Neng: Be honest to yourself

Don´t cling either to success or to failure:
they are just part of the game of samsaric life.

Motivational gurus make their living out of expectations:
they will show you how to climb fast, but not how to fall naturally.

Life goes up and down, and they pretend to turn it into an eternal up:
there is nothing wrong with going up and down; just don´t cling to it.

Faked masters will show you how to pacify your mind:
but they will not show you the nature of mental perturbations.

Zen is not what you think it is;
Zen is not what you think it is not.

As long as you use your conceptual mind to look for Zen,
Zen will keep being unknown to you.

Drop all your ideas about Zen and Zen practice;
Look at the nature of mind, and everything will turn into Zen.

Don´t ever think that you can find Zen in the zen temples;
you will only find wolves eating sheep.

Sitting like a rock won´t turn you into a Zen practitioner;
that will only turn your mind into a rock.

Do not trust the pretended zen experts,
they are just zen egos looking for followers.

They are just like vampires,
trying to suck your vitality.

Wake up from your "zen dream",
you are just where you started.

You have become a ritual Zen addict,
but that is not becoming a zen practitioner.

A faked zen practitioner gets a faked zen master;
a genuine zen practitioner gets a genuine zen master.

Please, be honest to yourself;
and life will be honest to you.

Sit and face your wall;
faked masters just want you to turn back from your wall.

The wall is not what it seems;
Look and you will SEE.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sosan: Hishiryo

Now you think thinking is bad.

Yesterday you thought thinking was good.

Tomorrow you will think no-thinking is good.

Next week you will think no-thinking is bad.

Please, my friend; think without thinking.

Just let your mind relax in its own nature.

Thoughts are just mind´s expressive power.

No-thoughts are just the essence of thoughts.

They are neither good nor bad.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mahakashyapa: Satori

From Mind to Mind,
there has never been a transmission;
Neither there is anybody holding a flower,
nor anybody is smiling at him.
You know that.

Sitting like a dead tree,
you will never see the flower;
Holding without holding,
smiling without smiling,
that is ZAZEN.

Unless you cross the gateless gate,
you will never SEE the truth,
and you will be like a puppet
stumbling on your own mind,
never reaching Satori.

Drop all your convictions,
and SEE what is left;
don´t take anything for granted,
eat your own food,
drink your own water.

Mumon: Mu- Zen

Don´t talk; just let words come out.

Don´t think; just let thoughts pass by.

Don´t do; just let things happen.

If you don´t do anything,
everything will get done.

If you don´t say anything,
silence will turn into words.

If you don´t think,
thoughts will become your servants.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Takuan: Katana and paintbrush

Your mind is the sword of wisdom,
that cuts ignorance dispelling it,
and penetrates the darkness
of your five skandas.

Your mind is the brush of creativity,
that expresses the sound of light,
and draws the lines
of luminous emptiness.

Warriror, fight for your life,
don´t let the demon of laziness
turn your bliss into suffering,
your bravery into cowardice.

Zen is for you,
but only if you dare.
Wake up and fight,
fight your own convictions.

Don´t worry if you are scared;
fear is not bad.
But don´t cling to fear,
just let it flow and cut.

Are you ready, warrior?
I´m waiting for you,
just behind the mirror,
the mirror of your mind.

Are you ready, monk?
Your real face is waiting,
just behind your mask.
No fear, No death.

Gautama: Who am I?

More than 2500 years have passed since Gautama asked himself this same question, and it took him, the future Buddha, a few years to find the answer to this simple but essential question.

Today, all of us, at some point in our lives, put this same question to ourselves, and consciously or unconsciously we find an answer, and that answer affects our whole lives.

Usually, we ask ourselves this essential question more than once during our lifetime, and the answer is different each time, because we go through changes and experience different things during our life.

The problem is that very often, our answer to this crucial question is relatively superficial, and therefore, our perception of the world is very superficial as well.

Gautama did take his time to find the RIGHT answer to this question. He spent many years learning yoga with different masters, and because of his DILIGENCE and INNATE WISDOM,he found out the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS, which are his answer to this question.

He found out that living a confused life is SUFFERING.

He also found out that this SUFFERING has a CAUSE: not knowing who we really are.

He also discovered that this SUFFERING CAN COME TO AN END.

And finally, he showed the way to put an end to suffering: the NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH.

Unless we take seriously this essential question, we won´t find the right answer and our mind will keep turning around the axle of IGNORANCE, in the wheel of confused life.

The Zen method starts aknowledging that the most important thing you can do with your life is to find the RIGHT ANSWER to this question, and the first step is to DOUBT about the validity of ALL your present CONVICTIONS, or FIXED BELIEVES. Usually, our convictions CONVICT us.

This first step is the KEY SUCCESS FACTOR of the whole ZEN process.

All this convictions are ONLY ASSUMPTIONS we make in order to diminish our anxiety and create a safe view of the world, but they are not CERTAINTIES. In ZEN we look for CERTAINTIES, not convictions or assumptions. We don´t care if it takes a short or a long time to find the RIGHT answer. We don´t copy other people´s answers, not even the Four Noble Truths. Gautama found out CERTAINTIES, but if we take his certainties and BELIEVE in them, that will not help us: we will only replace our CONVICTIONS with another set of convictions.

So, please, if you want to practice true Zen, don´t BELIEVE: just FIND OUT for yourself the RIGHT ANSWER, which is ALWAYS A CERTAINTY, your certainty.

You can say: but in the past I already did that, and later on I found out that I was not right, that my answer was not the right answer.

And I will tell you: No, my friend, you didn´t do that. Your level of INSIGHT was not deep enough, because you did not generate the GREAT DOUBT, and consequently, your answer was just another BELIEF or CONVICTION, based on your own past experiences, prejudices and expectations, but not a CERTAINTY resulting from SEEING.

The difference between a FANATIC and a WISE man is that the fanatic has only CONVICTIONS, and in order to protect himself of anxiety does not listen to others and tries to CONVERT everybody to his DOGMAS in order to protect his illusory world. On the other hand, the wise man has CERTAINTIES, and he tries to help everybody, BUT DOES NOT WANT TO CONVERT anybody, and is not scared to be among people who hold different opinions.

Zen is not for the parrot-like people, or for the cowards, but for the ones willing to face his WALL, with all the selfish habits that usually contrive them into the world of suffering.

Zen is not for the "saints", "respectful pretenders" and "dummies", but for the warriors, willing to face his own ignorance and vices and find out who they really are.

This is not a path for everybody. It is not the only path, or the best path, but if you REALLY get into it, and practice it CORRECTLY, it will lead you to wake up the PATRIARCH within yourself, to SEE your real face.

So, my friend, WHO ARE YOU?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mahakashyapa: Zen versus faked zen

When the genuine masters are gone, then the bluffers and deceivers show up.

It was a long time ago when the deceivers put their hands on zen, and started a new faked line that takes its practitioners to a dead end, a cul-de-sac.

One of the most famous of this deceivers is Mr. Dogen, alias Devadatta.

Unfortunately, the Japanese Zen Institution, like all corrupted institutions, regards this deceiver as a master, and this is the reason why there is only corruption and degeneration in the Japanese Zen, and in all the off-shoots of the Soto Zen worldwide.

This astute deceiver started a new lineage of faked zen, pretending to be a genuine master and successor of the old Zen Patriarchs.

He was a very smart fanatic, that never saw the Nature of Mind, but through his charisma and cunningness, managed to steal the name ZEN and give it a complete new significance, in total opposition with the original and genuine ZEN LINEAGE.

He is the one that Hui Neng prophesied that would come to steal his head, meaning that he would try to divert Zen from its Genuine Lineage.

And apparently he succeeded at it, but only apparently, because the time has come to put things in its appropriate place.

It is very ususal that pretenders try to usurp what they envy. In this particular case, Mr. Dogen and more recently Mr. Deshimaru in the west, have tried their best to establish their wrong and deceitful method of "only zazen" as the real and genuine ZEN, but unfortunately for them and the ones like them, in the long run, all the masks fall down, and the genuine practitioners can see their real cunning purposes.

This is the destiny of degenerated faked masters: to go deeper into their own hell, the hell they themselves have created through their ignorance.

All the lies and "half truths" they have been telling, will be unveiled in our days, and their degenerated zen will come to an end.

So the honest and true practitioners, will be able quit this flawed system, and practice accordingly with the Lineage of the ZEN Patriarchs.

This is the Beginning of the end of FAKED ZEN.

Dogen: No-Zen of a Fanatic

You could not teach,
what you never learned.

You deceived yourself and others,
pretending to know the unknowable.

The time has come,
to unmask your ugly face.

When the recipient is filthy,
the nectar turns sour.

You have not been sitting;
you have just been sleeping.

You are the thief,
who tried to steal my head.

I knew you would come,
and try to take what is not yours.

Now is the time,
to reap your bitter fruit.

Zen will prevail,
and you will abide by it.

Demon of Fanaticism and Envy,
go back to your dark dungeon.

From now on,
you will have no legs.

You will bite,
whoever I tell you.

That is your salary,
that is your destiny.

Now the time has come,
to utter your real name: Devadatta.

Stay well Cerberus,
and just DO YOUR JOB.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fudo Myo: The Blog Ego or BLEGO.

A new manifestation of EGO that all bloggers, old and new, have to face, is the BLEGO, or Blog EGO.

BLEGO comes out as a result of our identification with our blog or blogs.

As all kinds of EGO, BLEGO is a source of suffering: maybe we don´t get any traffic into our blog, or maybe there is traffic but just a few comments, or maybe many comments but many of them do not agree with our opinions, or maybe we only get one time visitors and they never return, or...

If we think erroneously that our blog has a permanent self nature, and we identify ourselves with it, then that will only bring SUFFERING. Maybe we will experience a high when our BLEGO expectations are accomplished, and we become "successful" bloggers, but in the long run that will turn into suffering, because whenever there is any kind of identification with an external object, suffering is the fruit that we will reap, just because the law of IMPERMANENCE will prevail and the blog will inevitably decay, bringing with it anxiety and suffering.

Zen blogging is MUSHOTOKU, which means there are no goals and no expectations. We just try to be useful to other people, without expecting anything in return.

If we really SEE that the blog, the blogger and blogging are EMPTY of any permanent self nature, then there will be no BLEGO, and consequently, no suffering.

If we really SEE that the blog, the blogger and blogging are LUMINOUS EMPTINESS, then blogging will become a ZEN activity: we will be FUDOSHIN.

This virtual cave can be really useful to us, if we know HOW to LOOK at the wall.

Blogging can become a ZEN activity, and the screen in front of us, a reflection of our wall of ignorance.

We must FIND and IDENTIFY the BLEGO, observe how it works, and CUT our identification with it.

This is the greatness of ZEN: it adapts to the time and circumstances: HERE and NOW.

Marpa asked to Hui Neng: So my dear friend; what is Buddha?

And Hui Neng replied: the SCREEN in front of you is buddha.

Sosan: Turning blogging into Zen

Blogging will become one of the western Zen activities, like calligraphy in Japan.

You can become a Blog-addict or a Zen-blogger.

You can turn blogging into a mundane activity, or into Zen.

It only depends on how you practice it.

Following these 10 simple rules, you can turn your blogging
activity into Zen practice:

1) Let BODHICHITA be your motivation.

2) Be MUSHOTOKU: Let the blog flow naturally.

3) Don´t be concerned about blog traffic: It is a matter
of QUALITY, not of quantity.

4) Be HONEST: Post what you FEEL, not what you
think is better for your image.

5) Let SPONTANEITY be present: Don´t moderate comments.

6) Show your FACE: don´t hide.

7) THANK ALL your visitors: You have a connection with them.

8) Keep a LEARNING ATTITUDE: You can always learn
from your interactions with others.

9) See the blog as EMPTY: it has not a permanent self-nature.

10) See the blog as LUMINOUS: it is a manifestation of your own
mind, and not separate from it.

If you follow this simple rules, blogging will take a new dimension for
you: the ZEN dimension.

Enjoy it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zen 10 Ox-herding pictures: 4- Turning Back

Traditional Poem:

A long time has passed before the buffalo turns back,
it´s reckless temper has gradually grown gentle.
Not trusting the buffalo completely to itself,
the boy has not yet unfastened the rope.

My words:

Tie your mind to the tree of compassion;
that will calm down the buffalo.
But keep the rope of concentration,
and the whip of diligence, just in case.

At this stage, our SATORI has grown up,
and our mind is tied up to Bodhichitta.

We are concerned with our development
for the sake of sentient beings.

We have realized that it is not possible to
reach enlightenment being selfish.

It is at this point when we have a direct experience
of the emptiness of self.

From now on, we know that the bull and us are
one and the same.
But we must be careful, because we can fall down
the cliff of nihilism, and that is why
we need to establish ourselves in Bodhichitta.

There is still a long way to go, but from
now on things will be easier.

Our insight is growing, as well as our compassion.

Zen Mind: flowing

You can deceive yourself,
thinking that you are a Zen practitioner,
but unless you find a genuine master,
who mirrors your own limitations,
you will never face your wall.

A zen practitioner is not a standardized product;
He is a unique mind, with his own knots to untie.
He does not cling to dead zazen,
but makes his ordinary life zazen.

If you reach the fifth ox,
then you will know who is who.
No more deceiving or deceivers: just Ordinary Mind.

You can rationalize anything you want,
but that does not make a lie to become truth.

Whose shadow are you defending, my friend: Yours or theirs?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

VIMALAKIRTI: Degenerated faked masters

Once upon a time, there was a genuine master, who travelled from India to China. He was known as Bodhidharma.
He was destined to introduce Zen to another large country, in order to benefit sentient beings, and help them out of confusion.

The buddhist establishment did not like him and his way of practicing very much, because what he was saying was that temples and hierarchies darked what Buda taught, many years ago. He was "formally" incorrect, and had to pay the price for that.

Zen has always been a way to go beyond what is formally correct; Zen is not concerned about "good" or "bad" reputation.

Zen is seeing the nature of your own mind and stay in that. Very simple.

But after the genuine masters are gone, then come the zen preachers, the zen experts, the zen authorities..., who talk a lot about ZEN but know NOTHING about the nature of mind. These are the ones who NEED RITUALS, DISCIPLINE, DIPLOMAS,... just because they miss the only important thing: KNOWING THEIR OWN MIND. It is not that all these accessories are useless, but the fanatic ignorants put them on an altar, as if they were supreme, when the truth is that they are relative and dependent on each practitioner. Maybe they are useful for me today, but not next year.

These fanatic preachers CLING to these accessories just because they are "experts" on these rituals and know them by heart, and this confers them "authority" over the "profane", the ones who do not know them. So they defend something relative as if it was absolute. That is so because of their hunger for "power" and "recognition", and that is why they always use hierarchy and ritual to rule over other miserable egos like them. Miserable in the sense that they only look for "power" and "control" over other egos. They are called Asuras or demi-gods, that is, relatively powerful egos. This is what happens EVERYWHERE, in all INSTITUTIONS, in the east or in the west, buddhist and non-buddhist; they end up controlled by Asuras, when the genuine masters are gone.

They create a whole fictitious conceptual world, where they contrive the mind of the poor practitioners who enter their dark world, looking for ZEN, enaslaving them in the net of "recognition", "tradition", "respectability", "ritual"... and usually, either they quit, or they become asuras themselves, struggling for "power" and "recognition". This is why all institutions DEGENERATE into caves of asuras, preaching a doctrine that they don´t put into practice, and establishing DOGMA and RITUAL to control the mind of the followers. This is what present day "zen" has become: DEGENERATED zen, a dark shadow of ZEN.

Whenever you see somebody hiding behind titles like "holiness", "eminence", "excelence", what you usually find behind is EGO and not genunine masters.

One of the last examples of this sort of faked ZEN is Mr. T.Deshimaru.
He was a fanatic who knew nothing about living ZEN. He could only teach you how to sit and become a poor devil like himself. He was the kind of dark practitioner who in times of Hui Neng tried to kill him, and now, he pretended to be a Zen master, when in fact, he was a cheap imitation, and he knew that, so he was a deceiver too.

I used Mr. "Ashura" Deshimaru as an example of this DEGENERATED FAKED MASTERS, but just because he is well known in the west, but in Japan there are plenty of his sort, and they are the ones who pretend to keep the tradition, when in fact they never have been part of the ZEN LIVING LINEAGE, just because they never saw the NATURE OF THEIR OWN MIND.

Times change, apparently, but the stubborn mind of these kind of fanatics, remains the same.
They will always hide themselves behind RITUAL, DOGMA, AUTHORITARIANISM and TRADITION.

Zen is alive, and does not need the archaic forms and rituals of a distant time and a foreign land.
Zen always flourishes and adapts its form to the environment and the culture that serves as a basis for its sprouting.

Zen IS NOT what people like Mr. Deshimaru and the like "practice" and "teach". They are slaves of "form": rituals, methods, and traditions. In fact, Zen, like Dzogchen, Mahamudra... always has a shadow in this samsaric world, and a serious practitioner has to face this "wall" or tomb, and penetrate it to reach the LIVING ZEN.

Zen in the west will take a different form than the one that it took in the east, that is for sure. It will sprout from the genuine masters, and not from the bluffers. The western bluffers will come later, when the genuine masters will be gone. This is the law of life.

Zen transmission only requires a genuine master holding the flower of awakened mind, and a genuine practitioner ready to SEE the NATURE OF HIS OWN MIND.

That´s ZEN.

Dead ZEN

Once the genuine masters are gone,
come the bluffers and pretenders.

Creating rituals and hierarchy,
they pretend to cage the ZEN mind.

Then comes discipline,
so nobody dares to unmask them.

Then they speak of the lineage,
the lineage they never knew.

What a bunch of poor devils,
faking and deceiving all.

You have no shame,
but you won´t get out of the wheel.

You are the dead shadow of ZEN,
satisfying only the fool.

You are the plastic meat,
killing the taste and confusing the mind.

Living ZEN,

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Musashi: ZEN and Sword

If you say the right word,
your karma will vanish.

If you say the wrong word,
my sword will cut your ego.

Cutting from emptiness,
giving life from luminosity.

You can not escape my cut:
mushotoku cut.

Nobody can defeat me:
there is nobody to be defeated .

I preach awakening and peace,
that´s why I wear two swords.

I could turn into a monk,
but this would not be appropriate

No fear.
Only luminous emptiness.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Koan: Dropping Zen

Drop all your convictions,my friend, and tell me:

¿What is left?

ZAZEN: Looking for the Master

Are you looking for someone to follow to, or for someone who will help you to learn?

Do you want someone to adulate you, or someone who shows you your own flaws and how to get rid of them?

Are you looking for a "certified" master, or for someone who knows his own mind?

Are you ready to face your dark side, or do you fear facing the wall?

Are you looking for a living encyclopedia, or for a living mind?

Are you looking for a "pollitically correct" teacher, or for a true master?

Are you looking for someone who will teach you the "ritual Zen", or for Zen?

Depending on what you are looking for, you will find one thing or the other.

So, make sure you are looking for the right thing.