Entering The Tao of Sudden Enlightenment by Huihai (tr. Lok To) explains the meaning,
"No thought means no mind grasping anything whatsoever. It is being without any view whatever, not even the thought of seeking something or not seeking anything. Having no thought means that in the face of any object or form, not even a single thought arises. This being-without-thought is called Real Mind. However, if one grasps the thought that this being-without-thought is the Real Mind, then it is not right thought but merely the wrong view."
This is perfectly in agreement with Nagarjuna's explanation of emptiness as being free of views. How do you make differences here? Is there a higher and lower freedom from views, higher and lower non-attachment?
I don't know Tao. And Same language same word, can have a different meaning. From their symbol, you can somehow notice the difference between Buddhism and Tao.
Let's discuss in this way. Look at this:
For ordinary people that is statue. And that is not only statue, but also has statueness.
So, there are 2 defilements here: the intellectual idea "statue" and the inherent object "statuness".
For anyone who always see and fell there is this -ness, -ness, and -ness, he has a grasping of self.
Arhat and bodhisatta bhumi do not have this -ness, -ness, and -ness.
The magnet that cause grasping is this -ness, -ness, -ness. So, when you see something as -ness, -ness, the shadow is grasping. Cannot run away. For sure, you will have this grasping no matter how subtle it is.
Now, the intellectual idea - statue can be seen as just label. And this one is the culprit, not to free from samsara, but to free from omniscience.
This bad experiment should give you a hint, why this intellectual idea can obstruct us from omniscience.
Do you notice that when you see
as statue, at that instant it obstructs you to see that as just icon or as just LED light?
From this bad example, you should have a hint actually that at the instant you create intellectual idea, you cover yourself from different angle. What is the source of this obstruction? It is not your grasping anymore. But it is already your intellectual idea.
Now, there is a big issue here, even for Dzoghchen and Mahamudra practitioner, because this intellectual idea can somehow distort your understanding to the teaching in a wrong way.
For example, in Dzoghchen, sometimes when you read, you can see that everything is seen as ornament.
For anyone is not free from absent of idea (characteristics), somehow in daily life, he will always due this kind of transformation of idea.
For example, if you see
, if before you see that as statue, now you see that as ornament.
Now, if you see
, if before you see that as silly expression, now you see that as ornament.
You will somehow always do this trick of idea transformation, because this idea of ornament instantly bring a feeling of peace.
If you are a practitioner of Mahamudra, you will do this trick of transforming both of them to the idea of one taste. And again when you see thing from the idea of one taste, you feel fine.
So, this idea can give you a very wrong perspective actually.
Even clear light can become your idea.
In heart lamp, tsele Natsok warned this issue. He said something like there are practitioners that actually just stay in the idea
of clear light for the rest of his life. And this is so subtle, because clear light cannot be expressed as clear light. If clear light can be expressed as clear light, that is not clear light. This is the issue, I have to break certaIn logic, because word has an inherent mistake.
For the people who has an intellectual idea of mind like Cittamantra, they will say
as mind. Mind, which has no self.
For svatrantika, this intellectual idea is real, although it is no longer stand out as -ness, -ness, -ness, it stand out as the truly true. They cannot see
. There is always this itchy hand to say that as statue or light or ornament or one taste or anything else.
You may think it is ok to say that as this or that, because at the end it is just idea or words. But you need to remember something although it is just an idea, that idea has power to cover your omniscient at that instant. Like the illustration of the idea of statue can cover the idea of light, and the idea of light can cover the idea of mind, the idea of mind can cover the idea of one taste, and so on.
You will always in this cycle, idea covering idea, and this cycle cover up your omniscience.
For prasangika, this
Is that object: that is your idea.
Is that light: that is your idea.
Is that statue: that is your idea.
Is that something : that is your idea.
Is that not statute: that is your idea.
Is that nothingness: that is not idea.
Is that mind: that is your idea.
If that is not nothingness, then it must be something: that is your idea.
If that like a reflection: exist but not exist: that is your idea.
Is that neither existence nor non existence: that is your idea.
So, you don't have view? That is your idea.
So, you must have view? That is your idea.
But that is your idea is then your idea? That is your idea.
So you must have an idea of "this is your idea" but you don't want to acknowledge? That is your idea.
Is that fire? that is your idea.
Is that water? That is your idea.
, All description, whether makes sense or not, Whatever,: that is your idea.
Do you notice the zen and Tao has a difference in their symbol? They are same circle, but in Tao I has yin and yang, in zen it just have black circle. Why not just plain? Because plain is the symbol for nihilism.
Tao has a black and white, with small dot as such as such. If that is the case, then why not just black circle? Instead there is always a balance.
Unspoken idea - like the sharpness of rabbit horn. (Not only rabbit horn, but already sharpness of rabbit horn).
And that is view.
To prasangika: that is just your idea.
Is there a balance? That is just your idea.
FOr myself, I can sense the difference of Tao with buddhism from their symbol. But, not when they express their view.