This talk focuses directly on the heart of our training and the place of liberation, and that is discovering our innate natural silence. The ten thousand forms of life and even buddhism itself can easily distract us from this discovery, but to put the aspiration of silence at the very heart of dharma training gives us the chance of not losing that focus and the ultimate fulfilment of awakening. Difficult to find, and boring in the beginning. Silence if trusted, coupled with skilful means, opens the door to the inconceivable reality of who we truly are, and the divine nature of life itself.
The heart of Mario's talk focuses on the fundamental danger of practice of unknowingly turning the practice itself into just another possession of the self. He focuses on the teachings of the early Chan masters who developed teachings and structures to alert practitioners of this danger that many would consider the greatest challenge of the spiritual path, in that of surrendering the notion of self without simply reinforcing it.
Professor Mario Poceski is an associate professor of Buddhist studies and Chinese religions at the University of Florida, USA. His latest books include:
The Wiley Blackwell Companion to East and Inner Asian Buddhism (Blackwell 2014)
Introducing Chinese Religions (Routledge 2009)
Ordinary Mind as the Way: The Hongzhou School and the Growth of Chan Buddhism (Oxford 2007)