Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 57

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 57:

 

“In moods of extreme desire,

be undisturbed.”

 

Remain centred.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 56

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 56:

 

“Illusions deceive,

colours circumscribe,

even divisibles are indivisible.”

 

Separateness is deception.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 55

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 55:

 

“At the point of sleep,

when the sleep has not yet come

and the external wakefulness vanishes,

at this point being is revealed.”

 

Be aware while drifting off to sleep.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 54

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 54:

 

“Wherever satisfaction is found,

in whatever act,

actualise this.”

 

Feel the fulfillment.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 53

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 53:

 

“Oh lotus-eyed one,

sweet of touch,

when singing, seeing, tasting,

be aware you are and discover the ever-living.”

 

With awareness each moment is a meditation.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 52

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 52:

 

“When eating or drinking,

become the taste of the food or drink,

and be filled.”

 

Drown in the sensation.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 51

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 51:

 

“On joyously seeing a long absent friend,

permeate this joy.”

 

Be love.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 50

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 50:

 

“Even remembering sexual union,

without the embrace,

transformation.”

 

Tantra is natural meditation.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 49

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 49:

 

“When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves,

enter this shaking.”

 

Feel it totally.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 48

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 48:

 

“At the start of sexual union

keep attentive on the fire in the beginning,

and so continuing,

avoid the embers in the end.”

 

Make love consciously.

 

 

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Wholeness

 

How does the true man of Tao
walk through walls without obstruction
and stand in fire without being burnt?

Not because of cunning or daring,
not because he has learned,
but because he has unlearned.

His nature has its roots in the One.
His vitality, his power,
hide in secret Tao.

When he is complete,
there is no flaw in him
by which imperfection can enter.

So a drunken man who falls out of a wagon
is bruised, but not destroyed.
His bones are like the bones of other men,
but his fall is different.

His spirit is entire.
He is not aware of getting into the wagon,
or falling out of it.

Life and death are nothing to him.

He knows no alarm, meets obstacles
without thought or care,
and passes them without knowing.

If there is such sincerity in wine,
how much more in Tao?

The wise man shelters in Tao.

Nothing else can touch him.

 

– Zhuangzi, aka Chuang Tzu, aka Zhuang Zhou, China, 4th century BC.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 47

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 47:

 

“Enter the sound of your name and,

through this sound,

all sounds.”

 

Your name as mantra.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 46

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 46:

 

“Stopping ears by pressing

and the rectum by contracting,

enter the sound.”

 

Disappear into the sound.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 45

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 45:

 

“Silently intone a word ending in ‘ah’.

Then in the ‘hh’,

effortlessly,

the spontaneity.”

 

Grace arises unexpectedly.

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 44

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 44:

 

“Centre on the sound ‘aum’

without the ‘a’ and ‘m’.”

 

Become the vibration.

 

 

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No Water – No Moon

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko she struggled with meditation for a long time.

After twenty years, one moonlit night, she was carrying water in an old bucket bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out, and in that moment Chiyono attained.

In commemoration,
she wrote a poem:
 

“In this way and that I tried to save the old bucket
The bamboo strap was weakening and about to break
At last the bottom fell out…

No water – no moon”

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 43

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 43:

 

“With mouth slightly open,

keep mind in the middle of the tongue.

Or,

as breath comes silently in,

feel the sound ‘hh’.”

 

Nuances of the breath.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 42

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 42:
 

“Intone a sound audibly,

then less and less audibly

as feeling deepens

into this silent harmony.”

 

Allow feeling to fade into silence.

 

 

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Happiness of Fish

The Happiness of Fish – 魚之樂 – A Taoist Tale

Zhuangzi and Huizi were strolling along the dam of the Hao Waterfall when Zhuangzi said, “See how the minnows come out and dart around where they please! That’s what fish really enjoy!”

Huizi said, “You’re not a fish — how do you know what fish enjoy?”

Zhuangzi said, “You’re not me, so how do you know I don’t know what fish enjoy?”

Huizi said, “I’m not you, so I certainly don’t know what you know. On the other hand, you’re certainly not a fish — so that still proves you don’t know what fish enjoy!”

Zhuangzi said, “Let’s go back to your original question, please. You asked me how I know what fish enjoy — so you already knew I knew it when you asked the question. I know it by standing here on the bridge of the River Hao.”

 

Zhuangzi, aka Chang Tzu, aka Zhuang Zhao, was a Chinese Taoist master, c300 AD. Huizi, aka Hui Shi, was a representative of the ‘School of Names’. They were great friends who enjoyed debating and discussing many matters.

 

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 41

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 41:
 

“While listening to stringed instruments,

hear their composite central sound;

thus omnipresence.”

 

Feel the vibrations, deep inside.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 40

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 40:
 

“In the beginning and gradual refinement

of the sound of any letter,

awaken.”

 

Ordinary sounds, intoned with great awareness.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 39

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 39:
 

“Intone a sound,

such as aum,

slowly.

As sound enters soundfulness,

so do you.”

 

Allow the transformation.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 38

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 38:
 

“Bathe in the centre of sound,

as in the continuous sound of a waterfall.

Or,

by putting the fingers in the ears,

hear the sound of sounds.”

 

Be totally in it.

 

 

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Shenxiu and Huineng


 

Daman Hongren (601-674 AD) was the Fifth Patriarch of Zen in China.

When he was dying and it was time to choose a successor to run his monastery, he set a task for those who aspired to the position. Each would submit a short poem to demonstrate their grasp of the teachings of Zen.

The Chief Disciple, Shenxiu, was popularly regarded as the favoured candidate and no-one bothered to challenge him. He wrote on a wall:


The mind is a mirror
Which becomes dusty and unclear
Clean off the dust and
Experience the Truth

 

It stood alone for some days, until another disciple, Huineng, saw it.

Huineng had worked quietly in the kitchen for years, attracting little attention. Nevertheless he laughed at Shenxiu’s effort and put up a few lines of his own.


There is no mind
There is no mirror
This is the secret of secrets

 

The master Daman Hongren saw these two efforts.

That night he went discreetly to Huineng and gave him a bowl and a robe and, while acknowledging his enlightenment, asked him to leave the monastery, explaining that the other disciples would not accept him as Head Monk.

After Huineng had gone Hongren awarded the prize, and the leadership of the monastery, to Shenxiu, his Chief Disciple.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 37

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 37:
 

“Devi,

imagine the sanskrit letters

in these honey-filled foci of awareness,

first as letters,

then more subtly as sounds,

then as subtlest feeling.

Then,

leaving them aside,

be free.”

 

“These honey-filled foci of awareness” are Siva’s 112 meditations, to be experienced and surpassed.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 36

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 36:
 

“Look upon some object,

then slowly withdraw your sight from it,

then slowly withdraw your thought from it.

Then.”

 

Gradually stopping the mind.

 

 

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Huineng

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag
waving in the wind.
One said, “The flag moves.”
The other said, “The wind moves.”
They argued back and forth but could not agree.

 

Huineng said,
“It is not the wind that moves;
it is not the flag that moves;
it is your mind that moves.”

 

Huineng, Chinese Zen master, lived from 638 to 713 AD.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 35

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 35:
 

“At the edge of a deep well

look steadily into its depths until,

the wondrousness.”

 

Disappear into the water.

 

 

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Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, No. 34

From Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Meditation Technique No. 34:
 

“Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted.

Eyes still,

without blinking,

at once become absolutely free.”

 

‘A moment in the presence of a real master is worth a lifetime of meditation.’

 

 

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The Bridge

Tosui was a seventeenth-century Japanese Zen master who taught in various temples and provinces. The last temple he visited attracted so many mediocre adherents that he decided to stop teaching entirely. He advised them to disperse and go wherever they desired. Then he disappeared.

Three years later one of his disciples discovered him living with some beggars under a bridge in Kyoto. He implored Tosui to teach him.

‘If you can do as I do for even a couple of days, I might,’ Tosui replied. The former disciple gathered a few things and joined him.

The following day one of the other beggars died. Tosui and his pupil carried the body away at midnight, buried it on a mountainside and returned to the bridge.

Tosui slept soundly the remainder of the night, but the disciple lay awake. When morning came Tosui said: ‘We don’t have to beg for food today, our friend has left some over there,’ but the disciple was unable to eat.

‘I said you couldn’t live like me!’ exclaimed Tosui. ‘Go away and don’t bother me again.’

 

Adapted from ‘Zen Flesh, Zen Bones’ by Paul Reps.

 

 
 

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