Posted inDharma, Koans, Videos

Mount Sumeru Vaporizes Mistakes, Scott Thornton

September 6, 2023

A monk asked, “Not a single thought arises. Is there any fault?” Unmon said: “Mount Sumeru.” Sumeru by tradition is higher than the stars, cosmically vast (much vaster than getting it right or wrong), and should be visible from everywhere. Maybe it’s a bit like Unmon’s responses – which, it’s said, always perform three functions: they cut through, they cover the matter entirely, and they fit the question perfectly, like a box its lid. “Mount Sumeru.”

So is there any fault when no thought arises? We’re not corpses, and the wind is a thought, the birdsong is a thought… or put another way, the true “no thought arises” is the freedom of our essential nature, where nothing like a thought has ever arisen. Thought *is* no-thought there.

The taste of quietness and no-thought can mean something if we follow it into a life of compassion and awareness. Otherwise it’s more or less a trinket.

Photo by Ása Steinarsdóttir on Unsplash

footer support banner image

Support Mountain Cloud

You can show your gratitude for Mountain Cloud events, retreats, podcasts and other teachings by making a one-time gift, or by becoming a supporting member.

Donate to Mountain Cloud Become a Member