The Paradox of Inherent Perfection


Monk protests: “But Master, yesterday you said that Mind is Buddha.”

Ma Tsu: “That was like offering yellow leaves to a child and telling him it is gold — just to stop his crying.”

Monk: “And what about when the child has stopped crying?”

Ma Tsu: “Then I say, Not Mind, Not Buddha, Not things!’

The Mind is the Buddha’ is like medicine. ‘No Mind, no Buddha’ is the cure for those who are sick because of the medicine.”

Ma Tsu’s teaching above is one effective method the Masters employ to tear away any lingering remnants of borrowed support, leaving the disciple with nothing to fall back on, no comforting religious consolation or conceptual crutch to cling to. The purpose is to fully plunge them into the Unknown, or “the Realm of the Real Dharma”, as Huang Po poetically calls it, beyond philosophies and partial realizations, and into the direct realization of the two-fold emptiness of self and phenomena.

The late nondual Sage Ramana Maharshi proclaimed that the final truth consists of the fact that there is no path, nor any such thing as progress. In other words, Reality is not some sort of attainment to be gained by a gradual progression from a lower state to a higher state. There is no final, triumphant union to be attained, because there never was any separation from the no-beginning. There is simply the unfathomable expanse of spontaneous presence, pure unborn awareness, regardless of any intermittent mental content which might appear in that sphere of being.

Recognizing the empty nature of both the dreaming as well as the dreamer, both the seeking as well as the seeker, is considered by the sages to be liberation, though paradoxically, there is nobody being freed or bound. There is simply awakening to that which has always been the case, even as we daydreamed. As the modern Dzogchen adept Chogyal Namkhai Norbu noted: “If everything arises from pure and total consciousness, then pure and total consciousness has no need of a path to tread to reach itself.”

This challenging realization forces the aspirant to let go of all gaining ideas, along with all the interpretive dualities of the intellect that represent fixation, reification, and solidification of perception associated with “the search”, thus opening them to direct and immediate re-cognition of the prior freedom of the Real. And what is “the Real”? The late great master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche pointed to its essential realization when he noted:

“Seeing all things as naked, clear and free from obscurations, there is nothing to attain or realize. The nature of phenomena appears naturally and is naturally present in time-transcending awareness. Everything is naturally perfect just as it is. All phenomena appear in their uniqueness as part of the continually changing pattern. These patterns are vibrant with meaning and significance at every moment; yet there is no significance to attach to such meanings beyond the moment in which they present themselves.”

Of course, such appealing notions as inherent perfection are easy for beginners and casual practitioners to misconstrue, especially when they hear that there is nothing that needs to be done, and no effort is necessary, because “enlightenment” is always already the case. However, if we do not want to fall into that trap, all we need do is take a good honest look in the mirror at our own character. Are we free, for example, from greed, envy, hatred, ignorance, and pride? Do we always live a life characterized by integrity and loving kindness? If not, then there is still work to do, even though, paradoxically, it is also true that there is no doer, and nothing to be done.

If we rely on the verbal, conceptual mind to make sense of that seeming contradiction, we will just end up going this way one day, and that way the next, while getting nowhere in the process. That is why we practice, to go beyond conditional second-hand reason and logic programs, and recognize the truth that is always right here, staring us in the face. In that conscious process, we don’t need to point some accusatory finger at ourselves, or wring our hands in self-concern, but simply wise up to exactly who “that one” is that we have taken to be “me”. Who is this character believed to be either perfect, or in need of some serious adjustments?

Another good example of the paradox being considered here is the common phrase: “We must forgive ourselves first, and then forgive everyone else.” Of course, in this human drama, forgiveness is not only appropriate, but critically necessary for our relationships and personal happiness. If we carry around unresolved traumas, wounds, regrets, and resentments, we will always be fueling an internal conflict, and never achieve psychological healing and mature adaptation to the stage of balanced and un-contracted emotional adulthood.

On the other hand, from the point of view of the higher wisdoms, there is actually nothing and nobody that needs to be forgiven, since at the absolute level, all is indeed perfect just as it is, and without qualification. Moreover, even conceiving the existence of a self, some solid and enduring character that requires fixing or forgiving, can be an impediment to fully awakening to the truth of our prior nature, which has never required modification or remedial attention.

Echoing the previous comment from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, another contemporary Dzogchen Master, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, puts it this way:

“From the very beginning everything, whatever appears and exits, has never been anything other than pure perfection. There has never been a single day, a single moment when everything was not complete purity, pure perfection. It’s not that everything has to be brought to a state of purity at some point, but rather that it always was and is.”


Indeed, the paradox of our prior freedom and inherent perfection is that we all may be perfect in the ultimate sense, and yet the eminent Zen Master Suzuki Roshi makes a pertinent comment in this regard: “You are all perfect the way you are, and you could use a little improvement.” Certainly, if we were to spend some time reviewing the day’s headlines in the news, we might recognize that Suzuki was being rather kind and generous in his assessment. Moreover, if we examine our own life and relations, including our thoughts and behaviors, most of us might readily acknowledge that “a little improvement” would probably be comparable to taking the first few steps up Mt. Everest.

How then to explain this paradox? One possible angle of vision would include the recognition that we are both human animals, with all the positive as well as negative attributes that the human incarnational circumstance implies, and yet we are also immortal spirit, forever free, awake, and unconditionally loving. As light being souls, we choose to inhabit human creatures in order to experience the kinds of adventures and challenges characteristic of the human species.

For one example, experiencing ourselves in the physical sphere, with all of its puzzling and even harsh circumstances, allows us to test ourselves, to see “what we are really made of”, so to speak. Such experiences thereby serve to enhance our levels of self-awareness in our expanding soul evolution, as well as bring more information back to our soul group in the spirit realm.

Most of us enter into the virtual reality of this 3-D realm in the same way one might engage a video game. The trick, however, is that we generally assume a kind of amnesia about our true nature for the duration of the game, in order to get the full impact of the experience. In doing so, we take the human identity to represent who and what we really are, and this (mistaken) identity is rarely questioned in the midst of the adventure. By fusing with the human bio-vehicle, we thus become subject to its complications, which include less than perfect qualities.

If we apply our innate soul power to improve the host, we will likely see the development of soul-like qualities, such as compassion and expanded consciousness. However, if we choose instead to not interfere, and just remain a detached witness/observer to the human’s life, then the human will follow its animal course, which is often filled with violence and selfishness. Again, all we need do is review current world events, characterized as they are by blood lust, interminable conflict, blatant self-interest, and outrageous inequality, to recognize what kinds of choices are being made these days, in terms of efforts to effectively train the animals with which we are identifying.

There is more to this story, however. Ultimately, we are not only not the human animal, but we are not even the soul being. In reality, we are dream characters in the Mind of Source, being lived by Source in a drama of unfathomable love. It is unfathomable, because it is beyond the human capacity to comprehend, and so is typically misunderstood and misrepresented by the religions that humans have created to provide explanations for the Mystery.

Source wants to explore Itself, in much the same way we want to explore our own breadth and depth by incarnating as humans, for example, among the countless possibilities we may and do choose. Thus, in our role as immortal souls, we afford Source the perfect vehicles for such exploration, and as such, we are in a sense co-creators of a movie entitled “Infinity”.

In any case, as dream characters, there is nothing in need of forgiveness or improvement. Just as we are, with all our seeming faults and foibles, we are perfectly fulfilling Source’s desire to know Itself, in all the possible permutations of Itself which It can manifest. Source does not need to improve or forgive us, any more than we need to enter back into last night’s dream to improve or forgive our own dream characters, once we have awoken. It was, after all, a dream. There is no judgment, no blame or punishment — only a thirst for experience, in whatever way it might happen to present itself, or in whatever form it might happen to manifest, as we enter into the compelling illusion of time and space as shards of Source’s own divine light, playing our parts perfectly.

“This is Perfect. That is Perfect.

From the Perfect springs the Perfect.

Take the Perfect from the Perfect

and only the Perfect remains.”

~Nityananda Bhagavan


See also:

About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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49 Responses to The Paradox of Inherent Perfection

  1. Bob OHearn says:

    We will be seen on this stage of life again and again, until we become such good actors that we can play our parts perfectly, according to the Divine Will. Then the Stage Manager will say: “You need ‘go no more out.’ (Rev. 3:12). You have done My Will. You have played your part, and acted well. You did not lose courage. Now you have come back to Me, to be a pillar of immortality in the temple of My Eternal Existence.”

    ~Paramahansa Yogananda

  2. Alisha says:

    thanks for such an awesome post ..if you don’t mind can you give me your email ID brother Bob ?

  3. Bob OHearn says:

    Q: I can follow what you say up to the point where Source is dreaming this so called reality, and “wants to explore” whatever possibility. I can’t even imagine why Infinite Being could possibly want anything, let alone to experience the atrocities of suffering that are committed in our world. And it’s the doing of them that baffles me the most, like being Hitler. I know you got your bases covered by already saying we can’t comprehend Source, but isn’t lack of desires or extinction of them the very definition of Nirvana?

    A: This is a very good inquiry, and Thanks for exploring! To answer your concerns might take a whole new essay, but let me give it a try here. Consider for example how Mazie (my Mate) likes Zombie books. She also enjoys watching Zombie movies, but that doesn’t make her one of the evil dead, nor does she suspect that there are actually real zombies. In other words, it is a form of play. She is fully aware that zombies are imaginary creatures, and she enjoys them as such (even though they seem to do evil deeds and what not). She simply enjoys the zombie experience, for whatever reason that might be. Mostly, it is just a bit of fun, with no further implications than that. Indeed, our reasons for incarnating as humans are not always that different. Natalie Sudman, in her fascinating book called “Application of Impossible Things” ( ) makes that very point.

    “Nirvana” is a human concept having to do with the extinction of human craving and aversion, as well as seeing through the illusion of a separate and independent self, and any associated subject-object dualities. However, Buddha himself said that Nirvana is beyond human comprehension. Moreover, the traditional concept presupposes that there are indeed real persons who can enter Nirvana, once they have paid their requisite spiritual dues and so forth. This is what we call the “exoteric” version of Buddhism. The “esoteric” version, however, informs us that there are actually no such beings who can enter Nirvana. In the Diamond Sutra, for example, Buddha explicitly states that anyone who believes in such an existent person who can be saved or delivered over to Nirvana is not a Bodhisattva. In other words, they are clinging to false views about the nature of reality. Consequently, both Samsara and Nirvana can be understood as imaginary figments (that nevertheless can serve as expedient means), but ultimately cannot be established, nor can any independent self who is on their way to such a conceptual locale. This also aligns with the teaching of Advaita. Both Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta are adamant that it is the illusion of the “person” that confuses us, whereas in reality the separate and seemingly substantial self is no more than a bundle of thoughts, sensations, emotions, and memories, or as the Buddhists say, “Skandhas”.

    Now, a mistake human religions often make is to attempt to anthropomorphize Source, imagining that It is just a Super version of themselves. In reality, Source is an all-loving, and not controlling, immense intelligent energy field that has created within its own mind all of the characters that we call “souls”, essentially out of a curiosity to explore Itself. Kashmir Shaivites might say that Shiva forgets Himself for the intense joy of recognizing Himself all over again, which is more or less pointing to the same phenomenon. In any case, we are those souls within Source’s mind. We are parts of the collective Being that is Source, and all of us have been given complete free will to pick and choose the events of the physical lives of the creatures we inhabit. As I mentioned in the essay, we either allow the host body to lead its animal life while we just go along for the ride, or we manifest into physical reality qualities that represent our true nature, such as compassion and expanded consciousness.

    Nanci Danison, another NDE writer who experienced a profound merging with Source during her extended NDE, informs us in her reports that she learned that the universe of phenomena might be regarded as Source’s imagination given free reign. Of course, Source is omniscient, but there is a difference between knowing and viscerally experiencing. The fact that Source can imagine human animals who can do terrible things to each other and their environment does not make Source itself capable of committing evil, however. Source had to manifest the energetic patterns for a physical universe in order to eventually experience acts, thoughts, emotions, and events that it is totally incapable of experiencing directly due to its innate unconditionally loving nature. Remember, Source is an energy field. It has no physical matter or presence at all that could commit evil. It would be like trying to blame electricity for the rise of the Third Reich.

    Nor does Source commit evil acts through its imaginary physical creatures. Source does not sit around on a cloud or in a control booth pulling strings and pushing buttons to control every creature in the universe. That would defeat the purpose of using the universe as a creative outlet, to see what Source’s imaginary creatures can produce once given free will to manifest on their own. Source is capable of observing what humans call evil. That’s all it does, in a way similar to how we watch our own nightmares or scary movies. Source creates the essential blueprints which manifest as universal laws, but then it is up to us to flesh it all out, so to speak.

    Because we are parts of Source’s mind (as many mystics and those who have had profound or “transcendental” NDE’s note), and because we have the ability to control the actions and lives of the human bio-vehicles we inhabit (whether we exercise it or not), Source in that very limited sense does control human lives through us. The difference between this model of life, and the religious model, is who has the power. In the religious model, God is all powerful and we are powerless. The religious model assumes that the core consciousness of Source directs and controls everything in the physical world. In the model being discussed here, we are all parts of God and are therefore powerful spiritual forces ourselves. We direct and control our own lives as emanations of Source Light.

    Humans may be responsible for the evil in the world, but Source does not judge any of us in our human guises as right or wrong, good or evil. Rather, we are loved unconditionally, beyond our present capacity to even conceive. Judgment is a human trait, even though humans are probably the least qualified to judge each other. The real issue is, as Ramana pointed out, a matter of the angle of vision. There is the human perspective, the soul perspective, and Source’s perspective, and depending on which perspective being employed, we will obviously see things differently. It’s somewhat like the difference between how we saw things at the age of 2, versus how we then saw the world at 13, then 30, then 50, and so forth, although the difference in levels of consciousness between humans, souls, and Source is much vaster.

    From the human perspective, for example, the Holocaust was an atrocity, and all the Jews, Gypsies, Communists, etc. were victims. From the soul perspective, however, it might be seen that a bunch of us chose to experience those events prior to taking human birth, in order to find out what it would be like to undergo that sort of thing. Remember, the soul is immortal, and so experiences thousands and thousands of lives. In some, we might play the role of perpetrator, and in others, that of the victim. Both are creations. Remember, the soul perspective is nothing like that of a human, bound by time and space and conditioning. And then of course there is Source’s “view”, which again is one of unconditional loving regardless of what appears to transpire on the stages upon which we appear, dance, and exit.

  4. inaendelea says:

    Wow! Nice writting… congratulations! Is a very difficult topic, isn’t it? I have thought often about this topic, so I have some questions about.

    You wrote: “The source (…) essentially out of a curiosity to explore Itself”; this implies the absolute unknows himself, seems to me a contradiction, like He (or maybe It?) need enlightenment, but this is another duality: there are the known an the unknown, and the source unknows himself, so he “wants” (by the way, can this verb be applied to the absolute? It/He have desires? seems unlikely) to know Himself. But the absolute must be one, without duality. Do you agree? Or maybe the “source” is not absolute at all?

    The “source” in your writting is presented as impersonal, but, I think is possible He is someone, but is so big, so immense, that from our point of view seems impersonal. Then, both points of views, Buddhist and religions, can be true at the same time.

    So, which is the sense of the Creation? We have a superlative source/He probably made of loving-kindness and energy beyond our imagination. Why it/he needs to create anything else? Seems evident that all the creation must be part of the source, so we are part of It/He, because at these level can’t be any duality. I don’t know … who knows? Only one thing is clear for me: being pure loving-kindness, the aim of the Creator and the sense of Creation must be to give happiness, not a superficial one, but bliss. So the future of the humanity must be to become enlightened … a very very nice future.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thank you, Inaendelea, for joining the inquiry! Your questions, though certainly reasonable from the human perspective, are really only going to be satisfied by you yourself experiencing the perspective of Source. This might seem like a tall order, of course, unless we recognize that Source and ourselves are not two. First of all, we need to discard all of our human preconceptions, beliefs, and speculations, and enter into that stillness where true listening is possible. It is in that silence that all is revealed. In the course of our human incarnations, very few are able to access the universal knowledge that is our natural inheritance, because we accept a kind of amnesia while here. I have discussed this already, and the reasons for it. Still, being the kind of creatures that we are, we will continue to rely on human knowledge to understand That which transcends the human capacity, and so will always encounter some level of frustration in trying to figure out the ineffable. My posted essays and comments are based on over a half century of study and practice, including a couple of trips to “the other side”, and so I offer what little I have gleaned in the process, not to be definitive, but simply to share another perspective — one that I hope will spark deeper inquiry in the readers, and perhaps lead them to delve into the truth of their own being.


      • inaendelea says:

        Thanks for your comment Bob; “…based on over a half century…” is really a lot of experience!

        I only have had a few of “transcendental experiences”, two of them was really impressive for me, and they are changing my mind, and switching my life to a spiritual way, so I can understand your aim: to share for spark of knowledge. It was my aim too when I started my own blog, even having much less experience than you. But i have realized is difficult to share so subtle consciousness states, even for me is difficult to apply to daily life. I have a strong inclination to share and help others in the way of enlightenment, but is not easy at all for me.


      • Bob OHearn says:

        Thanks for your reply, Inaendelea! Yes, what good is any of it if we cannot share, eh, and Thank you for giving us much food for thought at your own blog:


  5. “do we always live a life characterized by integrity and loving kindness? If not, then there is still work to do, even though, paradoxically, it is also true that there is nothing to be done. ”
    I think this really sums it up. We can recognize those human qualities that argue with, and so separate us from, our oneness- nirvana- enlightened states. The skill of observing ego, and the gut clenching (for me) body sensation that says I am in aversion, are cues to re-center…. Or not. (Zombie’s are people too! Ha ha). Once you have the skill- set, I think you have the flowing choice. Was it Jack Kornfeld (sp?) that titles this paradox, ” After the Ecstacy, the Laundry”.
    P.S. I love your articulations, dear Bob. Thank you.

  6. Reblogged this on Counseling TidBits and commented:
    An excellently articulated discussion about Being of the World yet freeing the self of participating in (what is optional) suffering. Profound, yes?

  7. Bob OHearn says:

    “Truly there is no cause for you to be miserable and unhappy. You yourself impose limitations on your true nature of infinite Being and then weep that you are but a finite creature. Then you take up this or that sadhana (practice) to transcend the nonexistent limitations. But if your sadhana (practice) itself assumes the existence of the limitations, how can it help you to transcend them? Hence I say know that you are really the infinite, pure Being, the Self Absolute. You are always that Self and nothing but that Self. Therefore, you can never be really ignorant of the Self; your ignorance is merely a formal ignorance. Know then that true Knowledge does not create a new Being for you; it only removes your “ignorant ignorance.” Bliss is not added to your nature; it is merely revealed as your true and natural state, eternal and imperishable. The only way to be rid of your grief is to know and be the Self”.

    ~ Ramana Maharshi

  8. marcelvuijst says:

    There’s nothing to [i]it[/] still amazed as *you can share it in the written word, and observing *all the dualistic self-centered replies… what a show!

    • Bob OHearn says:

      One way to regard it all is in terms of a great symphonic chorus, composed of all of our voices, all unique, but all essentially proclaiming and expounding the unsurpassed Dharma, when taken together in mandalic form and appreciated as pure music, without any need for the addition of conceptual definition or elaboration.


  9. marcelvuijst says:

    “One way to regard it all is in terms of a great symphonic chorus, composed of all of our voices, all unique, but all essentially proclaiming and expounding the unsurpassed Dharma, when taken together in mandalic form and appreciated as pure music, without any need for the addition of conceptual definition or elaboration”

    Thank You, Brother. 🙂

  10. Bob OHearn says:

    “Since all phenomena are timelessly free, nothing need be done to free them anew through realization.
    Even the thought that freedom comes about through direct introduction is deluded. One strives to free this essence from whatever binds it, but nothing need be done to free it, for unobstructed Awareness, which has never existed as anything whatsoever, does not entail any duality of something to be realized and someone to realize it. There is equalness because nothing is improved by realization or worsened by it’s absence, so there is no need for any adventitious realization. And because there never has existed anything to realize — for the ultimate nature of phenomena is beyond ordinary consciousness — to speak of realization on even the relative level is nothing but deluded. What can be shown at this point is the transcendence of view and meditation, in which nothing need be done regarding realization, nothing need be directly introduced, and no state of meditation need be cultivated. So there is the expression ‘it is irrelevant whether or not one has realization’.”

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    I talk about it sometimes with Him, all the suffering in the world.
    “Dear God,” I have prayed, “how is it possible all the horrors I have seen, all the atrocities you allow man to commit when you – God — are ever standing so near and could help us? Could we not hear your voice say ‘No’ with such love and power never again would we harm?”
    And my Lord replied, “Who would understand if I said that I cannot bear to confine a wing, and not let it learn from the course it chooses.”
    But what of a man walking lost in a forest weeping and calling your name for help, and unknown to him he is heading for a covered pit with sharp spears in it that will maim his flesh when he crashes through the trap?
    “Yes, why don’t I remove every object from this world that could cause someone to weep? Yes, why don’t I speak in a way that could save a life?”
    I opened up my mouth and the Infinite ran to the edges of space — and all possibilities are contained therein, all possibilities, even sorrow.
    ”In the end, nothing that ever caused one pain will exist, No one will begrudge Me.
    The Absolute Innocence of all within my Creation takes a while to understand.”

    ~ Catherine of Sienna

  12. Bob OHearn says:

    Q: Is there not a state of absolute perfection which does not decay?

    M: Whatever has a beginning must have an end. In the timeless all is perfect, here and now.

    Q: But shall we reach the timeless in due course?

    M: In due course we shall come back to the starting point. Time cannot take us out of time, as space cannot take us out of space. All you get by waiting is more waiting. Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. The secret is in action — here and now. It is your behaviour that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect — whatever your idea of perfection may be. All you need is courage.

    Q: Is there no such thing as permanent perfection?

    M: Yes, there is, but it includes all imperfection. It is the perfection of our self-nature which makes everything possible, perceivable, interesting. It knows no suffering, for it neither likes nor dislikes; neither accepts nor rejects. Creation and destruction are the two poles between which it weaves its ever-changing pattern. Be free from predilections and preferences and the mind with its burden of sorrow will be no more.

    ~from “I Am That”, Nisargadatta Maharaj

  13. Bob OHearn says:


    We are already as enlightened as we are ever going to be. The way, or practice, is just to realize the full implication of that. Because such realization never ends, practice never ends. This is what is meant by “practice/realization”. That which never changes is always changing, practicing/realizing. Awareness and experience are not separate, nothing is. Embodiment is not separate from spirit, spirit is not separate from supreme enlightenment, which is always practicing/realizing itself in the form of whatever appears or not. It is natural, uncontrived, spontaneous. Everything already knows.

  14. Bob OHearn says:

    “We are perfect as we are.
    When we realize this, we are perfect.
    When we do not realize this, we are also perfect.”

    ~ Anam Thubten

  15. Bob OHearn says:

    Our spirit is perfect. You, the soul that you are be-ing, is imperfect. It is imperfect by design, and thus is then also perfect. But its imperfection lies within its inability to recall the TOTAL perfection of the spirit. You cannot recall the total perfection of your spirit, simply because you have not CREATED it yet. To re-member yourself is to re-create yourself in your OWN image. This is the soul journey. You are recreating your soul in the image and likeness of your pure, untainted, ancient ever-loving spirit. This journey is perfection in action. Or put another way, perfection realized, and embodied.


  16. Canyon Springs says:

    Who is Sparrow, Bob? Thanks for sharing his thoughts.

  17. Canyon says:

    You make him sound like an alter-ego 🙂

    More seriously, love his writings…reminds me of an old friend bygone…

    Any collated writings of his would be great.

    Thank you as always.


  18. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do not try to become anything.
    Do not make yourself into anything.
    Do not be a meditator.
    Do not become enlightened.
    When you sit, let it be.
    When you walk, let it be.
    Grasp at nothing.
    Resist nothing.”

    ~ Ajahn Chah

  19. Este says:

    Hi Bob,

    Your words strike a deep chord, I am a little puzzled by ‘ if we remained a detached witness the human will follow it’s animal course and selfishness and violence will result! I am a little confused! When I am experiencing a state of irritation or impatience presence can arise and the negative feeling naturally dissolves on it’s own accord! I tend to associate detached silent witness to a state of presence! Besides this your insights hit me like a spiritual arrow, a work of true intelligence as opposed to cultivated intellect! I appreciate it and are eternally grateful!

  20. Bob OHearn says:

    Greetings Este!

    Thanks for your kind comments. The confusion here is in the use of the word “witness”, which has a more formal meaning in Advaita practice. In this instance, I was employing it to signify mere observation without concomitant movement to direct the host towards appropriate behavior. In other words, just watching the host misbehave without applying one’s innate soul power to guide it, in the same manner one might acquire a dog but never train it. If we want to understand why there is so much mayhem in the world, one big reason is because children are not skillfully raised. I elaborate on that in my essay “World of Warcraft”.


  21. Thanks Bob! Spot on as always. 🙂

  22. Pingback: The Paradox of Inherent Perfection | Zen Flash

  23. oregano1215 says:

    I think that the Infinite One does see through our eyes, heart and soul and the conduit is His Spirit which is inside of each of us. He made us living souls having breathed into us and made us into a body, soul and spirit. I look at a tree and how beautifully shaped it is. It reminds me of the human eye…shaped if you will with limbs, trunk and roots like an optic nerve. Just as the trees are the eyes to mother earth…rooted and connected to each other, so we are also formed from the earthy soil…forever rooted into mother earth as a tree and forever reaching to aspire to the goodness of the light and those things which are above…mixed with a spiritual wonder we are rooted with feet of clay, yet soar into the infinite with our spirit…marvelous and perfect in the moments that we have…can we attain to reach as a tree to those things which are above…most certainly…is it okay that each tree is different…yes of course…just as we are all different and yet complete in our own way…peace, joy and love to each of you…

  24. Pingback: The Transience of Life and Happiness – A Buddhist’s View | Counseling TidBits

  25. Bob OHearn says:

    “Freedom attends reality:

    free at the core, any effort is wasted;
    timelessly free, no release is needed;
    free in itself, no corrective is possible;
    directly free, released in seeing;
    completely free, pure in nature;
    constantly free, familiarization is redundant;
    and naturally free, freedom cannot be contrived.

    Yet ‘freedom’ is just a verbal convention,
    and who is ‘realized’ and who is not?
    How could anyone be ‘liberated’?
    How could anyone be lost in samsara?
    Reality is free of all delimitation!

    Freedom is timeless, so constantly present;
    freedom is natural, so unconditional;
    freedom is direct, so pure vision obtains;
    freedom is unbounded, so no identity possible;
    freedom is unitary, so multiplicity is consumed.

    Conduct changes nothing – our lives are already free!
    Meditation achieves nothing – our minds are already free!
    The view realizes nothing – all dogma is freedom!
    Fruition demands nothing – we are free as we are!”

    ~ Longchenpa

  26. Bob OHearn says:

    “Let us now turn to the third and final aspect of the Dzogchen teaching, the fruit or “result” of practice: realization. We have already said that the primordial state contains in potentiality the manifestation of enlightenment. The sun, for example, naturally has light and rays, but when the sky is cloudy, we do not see them. The clouds in this case represent our obstacles that are a result of dualism and conditioning: when they are overcome, the state of self-perfection shines with all its manifestations of energy, without ever having been altered or improved.”

    ~Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

  27. Bob OHearn says:

    “We are not approaching practice from the point of view of accepting something that is not true, i.e., that the universe and beings are impure, etc. But we must acquiesce that this is indeed how things appear to us, and that as long as things appear in this way to us, we are under the influence of the two obscurations, which while temporary and not innate, conceal from us our actual state.”

    ~Malcolm Smith

  28. Bob OHearn says:

    The body is a form composed of the five-fold sheath;
    therefore, all the five sheaths are implied in the term, body.
    Apart from the body does the world exist?
    Has anyone seen the world without the body?

    The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects
    perceived by the five sense-organs.
    Since, through these five sense-organs,
    a single mind perceives the world, the world is nothing but the mind.
    Apart from the mind can there be a world?

    Although the world and knowledge thereof rise and set together
    it is by knowledge alone that the world is made apparent.
    That Perfection wherein the world and knowledge thereof rise and set,
    and which shines without rising and setting, is alone the Reality.

    ~Sri Ramana Maharshi – Forty Verses on Reality (verse. 5-7)

  29. Bob OHearn says:

    “See the wholeness of what’s actually here, the quality of the timeless as it displays itself through all of experience. Then your own sense of the sacred, known inside of what you are, widens beyond simply pleasurable experiences and becomes the whole spectrum of experience. You start to perceive directly that all of manifestation, no matter what it is, is the flowering of the Divine. If there is confusion, that’s God being confused. If there is clarity, that’s God being clear. Next you will be able to see God in the dump, in the trash thrown in the gutter, in the street person who hasn’t bathed in six months. You start to see the same sacredness everywhere, the same intimate dharmic relationship of the mystery to itself. And so it goes, more and more, deeper and deeper penetration, and into more areas. As you perceive this sacredness in all things, you know you are not who you thought you were. You are an alive, awake mystery that can’t be touched or seen.”

    ~ Adyashanti

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  32. Bob OHearn says:

    “In the Great Perfection there is no path – only the timeless modality of momentary unfoldment. Thus the nature of reality cannot be found by seeking; it is already present. The mind cannot objectify its own nature, so reality cannot be found by searching for it. Seeking it would be like a dog chasing its own tail.”


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