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Very good point, also touches on the expression that emptying the mind makes it no clearer. Thanks for sharing. Ironically though expecting, non-expecting, keeping, not keeping, it's all (temporary) poison, and to remember or forget that is poison too.
Sheng Yen's description was the best to exlplain things more and more in detail or a kind of reviewNothing wrote: ↑Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:50 pmI like the Sheng Yen's description about the use of Huatou
--ViktorHuatou is in many respects closely related to gong'an. The term huatou itself literally means "head, or crux, of the saying.
Generally, this has been interpreted as pointing to the most crucial phrase or question in gong'an. Thus, working on a huatou entails singling out the most essential element or issue in a given gong'an and concentrating on this point, repeating it over and over, while disregarding the rest of the narrative. For example, one of the most famous huatou comes from the gong'an in which Zhaozhou is aksed whether dogs havae Buddha-nature.In response to this question, Zhapzhou replies, "Wu" which means, "No"! The Huatou simply consists of asking , "What is Wu?"
Huaotu invariably are concise questions like this. Although they are frequently taken from gong'an, sometimes they are not. Questions such as "Who am I?"; What was I like before I was born?"; Who is it that is practicing?" ; https://www.giannasgrille.com/phenq-review/ or even "Which came first, the chicken or the egg? " are all huato. If one is a Pure Land pracititoner and has been intoning the Buddha Amitabhas name, one might ask" Who is it that is reciting the Buddha's name? " In that circumstance it becomes a Chan huatou.
Compare to the rather lengthy and diffuse gong'an stories, huatou are poignantly concise. Thus they are powerful tools for summoning up great energy and quickly bringing one's focus to bear on the key issues of practice. As techniques of Chan practice,the function of both gong'an and huatou is to generate what we call "great doubt". This doubt represents an inner uneasiness or anxiety-a feeling that there is something missing or unclear in our lives that we must discover. It a deep tension caused by the feeling that there is something essential that we need to know--that we must know--but that we don't know. This doubt should not be confused with the sort of non-committal waffling that we commonly encounter in our lives. The doubt generated by investigating a huatou is not simple agnosticism or scepticism. Nor is the sort of temporary confusion over moral position or personal identity that we often encounter in our lives . No simple distraction, explanation , or shift in reasoning can appease it."Great doubt" is a state of all-consuming questioning that, at its deepest, is irresistible and relentless, admitting no solution other than one that totally gets to the bottom of the matter. Ultimately, the issue to be solved is the "great matter of birth and death."