Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of the “Sudden Enlightenment” school of Zen, states:

“Therefore ‘no-thought’ is established as the doctrine.”

“Good Knowing Advisors, why is no-thought (wu nien) established as the doctrine? Because there are confused people who speak of seeing their own nature, and yet they produce thought with regard to states. Their thoughts cause deviant views to arise, and from that all defilement and false thinking are created. Originally, not one single dharma (thing attained) can be obtained in the self-nature. If there is something to attain….that is just defilement and deviant views (thoughts). Therefore, this Dharma-door establishes “no-thought” as its doctrine.”

Dzogchen Master, Vairocana wrote as an instruction, in the 800’s a.d:

“So the state in which we don’t think at all is the supreme heart-essence of equanimity. We set ourselves down where we have no thoughts, and just stay there, without getting lost in the forces of depression or wildness.”

Tulku Urgyen wrote in Rainbow Painting: “When there are no thoughts whatsoever, then you are a Buddha”.

“Thinking only begins after marigpa (ignorance) sets in, at the loss of rigpa. During the nondistraction of rigpa, no thought can begin. I cannot emphasize this enough —there is no thought during the state of rigpa!”

Tulku Urgyen

“Honestly, there is nothing more amazing than this recognition of rigpa in which no thought can remain.”

Tulku Urgyen

Bon Dzogchen Master, Lopon Tenzin Namdak wrote:

“Buddhas do not have any discursive thoughts

(rnam-rtog); they have primal awareness or gnosis (ye-shes). Thoughts are always mixed up with negativities and obscurations. Thoughts represent obscuration. Thus we keep in a thoughtless state (mi rtog-pa). When we keep in the Natural State and everything dissolves, then we do not need to do or change anything. We just let things be, just let thoughts go. We let everything remain just as it is.”

Dzogchen master, Chokyi Nyima:

“Thought is samsara. Being free of thought is liberation.”

Bhante Gunaratana (contemporary Theravada master):

“Once your mind is free from thought, it becomes clearly wakeful and at rest in an utterly simple awareness. This awareness cannot be described adequately.”

Dogen Zenji, 13th century Japanese Zen Buddhist founder of Soto Zen:

“Be without thoughts, this is the secret of meditation.”


“To remain without thought in the waking state is the greatest worship.”

A student asked Ramana when is one finally enlightened?

Ramana replied “When there are no more thoughts.”

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche from his book “Present , Fresh Wakefulness”:

“Basically and fundamentally, our mind is utterly empty, sheer bliss, totally naked. We do not need to make it like this; we do not need to cultivate it by meditating, to create this state by meditating.”

“Give up thinking of anything at all, about the past, the future or the present. Remain thought-free, like an infant.”

“Innate suchness is unobscured the moment you are not caught up in present thinking.”

“That which prevents us from being face to face with the real Buddha, the natural state of mind, is our own thinking. It seems to block the natural state.”

“Rigpa, the Natural State, is not cultivated in meditation. The awakened state is not an object of the intellect. Rigpa is beyond intellect, and concepts.”

“This is the real Buddhadharma, not to do a thing. Not to think of anything like Saraha said, “Having totally abandoned thinker and what is thought of, remain as a thought-free child.”

“Thinking is delusion.”

“When caught up in thinking we are deluded. To be free of thinking is to be free.”

“That freedom consists in how to be free from our thinking.”

“As long as the web of thinking has not dissolved, there will repeatedly be rebirth in and the experiences of the six realms.”

“The method: But if you want to be totally free of conceptual thinking there is only one way: through training in thought-free wakefulness. (rigpa).”

“Strip awareness to its naked state.”

“If you want to attain liberation and omniscient enlightenment, you need to be free of conceptual thinking.”

“Being free of thought is liberation.”

“This is not some state that is far away from us: thought-free wakefulness actually exists together with every thought, inseparable from it… but the thinking obscures or hides this innate actuality. Thought free wakefulness (the natural state) is immediately present the very moment the thinking dissolves, the moment it vanishes, fades away, falls apart.”

“Simply suspend your thinking within the non-clinging state of wakefulness: that is the correct view.”

From one of the earliest Dzogchen masters, Vairocana:

“The absence of ideas is a lucidity. This lucidity is also an absence of ideas. It is the basis for a true essence That is not a designation. We remain within a river of awareness, just as it is.

It is primordially pervaded by luminosity, just as it is.

It has no thought.

It has no memory.

It has no motion.

The dhyāna meditation of greatest virtue is to use your dhyāna to an absence of thought…”