There Are No Enlightened People, There Is Only Enlightened Activity

Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces (Photo credit: Jack Zalium)

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“There are, strictly speaking, no Enlightened people,  there is only Enlightened activity.”

This Shunryu Suzuki, Sōtō Zen Buddhist Teacher, aka Suzuki-rosh or Crooked Cucumber quote conveys perfectly, better than anything I’ve seen in the past year, my own experience of Reality and concept of “myself” and Activity, with Insight/since “my” Stream Entry a year ago. In a instant, I both Died, & Began to Live for the first time with the Arising of Bodhicitta,  or the Arising of Insight, Vipassana. And for a few months I couldn’t find words to convey the experience (And when I say: “the experience” it’s not simply a reference to actual 4th dimensional place in space and time, when/where something occurred, although that is also included.) Awakening with “Insight into True Nature of Reality,” was and is best conveyed (in my experience) by the Buddha-Dharma as “Breaking the first 3 fetters to Enlightenment.” the first fetter that breaks is the concept of a fixed, separate entity, or “Self.” The Buddha named this experience in relation to the Status Quo of the times, the Hindu concept of Atman. This concept is decried as being a Permanent Soul that changes “Forms” only as it changes from 1 body to the next in Reincarnation. But that, very simply, is Not how it works. It’s missing the mark, all together. There is No unchanging, fixed entity, No permanent Soul or “Self.” Thus, quite creatively, actually, the Buddha’s Experience (As has the experience of countless others since, including my own) demonstrated/demonstrates that there is No Atman. There is No “Self” that is not changing/change, that there isn’t a Being or Soul or Self, Other than this Compound, a Compound that is Comprised Only of other changing variables. So the is No Atman. (As in many languages when the prefix “A-” or “An-” (depending on if the base words begins with a consonant or vowel) is added it Negates the base word. Which is what is SO FICKIN BEAUTIFUL and BRILLIANT, (though I could never see why until I Experienced this Ineffable experience, myself.) The Buddha’s Experienced-Back Proclamation that there is No “Self,” not in the manner it’s described, as a Soul that sheds bodies and Reincarnates, like a snake sheds its skin whence outgrown. His Brilliant reply to this “Self” is “No-Self,” or in Sanskrit his reply to Atman was/is Anatman, or Anatta in Pali.
{{Thus, the Heart Sutra is Not some nonsense, or a absurd riddle, or a Koan that is intended to trip-up the Logical/Reason-oriented aspects of Mind (Although many ways, it is the perfect Koan, but that’s another story) :)
The Heart Sutra is in many ways more MATHEMATIC than POETIC.}} Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form… All Things are the Primal Void; Which is not Born nor Destroyed; Nor is it Stained or Pure… Not even wisdom to attain! Attainment too is Emptiness….”
There is No-Self, so all of these Concepts. as they are All Relational to a conceptualized Self are, in Fact Void of Self, and thus are Purely “EMPTY” (Emptiness, or ŚUNYATA, or phonetically called Shunyata, is the enlish rendering of this Primal Void of all concepts of a Separate Self, or Thing, thus Empty is Also WHOLE. Empty of Separate is full of Oneness. No-Self is void of Ego, Full of All Oneness. But don;t grasp to this concept, for All Concepts Reinforce the False View of a separate Self. Thus Attainment and Emptiness are Empty.

So, THIS is beyond words, it’s an Ineffable Experience that one MUST experience to truly understand. Anatman/anatta is “my” experience, and the only Teaching I am attempting to re-direct, teach, convey, or be a sign post, a finger pointing toward all to direct experience.
No-Self, anatta/anatman doesn’t mean that one loses all experience of a self. It’s seeing what it is that we call “I” or “you” but in order to communicate in the realm of form, using my self is necessary. I simply see what is actually real and what is illusion.
And after Stream Entry, I focus my subjective work Samskaras/Karmic Momentum/habit-energy and which/how to act Skillful and which/how are Unskillful.

So how to navigate in the World of Form, and how to relate to this form that is my incarnation. It’s a little confusing sounding, in the ream of Form. But in reality, it’s pretty simple. As it is said that the Buddha (this form concept) never uttered a single word as Buddha, This is True.

In Emptiness there is Only Silence. No-thing can speak (Words are Dualistic by nature) without engaging with the concept of self. Anatta/Anatman does Not mean No-Self in the sense that “I” lose ability to embody a body, or take form, it just changes Perspective.

•It is Perfectly stated, and explains that strictly speaking, there are no Enlightened Beings, Only Enlightened Activity.
Today I envisioned a new metaphor that works well to describe the Experience. Here it is, from a correspondence i just finished:
Directly Seeing that this form is Empty, and Empty is form. It’s a little like being Chess Piece, and before Stream Entry, I only know the World as a Chess Piece, and it seems that the Game I am in, is Life and Death, and It Really Appears as though This “Game” Is  All That There Really Is! (This is GREAT ANA:LOGY, so PLEASE; Take a Moment, and try to take it all in. Your Life is NO MORE REAL or Significant as A Single Chess piece, in a single Game of Chess!
After Stream Entry, I gain Insight, I see that it is just a game, and these Pieces are Not Separate Beings, they are part of a Whole different Reality.
But, if I wish to try to help lead other Chess Pieces to Enter the Stream, then I can still use my form, I can still use my Chess Piece.
Only now, I See/Know that “I” am just a piece in game that is not actually Reality, but a relative game.
It’s a convincing Illusion, smoke and mirrors, a “Virtual Reality” game of Chess, and We’re all just pieces…Pawn or King have only relative meaning within any one of infinite Games occurring throughout Eternity… in the World of Infinite Form and Eternal Time, in a game of Finite forms and finite time.

About Dharmamitra Jeffrey Stefani

• Before Enlightenment: chop wood & carry water. After Enlightenment: chop wood & cary water. ~ Zen Proverb •“Pay no attention to: The faults of others; Things done, or left undone, by others. Consider only: What, by oneself, is done or left undone.” ~ The Historical Buddha/Gautama Buddha/Shakyamuni from The Dhammapada: Chapter IV, Verse 40 •"Strictly speaking, there are No Enlightened people, only Enlightened activity." ~ Suzuki-roshi, born Shunryū Suzuki 鈴木 俊隆 Dharma Name: Shōgaku Shunryū 祥岳俊隆 • "The How of Happiness", Tao, Ch'an, Zen, Documentary Filmmaker, Mindfulness-Physiologist,12-Step Worker (and Advocate, as well as an Advocate for Actual Psychoanalysis (not to be confused with Psychotherapy), Only: Here & Now: Awaken-to-Oneness, Inter-Connected: Digital Marketer, Video Producer, Public Speaker, Spiritual Mentor, Blogger, Author, & Search Engine Marketer & Optimizer. Myers-Briggs: INFJ. My Abode: •Detroit, Royal Oak, MI, USA, EARTH, Dharmakaya • •http://BuddhistInsight.Org • http://InsightOptimizedMarketing.Com •Twitter: @DharmamitraJeff (Dharma Account) @JeffreyStefani (Optimized Digital Marketing, LLC, L3C Ethical Marketing/ UnMarketing, Web 3.0, Social Engagement, Transparency, & Accountability) • Facebook Profile: Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani • Facebook Pages: † “Sharing The Buddha-Dharma: Triratna Buddhist Community: Detroit-Royal Oak” AKA (SBD) † Optimized Digital Marketing, LLC (ODM) •Google+ Profile: Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani •Google+ Pages: † “Buddhist Insight” † Optimized Digital Marketing, LLC (ODM) Why “Marketing?!” Good Question! ODM is a part of the “New Earth,” “Awakening Global Consciousness Movement”...and a 100% Genuine “Buddhist Right-Livelihood Business”... “Relationship UnMarketing,” TOTALLY UNLIKE TRADITIONAL MARKETING...It is All About Relationships, EQUAL & FAIR PRACTICES, Having a Voice, 100% Interactive Marketing, “The Great Equalizer”...”The Virtual, Level Playing Field”... SEM, SEO, SMM Page on both...(That's a "Right-Livelihood Business" [Don’t be silly and think that “Digital Marketing” is in-and-to-itself something superficial, unethical, or At ALL "Inherently Bad”... I help Buddhist, Non-Buddhist, For-Profit, Start-Ups, Local and Small-Medium Sized Businesses, Organizations, Non-Profits, Anyone or Anything That IS an Ethical Organization (They need SEO just as much, if not MORE So, than the Big Companies!) May ALL KNOW Joy, Love, Wellness, Success, and Freedom from Suffering...by KNOWING the *Causes* and *Conditions* of Joy, Love, Wellness, Success, and Freedom from All Suffering! 🙏💚😌 Mettā, Sati, Karuna, Upekkhā... Peace and Love ALL!

Posted on January 8, 2013, in Awakening, Buddhism, Dharma, Spirituality, Zen Buddhism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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