The secret of silence.

The Shadow of the Whip

A philosopher asked Buddha,  “Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me the Truth?”

The Buddha kept silent.

The philosopher bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying, “With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the True Path.”

After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha what the philosopher had attained.

The Buddha replied, “A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.”

~ Case 32, in collections of koans called “The Gateless Gate”

A koan, as you may know, is “a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment” (Source: Google Dictionary).

What is implied here in this koan?

The philosopher is asking for the Truth that is beyond words and beyond the wordless. This implies that the philosopher is not looking for concepts, not looking for ideas that can described in words, but wants that truth that is beyond words, beyond concepts.  This means that the philosopher, though a man of concepts and intellect by training, was so ready to put his own conceptual mind aside and receive the Truth.

Buddha’s response was silence.  Samadhi.  The subtle teaching of non-duality, that is unnameable, cannot be put into words, yet can be experienced.  Buddha’s pristine presence as silence was the teaching.

The philosopher experienced a clearing.  The root delusion of the separate-I along with the entire tree of delusions living on this main delusion, all those delusions fell.  The veil of otherness parted.  And the philosopher sees that he is on the right path … noteworthy is that he is still on the path … the path of abidance in this Truth.

Also noteworthy is that the philosopher experienced the subtle teaching of silence as loving-kindness.  Silence is the gateway to the non-dual, which in turn, the Masters have said is Peace, is Love, is Happiness, is Light, is Wisdom, is Presence.  It is that Love that heals all suffering, by dispelling all delusions.

When the student was ready, as this philosopher was truly was, to receive the Truth beyond concepts, the teacher appeared, in the form of the Buddha and the subtle teaching of silence.  The impact: Enlightenment.

The good horse is the student who is ready for the Truth beyond concepts.
The subtle teaching here, which was rendered without words or without the wordless, is like the shadow.

The whip, whose shadow is the non-dual teaching, is the non-dual itself, the No-otherness, i.e. Enlightenment.

The running of the horse is the abidance of the student on the true path, i.e. abidance as True Self.

So, where dear One, is a place or time or experience where the shadow of the whip isn’t present?



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