if the universe was an afterimage whose only purpose was
to serve as a finger pointing to that invisible power which
originated it? Would, therefore, our perception of it be
like a backward glance in which even our bodies would be
those of backward men chasing after endless illusions without
ever finding their origin? According to the Buddha, we are
such backward men who desire to look into the obscure past
that mankind calls its future!
now is brave enough to look forward, as if to live in
such a way as to preexist the universe, thus to never
become backwards again?
manner of human being is willing to live above all things
that come after his vision? Such men we declare, are called
Sages. Truly, such men come before all else, having surpassed
the visible tomb called the human body.
then is our declaration: transcend the shadow called mankind
and live in anterior bodies of light. If now your lost
courage is coming back to youif now you feel the
awakening from a thousands sleeps about to commence, then
you must leave your house of flesh and join our cause.
For what greater adventure is there for a knight of wisdom
than to conquer his own mortality as the Buddha conquered
What do you mean by "Dark Zen"?
Dark Zen is synonymous with mystical Zen. It is the highest truth
of Zen which is transmitted by means of Mind's self-awakening. Here
you are in complete unity with true nature of Mind itself. In the
time span of a single thought you complete the stages of a Bodhisattva
and enter the lineage of the Buddhas, going back to the first Buddha.
Without a doubt, you recognize that all phenomena are continent
on Mind's bright vivifying nature.
How does Dark Zen differ from conventional Zen?
Given that the fundamental basis of conventional Zen owes its
origin to Dark Zen, it does not follow that conventional Zen can
likewise transmit the Buddha-nature. That is the chief difference
between the two. What, in fact, conventional Zen transmits is a
second-hand teaching. Such a second-hand teaching is only intended
to comfort and inspire those who wish to proceed on their own to
look even deeper within their own being so as to awaken and see
the mysterious nature of Mind.
Isn't it true that the lineage of Zen began with the Buddha
passing his knowledge on to Mahakashyapa who in turn passed the
teaching on to Ananda where it eventually was transmitted to present
day teachers? Are you saying that this lineage is false?
That history of the transmission from one teacher to another
was composed by an adept of Dark Zen during the Sung dynasty in
China as a means to inspire weaker souls who lacked the ability
to understand that the Buddha is their very own mind. To be honest
with you, the lineage that you are alluding to, described in _The
Flame Transmission_ is an extended allegory speaking to the various
ideas and aspects of absolute Mind as it unfolds itself. Now to
answer your question. These stories are not false if they lead you
to see the nature of Mind itself. However, these stories will delude
anyone who does not have the True Eye to see the nature of Mind
in each story, foolishly clinging, instead, to a succession of human
teachers supposing that each teacher actually handed over Mind's
bright nature to his heir!
My own teacher claims to be the Dharma heir of his teacher's
teaching going back to the Buddha. Is he not a genuine heir of the
teaching of Zen?
Again , that is the teaching of conventional Zen. It is not
the ultimate teaching. Your teacher is an heir to his teachers opinions
about Mind's mysterious nature. That is all. That doesn't mean he
is enlightened to the nature of Mind itself. It only means that
he is part of a lineage that accepts Zen's Mind doctrine. In Dark
Zen, a "Dharma heir" is someone who has seen Mind's pure nature
directly having passed through all the stages of a Bodhisattva.
From this they are able to promote the ancient teachings of the
Buddha, creating skillful means in order to teach others the true
purport of Buddhism.
My own teacher who was transmitted seems to know the answers
to the koans. Doesn't that say something for his wisdom?
When a teacher gives his Dharma heir a collection of koans with
answers, which more or less is considered the succession of Dharma,
he is merely recognizing his student's potential to become a genuine
Bodhisattva. In other words, the Dharma heir has only demonstrated
his understanding of Buddhism, not his accomplishment of it. If
you think that this individual can interpret a Mahayana Sutra correctly
or has had genuine Bodhicitta after five or ten years of study,
you are deluded. Before the Sung dynasty and the invention of the
succession fable, for almost four hundred years prior to that, Zen
was mainly Dark Zen. Teachers recognized genuine enlightenment in
others without recourse to koans as a means of testing. Today, that
has all changed.
In what way has modern Zen changed from the perspective of Dark
From the perspective of Dark Zen, today's Zen institution is
much different. It is based on paternal allegiances, formalism,
blind rituals, and clericalism. We must realize that the pure essence
of Zen is not found in the outer elements of religion which such
institutions present to the public. The true content of Zen is only
to be found within our being stripped bare of all preconceptions.
Let me finally say, that institutional Zen is really for those people
who are afraid to give up conceptual thinking and their emotions.
Such people are still motivated by the ways of the world putting
their energizes into building a cultural edifice that they believe
will somehow push back the ocean of suffering. In contrast to this,
Dark Zen is for those individuals who understand that the mysterious
source of the teaching cannot be conceptualized through the senses,
taught, or even cultivated. In fact, it cannot even be transmitted.
What the term transmission, in fact, means is just to awaken to
the whereabouts of Mind itself thus putting an end to suffering
once and for all.
My teacher has the authority to teach Zen. I have seen his credentials.
What is your authority and where is your proof?
Buddhism only recognizes one authority. That is Mind which is
also the Buddha. If you have seen Mind's nature then you have the
authority, given to you by the Buddha, to do has you please. If
not, then you should guard both yours words and your actions. Those
who claim to have the authority to teach Zen, showing off their
robes and certificates, have no authority since these things are
not Mind. Over the years, I have seen that anyone, with enough money,
can become a Zen master almost over night. So it proves nothing
to brag about your teacher's credentials. In the past good students
could recognize good teachers just by listening to a word or two.
In their heart, they were searching for the one true source of all,
having recognized that Mara's shadow was upon them. And because
they were searching in this manner, their hearts resonated with
the ideal teacher who had safely crossed to the other shore. Today,
inferior students can only recognize inferior teachers judging them
by looking at their wares like merchants. This implies that they
only resonate with materialism and not Mind. As for proof, if you
only want mouse shit, rather than gold, there is nothing I can do
to convince you otherwise. Evidently, you are attached to the trappings
of conventional Zen. But make no mistake about it, Dark Zen, variously
described as Yin Zen, is the true teaching that Bodhidharma brought
This text is presented By: Zenmar, the Dark