When there is nothing to perceive – No input from the body or the mind and so one has nothing by which to define oneself – Is what is left witnessing? There does not even seem to be a witness, but just the awareness that there is no one there.
That’s exactly right. There is no witness, there is only witnessing. There is only consciousness, but no personality to it, no form. There is only awareness, like a flame arising from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, and just in the middle you see the flame.
Have you watched a candle, where the flame goes? Gautam Buddha himself used as the word for the ultimate experience, blowing out the candle. Nirvana means blowing out the candle. Nothing is, just a pure awareness, not even confined into your individuality, but just a floating cloud, no firm shape – a tremendous isness, a great joy.
But it is not your joy; you are absent. Then arises in your absence the joy, the blissfulness. The moment you are not, then the witnessing is pure. And this witnessing brings the greatest benediction possible. This witnessing is the Buddha.
From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #7
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