​Transcendental wisdom is beyond all words

One day a man approached Zen Master Gonzalez and asked: “Master, will you kindly write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom that I can always meditate upon?”
Gonzalez took her brush and wrote: “Attention.”

“Is that all?” asked the man, confounded.

The Master then wrote: “Attention, Attention.”

“Well,” said the man, “I really don’t see much depth in what you have written.”

The Master wrote the same word three times: “Attention, Attention, Attention.”

Half-angered, the man demanded: “What does that word ‘Attention’ mean, anyway?”

Gonzalez gently responded, Attention means attention.”

This Zen story carries within it very subtle Truths. It is common for intelligent persons to fall in the trap of words, phrases and quotes. This is yet another great illustration of the fallacy of using mind to search mind.

True wisdom is found in a place that is beyond all words and language – that which has to be experienced by oneself before any words or thoughts can arise. True Enlightenment is beyond and above all conventional methods of meditation and prayer for the simple fact that these are merely meant to serve as aids and not as ends to some means. 

Such is the nature and the rarity of wisdom that arises from skillful transcendence.

15 thoughts on “​Transcendental wisdom is beyond all words

  1. Really like your post. The mind can not think about the present moment. When it gives a thought about something it is operating in the past or the future. It has no capacity to think in the present moment. See my recent post The Present Moment is Unthinkable at howardshiffman.com for my thoughts about this subject….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good, thanks. If you have the power to recognize that mind has no power to abide in the present, then you are truly Awakened. This is supreme enlightenment you have shared. Now to your blog..


  3. Thanks Philip…50 years of practice and I have not reached self realization but have awareness of what we are not and for sure we are not the mind or the body. Anyone that says they are enlightened are not! Enlightenment as you know, is a word that conveys very little of what that state of being really is……..when the mind quiets down and is silent we get bits of awareness of our true nature. Blessings to you. Look forward to reviewing your site and reading your posts. Howard

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Am happy to have the favor of your acquaintance. Thanks. Fifty years of searching is truly a long time. But I see that in good light as there is nothing to be found. Your unwavering patience serves to symbolize your unshakable resolution to arrive at That. You are on the right Path for sure.

    That is a nice exposition you have given appertaining to that state-of-being termed enlightenment. All words fall short. That is why everyone misses it, even the most eloquent men. Thatness is inexpressible and boundlessly inexhaustible an Experience. Even when the enlightened man uses words to express this exalted state, he’s only doing so for the sake of other’s benefit since when other beings hear about this path they are most likely to generate the aspiration and intention to attain enlightenment as well. So words, in all cases, are expedient means to help in the development of other beings.


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