“On Sitting Meditation: An Inscription”
Excerpted from Admonitions for Monastics
By Meditation Master Buddha Eye Qingyuan, of Longmen
The light of the mind shines in emptiness; its substance transcends extremes and pervades all. The light of the mind is like golden waves lapping, for the mind is always in deep absorption, whether in movement or in stillness. When thoughts occur, no need to stop them; when thoughts cease, no need to avoid them. The mind simply rides on the crests of waves freely, so when does it ever arise or cease? Mahakasyapa demonstrated for us how arising and ceasing of thoughts became extinct.
With not one gap in the mind whether we sit, stand, walk, or recline, why not sit and meditate? Why not meditate while we sit? Only when we understand what this means are we meditating. Who is sitting and what is meditation? For those who wish to meditate, use the Buddha to find the Buddha. But the Buddha need not be found, for the more we search, the more the Buddha is nowhere to be found.
Meditation is not about what you observe externally, for meditation is not a technique for seeking outwardly. The beginner’s mind is busy and inevitably fickle, hence one is taught many contemplation methods to quiet the mind. Focus as you sit erect. First a flurry of thoughts flies about, but after a long while, thoughts ease and lighten. Let your six senses pause in their judgement a bit. As soon as you make some of distinction, arising and ceasing have begun already. The arising and ceasing of thoughts and their changes manifest from the mind, which require the mind to contemplate them once more. When thoughts develop no more, we wear a perfect crown of light and beam with a spiritual flame. By then, the mind is unobstructed and can enter the horizontal and the vertical. The cycle of birth and death ends forever. That immortal pill let’s you melt gold. Coarse and fine afflictions cannot seep in or out of your body or mind.
We may discuss confusion and enlightenment but not adverse or pleasant states of mind. As we recount the details of our days while meditating, we realize that the [enlightened] mind has not changed, it is still very messy. But in one brief moment, an ordinary being can become a sage because of it. As we go about our busy day, we should be extremely cautious with our thoughts. Anyone who does not know this — sit and contemplate.
I wrote this article in a matter of a day, out of utter respect.