Why Buddhist Meditation Doesn't Enlighten You



If you are doing Buddhist sitting meditation, chanting sutras, and practicing the precepts, you may wonder why you're still suffering, and why you haven't yet become enlightened. Your Lama or Roshi may tell you it's because of your karma and that you must work harder. But I am going to tell you right here and now that it's only because you are still mystified, totally unclear about what you are trying to accomplish with all of this religious activity.

Are you trying to become a Buddha? Then you're well on your way to being a hell demon. Do you believe that sitting by itself will embody and realize the bright flame of your clear natural Mind? Then you're caught up in a tug-of-war of cause and effect, bound up more tightly by the knots of samsara than you can possibly know. You need to find a Master to help you cut through your bonds with some direct Zen inquiry, by which you will open your eyes and ears (and other senses) in a hair-raising flash to the already-liberated play of your inherent and majestic Awakeness!

Physical reality as it appears in the clear bright open space of Awakeness is quite beautiful. It is also stirringly mysterious. But if a tight identification of Awakeness with "this body, these thoughts, these feelings" ever develops, things quickly turn hellish.

By struggling to free yourself from the "ego" you are merely pulling the knots tighter. You, as such, cannot be freed from ego, because you yourself were never subjected to ego in the first place! Wake up to this bitter truth. The whole adventure of suffering in samsara has been like believing that a reflection in a mirror or a character in a movie is the real you. What a laughable, crazy delusion!

What is suffering, exactly? Energy getting constricted or coming up against a limit. Is the energy you? Energy is just activity in time and space. Don't call it "I" -- it's just the physical world. It may well be "all there is" considered as object. But it isn't the bare, majestic, unborn and undying "I" of pure Awakeness -- Bodhi -- now is it?

You want to get enlightened. But the body-mind-self delusion cannot be enlightened. It can only be evaporated in clear space, like the folly it is! "Out, out, brief candle!" The sun's blazing. What do you need the paltry light of a candle for? You, as such, are already Enlightenment itself! Laugh and play. "Shake the snow your of your hair and we'll build a snow Buddha!"

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