Chapter 15: Suchness
See The Tathagata Everywhere
Where do we come from at birth? Were do we go at death? If you know where we come from and where we go, then you can be called a student of Buddha.
Who is it who knows of birth and death? And who is it who experiences birth and death? Again: who is it who doesn’t know where we come from and where we go? Who is it who suddenly realizes where he comes from and where he goes to? And who is it who, contemplating these words, blinks his eyes unable to understand, his belly churning up and down, as if a mass of fire were placed in his heart? If you want to know, just apprehend him at the point where he can’t understand. If you can recognize him then, you’ll know that birth and death surely have nothing to do with him.
Whenever you’re reading the scriptures or the stories of the ancient worthies entering the path, when your mind doesn’t understand clearly, and it seems bewildering and stifling and flavorless - as if you’re gnawing on an iron spike - this is just the time to apply effort: above all you must not give up. This is the place where conceptual knowledge doesn’t operate, where thought doesn’t reach, where discrimination is cut off, and the path of reason is annihilated. Where you can always explain reasons and apply discrimination. This all pertains to emotional consciousness. Time and again people take this thief as their son. Don’t be unaware of this!
Ta Hui seems to come very close to the truth but somehow goes on missing it. In this sutra the beginning part is immensely important because it is not a quotation. He is speaking himself. And what he is saying is one of the most ancient meditations, one which has helped many on the path to the final arrival, to the very peak of their consciousness.
Where do we come from at birth?
It has not to be asked verbally; verbally it is meaningless, but if you feel existentially.We are here; certainly we must have come from somewhere, and certainly we are going somewhere. It is absolutely certain, the coming and going. If it becomes something like a thirst in the very fibers of your being, if every cell within you becomes a question mark, then this meditation works.
Where do we come from at birth? Where do we go at death? If you know where we come from and where we go, then you can be called a
of the Buddha.