The wind’s blowing.
Through the trees it’s a whooshing; in the grass it whispers. A dry leaf rustles down the road, and in my ears it sometimes roars. Through the chimes, it’s a ringing, and in my mind it’s these thoughts it gave rise to.
That one breeze is making all these sounds. Without it, the trees, grasses and chimes would be silent. Without he trees, grasses, earth and chimes, the wind would be silent, even if it was blowing a hundred miles per hour.
We’re like that too. The wind is Mind or emptiness and the ego is the sound it makes. That’s the case for Mind and everything that’s on our minds as well, everything we experience—including ourselves.
Through open monitoring, we learn to just listen without judging, labeling, or commentating on the things we hear. Through focused-attention, we can lose ourselves in what we’re listening to until there’s no separation between us and it.
Open monitoring is like listening to that one wind make all these sounds; fixed-attention is like the wind falling until everything’s silent. Self-inquiry is asking, “Who’s listening?”
These are all enlightened methods, so they all “lead” to enlightenment, which is the visceral, intuitive insight that the wind is always silent. And that whether it’s still or blowing, it’s always air.
We are what the wind blows, we’re the sounds it makes, and we’re the wind itself. When we’re happy, we’re like the sound of summer grasses in a bright valley. When we’re miserable, we’re like a cold breeze rushing through a barren ravine. These are two very different sounds, but the wind is just the wind. The mind is just the mind.
And the same way that none of these sounds stick to the wind, nothing we think or experience sticks to us. The wind is always silent and always free.