Koan #17

Merely stagnating in duality,
How can you recognize oneness?
If you fail to penetrate oneness,
Both places lose their function.

Whenever you make distinctions, your mind is in opposition. Opposition implies duality.

Even seeking enlightenment or oneness in itself creates a state of opposition between the searching mind and the “I” within. Just the very process of seeking separates the seeker from the attainment, the object of his search.

So, how can we pass beyond the bounds of duality? We must have absolute faith in the fundamental unity and really believe there is no separation. The progress follows this sequence: scattered mind, simple mind, one mind and no mind. First we gather our scattered thoughts into a more concentrated, or simple, state of mind. From this concentrated state we can enter the mind of unity. Finally, we leap from the unified mind to the state of no mind.

To go from one mind to no mind does not mean that anything is lost; rather, it means that you are free of the unified state. Someone who dwells in one mind would either be attached to the image of enlightenment, or else would feel identified with a certain method. It is only after you are freed from this unity and enter no mind that you return to your own nature. This in itself is close to a state of unity. If you hold to it, eventually you will reach a point where the method disappears and you will experience one mind.