Without regularly ‘looking within’ during form practice, inner mastery will never occur, and the practitioner will not advance his or her knowledge beyond the superficial level.
Just as people believed ‘miracles’ happened during the religiously dominated medieval period, people living in the post-modern era continue this tradition and ‘believe’ that they too are also experiencing paranormal events.
. This paradox is premised upon the understanding of the existence of ‘form’ in emptiness. However, none of this is possible without the cultivation of profound wisdom, compassion, and loving kindness, all of which is required if the mind is to turn around at its deepest level and regain a correct and true conscious awareness. The further paradox is that emptiness is not ‘nothing’, and that consciousness cannot exist without an object.
Enlightenment appears to be the realisation of the exact mid-point between these four positions of logic, but is not limited to any of the propositions. Things are ‘empty’ because they are not ‘full’, but it can equally be said that things are ‘full’ because they are not ‘empty’ – but these statements are relative positions for the interpretation of ‘truth’.
‘The sutras lead the aspirant toward enlightenment at their own pace, whilst Ch’an, in its more direct method demands that the obvious is realised here and now, and its nature not endlessly talked around. The Ch’an masters use the language of the ‘uncreate’. This is the use of ordinary conditioned human language, in a manner that does not allow for the usual conditioning to operate, and thus deprives the intellectual mind of the fuel needed to create more delusive thought. This language manifests the ‘real’ in an non-dualistic and absolute manner and can not be understood with a mere shallow cleverness. Its impact is often decisive and is designed to take the practitioner through the three gates of entry into nirvana; namely ‘voidness’, ‘formlessness’, and ‘inactivity’. Voidness empties the mind of the idea of self and others; formlessness wipes out the notion of externals, and inactivity puts a stop to all worldly activities, whilst appearing in the world – in numerous and diverse circumstances – to act as a bodhisattva and deliver all living beings from suffering.’