Why are we born in this world? Why and how will we die? Why does everything we grasp ultimately fail to give us lasting joy when, in the end, we ultimately cannot take anything with us when we go? "The burial-shroud has no pockets."
Every human being has this question. Every religion talks about this condition. And every philosophy and faith has an explanation for this dilemma.
But no philosophy or religion has ever given a complete answer, acceptable to all, about the nature of human consciousness, the fundamental nature of existence, the issue of birth and death. Despite great technological and material advance, and thousands of years of dogmatic religion, human beings are only left with the question: "Yes‚ but... What am I?"
Everything in philosophy and faith is dependent on thinking. Asking the question "What am I?" deeply inside, and remaining aware through the inner questioning, we glimpse a place where all thinking is cut off. It is strange, yet completely familiar, this realm before religion and philosophy and all intellectual conceptualization.
It has no name. It has no form. There is no coming, no going. Nothing ever appears or disappears "there." It is not even a place, or a thing. Opening your mouth to name it is already a big mistake!
Attaining this begins with "What am I? Who am I?" "Why do we live in this world?" It's the same point: As an eminent teacher said, "The ten thousand questions are all one question: ‘What am I?’"
Light from the moon of clear mindWhen we truly look inside, and investigate with awareness, “What is the driver of this car?” our thinking cannot go “further”. All conceptual thinking is naturally cut off when we turn from the flow of endless thinking to look toward its source-point. “What am I?” leads directly to — —.
Drinks up everything in the world:
When ‘mind’ and ‘light’ both disappear,
What is this?
Death poem of Kyong Ho Sunim (1846-1912)
It is not merely maintaining blankness or dullness, but with awareness of breath, grounded in moment, non-judgementally letting go of the wandering leaves of thought and with awareness softly alive through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and natural non-conceptualizing “mind,” the light investigates “inward” without words: “What is this? Who ‘sees’ this? Who? What?”
This is crossing over from the realm of thought to before-thinking mind, where thinking neither appears nor disappears, what my Teacher used his simple English to call “don't know,” or “don't-know mind.” Osho called it “no-mind,” and other teachers call it “beginner's mind,” true self, true nature, Buddha-nature.
But these names are also a complete mistake. This title is a big mistake. This whole website is a big mistake.
How take away this and all human beings‘ mistake?
“Who are you?” Tell me! Tell me!
If you open your mouth to answer,
this Zen stick hits you thirty times;
if you close your mouth to answer,
this Zen stick also hits you thirty times.
What can you do?