There is nothing but what we create. I experienced something quite remarkable recently during house cleaning. Everything sudden stopped. My mind seemed to stop processing information, although it was still thinking. Furthermore my hands which held the cleaning cloth stopped moving to and fro. I experienced nothing. Then I felt my mind jump start again. I had only one thought that occupied my complete presence. There is nothing but what the mind creates. I instantly realized that this was not actually a thought but rather a state of enlightenment.
I crouched on the floor during my cleaning and remained there in stillness. I was fascinated by the possibilities offered through this insight. We are all inertly aware of being in a conscious state of oneness. We are all awakening; each person in his or her own manner. I too am no different. I have awakened years ago and am still awakening to the truth of what this awakened state has to offer. There is still a tendency for me to get confused on occasion. It is in such moments when I may then assume or demand.
These moments of disorientation may also invoke the ego. The ego then initiates behavior and or thought patterns that imply, for example that I am miles ahead of others; spiritually speaking. This is typical for the ego and is how the conditioned factors in a person behave. This is however wrong. I am not miles ahead or miles behind anyone; spiritually speaking or otherwise. I, just like each of you, am exactly where we should be now. We are what we are in this moment. The key to enlightenment is to be conscious of what the mind will do if you are not aware and observe its behavior. The mind creates but conscious awareness allows you to create from beyond the mind and yet in harmony with it.
The above text was mentioned to indicate my astonishment during this moment of absolute awareness. I looked around as I knelt on the floor. The words and images “There is nothing but what the mind creates” flowed through my mind, body and beyond. Our mind creates what we experience. Can there be any other factual truth? The sadness that we feel is not created by a given experience. The sadness is projected by a mental state of “being” that is occurring in any given moment. The angry we may feel on occasion toward a neighbor or boss is not created by either of these individuals. It is created by the mind. The happiness that we bask in is not necessarily the result of what happens. The happiness primarily derives from the minds influence on our body in response to what has happened.
There are a few passages that I would like to share with you in relation to our discussion. The first few are from Wikipedia:
– Philosopher George Berkeley, in his work, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710), proposes, “But, say you, surely there is nothing easier than for me to imagine trees, for instance, in a park […] and nobody by to perceive them. […] The objects of sense exist only when they are perceived; the trees therefore are in the garden […] no longer than while there is somebody by to perceive them.”
– “22 Appearances are one’s own mind. From the beginning, mind’s nature is free from the extremes of elaboration. Knowing this, not to engage the mind in subject-object duality is the bodhisattva’s practice.”
– Hui-neng’s Flag
There is a well-known story of Hui-neng, a well-respected Buddhist monk who later became known as the founder of the Zen school, who one day happened to be passing by two monks.
“Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, “The flag moves.” The other said, “The wind moves.” They argued back and forth but could not agree.
The Sixth Ancestor said, “Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves.” The two monks were struck with awe.”
The Mumonkan Case 29, translation by Robert Aitken
– Hui-neng Receives The Dharma
One day the monks at Huang-mei monastery were instructed to write a stanza in order that their master Hung-jen might decide who would inherit the dharma throne. All of the monks assumed that a certain senior disciple Shen-hsui would win and thus didn’t even bother writing stanzas. Shen-hsui assumed he would win too, and wrote the following stanza on the monastery wall:
The body is a Bodhi tree,
the mind a standing mirror bright.
At all times polish it diligently,
and let no dust alight.
Due to the danger surrounding him if he were to openly challenge the senior monk Shen-hsui, Hui-neng went out one night while it was completely dark and wrote the following stanza in secret:
Bodhi originally has no tree.
The bright mirror also has no stand.
Fundamentally there is not a single thing.
Where could dust arise?
Nothing is Everything
I would like to close this article with a quote from Burt Harding:
“There is no sound if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is in range to hear it. Our senses tell us the world is real. I truth, its a play of mind. Holographic oneness is this now moment. It is who you are. Nothing is separate from anything else. Separation is impossible. Existence is oneness. You are existence itself. You are not living so you cannot die. You appear as a form and only think you are separate. Consciousness and Awareness are one.
Awareness is not something. The moment you become aware of something, it becomes consciousness or thought. The moment you think about that thought, you are the thinker. The moment you become the thinker of the thought, that’s ego. Feeling knowing has nothing to do with doing. Knowing is effortless as it is your natural state. When you see clearly, you are free. The changeless part of you never ends. Everything you see is the same changeless you. Begin to understand this with the heart: Everything you see and experience is in the mind. There are no people out there, only the mind manifesting those people that seem to be…”
– Burt Harding
There is nothing but what the mind creates. However the mind of every individual is creating something from nothing. We are all awakening; each in his or her own way. This awakening unites us consciously and offers the capacity to create a universe of love and peace.