The Headless Way
A method of self-enquiry
pioneered by Douglas Harding
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Enlightenment

If we talk of knowing the Self, there must be two Selves, one a knowing Self, another the Self which is known, and the process of knowing. The state we call realisation is simply being oneself, not knowing anything or becoming anything. If one is realised, he is that which alone is and which alone always has been. Ramana Maharshi.

There are no steps to self-realization. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and is irreversible. You rotate into a new dimension, seen from which the previous ones are mere abstractions. Just like on sunrise you see things as they are, so on self-realization you see everything as it is. The world of illusions is left behind.  Nisargadatta Maharaj

The Absolute, or Reality, is regarded as having for sentient beings two aspects. The only aspect perceptible to the unenlightened is the one in which individual phenomena have a separate though purely transitory existence within the limits of space-time. The other aspect is spaceless and timeless; moreover all opposites, all distinctions and 'entities' of every dind, are here seen to be One. Yet neither is this second aspect, alone, the highest fruit of Enlightenment, as many contemplatives suppose; it is only when both aspects are perceived and reconciled that the beholder may be regarded as truly Enlightened. Yet, from that moment, he ceases to be the beholder, for he his conscious of no division between beholding and beheld. This leads to further paradoxes, unless the use of words is abandoned altogether. John Blofeld (in his Translator's Introduction to Huang Po).

Push far enough towards the Void,
Hold fast enough to Quietness,
And of the ten thousand things none but can be worked on by you.
I have beheld them, whither they go back.
See, all things howsoever they flourish
Return to the root from which they grew.
This return to the root is called Quietness;
Quietness is called submission to Fate;
What has submitted to Fate has become part of the always-so.
To know the always-so is to be Illumined;
Not to know it, means to go blindly to disaster.
He who knows the always-so has room in him for everything;
He who has room in him for everything is without prejudice.
To be without prejudice is to be kingly;
To be kingly is to be of heaven;
To be of heaven is to be in Tao.
Tao is forever and he that possesses it,
Though his body ceases, is not destroyed.  Lao-Tzu

All beings I must lead to Nirvana, into that Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind. And yet, although innumerable beings have thus been led to Nirvana, no being at all has been led to Nirvana.  Diamond Sutra

There is Light within a Light-man and it lights up the whole world.  Gospel According to Thomas

Empty and desireless, cold and thin, simple and genuine, this is how to strike down and fold up the remaining habits of many lives. When the stains from old habits are exhausted the original light appears, blazing through your skull, not admitting any other matters. Vast and spacious, like sky and water merging during autumn, like snow and moon having the same colour, this field is without boundary, beyond direction, magnificently one entity without edge or seam. Further, when you turn within and drop off everything completely, realization occurs. Right at the time of entirely dropping off, deliberation and discussion are one thousand or ten thousand miles away. Still no principle is discernible, so what could there be to point to or explain? People with the bottom of the bucket fallen out immediately find total trust. So we are told simply to realize mutual response and explore mutual response, then turn around and enter the world. Roam and play in samadhi. Every detail clearly appears before you. Sound and form, echo and shadow, happen instantly without leaving traces.  Hongzhi (From the Foreword to Cultivating the Empty Field by Taigen Dan Leighton, pub. by Tuttle Library of Enlightenment.)

Empty is the person of self or of what pertains to self. Self is empty and such knowledge of emptiness is fulfilment, or completion, or accomplishment. Completion is reconciled to emptiness; if there is something missing in completion it is not complete. Completion must be empty of impurities, empty of mental bias or blemishes, and thus empty of all things. There is finally only the state of perfect purity, which is the Truth.  Dhiravamsa

The changeful keeps on changing, while the changeless is waiting. Do not expect the changeful to take you to the changeless - it can never happen. Nisargadatta Maharaj

In the Zen experience, a certain unity happens, subject and object become one, and we come to realize our own self-nature. This self-nature cannot be seen, it cannot be touched, it cannot be heard. Because of these characteristics, we refer to it as "empty" (in Japanese, ku) but its activities are infinite. So, we say the Zen experience is the realization of the empty-infinite of our self-nature or our essential-nature, as it is often called. When this happens, the fact is accompanied by a great peace of mind. At that moment, we feel as though the heavy burdens we have been carrying in our heart or on our shoulders, indeed all over our body and soul, suddenly disappear as if thrown away. The joy and happiness at that time is beyond all words. And there are no philosophies or theologies attached to it. Yamada Roshi 

The state we call Realization is simply being one's self, not knowing anything or becoming anything. Ramana Maharshi

To know the truth of one's Self as the sole Reality, and to merge and become one with it, is the only true Realization. Ramana Maharshi

To find a buddha all you have to do is see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a buddha. If you don’t see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you’ll never find a buddha. The truth is, there’s nothing to find. You have the buddha-nature. Whoever sees his nature is a buddha; whoever doesn’t is a mortal. To attain enlightenment you have to see your nature. To attain enlightenment without seeing your nature is impossible. Someone who sees his own nature finds the Way, even if he can’t read a word. Seeing your nature is zen. Unless you see your nature, it’s not zen. If you see your nature, you don’t need to read sutras or invoke buddhas. Unless they see their nature, people who shave their head are simply fanatics. Once you see your nature, you’re a buddha even if you work as a butcher. Buddhas of the past and future only talk about seeing your nature. It’s only because people don’t see their nature that they end up in hell. If you don’t see your own miraculously aware nature, you’ll never find a buddha even if you break your body into atoms. But people today don’t understand what this means. Instead of looking inside they insist on looking outside. Seeing through the mundane and witnessing the sublime is less than an eye-blink away. Realization is now. Bodhidharma. From the teachings of Bodhidharma as exposed in the Bloodstream Sermon and the Breakthrough Sermon, translated by Red Pine.

The substance of the Absolute is inwardly like wood or stone in that it is motionless, and outwardly like the void in that it is without bounds or obstructions. Those who hasten towards it dare not enter, fearing to hurtle down though the void with nothing to cling to or to stay their fall. So they look to the brink and retreat. This refers to all who seek such a goal through cognition. Thus, those who seek the goal through cognition are like the fur (many), while those who obtain to intuitive knowledge of the Way are like the horns (few). Huang Po.   

Realization is to get rid of the delusion that you have not realised. Ramana Maharishi  

Realization is our true nature. It is nothing new to be gained. What is new cannot be eternal. Therefore there is no need to be doubting whether we would gain or lose the self. Ramana Maharshi 

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