True Self

In recent posts I have mentioned the false sense of “self” several times.  But what about the self we call True Self?  True Self has many names: Buddha nature, original nature, mind – to mention just three.

Tsung-mi (780-841) was an important figure in Chinese Buddhism, regarded as both the fifth and final patriarch of the Flower Garland School and a Ch’an (Zen) Master of the Ho-tse School. For Tsung-mi, True Self was the Real Mind revealed through the process of awakening.  Here are some of his thoughts about the subject from Yuan Jen or “On the Original Nature of Human Beings”:

“All sentient beings have been endowed with the true mind of original enlightenment. From the beginningless beginning this mind has been constant, Pure, luminous, and unobscured; it has always been characterized by bright cognition; it is called the Buddha Nature or the Womb of the Awakened.

From the beginningless beginning the delusions of human beings has obscured it so that they have not been aware of it. Because they recognize in themselves only the ordinary person’s characteristics, they indulge in lives of attachment, increasing the bond of karmic power and receiving the sufferings of birth and death. Out of compassion for them, The Awakened One taught that everything is empty; then he revealed to all that the true mind of spiritual enlightenment is pure and is identical with that of the Buddhas.”

Ultimately, this True Self is unknowable.  Beyond all concepts and words.  Yet, in order to experience healing, find wisdom, and create harmony, we need to uncover True Self, remove the veils of delusion, lose our ego.  This allows us to drop off the feeling of separation from others and world.

Meditation is the indispensable tool, the most effective method for making thoughts of “I” disappear.  By intuitively realizing that we are not ego, that we are interconnected with the world and all living things, which is greater than self or ego, we have an opportunity to experience the harmony, the unity, we so urgently need.

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