Refuge Beyond Time

A few days ago, we had an article about Huineng, the sixth patriarch of Zen. Tomorrow, we will have another. In these words of wisdom we hear from a later Chan (Zen) Master, Hongzhi, writing about the refuge beyond time.

The refuge beyond time occurs “where the three times cease.” This is the place where there is no past, no present and no future.

In this place, “the ten thousand changes are silent.” Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) would call this place “the ultimate dimension.” This is a place beyond time and away from the historical dimension, where we ordinarily live.

Thay’s point of view is that the ultimate dimension is in the here and in the now.

All Buddhas and every Ancestor without exception arrive at this refuge where the three times cease and the ten thousand changes are silent. Not one single atom opposes us.
Behold the gleaming arising from the single mind.



So how do we get to dwell in the refuge beyond time – the ultimate dimension? The Zen masters of all ages have talked about a daily meditation practice to learn how to live life in the present moment. It is only in the present moment that life can really take place. We must not carry or thoughts about the past and plans and goals for the future into the present moment. Of course, this is easier said than done.

What is your daily meditation practice like? Please let us know so we can improve our own daily practice.

Books by Hongzhi

Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi

Honghzhi Zhengue

First to articulate the meditation method known to contemporary Zen practitioners as shikantaza (“just sitting”) Chinese Zen master Hongzhi is one of the most influential poets in all of Zen literature. This translation of Hongzhi’s poetry, the only such volume available in English, treats readers … [Read More…]

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