“You have seen that the universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game, and that there is no separate ‘you’ to get something out of it, as if life were a bank to be robbed. The only real ‘you’ is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For ‘you’ is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new.” ~Alan Watts
“There is a Zen poem that talks about ‘IT,’ meaning the mystical experience, satori, the realization that you are, as Jesus was, the eternal energy of the universe. The poem says, ‘You cannot catch hold of it, nor can you get rid of it. In not being able to get it, you get it. When you speak, it is silent. When you are silent, it speaks.’
This phrase—not being able to get it, you get it—is the feeling Krishnamurti tries to convey to people when he says, ‘Why do you ask for a method? There is no method. All methods are simply gimmicks for strengthening your ego.’ How do we not ask for a method? He answers, ‘In asking that, you are still asking for a method.’
There is no method. If you really understand what your ‘I’ is, you will see there is no method. We think this is so sad, but it is not. This is the gospel, the good news, because if you cannot achieve it, if you cannot transform yourself, that means that, the main obstacle to mystical vision has collapsed. That obstacle was you.
What happens next? By now you are at your wit’s end, but what are you going to do—commit suicide? Suppose you just put that off for a little while, and wait and see what happens.
You cannot control your thoughts, and you cannot control your feelings, because there is no controller. You are your thoughts and your feelings, and they are running along, running along, running along.
Just sit and watch them. There they go. You are still breathing, aren’t you? Still growing your hair; still seeing and hearing. Are YOU doing that? Is breathing something that YOU do? Do you see? Do you organize the operations of your eyes, and know exactly how to work those rods and cones in the retina? Do you do that?
It happens, and it is a happening. Your breathing is happening. Your thinking is happening. Your feeling is happening. Your hearing, your seeing, the clouds are happening across the sky. The sky is happening blue; the sun is happening shining. There it is: all this happening.
May I introduce you? This is yourself. This is a vision of who you really are, and the way you really function. You function by happening, that is to say, by spontaneous occurrence.
This is not a state of affairs that you should realize. I cannot possibly preach about it to you, because the minute you start thinking, ‘I should understand that,’ the stupid notion that ‘I’ should bring it about arises again, when there is no ‘you’ to bring it about. That is why I am not preaching. You can only preach to egos. All I can do is talk about what is.
Once you have seen this you can return to the world of practical affairs with a new spirit. You have seen that the universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game, and that there is no separate ‘you’ to get something out of it, as if life were a bank to be robbed.
The only real ‘you’ is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For ‘you’ is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new.
You do not ask what is the value, or what is the use, of this feeling. Of what use is the universe? What is the practical application of a million galaxies?”
Painting by John Reily
“In the second stage [of Zen practice] you begin to enter the stage of meditation. When you practice the method of cultivation taught by your teacher, you will enlarge the sphere of the outlook of the small “I” until it coincides with time and space. The small “I” merges into the entire universe, forming a unity. When you look inward, the depth is limitless; when you look outward, the breadth is limitless. Since you have joined and become one with universe, the world of your own body and mind no longer exists. What exists is the universe, which is infinite in depth and breadth. You yourself are not only a part of the universe, but also the totality of it.” ~Chan Master Sheng Yen
“Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.” ~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Just remaining continuously in a bright sense of presence without grasping at anything will bring us a sense of inexpressible bliss. We still continue to see all of the mountains, lakes, trees, houses, people, and so on , that exist in the world, but we will not be distracted by anything that we see or hear. We remain in a sense of presence . . . that is bright and clear, just like a mirror that reflects all of these same things in the world, but is not affected or changed by what it reflects. We become like that mirror. All of them are merely reflections and they make no changes or modifications to our Natural State.” ~ Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche
“In this perspective, consciousness might be considered the relative nature of mind, since it is transitory and dependent on conditions, whereas awareness would be regarded as a reflection of the absolute nature of mind, since it is the unchanging background. Whatever is subject to change has no enduring reality. Since consciousness is always moving, it cannot comprehend the motionless, so it falls into silence. Just so, by dis-engaging from identification with the stream of thought objects, a space is created for awareness to shine forth unobstructed. This is the purpose of meditation, releasing attention from the passing neural parade by being aware of being aware. In this way, attention can penetrate the surface layers where it typically resides and fall back into its source – the silent and aware, transparent and spacious essence of mind’s true nature.” ~Bob O’Hearn, Consciousness & Awareness