Silent Illumination and Liberation?

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Zafutales
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Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 10:59 am

Silent Illumination and Liberation?

Post by Zafutales » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:16 pm

Hi there,

Can someone help me understand how ‘Silent Illumination’ (Shikantaza) can help bring about an end to suffering? Forgive me for bringing in a separate teacher but my understanding of what Eckhart Tolle teaches is that if we can sit quietly allowing thoughts to drop away then we will experience our true nature – is it a similar ‘method’ when using Silent Illumination and Shikantaza?

Thanks….

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Astus
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Re: Silent Illumination and Liberation?

Post by Astus » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:00 am

Zafutales wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:16 pm
how ‘Silent Illumination’ (Shikantaza) can help bring about an end to suffering?
Silent means to be without attachment, illumination means to be aware. Consider your hearing. The ear contains no sound, it is totally silent, and at the same time, it hears all sounds, it is totally illuminating. If there were an original sound, no other sound could occur. If one wanted not to hear any sound at all, it would only mean a constant struggle with noises. Hence the only thing to do is to not do anything, the ear naturally hears without getting stuck at any sound. This is true for the other five senses as well.
Therefore, there is no ending of suffering, because suffering itself is false. Suffering is the delusion of trying to hold on to or avoid some sound. Once it becomes clear that no sound can be kept or pushed away, there is no more craving and no more dissatisfaction.
if we can sit quietly allowing thoughts to drop away then we will experience our true nature
The true nature should be seen before a thought arises, when a thought arises, when a thought has arisen, when a thought disappears, and when a thought has disappeared. If it is a nature that can be hidden, it is not true at all.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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