Nov 26 2023 - The Self

The Buddha Way seems to basically be this: abandon yourself completely in order to find yourself. Finding yourself means coming home to what you already are, abandoning yourself means cutting off bad habits of distraction and complacency and throwing yourself into the stream of life.

Young pilgrim, to find the awakening you seek, turn your gaze inward now toward the landscape of mind.

Young pilgrim, shed the distractions that define you and lay yourself bare.

-Avatamasaka Sutra, Gandavyuha Book

If you think that by abandoning yourself you will arrive at some wonderful Buddha realm other than this one, you’re in big trouble. You must understand that what you’re aiming at is nothing other than you. If your aim is off by even one degree, you’re in big trouble. Monks have spent many eons wandering around this barren landscape, looking for that which doesn’t exist outside of their own being.

Worldly people have built vast fortunes, athletes have perfected their form, bhikshus have perfected their mind, for what? If your idea is that you’ll obtain anything other than yourself you are like an ox wandering over a cliff. Instead of searching for what is fleeting, why not become what is eternally Real? If you give up this search you are like an ox starving in the valley below this cliff. When you understand that climbing the slope is you, each step is you, a joyful expression of true nature, you’re like a mountain goat expressing itself completely. If the goat stops doesn’t graze, he starves, if he doesn’t drink water he dies.

If your goal is to be free of distractions, you’re in big trouble. Knowing that distractions arise only from mind, are met with mind, is enlightenment. This is the doorway to the total freedom to be exactly yourself and nothing else. There is a pathway of bright light running straight through the heart of every being, extending from the Earth up into the sky. It is always communicating the Way through the gentle yearnings of the heart, but to listen your body must be very quiet, and to act you must empty yourself completely.

When you seek with a pure and innocent heart you will always find.