Non-Thought


[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Buddha's Village Forum ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Master Sheng-yen Lu's Teaching (203.106.151.10) on November 01, 2000 at 00:05:15:

The True Buddha Sutra says,

"Non-thought is the Buddhist treasure for the right enlightenment".

Why?

The Main Points of the Transmission of the Mind Dharma says,

"With no thought arising, the eighteen realms will become empty, one will
get the bright fruit of enlightenment, and his mind will attain mysterious
wisdom, which is also called transcendental stage. With a single thought
arising the realms will appear again. Without any thought the deluded
mind on the realms will disappear by itself with no trace left".

On the Main Points of Sudden Enlightenment and Entering the Way says,

"What are the origin, principle, realization and application of the gate of
sudden enlightenment? They are respectively non-thought, no arising of
deluded mind, purification and wisdom. As you said non-thought without
speech is the origin, what kind of thought does a man with non-thought
have? The man with non-thought does not have evil thought, but not
without right thought. What is evil thought and what is right thought? The
thought about existence and non-existence is evil thought and the thought
on neither existence nor non-existence is right thought. The thought about
good and evil is evil thought and the thought about neither good nor evil
is right thought. The thought about pain, pleasure, birth, extinction,
taking, giving, complaint, intimacy, hatred or love is evil thought, while
the thought on none of them is right thought. Then, to think about what is
the right thought? The right thought refers only to the thought about
Bodhi. Is the

Bodhi accessible? It is not accessible. Since the Bodhi is not accessible,
why should one think about it? The Bodhi is nothing but a name, which is
actually not accessible and which has not been obtained in the past nor
will be in the future. Just because it is not accessible, there is non-thought,
which is in fact the true thought".

The above two paragraphs taken from sutras are simple in words but
profound in meaning. Now it is clear that non-thought is the Buddhist
treasure for the right enlightenment.

The True Buddha School is a school of non-thought.

The True Buddha School is a school of true thought.

I emphasize,

"Non-thought is the origin, no arising of unhealthy thought is the
principle, purification is the realization, and wisdom is the application".

* * *


Somebody questioned me,

Isn't a man with non-thought like a stone?

Is a stone a Buddha?

Is non-thought absolute emptiness?

I answered,

The human being has spirit,

While a stone does not.

They should not be mentioned in the same breath.

The non-thought of a human being should not be confused with the
absence of thought of a stone.

A detailed explanation is given as follows,

When a practitioner gets to the state of non-thought, the consciousness
flow of the Dharma of the Universe will sprinkle over his whole body and
he will become the truth, a Buddha, great brightness, purification with
great perfection....

Those are all supernatural realms, which are beyond the description in
words.

It may well be asked,

Can a stone do that?

Here is yet another explanation,

If a stone had a spirit and could enter the state of non-thought, I tell the
readers with great honesty that it could also become a Buddha.

To the doubt that non-thought is absolute emptiness,

I answer,

Non-thought is right thought. The man with non-thought does not have
evil thought, but not without right thought and he thinks about nothing
but the Bodhi. How can it be absolute emptiness?

I tell the readers with great honesty,

When I, Living Buddha Liansheng, Sheng-yen Lu, entered into the actual
state of non-thought, the "air (Energy) flow", "light flow" and "bright
point flow (Light drops-Bindu)" from the whole body gathered at the
central point between the eyebrows. At once my body became Bodhi and
my mind became a shrine.

The Zen School and Esoteric Buddhism meet at this point.

* * *


It is well known that one of the three Dharma mudras is the mudra of
egolessness. Buddhas talk about the principle of egolessness, which is just
the mudra of egolessness to enlighten sentient beings who believe that
there is an everlasting ego and who are fooled by the false appearance of
the body and therefore engage in all kinds of evil karma. The mudra of
egolessness should not be ignored, since it is the touchstone of truth and
heresy.

In my opinion,

Egolessness concerns the body.

Non-thought concerns the mind.

Only when there is non-thought, will there be egolessness.

* * *


Now we come to impermanence. Dharmas have no independent nature of
their own, so they are impermanent; they come into existence due to
karmic relationships.

Tathagata is no real existence as separate entity.(Doesn't come and
doesn't go). So there is impermanence.

It is the greatest purity that fills up the void.

In my opinion,

Non-thought belongs to the mind.

Impermanence belongs to the body.

In my understanding, the Dharma is nothing but non-thought.

When the Dharma is carried to the extremely profound point, it is
completely beyond the description of words. It can be said to be a book
from heaven without words , to understand which, the word nothingness is
the only key.

And there is only one way to become Buddhas.

The Lotus Sutra reads, "In the Buddhist lands in the ten directions, there is
only the method of one vehicle, the method of Buddhas. There is no a
second or a third method" unless for convenience sake.

The Zen School advocates,

"To study Buddhism one should understand the Root Guru completely and
to get the wonderful enlightenment one should come to the end of the
mind-road, which leads to Buddhahood. Without those, spirits will be sure
to attach to the cultivator. How to understand the Root Guru completely?
The word "nothing" is the only key, which is also the key to the Zen
School, which is thus said to be without key".

I tell the readers,

The key to the Zen School is the word "nothing".

Esoteric (Vajrayana) Buddhism stresses "emptiness".

The two schools meet at this point.

* * *


The enlightenment I (Living Buddha Liansheng, Sheng-yen Lu) have got is
just the supreme omniscience of a Buddha, the supreme wisdom of a
Buddha to understand all the Dharmas.

It is removed from the evil.

It is the right understanding of the truth, and in Sanskrit, it is
Samyaksambodhi.

The supreme omniscience of a Buddha is incredible and cannot be
described in words. It is like what is said in The Perfect Enlightenment
Sutra, "When the supreme wondrous enlightenment spreads over in the
ten directions, Tathagata will come into being".

The key to make the supreme wondrous enlightenment spread over in the
ten directions is purification.

The only way to achieve purification is to have no thought.

Non-thought is connected with non-mind.

At first one should concentrate his mind at one point without any
distraction. After a period of practice, one will achieve the non-thought
and enter into Samadhi.

The Perfect Enlightenment Sutra also says,

"The rise of the slightest unhealthy thought will bring about various
sufferings in the world. This is like a man caught in thistles and thorns -
they will not hurt as long as he does not move. With no improper thought
arising, one will stay eternally in the pleasure of tranquillity and
extinction.

Once some wrong thought raises its head, one will be hurt by various
kinds of existence. So a Buddhist sutra says that thought leads to
sufferings, while non-thought leads to pleasure.

In my True Buddha Tantric Dharma,

The first secret is to change all the distracting thoughts into one thought.

(One mind).

The second secret is to change one thought into non-thought. (Non-mind).

The third secret is to make non-thought equal to emptiness.(Empty nature)

* * *


Non-thought is also connected with "non-action and non-doing".

This "non-action and non-doing" does not mean doing nothing.

It refers to action without causation. It means that one does not go out of
one's way to do any thought. This is already getting very profound.

It coincides with the "thought of inaction" in the ancient Chinese
philosophy.

"Doing without purpose" is just the action without causation.

I often say,

We should make great effort to accomplish the task of spreading the
Dharma, without any attention paid to the achievement.

Therefore I say,

Whether the True Buddha School falls or rises has nothing to do with me.

The number of the people I have converted has nothing to do with me.

What my future will turn out to be has nothing to do with me.

I do all this without conscious action and I do not care how much I have
achieved.

* * *


In The Diamond Sutra, there is a word, "Non-achievement".

Soon after you get to the realm of non-thought, you can understand the
word non-achievement in The Diamond Sutra.

In non-thought, there are,

No birth.

Egolessness.

Non-mind.

Non-action.

Non-doing.

How can there be any achievement? As a result, everything ends up in
non-achievement, which is the only truth.

There is no attachment either to achievement or to non-achievement in
the mind and no distinction is made between them. Therefore, "the
thought of achievement is based on form, while the thought of
non-achievement is based on wisdom of non-distinction".

I, Living Buddha Liansheng, Sheng-yen Lu, tell the readers with great
honesty that non-thought naturally leads to formlessness, which coincides
with the principle that "all existing things are empty".

Non-thought makes one stay away from all forms.

* * *


The Sutra of Twenty-four Chapters reads,

"Making offering to the ten billion Buddhas in the three times is not as
good as making offering to the man with non-thought, non-attachment,
non-practice and non-realization".

Somebody once said, "Living Buddha Liansheng wrote more than one
hundred books, which told us nothing more than non-thought. If I can
understand the principle of non-thought, practise non-thought diligently
and do get no more thought, the more than one hundred books are
nothing but rubbish and should be burnt to ashes".

Some disciples think,

It is outrageous and treasonable to say that. How could we burn our
master's books to ashes! I laugh heartily.

"We can not only burn the more than one hundred books to ashes, but
also can throw the ashes into the pit in the toilet. If one can understand
the principle of non-thought and realize it, he can take the statue of Living
Buddha Liansheng down from the offering table, dismember the head,
hands, and feet with a big axe and throw them into a dustbin".

The person with non-thought is,

"One with the virtue and nature of non-action".

"A true man of non-action who has got away from the thought of practice
and realization".

I repeat,

"Making offering to the ten billion Buddhas in the three times is not as
good as making offering to the man with non-thought, non-attachment,
non-practice and non-realization".

* * *


Non-thought is connected with the six forms of fearlessness:

1. Fearlessness in doing good - The fearlessness from the integration of
the three mystics.

2. Fearlessness from body - The fearlessness resulting from the freedom
from constraints by the body.

3. Fearlessness from egolessness - The fearlessness from egolessness.

4. Fearlessness from the Dharma - The fearlessness from the emptiness of
nature and emptiness of form of the Dharma.

5. Fearlessness from non-Dharma and non-self - The fearlessness from the
understanding of one s mind.

6. Fearlessness from equality - The fearlessness from the non-birth of all
existing things and the equal Dharma realm.

This non-thought is so small that nothing exists in it and so large that
anything can be included in it and that it is immeasurable. As a result, it is
infinite.

The four infinite states of mind in Esoteric Buddhism include:

Infinite kindness - To give others happiness.

Infinite compassion - To help others to be liberated from suffering.

Infinite joy - To be glad in sympathy when good comes to others.

Infinite charity - To give alms to both dear ones and enemies. The four
infinite states of mind originally have the infinite meaning of kindness,
compassion, joy and charity, while the non-thought has infinite kinds of
meaning, which can be called the real aspect .

* * *


Non-thought can show us:

Infinite enlightenment - The supreme Buddhist enlightenment of the right
kind.

Infinite light - light that turns and increases endlessly.

Infinite life - time that goes on and on without limit.

Infinite realm - space that spreads out without limit.

Infinite wisdom - infinite enlightenment.

Non-thought is exactly Asamasama.

What is Asamasama? Vimalakirti-nirdesa Sutra says, Buddhas come to the
supernatural extreme with no one equal to them. There exists equality
only among Buddhas. So it is called Asamasama (unequaled).

The Lotus Sutra says, "Asamasama refers to the fact that there is no mind
equality in the nine Dharma realms except in the Buddhist Dharma
realm".

"Therefore non-equality leads to equality".

It also says, "Asamasama refers to the extreme unprecedentedness".

I tell the readers with great honesty, "Non-thought is exactly Asamasama.
It is not an alternative gate but the Dharma body with non-action".

Non-thought transcends "the non-thought heaven", "the non-worry
heaven", "the heaven of neither perception nor non-perception" and "the
unlimited Dharma realm".

There is no secret in my "secret of secrets".

There is no wonder in my "wonder of wonders".

There is no great Dharma in my "Dharma of Dharmas".

There is no supreme king in my "king of kings".

There is only one pithy formula,

"Non-thought".

* * *


This non-thought by no means refers to the four immaterial heavens,
including "the heaven of boundless space", "the heaven of boundless
knowledge", "the heaven of non-existence" and "the heaven of neither
perception nor non-perception".

The meditations to be practised are not the four immaterial meditations
either.

Non-thought is the real key to our True Buddha School.

Non-thought, non-attachment, non-practice and non-realization
constitute the True Buddha School.

I tell the readers with great honesty that all I want to say can be summed
up in one word. The word is just "non-thought", which is the Buddhist
treasure of right enlightenment.


Follow Ups:



Post a Followup

Name:
E-Mail:

Subject:

Comments:

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:


[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Buddha's Village Forum ] [ FAQ ]