Monthly Archives: April 2010

Block Head

Sato-Kaiseki was verymuch dis turbed by the implications of Copernicus’ heliocentric theory, which, of course, was inconsistent with the old Buddhist cosmology in
which Mount Sumeru occupies the center of the universe.
He reasoned that if the Buddhist view of the cosmos were proved false, the
triple world, and the twenty-five forms of existence would be reduced to
nonsense – resulting in the negation of Buddhism itself. So he
immediately set about writing a book in defense of the Mount Sumeru
position, sparing himself no effort.

When he had finished the work he took it at once to Master Ekido and presented it triumphantly.

After leafing through the first few pages the master thrust it back shaking
his head and saying, “How stupid!” Don’t you realize that the aim of
Buddhism is to shatter the triple world and the twenty-five forms of
existence ? Why stick to such utterly worthless things and treasure
mount Sumeru ?  BLOCKHEAD !”

Dumfounded, Kaiseki shoved the book under his arm and quickly went home.

—–


Buddhism distinguishes itself from most other religion in that it’s entire path is the abandoning of the path itself.

Nothing sacred, nothing to hold in awe, nothing to be proud of, nothing to hold
in high regard and nothing to defend. To many this may seem sacrilegious and some may even take offence at what I had said. Any desire, even the desire to do good or to gain liberation will hide the light within. Clarity can only come from abandonment and not from acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge gives us a false sense of clarity and understanding and the burden of knowledge grows by the years.

How can we begin on the path of abandonment ?  The key lies in insight meditation. MN 109 (Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night Discourse ) gives a very good guide as to the fruits of insight meditation.

MN109

In order for liberation to be gained our consciousness should stop engaging with the form aggregate and mental objects that arise from mental factors (yellow arrow). Consciousness modulating sense inputs give rise to contact(phassa) that become the source of all of our angst.

 

MN109 suffering delusion

   There is another consciousness that is outside the realm of the 5 aggregate (skandha) that is often described as “consciousness without limit” or Consciousness without surface (viññanam anidassanam). The imagery outlined in  SN
12.64
:
described this “consciousness without limit” very well .

“Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east.
When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?”

“On the western wall, lord.”

“And if there is no western wall, where does it land?”

“On the ground, lord.”

“And if there is no ground, where does it land?”

“On the water, lord.”

“And if there is no water, where does it land?”

“It does not land, lord.”

“In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food … contact … intellectual intention ..
consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow. Where consciousness
does not land or grow, name and form does not alight. Where name and form does not alight, there is no growth of
fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is
no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow,
affliction, or despair.”

Notice also that even intention – both good and bad are not included within this “consciousness without limit”. The whole silly notion that we can take and do any manner of actions that are even harmful is alright as long as we have good intentions is farcical. All such good intentions will give rise to all manner of fabrications that will create unnecessary bad karma for all involved.

In our ignorance, harm is inevitable. In enlightenment, virtue is natural.

The “consciousness without limit” can only become apparent when we have developed the capacity to stop engaging all manner of our delusions. This will be covered in the upcoming post on “Letting go” .