your original luminous brilliance

“… whose only beacon
is this unlit light”

 

Although it might seem to be the case if the three little words are taken literally and out of context, THIS UNLIT LIGHT does not refer to some kind of light – mystical or mundane – that needs to be lit, like a candle or a light bulb. In some scriptures there are references to mystical light that must be lit, but that’s not what is referred to here. Let’s be clear about this beloveds, so that we’re dancing on the same page.

The phrase “this unlit light”, as I use it, refers to a light whose brilliant origin cannot be found – a light that was already alight prior to the “big bang” moment, and every moment imagined, dreamed, or experienced in any way by anything possessing sentience. It’s described as “unlit” because it has never been ‘turned-on’ or ‘lit’ by any known technology, mental or otherwise.

This self-luminous light is sometimes called transparent, nondual present awareness; it is seamlessly intimate to every sentient being – so close it cannot be perceived, yet present as the awareing of every perception.

“this unlit light” points to the luminous clarity of awareness that knows, and in which knowing all existence and experience are birthed and named, even as it remains unmoved. Actually, to say that it “knows” is a step too far. (Even to say it “alights” is untrue, for it does n-o-t-h-i-n-g.  Words about the ineffable are automatically a contradiction in terms.)

Diamond Clarity

If readers of this little blog have scrolled down to the bottom of the page they will have come upon these words from J Krishnamurti – they have been there since its launch 3 years ago  –

A mind that is awake, intelligent, free, why should it need,
why should it have, any “experience” at all?
Light is light; it does not ask for more Light.

Light is light. Nothing is required for this light to be alight; both darkness and brilliance are as its shadow.

“this unlit light” – like Bankei’s “Unborn mind” – is right now awareing these strings of words displayed on this brightly lit screen. Simply awareing. Not judging, reacting or even understanding; not labeling or seeking meaning. Those functions are the province of thought and memory – and the miraculous movement of creative story-smithing. Stories are without number, and if one of them includes the need for the Great Light to be lit, no problem – enjoy the dance!

It might sound outrageous and irreverent, but “this unlit light” couldn’t give a toss about nonduality or any other philosophy. It couldn’t care less whether we’re spaced-out in the absolute, or beavering away heart-fully in the relative, or perfectly aligned in wisdom-compassion. It couldn’t care less whether we’re a hip Advaita teacher or a fierce dispeller of ignorance, a serenely blissful yogini or a story-sabotaged suffering seeker. It’s utterly unaffected.

Utterly unaffected.

It simply abides. Receiving everything; rejecting nothing.

That’s why it’s felt as unconditional Love; that’s why it’s called Beloved.

Your true nature is something never lost to you,
even in moments of delusion,
nor is it gained at the moment of enlightenment.
It is the nature of your own mind,
the source of all things,
your original luminous brilliance.
You, the richest person in the world,
have been going around laboring and begging,
when all the while the treasure you seek is within you.
It is who you are.
~ Huang Po

[My emphasis]

 

SIMPLY REST IN THIS PURE DIAMOND-LIKE AWARENESS – TRANSPARENT, YET REFLECTING THE ENTIRE MIRAGE OF CREATION

 

Dedicated, with deep appreciation, to

jkjax | jac |

 

Bankei’s Unborn mind

This Unlit Light - Bankei's Unborn mindOne thought leads to another and lo – Bankei turns up to say something about the Unborn.
Actually, this enigmatic Zen master used the word Fu-shō – Unborn – to sum up his entire teaching:

Your unborn mind is the Buddha-mind itself, and it is unconcerned with either birth or death.  As evidence of this, when looking at things, you’re able to see and distinguish them all at once.  And as you are doing that, if a bird sings or a bell tolls, or other noises or sounds occur, you hear and recognize each of them too, even though you haven’t given rise to a single thought to do so.  Everything in your life, from morning until night, proceeds in this same way without your having to depend upon thought or reflection.  But most people are unaware of that; they think everything is a result of their deliberation.  That is a great mistake.

If you harbor the least notion to become better than you are or the slightest inclination to seek something, you turn your back on the Unborn.  There is neither joy nor anger in the mind you were born with – only the Buddha-mind with its marvelous illuminative wisdom that enlightens all things.

– Bankei

The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693
Translation by Norman Waddell