"The Buddha said that neither the repetition of holy scriptures, nor self-torture, nor sleeping on the ground, nor the repetition of prayers, penances, hymns, charms, mantras, incantations and invocations can bring us the real happiness of Nirvana."
THE TEN FETTERS OF BUDDHISM
"Within an hour of his face-to-face meeting with Sri Bhagavan, his mental barriers were reduced to nothingness."
THE BOY AND THE SAGE
Saying the young boy's mental barriers were reduced to nothingness is another way of saying Awakened to the Absolute, i.e., Enlightenment. The experience occurred sitting in Darshan after less than an hour under the grace and light of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sitting before the Maharshi in Darshan is more-or-less a formal part of the ashram meditative procedure, but regardless of what it is called or how its done, it is meditation. In the section on meditation apps that sent you to this page, the last sentence reads, creating in their use a paradox:
"Painting legs on a snake doesn't make it walk any better. Electronically painting photon-pushing meditation legs to swath your synapses with trompe l'oeil may be for some, better than nothing. However, and this is one of the biggest however's ever, it is that better than nothing that makes it not, not nothing, the goal of meditation."
It is a serious mistake in the understanding of meditation to conflate not nothing as the goal of meditation as being "denial" or "cessation" of conceptual thinking. It is quite clear in Zen Buddhism and the meditation that stems from it and has come down to the everyday use of meditation, that no-mind, rather than referring to an absence of thought, refers to the condition of not being trapped in thoughts, not adhering to a certain conceptual habit or position.
The following discourse is attributed to the Zen master Ch'ing yuan Wei-hsin of the T'ang Dynasty and provides a window into the understanding of Zen:
"Thirty years ago, before I began the study of Zen, I said, 'Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.' After I got insight into the truth of Zen through the instructions of a good master, I said, 'Mountains are not mountains, waters are not waters.' But now, having attained the abode of final rest I say, 'Mountains are really mountains, waters are really waters.'"
He then asks:
"Are the three understandings the same or different?"
ALL THINGS ZEN: An Open Window Into the Understanding of Zen
The error of interpretation made by many scholars (and by Zen and meditation practitioners as well) lies precisely in taking the term "no-thought" to refer to some kind of permanent, or ongoing absence of thought. While this assumption is routinely made, it is impossible to corroborate it in any Zen canon. If we study the seminal texts carefully, we do find a description of the experience of an instantaneous severing of thought that occurs in the course of a thoroughgoing pursuit of a Buddhist meditative exercise.
Nowhere in the Platform Sutra, Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, Diamond Sutra, or any other major Zen text, is the term "no-mind" explained to be a permanent incapacitation of the thinking faculty or the permanent cessation of all conceptual activity.
The locus classicus for the concept of no-thought is the Platform Sutra, and in regards to no-thought says in so many words:
"No-thought" means "no-thought within thought." Non-abiding is man's original nature. Thoughts do not stop from moment to moment. The prior thought is succeeded in each moment by the subsequent thought, and thoughts continue one after another without cease. If, for one thought-moment, there is a break, the dharma-body separates from the physical body, and in the midst of successive thoughts there will be no attachment to any kind of matter. If, for one thought-moment, there is abiding, then there will be abiding in all successive thoughts, and this is called clinging. If, in regard to all matters there is no abiding from thought-moment to thought-moment, then there is no clinging. Non-abiding is the basis.
As you can see, after the break in thought, successive thoughts continue to flow, but one no longer abides in, or clings to, these thoughts. Nowhere is there mention of any kind of disappearance of, or absence of thought. "No-thought" refers to nothing other than an absence of abiding, or clinging. Other seminal Ch'an texts, such as the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, characterize no-thought in precisely the same manner. (source)
There is no need for machines. Don't over think it. Matter of fact, don't think it. See Zen and the Art of Tying Shoes. For your own edification, the following is the closing paragraph as found in Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery and refers to the Wanderling:
"There are many strong, notable, and well respected members of the Buddhist, Zen Buddhist, and Enlightenment commmunity that have gone to, studied under, written books about, and run a number of excellent and fine Centers both in America and abroad. Many of the notables went to India or Japan and studied for months and possibly years under highly venerable teachers. Other teachers came to the U.S. passing their understanding to others and they still to even more. However, very little of what has been gleaned or passed on bubbled up untainted and unlayered from the unspoiled roots of their ancient past. I am the only person I am aware of operating at the level that I do that truly bypassed most of the layers --- primarily because where I was none of the layers existed. While at the monastery, I studied under the direct bold, unbending hand of a non-English speaking Chinese master of Zen and Enlightenment. The monastery itself was a cold, stark environment high in the mountains above the tree line, far removed from the western world and civilization, operating beyond the bounds of time, whose lineage, rituals, and beliefs hearkened straight back unbroken and unfettered to the likes of Hui Neng, Bodhidharma and the Buddha. Doing so enabled me to be guided, via the master's skillful means, through to the full level of the unveiled truth, springing unhindered and unencumbered from it's original grounding source."
Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery
"Real Masters never charge for their services, nor do they accept payment in any form
nor in any sort of material benefits for their instructions. This is a universal law among
Masters, and yet amazingly, it is a fact that thousands of eager seekers in America and
elsewhere, go on paying large amounts of money for 'spiritual instruction.' Masters are
always self-sustaining and are never supported by their students or by public charity."
---Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (1939)
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
30 MINUTES TO ENLIGHTENMENT
MINDFULNESS LEADING TO INSIGHT
Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.
CODE OF ETHICS FOR SPIRITUAL GUIDES
SPIRITUAL GUIDES: PASS OR FAIL?
THE FALSE GURU TEST
DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
EXPERIENCE IN THE
ON THE RAZOR'S
MAJOR HISTORICAL BUDDHIST MASTERS, ZEN ANCESTORS AND ZEN PATRIARCHS
Bodhidharma, Hui'ko, Hui Shen, Hui Neng, Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien, Zhaozhou, Moshan Liaoran,
Mugai Nyodai, Kuan Yin, Tung-Shan, Te Shan, Dogen
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.