You are a man of patterns

You are a man of mind. You are a man of reactions. You are a man of patterns. Who wants to talk to such a man?

An ordinary man in the name of learning from failures, Just tries to react differently. The second time a similar situation arises. And this he labels as learning from failure.

Zen is your essential core that reacts not, that it’s his own master. Has it’s own way of living.

Two or three years are needed so that all the pre-existing answers get clear. Not that the new answer is needed but the old answer need to go.



Read the complete article: Acharya Prashant on Zen: Have you any God?


 

Acharya Prashant on Zen: Have you any God?

Acharya Prashant: Joshu went to Hermit and asked, “What’s up? What’s up?” The Hermit lifted up his fist and Joshu said, “Water is too shallow to enter here and went away”. Joshu visited the Hermit once again, a few days later and said, “What’s up? What’s up?” The Hermit raised his fist again then Joshu said, “Well given, well taken, well killed, well saved” and he bowed to the Hermit.

A few things Right-living, Wisdom, Spirituality, Zen are all about a non-reactionary way of living. A non-reactionary way of living. So, Joshu asks the hermit, “What’s up?” He isn’t parlance as indicated. It means, “Have you any Zen?” Now, Zen is not an object. Zen is not a part of ‘duality.’ The answer to the question that asks, Have you any Zen, can neither be ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ as such. When Hermit raises his fist. It is inferior to remain in silent. It comes across as a reaction to Joshu’s question.

The situation become such that Joshu’s question becomes actually a provocations, a stimulus to which the Hermit reacts this is not really the way of Zen. The question demanded no answer. The question demanded rather the stillness of Zen or the silence of Zen. The question, “Have you any Zen?” is aching to the questions — “Are you God? Is the universe same as or different from it’s source? Are you in God or God is in you? Have you any Zen? Have you any God? Have you the Truth? Have you Love?” All these are questions in the same dimensions. To such questions ordinary answers don’t suffice.

So, upon seeing the response of the Hermit, upon seeing the raised fist of Hermit. Joshu says, “The water is to shallow to enter here.” Zen is still an intellectual thing for you, ‘shallow.’ It is not yet reached your depth. Zen has not yet reached your depth. It has still not yet penetrated your heart. No point talking to you.

You are a man of mind.

You are a man of reactions.

You are a man of patterns.

Who wants to talk to such a man?

Joshu walks away. Who wants to talk to a monk? For whom, Zen is a matter of questions and answers. Then comes another day, Joshu goes to the same Hermit and asks the same questions.

Now, see what happens. The first time the Hermit has had an experience. The experience say that when somebody asks you about Zen and you respond by raising your fist, you get an insulting answer and the questioner walks away. That is what the experience of Hermit has been, right?

In one situation, the Hermit has given one particular answer and that answer has ostensibly not sufficed. The questioner has walked away dissatisfied. Not only has he walks away dissatisfied. He has blatantly on the face of the Hermit said, “The water is to shallow here.” Now, what would an ordinary man do then when faced with the similar situation again?

Continue reading

Do you have the Buddha nature?

Do you have the Buddha nature? Moo. Neither “Yes” nor “No”. If you say, “Yes”, then you mean that you, as you are, you as you think you are, have a Buddha nature. No, no way! The way we have built ourselves up, the way we have conceptualized ourselves, there is no possibility of Buddha nature. There is only the force of habit, conditioning, biology and evolution. All of them are ‘something’, none of them is ‘nothing’. All of them are space-time, none of them are beyond the mind.

So, saying “Yes”, would not be proper. When asked, “Do you have Buddha nature?” Saying, “Yes” would not be proper. This question is the same as you say, “Are you Brahm? Are you Atman?” Saying “Yes” would not be proper! Asking, “Do you have Buddha nature?” is the same as asking, “Are you the Atman?” Saying, “Yes”, would not be proper. Saying, “No” would also not be proper. If you don’t have Buddha nature, if you are not the Atman then you must be something other than the Atman? Which means something other than the Atman exist? Which means there is multiplicity of Truths?

Because, the Atman, the Buddha nature is the sole Truth. By saying that you exist and are yet not the Atman, you are saying, something besides the Atman exists. And thereby you are raising parallel rods! Parallel Truths. And if truths are parallel, they are just false.

The Truth, by definition, is the one that has no end, no substitute, no parallel. So, neither can you say, “Yes, nor can you say, “No”, all you can say is, “Moo”. This moo is such a beautiful word, language does not normally have it. But spirituality stretches language. It forces language to do things which language normally cannot do. That’s what saints do, that’s what seers do, that’s what Zen does – Moo is a classical example.



Read the complete article: The only right answer to all real questions

The only right answer to all real questions

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A monk asked Joshu, “Has the dog Buddha nature?”

Joshu replied, “Moo”

Acharya Prashant: Moo stands for nothing. Everything about the dog and the Buddha is different. As long as you compare a thing about the dog and the Buddha, you’ll only find differences. As long as the dog is something or anything, as long as the Buddha is seen as something or anything, all you will see is differences. The dog and the Buddha are alike only in their nothingness. Has dog the Buddha nature? Yes, of course! The dog is Buddha when the dog is nothing. Continue reading

The false will drop

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Whenever anyone asked him about Zen,

the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air.

A boy in the village began to imitate this behaviour.

Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei’s teachings,

he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger.

Gutei heard about boy’s mischief.

When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger.

The boy cried and began to run off,

but Gutei called out to him.

When the boy turned to look,

Gutei raised his finger into the air.

At that moment the boy became enlightened.

Acharya Prashant: Very fond of saying cute things when asked questions about Zen. Raising his finger and stuff. What does the master do? He cuts off the raised finger. And he screams and runs away, the master calls him back and when he comes back, what does the master do?

Listeners (in unison): Raise his finger in air.

AP: And in that instant, the boy is immediately…?

Listeners (in unison): Enlightened.

AP: What’s this about?

A couple of things first: Gurus, monks, teachers, have been conventionally known to be very compassionate people. So it shocks us a little that a teacher cuts off a boy’s finger. Right? The anecdote just illustrates that for the teacher, it is not your body that counts. The teacher would not be shaken even a little if you tell him that you are tired or that there is pain in your stomach. The teacher will say, “So what? Your body doesn’t matter, come over! Its about something far bigger than the body.”

Even if you have to compromise on your health, still come over. The teacher will not allow you to escape! For the teacher, cutting off the boy’s finger was a very obvious thing, if cutting off the finger would lead to the boy gaining some wisdom. The teacher says, “Its such a beautiful deed. It is not at all bad for the boy if he can give a finger, sacrifice a finger and be wise in return. It’s okay.” And it’s not only about a finger, even giving your right hand, is no big deal. Even laying down your life, is no big deal because what you are getting is much-much bigger than life, it is immortality. Your finger is just a token payment, it’s not even a full payment.

“Alright, give me your finger.”

“Fine.”

That is one thing about the Koan. The second thing, what does the master mean by raising ‘his’ finger? What does the master mean by raising his own finger?

Listeners (in unison): That there is only one reality.

AP: And that One is personified in the form of the Guru, the teacher. If the student tries to emulate that One, he is trying to create an alternate, a duplicate Truth. And that is sacrilege. That cannot be tolerated. After he comes back to Guru, he says, “Listen, if the finger were to be raised, if the finger were to indicate One, that finger has to be a single finger belonging to the Teacher. By cutting off your finger, I am only cutting off the false finger. I am only cutting off that which was trying to compete with the Truth. By raising this finger, I am telling you that only the Truth prevails. That which is false, gets cut off.”

And surely, the student is a deserving student. He immediately gets, in an instant, without thinking, without interpreting, he immediately gets the import of what the teacher is saying. And that’s what is meant by saying that he gets immediately enlightened. Hmm?

The raised finger of the Guru is the one Truth, the one Truth that bears no comparison, no second, no alternative.Yes?



 -Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Zen: The false will drop



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If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma.

Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen, you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.”

Not pushing things, not blocking things. Letting existence flow. Neither am I trying to make things happen, nor am I trying to stop things from happening. There is a particular symphony, a particular arrangement, a universal order, it will take its own course.
Gita is talking of effortless action. Action is happening, there is no one who is making a mental effort. That’s the message of Krishna.
If you are the one who is doing the Karma, you would always be the one who would worry about the results of Karma. Freedom from the results of Karma is possible only when you do not become the Karta(doer), only when you know that this is happening through me, not by me.
Krishna is saying, “Let the game play you, you don’t play the game. Let the game play you, the game very well knows how to play you.” There is a universal order, the game knows how to play you. If the game could give birth to you, if the game could give sunlight and fresh air to you, if the game could make you breathe and digest and grow, then the game surely knows how to play you, you don’t need to worry and be tensed, you don’t need to think about the future.
Be absorbed within, stay centered and let the happening happen.
The simpler word is let it. Let it, don’t block it, don’t push it, you get out of your way, that’s​ how Zen puts it. Get out of your own way, you will flow, life will flow, you are the one who is blocking the flow. Get out of your own way and that is what Krishna is also saying the same thing that Zen says.

Let action happen, you don’t become the actor

 

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Question: Sir, it is written in Bhagwad Gita and is often quoted by wise “Karam kro, fal ki chinta mat karo” (Act and don’t think about the result.), so my question is that in this contemporary world, is it really possible for any one of us to do our jobs without expecting any result?

Acharya Prashant: So, first of all what you have quoted is not at all correct. Anyone who says that Krishna, what’s your name?

Listener: Mayank.

AP: Mayank, sit. Anyone who says that Krishna has said that, act and don’t think of the results, don’t worry about the results, does not understand Krishna. Krishna is not saying Karm karo (Do the action). He is not at all saying, ‘act’. He is saying, “let action happen”. He is saying, “Let action happen, Karm hone do tum karta mat bano. Let action happen you don’t become the doer, let the doing take place.” Continue reading