The Lion Sutra

The “Lion Sutra” is the thread or motion of grand consideration, the beginningless and endless event of a thought that is always seeking its own termination, turning toward the countless objects of attention a yearning toward the innumerable concepts of ultimacy. As such, the Lion Sutra has no end, no goal that is real, no peace at rest – except that a great understanding may make this thought obsolete.


“You’ve got to find the thread of its sources and its intelligence and that’s what the communication of the Dharma’s all about – to help you discover that thread so that you can confine the arbitrariness of life to this single movement that liberates you from the arbitrariness of mere destiny.

What isn’t lawful, is fateful. (Laughter) And you can only realize what is lawful through the initiation of the Conscious Process. Everything else is fateful. Everything else is mere birth, mere experiencing, carrying it on to an end, going somewhere else, changes, transitions, everything is two-edged. You all want to make it single. You all want life to be good.

People don’t want to realize the aspects of life as it is in this present condition totally. They want to be confined to the aspects of it that they can tolerate, that are basically enjoyable or interesting to them. They don’t want to include the rest of it. As soon as the rest of it, the nasty side of it, the offensive side of it, is introduced in some way, there are automatic reactions that, whose purpose is to get you out of it so you don’t have to experience it, don’t have to adapt to it. Where in the process of sadhana you are forced to adapt to it, it is shown to you and you have to adapt to it.

You have to realize both edges of life. You must come to the point where you see life in this gross plane, for instance, totally, not just as some desirable, delicious, fortunate, sexual opportunity, But as something that is full of shit, excreting all the time, dying all the time, collapsing, failing, all the rest of it also! (Laughing).

In he course of your sadhana you realize life in the gross plane totally, including things that you don’t want to inspect. By tendency you don’t do that. By virtue of your intuition or sympathy with the real line of the Divine nature or process, you begin to be able to adapt to the whole appearance in which you are confined in this birth. You live without illusions, you cease to be naive in the midst of sadhana. You also cease to be disgusted and hysterical and essentially come to rest, you are able to live with life as it really is – top and bottom, inside and out, all around, good and bad. You don’t reject it but you don’t choose it either. You’ll know it completely and that knowing, or that intelligence that realizes life as it is in its full spectrum, is the core that brings you beyond the limitations of not only gross life, but all the possible planes or realms in which life may be experienced.”

ADI DA SAMRAJ (Bubba Free John) – November, 1975


The Perfect Preparation for the Perfect Practice

by Master Da (Adi Da Samraj) Free John December 30, 1981

The following essay from

The Lion Sutra


Adi Da Samraj, December 30, 1981. Originally published in Crazy Wisdom Magazine, June 1982, Vol 1. No 3, The Journal of the Crazy Widsom Fellowship (Adidam)


The “Lion Sutra” is the thread or motion of grand consideration, the beginningless and endless event of a thought that is always seeking its own termination, turning toward the countless objects of attention a yearning toward the innumerable concepts of ultimacy. As such, the Lion Sutra has no end, no goal that is real, no peace at rest – except that a great understanding may make this thought obsolete.

Mere thought is an eternal wanderer, the “planetary” motion of attention. If self is defined in feeling, immediately all else makes “me” think. In all these years of Teaching I have thus wandered among you and with you. And we could thus continue forever, except for death. But we have gone on long enough that a feeling is arising, full of weariness, that this wandering will never end. Even after all of this, you still have questions. Matters of great importance, which we grasped at the beginning or on the way, have been forgotten. Already you think of turning back to any one of the previous moments of clarity in which it seemed you were free. Therefore, it is time to understand and transcend this wandering, this Planetary Lion.

Truly, great questions are an eternal occupation. They have neither the purpose nor the ability to be answered. They are simply paradigms of dilemma, they make mind. They are the movers of attention. They are to thought what desires are to sensation. Great questions, like great desires, cannot be satisfied, they are the guarantee of motion, even though they always anticipate rest.

Now we have entertained great questions, but we do not rest. It is time to understand what we have been about. We could go on and on. Even now you are not certain if there is an Eternal Substance of Transcendental Being pervading all, or if there is only a Void of changes, so that not even one thought is linked to another by anything more than the idea of such. Likewise, you are uncertain as to whether, in the ultimate Fulfillment of Realization, there is simple identification with Formless Being or inherence in and ecstatic worship of Divinity in an unity in an Eternal Domain. Therefore, of what further use is this conversion? Only practice Realizes the Truth of these paradoxes. And practice is continuous transcendence of self-contraction. You have wandered via great questions, and now it is the questions that define your presence. The vehicle of our wandering is self. No matter where the body goes, “I” am the body itself. No matter where the mind or attention wanders, “I” am its ghost.

The entertainment’s of the body-mind are innumerable, and yet they are only repetition. Now we are ready for the greater exercise of Wisdom, which transcends thought and action.

Whatever may be said, or known, or experienced of the world, or all the possible relations of the body-mind – it is all the saying, knowing, and experiencing of the body-mind. That is to say, the world cannot be reduced to itself, since we never encounter the world except as a play upon the psycho-physical self. Likewise, we never encounter ultimate Reality via our questions, thoughts, and experiences, since even our presumed encounters play upon the psycho-physical self. We are in fact moved or perpetuated by this dynamo – this pair which is the psycho-physical self and its relations.

Our moving and seeking life never becomes one thing. It is itself the machine and the guarantee of motion. And our motion is not a mere glide in the pleasure of space. It is a motive, a search, a machine of anticipation. We always move as if we are trying to come to rest.

Thus, our lives are the incarnation of questions. And we seek by our questions – our very selves, our minds, and our bodies to achieve terminal thought or final experience. But in fact there is no rest, no end to seeking, no relaxation of questions, no release from the fundamental sense of dilemma unless we understand the self-process, and in such understanding transcend the terrible motion of body and mind.

There is no ultimate answer, no perfect analysis, description, or experience. Truth is in the transcendence of the question itself. The ultimate or spiritual process is not a matter of the exploitation of mind or body – but it is a matter of the intuitive and self-transcending understanding of the active body-mind. The body-mind-self is itself, inherently, a dilemma. It is in the form of a question, an illusory or futile motion toward rest or release. There is no exploitation of this problem-based motion that ever becomes rest from it. It is this observation or insight that is the foundation of true understanding.

Once this understanding begins to become clear, then it develops toward its ultimate mode. The body-mind-self is founded upon a root-contraction that constantly establishes motion (or psycho-physical activity) toward objects in a paradoxical and fruitless search for release. But peace itself is simply the non-origination of motion, and thus the non-origination of dilemma. That is to say, peace is the non-origination of self-contraction. It is prior establishment in no-self, no-mind, no-body, no-world.

When such understanding begins to mature, the activities of body and mind naturally begin to be calmed toward equanimity. Ultimately, the noticing of the body-mind-self dissolves in Transcendental Bliss. From the point of view of this disposition, many things may be said or done that reflect its Condition. The literature of this Teaching is just such a reflection. Those who hear and understand become responsible for the self-characteristics of the first three stages of life. On this basis they pass into the ultimate Realization of the seventh stage of life, generally via developments that express and then transcend the qualities of the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of life.

From now I presume no obligation or necessity to entertain or to comment upon great questions. The true spiritual process is not founded upon ultimate descriptions of Reality, God, self, or world. Nor is that process a matter of the pursuit of knowledge or experience via the body-mind. It is simply a matter of moment to moment direct observation, understanding, and transcendence of self-contraction in Good Company. Everything is Revealed and Realized on this basis.


 Further Study


Adi Da Samraj, December 30, 1981.

Originally published in Crazy Wisdom Magazine, June 1982, Vol 1. No 3, The Journal of the Crazy Widsom Fellowship (Adidam).

No “One” Survives Beyond That Moment

My Bright Word, Chapter 12

Adi Da Samraj


The arbitrary formulation of “questions”, of artifices to occupy the mind, is a means of distracting yourself from your own state of dilemma. To do so is a form of self-indulgence. To answer such questions (in and of themselves) is only to serve bewilderment, unconsciousness, fear, ignorance, and all the qualities of seeking and suffering.

You are bewildered and confused by the total complex of your tendencies – and now you want to talk about evolution. What has that got to do with anything? Your own suffering is presently manifesting itself. Understanding and transcending that suffering-and, thereby allowing the process of true “ego­death” – is the matter of importance.

DEVOTEE: The suffering just goes on and on and on. It never seems to stop.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Death. That is what you want to get away from. You want to “evolve” into the astral world in order to escape natural death-and to escape the necessary ultimate “death” of the ego, the “death” of the chronic activity of separation and separativeness. There is no elimination of death, no ultimately successful avoidance of death. You are trying to prevent your own ego-death-this very and ultimate crisis-by occupying yourself with abstract questions.

DEVOTEE: But that is the only answer-ego-death. Why do we keep fighting and fighting?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Keep fighting what?

DEVOTEE: This thing. We know we are fighting it – and, yet, we cannot seem to avoid it. Why are we avoiding it? How do we get out of this?

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: The desire to “get out of this” is another form of the same avoidance. A real transformation – in the form of the conflict, the crisis, you are now experiencing – has already begun in you. That conflict, that crisis, has become intensified. You are beginning to find your real question. It is your own death. That is the significant event. There is no distraction from it. There is no consolation for it. It is an undeniable reality.

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