The Headless Way
A method of self-enquiry
pioneered by Douglas Harding
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No-Mind

Q: All you say comes clear to me. But when some physical or mental trouble comes, my mind goes dull and grey, or seeks frantically for relief.
Nisargadatta Maharaj: What does it matter? It is the mind that is dull or restless, not you.

The life of man is what it is. That which is, is. All the trouble arises by having a conception of it. Mind comes in. It has a conception. All trouble follows. If you are as you are, without a mind and its conceptions about various things, all will be well with you. If you seek the source of the mind, then all questions will be solved. Ramana Maharshi.

Only when you find no things in your mind and find Mind in no things, are you empty and spiritual, formless and marvellous. To-shan Hsuan-chiou

If, wishing to realize the Unborn, you people try to stop your thoughts from arising, then by stopping them you divide one mind into two. It's as if you were pursuing something that's running away. As long as you deliberately try to stop your thoughts, the thought of trying to stop them wars against the continually arising thoughts themselves, and there's never an end to it, Just don't bother with them, and then there's nothing else they can do but stop. When there's no one there to fight with, things can't help but simply come to an end of themselves.  Bankei

Right meditation is the realization of mind itself, of its pure undifferentiated essence. Ashvaghosha

Buddhahood is attained when there is no mind to be used for the task. Hui-chung

Only have no mind of any kind, and this is known as undefiled knowledge. Huang-po

If he had any discriminating mind, do you think he could discriminate anything? Shen-hui

At Ya Chou there are houses with storeys, groves and parks, and plenty of men and horses. Now turn back your thinking to see if there are as many things in that which thinks of them.  Yan-shan Hui-chi

How can there be merits and demerits for me who am without organs, without mind, changeless and formless? Shankara

To set up what you like against what you dislike -- this is the disease of the mind. Seng-t'san  

Up then, noble soul! Put on thy jumping shoes which are intellect and love, and overleap the worship of thy mental powers, overleap thine understanding and spring into the heart of God.  Meister Eckhart

To know our Mind is to obtain liberation. To obtain liberation is to attain the Samadhi of Prajna, which is 'being without thoughts'. 'Being without thoughts' is seeing and knowing all things with a mind free from attachment, but to refrain from thinking of anything, so that all thoughts are suppressed, is to be Dharma-ridden, and this is an erroneous view. Hui-neng

It is the nature of the mind to wander. You are not the mind. The mind springs up and sinks down. It is impermanent, transitory, whereas you are eternal, To inhere in the Self is the thing. Never mind the mind, In the realized man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him. Ramana Maharshi

Obey the nature of things (your own nature) and you will walk freely and undisturbed. When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness, For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centred striving ceases, To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. Sen-t'san

To attempt to think of the Self which is beyond the range of thought is only to create a new thought. Abandoning such a thought, I abide in peace. Ashtavakra Gita

My Child, the study and discussion of different philosophies will not establish thee in the Self. Forget all, and be happy. Ashtavakra Gita

The wise know that all that is not the Self is merely a movement of the mind; being liberated, they live as a child lives. Ashtavakra Gita

Behold, then knowledge and discernment come to be more loved than that which is discerned, for the false natural light loveth its knowledge and powers, which are itself, more than that which is known. Theologia Germanica

We make an idol of truth itself; for truth apart from charity is not God, but his image and idol. Pascal

All this kind of light (the light of ordinary knowledge) fades, (But) the light that never fades, the deep, inward brilliance which is not a thing of the market place, cannot be shown to another. You can't seek it, you can't cultivate it, you can't possibly imagine it or speculate upon it, for it is not within the reach of the mind. J. Krishnamurti

It is true it is a suspension, but it is a suspension of distinct and particular acts, in order to give place to a general and universal act of the presence of God; thus the soul is always occupied and always filled. It is to suspend a lesser good for a more perfect good; or to express it better, it is to free the soul from the weight of its many thoughts and reasonings, to enlighten and purify it rather than to suspend it. Francois Malaval

Guide us to that topmost height of mystic lore which exceedeth light and more than exceedeth knowledge, where the simple, absolute and unchangeable mysteries of heavenly Truth lie hidden in the dazzling obscurity of the secret Silence, outshining all brilliance with the intensity of their darkness, and surcharging our blinded intellects with the utterly impalpable and invisible fairness of glories which exceed all beauty! Dionysius the Areopagite

If this work is to be done, God alone must do it, and thou must undergo it. Where from thy willing and knowing thou truly goest out, God with his knowing surely and willingly goes in and shines there clearly. Where God thus knows himself thy knowledge is of no avail and cannot stand. Do not fondly imagine that thy reason can grow to the knowledge of God; that God shall shine in thee divinely no natural light can help to bring about; it must be utterly extinguished and go out of itself altogether, then God can shine in with his light bringing back with him everything thou wentest out of and a thousandfold more, besides the new form containing it all. Meister Eckhart

When thought abandons itself there is the discipline of the abandonment, which becomes the grace of austerity. From this deep self-abandonment, the whole structure of the mind becomes quiet. It is really a state of pure attention and out of this comes a bliss, an ecstasy, that cannot be put into words. When it is put into words it is not the real. J. Krishnamurti

Of course, memory has a place at a certain level. In everyday life we could not function at all without it. In its own field it must be efficient but there is a state of mind where it has very little place. A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom. J. Krishnamurti

I realised the Essential Nature of my body and mind, that it was like the fluidity of the oceans of fragrance surrounding the Isles of the Blest. I came to realize that I had been all along throwing the broken shards of my thoughts of personality into the pure limpidity of my Essential Nature. Surangama Sutra

Mind is only a cloud that hides the sun of Truth. Man is, in fact, God playing the fool. When he chooses, He liberates Himself. Ram Dass

By love may He be gotten and holden, but by thought never. The Cloud of Unknowing

God instructs the heart, not through ideas but through suffering and adversity. Jean Pierre de Caussade

When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way. Sen-t'san

Half-way between Pooh's house and Piglet's house was a Thoughtful Spot. A.A. Milne, "The House At Pooh Corner"

The river, felt very quiet and peaceful on this summer afternoon. A.A. Milne, "The House At Pooh Corner"

Pooh, thinks Grand Thoughts to himself about Nothing. A.A. Milne, "The House At Pooh Corner"

"Well, I sort of made it up," said Pooh, "It comes to me sometimes."
"Ah!" said Rabbit, who never let things come to him, but always went and fetched themA.A. Milne, "The House At Pooh Corner"

The Mayor was one of those rare beings who really like the world we all have been born into. More than that; oh, much more than that! The Mayor was obsessed with a trance-like absorption of interest, by the appearance of our world exactly as it appeared, Below appearances Mr. Wollop never went, People's thought were non-existent to the Mayor of Glastonbury, In his dealings with his fellow-citizens upon the town council the Mayor held his own very well. He did this by the enormous advantage he possessed over people who believed in the reality of thoughts and feelings. John Cowper Powys, "A Glastonbury Romance"

Thus did Philip Crow gather his wits together; but what were Mr. Geard's thoughts at this crisis? He had none at all; none, that is to say, beyond a lively interest in the camellia in Philip's buttonhole! He was as empty of abstract considerations or even rational considerations as ex-Mayor Wollop himself. But let no one suppose that this physical placidity meant that Mr. Geard was hors-de-combat. It only meant that he was in such peace with himself that his whole being moved in harmony to the least stray thought that came into his head. It is true he was drunk. (sic!) But Philip was a fool to regard that condition as a handicap to Geard of Glastonbury. Not even John -- who knew him so much better than Philip -- realized the power that resided in the man's complete freedom from self-consciousness. John Cowper Powys, "A Glastonbury Romance"

When you keep a clear mind, the whole universe is you, you are the universe. So you have already attained enlightenment. Wanting enlightenment is only thinking. It is something extra. The truth is right before your eyes. Zen Master Seung Sahn

Thoughts are not necessarily a distraction. Thoughts are arising in this present awareness and dissolving back into it. The silence remains untouched, unstained, immaculate. Thoughts are only a problem if you are preoccupied with them, giving them all your attention, believing in the entity of 'me' around which the thoughts swirl. Catherine Ingram.

Without method, yet most exact; without rule, yet most orderly; without reflection, yet most profound; without skill, yet thoroughly well constructed; without effort, yet everything accomplished; and without foresight, yet nothing better suited to unexpected events. Jean Pierre de Caussade

The nature of the mind is like the vast sky, like a huge, blue endless sky, very clear, very, very deep and stretching in all directions. It's vast and infinite and clear and empty and transparent and luminous. That is the nature of the mind. Our thoughts and feelings and memories are the clouds appearing in the sky. Sometimes the clouds are white and fluffy and we're happy. Sometimes they're big and black and there's thunder and lightning and we're utterly distraught. But either way, they don't affect the nature of the sky. However black they are, the sky is not solid. However light and pretty they are, the sky is not any more beautified. You cannot make the sky any purer or dirtier. The sky is just something that is, and it's transparent and luminous and clear. So why not identify with the sky rather than with the transitory clouds? If we realized that all the thoughts and emotions that come up in our minds are just the play of the mind and that the mind is a vast ocean, to use another metaphor, and that these thoughts and feelings are just waves that rise and sink back into the ocean again, we would realize that we should not take them too seriously. Ani Tenzin Palmo from 'Discovering our true Buddha Nature'.

The reality of your own self-nature, the absence of cause and effect, is what’s meant by mind. This mind has no form or characteristics. It is basically empty, neither pure nor impure. It has never lived or died, appeared or disappeared, increased or decreased. It’s like space. It’s not the same as the sensual mind. Only the wise know this mind, this mind called dharma-nature, this mind called liberation. Its names vary but not its essence. The mind’s capacity is limitless, and its manifestations are inexhaustible. Your nature is essentially pure. Your real body is basically pure. Is has no sensation, no hunger or thirst, no good or bad. Bodhidharma. The teachings of Bodhidharma as exposed in the Bloodstream Sermon and the Breakthrough Sermon, translated by Red Pine. 

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