An Unauthorized and Incomplete Guide to Zazen (table of contents)
The Mudra of Zen

The Great Sixfold (Sense-)Field

Solar eclipse 1999

In a sermon, Gautama the Buddha explained that the path that leads to the end of suffering and all the components necessary to enlightenment are developed and fulfilled through knowing and seeing things as they really are with respect to the senses:

(Anyone)…knowing and seeing eye as it really is, knowing and seeing material shapes… visual consciousness… impact on the eye as it really is, and knowing, seeing as it really is the experience, whether pleasant, painful, or neither painful nor pleasant, that arises conditioned by impact on the eye, is not attached to the eye nor to material shapes nor to visual consciousness nor to impact on the eye; and that experience, whether pleasant, painful, or neither painful nor pleasant, that arises conditioned by impact on the eye—neither to that is (such a one) attached. …(Such a one’s) physical anxieties decrease, and mental anxieties decrease, and bodily torments… and mental torments… and bodily fevers decrease, and mental fevers decrease. (Such a one) experiences happiness of body and happiness of mind. (repeated for ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind).

Whatever is the view of what really is, that for (such a one) is right view; whatever is aspiration for what really is, that for (such a one) is right aspiration; whatever is endeavour for what really is, that is for (such a one) right endeavour; whatever is mindfulness of what really is, that is for (such a one) right mindfulness; whatever is concentration on what really is, that is for (such a one) right concentration. And (such a one’s) past acts of body, acts of speech, and mode of livelihood have been well purified.

(Majjhima-Nikaya, Pali Text Society volume 3 pg 337-338, ©Pali Text Society)

The Gautamid went on to state that for “such a person”, the eight-fold path (summarized in the second paragraph above) goes on to development and fulfillment (along with the four arousings of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four bases of psychic power, the five controlling faculties, the five powers, and the seven links in awakening).

In short, knowing and seeing things as they really are as consciousness, impact, and feeling takes place is all that is necessary to develop and fulfill a path to the end of suffering.

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