for a page of Buddhist Images
There is an eight-letter code associated with each excerpt to help in identifying the source and
type of text, this key follows:
Approximate classification of entries as known:
Key to index codes:
First two characters - era
VE - Vedic/Hindu traditional
CH - T'ang and later, China
BU - Early Indian Buddhism
JD - Dogen (Kamakura) Japan
TH - Theravada sect traditional
JR - Later Japan to 19th c.
PR - Prajnaparamita era India
JM - Modern Japan
DO - Taoism - China
MO - Modern teachings
EC - Early Chinese Buddhism
XX - Other/unknown
TI - Tibetan Vajrayana
Second two characters - country of origin
IN - India
JA - Japan
US - USA
TI - Tibet
KO - Korea
XX - Other/unknown
CH - China
VT - Vietnam
Third two characters - sect
VE - Vedic/Hindu traditional
CH - Chinese Ch'an
BU - Early Indian Buddhism
PL - Pure Land
TH - Theravada sect traditional
JS - Japanese Soto
PR - Prajnaparamita/Mahayana
JR - Japanese Rinzai
DO - Taoism - China
BG - Beat generation/popularizers
EC - Chinese Mahayana (early)
XX - Other/unknown
TI - Tibetan Vajrayana
Fourth two characters - type of text
SU - Sutra / tripitaka
DH - Dharani / chant
IN - Inscription
PO - Poem
QU - Quotation of master
QL - Quotation of lay person
Followed by a space - Author and year of birth/death if known.
[ALL DATES A.D. UNLESS INDICATED]
Also shows the name of the text drawn from (when known)
Note:(In Indian words "s" before a vowel is pronounced as "sh") [thus Sakyamuni=Shakyamuni, Avalokitesvara=Avalokiteshvara, etc.]
When two forms of an author's name are given, the first is generally
the Japanese form, and the second [in brackets] the Chinese form. If only
one name shows in brackets [ ], this is the
Chinese form, without them, the Japanese (or other).
Spellings of proper names may vary in this text in order to remain faithful to the spellings which appeared in the various translations.
In each case, the text follows the header line, multiple quotes from the same source may be grouped together under the same heading.
JDJAJSIN - Plaques inside main gate, Eihei-ji temple Fukui prefecture, Japan
Only those concerned with the problem of life and death should enter here. Those not completely concerned with this problem have no reason to pass this gate.
PRINPRSU - Avatamsaka Sutra
Mind, Buddha, and sentient beings are not three different things.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
Strictly speaking, for a human being there is no other practice than this practice. There is no other way of life than this way of life. Zen practice is the direct expression of our true nature.
CHCHCHQU - Tozan Ryokai [Tung-shan Liang-chieh] (807-869) (quoting [WuHsieh])
The body of reality is perfectly quiescent while giving the appearance of going and coming. The thousand sages are from the same source, myriad awarenesses are ultimately one. I am now a bubble bursting - what's the use of sadness? Don't trouble your minds; just maintain complete awareness. If you follow this order, you are really requiting my kindness - if you stubbornly go against what I say, you are not my disciples.
BUINBUSU - Shakyamuni Buddha (c. 563-483 B.C.)
There is an unborn, an unmade, an unoriginated, an uncompounded. Were there not, O mendicants, there would be no escape from the world of the born, the originated, the made, and the compounded.
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
To move the self and realize the ten-thousand dharmas is delusion. That the ten thousand dharmas advance and to realize the self is enlightenment.
CHCHCHQU - Sekito Kisen [Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien] (700-790)
From birth to death it's only this; don't seek any more for anything else by turning your head and revolving your brain.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
...even if the sun were to rise from the west, the Bodhisattva has only one way. His way is in each moment to express his nature and his sincerity.
CHCHCHQU - [Ta Hui] (1088-1163)
The concerns that have come down from numberless ages are only in the present; if you can understand them right now, then the concerns of numberless ages will instantly disperse, like tiles being scattered or ice melting. If you don't understand right now, you'll pass through countless eons more, and it'll still be just as it is.
CHCHCHQU - Joshu Jushin (778-897) & Nansen (748-834) [Chao-chou Ts'ung shen & Nan-ch'uan P'u-yuan]
Joshu: What is Tao? Nansen: Everyday-mindedness is Tao. Joshu: Is it possible to approach it? Nansen: If you intentionally approach it, you will miss it. Joshu: If you do not approach it intentionally, how can you know it? Nansen: The Way is not in the realm of knowing or not knowing; knowing is false consciousness, and not knowing is insensibility. If it is true arrival on the Way where there is no doubt, it is like the great void, like a vacant hall, empty and open; how could one insist on affirming or denying it?
CHCHCHQU - Tokusan [Te-shan] (781-867)
There is nothing in the self, so do not seek falsely; what is attained by false seeking is not real attainment. You just have nothing in your mind, and no mind in things; then you will be empty and spiritual, tranquil and sublime. Any talk of beginning or end would all be self-deception. The slightest entanglement of thought is the foundation of the three mires; a momentarily aroused feeling is a hindrance for ten thousand eons.
CHCHCHQU - Hogen [Fa-yen Wen-i] (855-958)
In myriad forms, there is a single body revealed.
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand dharmas. To be enlightened by the ten thousand dharmas is to free one's body and mind and those of others. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.
BUINBUSU - Shakyamuni Buddha (c. 563-483 B.C.) (quoted by [Ta Hui])
When the mind does not vainly grasp past things, does not long for things in the future, and does not dwell on anything in the present, then you realize that the three times are all empty and still.
CHCHCHQU - Obaku [Huang-po Hsi-yun] (?-849)
The Buddhas and all sentient beings are only one mind; there is nothing else. This mind, since beginningless past, has never been born, never perished; it is not green, not yellow; it has no shape or form. It is not subject to existence or non-existence, and is not to be considered new or old... This very substance is it; stir your thoughts and you miss it. It is like empty space; it has no bounds and cannot be measured. Just this one mind itself is Buddha. Buddha and sentient beings are no different; it's just that sentient beings grasp appearances- seeking outwardly, they become more and more lost. If you employ Buddha to seek Buddha, use mind to grasp mind, you may go on all your life until the end of time, but will never succeed. Don't you realize that if you cease thinking and forget thought, Buddha will spontaneously appear?
BUINBUSU - Shakyamuni Buddha (c. 563-483 B.C.)
Verily, I declare unto you, that within this very body, mortal though it be, and only a fathom high, but conscious and endowed with mind, is the world, and the waxing thereof, and the waning thereof, and the way that leads to the passing away thereof.
CHCHCHQU - [Ta-ning Tao-kuan] ( - )
Who is capable of embracing this? The four seasons follow each other in succession. The sun and moon shine constantly. Truth suffers no fundamental alteration, and the Tao is not confined to a single place. Therefore, free yourself to yield to whatever happens to you. Rise and fall with it. Here you may be simultaneously a common man and a sage.
CHCHCHQU - Obaku [Huang-po] ( -849)
During the twelve periods of the day I do not attach myself to anything.
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
Realizing this place, practice follows, and this is the realized koan. Realizing this way, practice follows, and this is the realized koan. For the place and the way are neither large nor small, neither subject nor object, without existing previously or without arising now; therefore, they exist thus.
CHCHCHQU - Ummon [Yun-men Wen-yen] (?-849)
To grasp Zen, you must experience it. ...You should withdraw inwardly and search for the ground upon which you stand; thereby you will find out what Truth is.
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53) (from Fukan zazen-gi)
Think of nonthinking. How is this done? By thinking beyond thinking and non-thinking. This is the very basis of zazen.
CHCHCHQU - Isan Reiyu [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
The Sutra says, "To behold the Buddha-nature one must wait for the right moment and the right conditions. When the time comes, one is awakened as from a dream. It is as if one's memory recalls something long forgotten. One realizes that what is obtained is one's own and not from outside one's self." Thus an ancient patriarch said, "After enlightenment one is still the same as one was before. There is no mind and there is no Dharma". One is simply free from unreality and delusion. The mind of the ordinary man is the same as that of the sage because the Original Mind is perfect and complete in itself. When you have attained this recognition, hold on to what you have achieved.
CHCHCHQU - Sekito Kisen [Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien] (700-790) In our sect, realization of the Buddha-nature, and not mere devotion or strength of concentration, is paramount.
CHCHCHQU - [Teng-yuan of Hsiang Lin] ( - )
Monk: How is it when mind and objects are both forgotten? Teng-yuan: Sitting sleeping with your eyes open.
CHCHCHQU - Isan Reiyu [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
With the subtlety of thinking the thoughtless, return thought to the boundlessness of the spiritual effulgence; when thought is exhausted, return to the source, where nature and appearances always abide, phenomena and principle are not-two; the true Buddha is thus.
CHCHCHQU - [Lo-han Kuei-ch'en] (867-928)
Not-knowing most closely approaches the Truth.
CHCHCHQU - Hogen [Fa-Yen] (855-958)
Monk: What is the Mind of the ancient Buddha? Hogen: It is that from which compassion, sympathy, joy, and limitless indifference flow out. Monk: What is the ground of Absolute Truth? Hogen: If there should be a ground, it would not be Absolute Truth.
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53) (from Fukan Zazen-gi)
The Way is completely present where you are, so of what use is practice or enlightenment? However, if there is the slightest difference in the beginning between you and the Way, the result will be a greater separation than between heaven and earth. If the slightest dualistic thinking arises, you will lose the Buddha-mind.
BUINBUSU - Shakyamuni (c. 563-483 B.C.) (quoted by [Ta Hui])
You use the characteristics matter and emptiness to overturn and eliminate each other in the Repository of Thusness, and the Repository of Thusness accordingly becomes matter or emptiness, extending everywhere throughout the cosmos. For this reason, within it, the wind stirs and the air clears, the sun is bright and the clouds are dark.
CHCHCHQU - Sekito Kisen [Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien] (700-790)
Our teaching has been handed down by the ancient buddhas; we do not speak of meditation or spiritual progress, only the arrival at the knowledge and vision of Buddhahood. Mind itself is buddha; mind, buddha, sentient beings, enlightenment, affliction, all are different names for the same thing. You should know that your own mind's aware essence is neither finite nor eternal, by nature neither defiled nor pure. It is still and complete; it is the same in ordinary people and in saints, responding effectively without patterns, apart from mind, intellect and discriminating consciousness. The three realms - desire, matter, and immaterial - and six states of being - animals, hell-beings, hungry ghosts, titans, human beings, gods - are only manifestations of your own mind; the moon in water, images in a mirror - how can there be any birth or death? If you can realize this, you will be complete in every way.
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
Now to concentrate on the way of enlightenment should also be like this; no matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you hold out over the long run, the floating clouds will disappear and the autumn wind will cease. That is a fact.
ECCHECDH - Kanchi Sosan [Seng-t'san] (6th c. A.D.) (3rd patriarch, China)
The Ultimate Path has no difficulties - Just avoid picking and choosing. Don't hate or love, and you'll be lucid and clear. When there's the slightest distinction It's as far apart as heaven and earth. If you want it to appear before you, Don't keep to going with or going against.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
In the beginner's mind there is no thought, "I have attained something." All self-centered ideas limit our vast mind... The beginner's mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless... Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice. Whatever we see is changing, losing its balance. The reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance, but its background is always in perfect harmony. This is how everything exists in the realm of Buddha nature... Without realizing the background of Buddha-nature, everything appears to be in the form of suffering. ...Suffering itself is how we live, and how we extend our life. To stop your mind does not mean to stop the activities of mind. It means that your mind pervades your whole body. When your practice is calm and ordinary, everyday life itself is enlightenment. If you do not lose yourself, then even though you have difficulty, there is actually no problem whatsoever... When your life is always a part of your surroundings - in other words, when you are called back to yourself, in the present moment - then there is no problem. When you start to wander about in some delusion which is something apart from yourself, then your surroundings are not real anymore, and your mind is not real anymore... Once you are in the midst of delusion, there is no end to delusion... To solve the problem is to be part of it, to be one with it. We do not seek for something besides ourselves. We should find the truth in this world, through our difficulties, through our suffering. Mindfulness is, at the same time, wisdom. ...It is the readiness of the mind that is wisdom. Our true nature is beyond our conscious experience. ...firm conviction in the original emptiness of your mind is the most important thing in your practice... Even though you think you are in delusion, your pure mind is there. To realize pure mind in your delusion is practice. If you have pure mind... the delusion will vanish. ...This is to attain enlightenment before you realize it. True nature is watching water. When you say, "My zazen is very poor", here you have true nature, but ... do not realize it. Nothing exists but momentarily in its present form and color. One thing flows into another and cannot be grasped. The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. This is to put everything under control in its widest sense. Zen practice is to open up our small mind. So concentrating is just an aid to help you realize "big mind", or the mind that is everything. That everything is included within your mind is the essence of mind... Even though waves arise, the essence of your mind is pure... Waves are the practice of the water... Big mind and small mind are one... As your mind does not expect anything from the outside, it is always filled. A mind with waves in it is not a disturbed mind, but actually an amplified one... In one sense our experiences coming by one by one are always fresh and new, but in another sense they are nothing but a continuous unfolding of the one big mind... With big mind we accept each of our experiences as if recognizing the face we see in a mirror as our own... with this imperturbable composure of big mind we practice zazen.
CHCHCHQU - Sozan Honjaku (commentary on the Five Ranks of Tozan) [Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi] (840-901)
COMING FROM WITHIN THE ABSOLUTE The whole body revealed, unique; the
root source of all things, in it there is neither praise nor blame.
ARRIVING WITHIN THE RELATIVE Going along with things and beings without hindrance, a wooden boat empty inside, getting through freely by being empty.
THE RELATIVE WITHIN THE ABSOLUTE A piece of emptiness pervading everywhere, all senses silent.
THE ABSOLUTE WITHIN THE RELATIVE The moon in the water, the image in the mirror - fundamentally without origin or extinction, how could any traces remain?
ARRIVAL IN BOTH AT ONCE The absolute is not necessarily void, the relative is not necessarily actual; there is neither turning away or turning to. When mental activity sinks away and both the material world and emptiness are forgotten, there is no more concealment - the whole thing is revealed; this is the relative within the absolute. Mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers, - no one establishes the names, nothing can be compared: this is the absolute within the relative. Clean and naked, bare and free, the visage is in full majesty - throughout all heaven and earth, the sole honored one, without any other; this is coming from the absolute. ...As ear does not enter sound, and sound does not block up the ear, the moment you turn therein, there have never been any fixed names in the world. The is called arrival within both at once. This is not mind or objects, not phenomena or principle; it has always been beyond name or description. Naturally real, forgetting essence and appearance, this is called simultaneous realization of both relative and absolute.
CHCHCHQU - Fuyo Dokai [Fu-jung Tao-k'ai] (1042-1118)
Going into the Jeta Grove by day, the bright moon is in the sky; climbing the Vulture Peak by night, the sun fills the eyes. The raven is like snow; lone geese form a flock. An iron dog howls through the night, fighting clay bulls go into the sea - all this time, all everywhere are gathered together; what difference is there between others and self? On the terrace of the ancient buddhas, in the house of the patriarchs, everybody puts forth a hand to greet the friends who come and go. But tell me, good people, what does this amount to? - Plant more shadowless trees for people of later times to see. Even if you can spring up in the east and disappear in the west, open out or shut away freely, you still haven't dreamed of seeing what was before the buddhas. You should know that there is one man who doesn't get anything from others, does not accept any teaching or command, and does not fall within the scope of grade or rank. If you know this man, your life's study is completed.
CHCHCHQU - Fuyo Dokai (1042-1118) (from Standards of Jetavana)
Those who leave home and society do so because they are fed up with mundane turmoil and seek liberation from birth and death. Therefore they rest their minds and stop their thoughts, cutting off clinging involvements; that is why they are called renunciants. How can we bury our daily lives away for gain and honor? You must let go of both sides and cast down the middle, being in the midst of sound and form like flowers planted on a rock, seeing profit and fame as dust in the eye. Still it is not that it hasn't been happening since beginningless time, or that we are ignorant of the process, but it is making the head into the tail; why should you suffer so for your greedy attachment in such a situation? If you don't stop now, when are you waiting for? This is why ancient sages taught people to be complete in the present, what else is there? If you can get to have nothing on your mind, even the buddhas and enlightened ancestors are enemies - all mundane things will be cool and simple. Then for the first time you will merge with the other side.
CHCHCHPO - Sozan Honjaku [Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi] (840-901)
The formless body of complete illumination of the nature of awareness; Don't use knowledge and views, misconstruing far and near. If thoughts vary, you're blind to the profound essence; If the mind differs, you're not close to the path. When feelings discriminate myriad things, they submerge the present situation; When consciousness perceives many aspects, you lose the original reality. If you can understand clearly from such sayings, Clearly you're the man of before, without any concern.
CHCHCHQU - Mumon (1183-1260) (from Mumonkan, 47)
An instant realization sees endless time. Endless time is as one moment. When one comprehends the endless moment He realizes the person who is seeing it.
JRJAJSQU - Manzan (1635-1714) (Soto lineage) Great perfect awareness is the ocean of ultimate peace; still and silent, myriad forms and images reflect therein. Yet suddenly when the wind of objects arises it turns into an ocean of birth and death, with waves and consciousness and feelings billowing day and night, where all sentient beings appear and disappear, with no end in sight. Although the two oceans seem different, really they come from the same source, mind. Originally there is no sign of distinction in the mind source; life and death and nirvana all revert to the essential nature of the source.
JRJAJSQU - Manzan (1635-1714) (Soto lineage)
The ultimate way is the one real great way, the mind of faith is the non-dualistic inconceivable mind. Mind and the way do not decrease when in illusion nor increase when in enlightenment; everything is perfect reality, each particular is complete - you can't grasp or reject anything. However, even so, "if you don't practice it, it will not become manifest; if you do not realize it, you cannot attain it." It is like having a jewel hidden in your pocket and suffering for want of food and clothing.
CHCHCHQU - Isan Reiyu [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
The mind of a man of the Way is straightforward, without falsehood; there is no turning away nor turning towards, no deceitful false mind. At all times his seeing and hearing are normal; there are no further details or subtleties beyond this. He does not close his eyes or block his ears; it is enough that feelings do not attach to things. Since time immemorial all the sages have only spoken of the faults of impurity; if there is no such perverted consciousness, opinion and thought habits, then it is like an autumn pond, limpid and clean. Pure and clear, without contrivance, quiescent and still, without hindrance; such is called a man of the Way. He is also called an unconcerned man.
CHCHCHQU - Hyakujo Ekai [Po-chang Huai-hai] (720-814)
You should all first put an end to all ties, and lay to rest all concerns; ...do not remember, do not recollect, do not engage your thoughts with them. Abandon body and mind, letting them be free. With mind like wood or stone, mouth makes no object of distinction, mind pursues no activity; then the mind becomes like space, wherein the sun of illumination spontaneously appears... In the presence of all objects, mind being neither still nor disturbed, neither concentrated nor scattered, passing through all sound and form without lingering or obstruction, is called a man of the Way. Not setting in motion good, evil, right or wrong; not clinging to a single thing, not rejecting a single thing, is called a man of the great vehicle... Once affirmation and negation, like and dislike, approval and disapproval, all various opinions and feelings come to an end and can't bind, then one is free wherever he may be; this is called a bodhisattva with a newly aroused mind immediately ascending to the stage of Buddhahood.
JDJAJSQU - Keizan Jokin (1268-1325) (from Zazen Yojinki)
Zazen just lets people illumine the mind and rest easy in their fundamental endowment. This is called showing the original face and revealing the scenery of the basic ground. Mind and body drop off, detached whether sitting or lying down. Therefore we do not think of good or bad, and can transcend the ordinary and the holy, pass beyond all conception of illusion and enlightenment, leave the bounds of buddhas and sentient beings entirely. So, putting a stop to all concerns, casting off all attachments, not doing anything at all, the six senses inactive - who is this, whose name has never been known, cannot be considered body, cannot be considered mind? When you try to think of it, thought vanishes; when you try to speak of it, words come to an end. Like an idiot, like an ignoramus, high as a mountain, deep as an ocean, not showing the peak or the invisible depths - shining without thinking, the source is clear in silent explanation. Occupying sky and earth, one's whole body alone is manifest; a person of immeasurable greatness - like one who has died utterly, whose eyes are not clouded by anything, whose feet are not supported by anything - where is there any dust? What is a barrier? The clear water never had front or back, space will never have inside or out. Crystal clear and naturally radiant before form and void are separated, how can object and knowledge exist?
CHCHCHQU - Mumon (1183-1260) (from Mumonkan, case 48)
Without raising a foot we are there already; the tongue has not moved but the teaching is finished. (alt. trans. Nyogen Senzaki/Paul Reps): Before the first step is taken, the goal is reached. Before the tongue is moved the speech is finished. More than brilliant intuition is needed To find the origin of the right road.
CHCHCHQU - [Ch'ing-yuan] ( - )
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.
CHCHCHQU - Rinzai [Lin-chi I-hsuan] (?-866)
Do you want to know the Buddha? None other than he who here in your presence is now listening to the Dharma. Just because you lack self-reliance, you turn to the outside and run about seeking. Even if you find something there, it is only words and letters and never the living spirit of the patriarchs. Do not be deceived.
CHCHCHQU - Rinzai [Lin-chi I-hsuan] (?-866)
Followers of the Way, the Dharma of the Mind has no form and pervades the Ten Directions. In the eye, it is called seeing; in the ear, hearing; in the nose, smelling; in the feet, walking. Fundamentally it is one light; differentiated it becomes the six senses. When one's whole mind comes to a full stop, one is delivered where one stands. Why do I speak thus? It is only because I see you, followers of the Way, all running about with an agitated mind, quite unable to stop, fretting yourselves over the playthings of the old masters. A moment of doubt in your mind is Mara. But if you can grasp that the ten thousand things are unborn and that the heart is like an illusive fantasy, then no thing even the size of a speck of dust exists - everywhere is purity - this is Buddha. If you want to get free from birth and death, from coming and going, from taking and putting on, know and take hold of him who is now listening to the Dharma. He has neither form nor shape, neither root nor trunk; nor does he have a dwelling place; he is as lively as fish jumping in water, and performs his function in response to all situations. Only, the place of his functioning is not a locality. Therefore, if you search for him, he eludes you. The more you seek for him, the farther away he is. That is why he is called "mysterious". I have no Dharma to give to men. I only cure diseases and undo knots. Followers of the Way who come from everywhere, try not to depend on anything. I only want to ponder this matter with you. Far better it is to have nothing further to seek, to be simple and plain. Then even the Bodhisattvas who have completed the ten stages are seeking the traces of you, followers of the Way, and cannot find them. ...And how does this come to be so? Because the man of the Way who is now listening to the Dharma leaves no trace of his activities. When the mind is stilled, the manifold things cease. And when the mind does not rise, the ten thousand things are without blame. In the world and beyond the world, neither Buddha nor Dharma manifest themselves, nor do they disappear. Though things exist, they are only as names and words.
CHCHCHQU - Baso Doitsu [Ma-Tsu or Kiangsi Tao-I] (709-788)
Those who seek for the truth should realize that there is nothing to seek. There is no Buddha but Mind; there is no Mind but Buddha. Do not choose what is good, nor reject what is evil, but rather be free from purity and defilement. Then you will realize the emptiness of sin. Thoughts perpetually change and cannot be grasped because they possess no self-nature. The triple world is nothing more then one's mind. The multitudinous universe is nothing more than the testimony of one Dharma. What are seen as forms are the reflections of the mind. The mind does not exist by itself; its existence is manifested through forms. Whenever you speak of Mind you must realize that appearance and reality are perfectly interfused without impediment. This is what the achievement of bodhi is. That which is produced by Mind is called form. When you understand that forms are non-existent, then that which is birth is also no-birth. If you are aware of this mind, you will dress, eat, and act spontaneously in life as it transpires, and thereby cultivate your spiritual nature. There is nothing more that I can teach you.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
When you are sitting in the middle of your own problem, which is more real to you, your problem or you yourself? The awareness that you are here, right now, is the ultimate fact. This is the point you will realize by zazen practice. In continuous practice, under a succession of agreeable and disagreeable situations, you will realize the marrow of Zen and acquire its true strength. To leave a trace is not the same as to remember something. It is necessary to remember what we have done, but we should not become attached to what we have done in any special sense. What we call "attachment" is just these traces of our thought and activity. In order not to leave any traces, when you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do... If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do... Zen activity is activity which is completely burned out, with nothing remaining but ashes.
CHCHCHQU - from Blue Cliff Record (Hekigan Roku, 4)
"Even if you're like the moon reflected in an autumn pond, which when
striking the waves is not scattered, or like the sound of a bell on a quiet
night, which when hit never fails to resound, this is still an affair on
the shore of birth and death" [Hsuan Sha].
When you arrive here there is no gain or loss, no affirmation or negation, nor is there anything extraordinary or mysterious.
(Hekigan Roku, 19) Those who attain it do not choose between ignorance or wisdom, between worldly or holy. Much falsehood is not as good as a little truth. Anyone who is powerful will immediately rest right this moment and abruptly still the myriad entanglements, thus passing beyond the stream of birth and death and going far beyond the usual patterns... Penetrate one place, and at once you penetrate a thousand places, ten thousand places. Clearly understand one device, and at once you clearly understand a thousand devices, ten thousand devices.
[Wu Yeh] (Hekigan Roku, 21) Just don't attach to names and words, classification and phrasing. If you have understood all things, naturally you won't be attached to them. Then there is no multiplicity of gradations of differences; you take in all things; but all things won't be able to take you in. Fundamentally there is no gain or loss, no illusions or dreams, no multiplicity of names. You should not insist on setting up names for them. Can I fool all of you people? Since all of you ask questions, therefore there are words. If you didn't ask, what could you have me say that would be right? All concerns are what you take up: none of it is any of my business. An ancient said, "If you want to know the meaning of the buddha nature, you must observe times and seasons, causes and conditions."
[Tou Tzu] (Hekigan Roku, 22) Mind revolves along with myriad phenomena: The turning point is truly mysterious.
(Hekigan Roku, 25) ...Concerns arise because outside you perceive that mountains and rivers and the great earth exist; within you perceive that seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing exist; above you see that there are various buddhas that can be sought; and below you see that there are sentient beings who can be saved. You must simply spit them all out at once: afterwards, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying down, twenty-four hours a day, you fuse everything into one. Then, though you're on the tip of a hair, it's as broad as the universe; though you dwell in a boiling cauldron or in furnace embers, it's like being in the land of peace and happiness; though you dwell amidst gems and jewels in profusion, it's like being in a thatched hut. For this kind of thing, if you are a competent adept, you get to the one reality naturally, without wasting any effort.
(Ummon) [Yun-men Wen-yen] (862/4-949) (Hekigan Roku, 33) In that scripture (Lotus of Truth) it says that all livelihood and productive labor are not contrary to the characteristics of reality. But tell me, in the heaven that is beyond thought and thoughtlessness, right now how many people fall back from that position? (Ummon)
CHCHCHQU - Mumon (1183-1260) (from Mumonkan, 27)
A monk asked Nansen: "Is there a teaching no master ever preached before?" Nansen said: "Yes, there is." "What is it?", asked the monk. Nansen replied: "It is not mind, it is not Buddha, it is not things." Mumon's comment: Old Nansen gave away his treasure-words. He must have been greatly upset. Nansen was too kind and lost all his treasure. Truly, words have no power. Even though the mountain becomes the sea, Words cannot open another's mind.
CHCHCHQU - from Blue Cliff Record (Hekigan Roku, 7) - pointer by [Hsueh Tou Ch'ung Hsien] (980-1052)
The thousand sages have not transmitted the single word before sound; if you have never seen it personally, it's as if it were worlds away. Even if you discern it before sound and cut off the tongues of everyone in the world, you're still not a sharp fellow. Therefore it is said, "The sky can't cover it; the earth can't support it; empty space can't contain it; sun and moon can't illumine it." Where there is no Buddha and you alone are called the Honored One, for the first time you've amounted to something. Otherwise, if you are not yet this way, penetrate through on the tip of a hair and release the great shining illumination; then in all directions you will be independent and free in the midst of phenomena; whatever you pick up, there is nothing that's not it. But tell me, what is attained that is so extraordinary?
(Hekigan Roku, 37) - Have you not seen how the Third Patriarch said, "Grasp it, and you lose balance and surely enter a false path. Let go naturally; there is neither going nor abiding in essence." If here you say that there is neither Buddha nor Dharma, still you have gone into a ghost cave. The Ancients called this the Deep Pit of Liberation. Originally it was a good causal basis, but it brings on a bad result. That is why it is said that a non-doing, unconcerned man is still oppressed by golden chains. Still, you must have penetrated all the way to the bottom before you will realize it. If you can say what cannot be said, can do what cannot be done, this is called the place of turning the body.
(Hekigan Roku, 44) - Again the monk asked, "What is the real truth?' Shan said, "Knowing how to beat the drum." In the real truth not one other thing is set up. As for the worldly truth, the myriad things are all present. That there is no duality to real and conventional is the highest meaning of the holy truths.
(Hekigan Roku, 45) - To study the Path, first you must have a basis of enlightenment: It's like having vied in a boat race: Though you relax on idle ground as before, only having won you can rest.
[Lung Ya] (Hekigan Roku, 51) - As soon as there is affirmation and denial, you lose your mind in confusion. If you don't fall into grades and stages, then there is no seeking. But say, is letting go right, or is holding fast right? At this point, if you have any trace of an interpretive route, you are still stuck in verbal explanations. If you're still involved with devices and objects, then all of this is haunting the fields and forests. Even if you arrive immediately at the point of solitary liberation, you haven't avoided looking back at the village gate from ten thousand miles away.
(Hekigan Roku, 56) - The Buddhas never appeared in the world - there is nothing to be given to people. The Patriarch never came from the West - he never passed on the transmission by mind. Since people of these times do not understand, they frantically search outside themselves. They are far from knowing that the one Great Matter right where they are cannot be grasped even by a thousand sages.
(Hekigan Roku, 59) - Chao Chou often taught his community with this speech, saying, "The Ultimate Path has no difficulties - just avoid picking and choosing. As soon as there are words and speech, 'this is picking and choosing', 'this is clarity'. This old monk does not abide within clarity; do you still preserve anything or not?" Once there was a monk who asked, "Since you do not abide in clarity, what is to be preserved?" Chou said, "I don't know either."
(Hekigan Roku, 62) - "The true nature of ignorance is identical to Buddhahood; the empty body of illusion is identical to the body of reality." It is also said, "See the Buddha mind right in the ordinary mind."
CHCHCHPO - Tozan Ryokai [Tung-shan Liang-chieh] (807-869)
Just avoid seeking from others, Or you will be far estranged from yourself. I now go on alone; I meet Him everywhere - He is now just I, but I now am not He: One must understand in this way In order to unite with thusness.
CHCHCHQU - [Mahasattva Fu] (497-569)
The highest good has an empty heart as its basis, and non-attachment as its source; abolishment of formality is the cause, and nirvana is the result.
CHCHCHQU - Sozan Honjaku [Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi] ((840-901)
The absolute state is the realm of emptiness, where there has never been a single thing; the relative state is the realm of form with myriad forms. The relative within the absolute is turning away from principle and going to phenomena; the absolute within the relative is indifference to phenomena, entering principle. Mutual integration is subtly responding to myriad circumstances without falling into various existences. It is not defiled, not pure, not true, not biased; therefore it is called the empty mysterious great way, the non-grasping true source. The past worthies since time immemorial have esteemed this rank (state of integration) as the most wondrous and most mysterious. You must discern it clearly and thoroughly.
BUINBUSU - from Sutra of the 42 Chapters
Though a person filled with desire dwells in heaven, still that is not enough for him; though a person who has ended desire dwells on the ground, still he is happy.
CHCHCHQU - (Chinese master to disciples)
Not to commit evils, To practice all the good, And to keep the mind pure: That is the teaching of the Buddhas.
MOVTXXQU - Thich Thien-An (1975)
For a deed to be totally pure, it must be done without any thought of reward, whether worldly or divine. It is this kind of deed which is called a "deed of no merit". And because no merit is sought, it is a deed of immeasurable merit, of infinite merit.
CHCHCHQU - Dai-i Doshin (4th Patriarch, China) [Tao-hsin to Niu-T'ou Fa Yung]-(594-657)
All systems of Buddhist teachings center in Mind, where immeasurable treasures originate. All its supernatural faculties and transformations revealed in discipline, meditation and wisdom are sufficiently contained in one's mind and they never depart therefrom. All the hindrances to the attainment of bodhi which arise from passions which generate karma are originally non-existent. Every cause and effect is but a dream. There is no Triple World which one leaves, and no bodhi to search for. The inner reality and outer appearances of man and a thousand things are identical. The Great Tao is formless and boundless. It is free from thought and anxiety. You have now understood this Buddhist teaching. There is nothing lacking in you, and you yourself are no different from Buddha. There is no way of achieving Buddhahood other than letting your mind be free to be itself. You should not contemplate nor should you purify your mind. Let there be no craving and hatred, and have no anxiety or fear. Be boundless and absolutely free from all conditions. Be free to go in any direction you like. Do not act to do good, nor to pursue evil. Whether you walk or stay, sit or lie down, and whatever you see happen to you, all are the wonderful activity of the Great Enlightened One. It is all joy, free from anxiety - it is called Buddha.
CHCHCHQU - Rinzai [Lin-chi I-hsuan] (?-866)
Fellow learners! To achieve Buddhahood there is no need for cultivation. Just carry on an ordinary task without any attachments. Release your bowels and water, wear your clothes, eat your meals. When you are tired, lie down. The fool will laugh at you, but the wise man will understand.
CHCHCHQU - Joshu Jushin [Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen] (778-897) (application of the koan)
It is as if a transparent crystal were held in one's hand. When a foreigner approaches it, it reflects him as such; when a native Chinese approaches it, it reflects him as such. I take a stalk of grass and let it act as a golden-bodied one, sixteen feet high, and I take a golden-bodied one, sixteen feet high, and let it act as a stalk of grass.
CHCHCHPO - [Layman P'ang] (8th-9th c. A.D.) (quoted by Ta Hui)
Just have no mind in myriad things: Then what hindrance is there when myriad things surround you? The iron ox doesn't fear the lion's roar: It's like a wooden man seeing a picture of flowers and birds - The wooden man's body itself has no feelings, And the painted birds aren't startled when meeting the man. Mind and objects are Thus - only this is: Why worry that the Path of Enlightenment will not be fulfilled?
CHCHCHQL - [Layman P'ang Yun of Hsiang-chou] (8th-9th c. A.D.)
Let mind and the external world be as they are. There is neither actuality nor emptiness. If there is actuality, I do not care for it. Though there is a Void, I do not abide in it. I am neither a sage nor a great worthy, I am an ordinary man who fulfills his daily tasks. How simple are the Buddhist teachings! In the five aggregates lie true wisdom. All things are identified with the First Principle. The formless essence of things is not twofold. If you wish to be free from suffering and enter bodhi, I cannot tell you where the land of Buddha is.
CHCHCHQU - Isan Reiyu [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
When the approach to enlightenment is like the swift thrust of a sword to the center of things, then both worldliness and holiness are completely eliminated and Absolute Reality is revealed. Thus the One and the Many are identified. This is the Suchness of Buddha.
CHCHCHQU - Isan Reiyu [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
The mind of one who understands Ch'an is plain and straightforward without pretense. It has neither front nor back and is without deceit or delusion. Every hour of the day, what one hears and sees are ordinary things and ordinary actions. Nothing is distorted. One does not need to shut one's eyes and ears to be non-attached to things... When delusion, perverted views and bad thinking are eliminated, the mind is as clear and tranquil as the autumn stream. ...Through concentration, a devotee may gain thoughtless thought. Thereby he is suddenly enlightened and realizes his original nature. However, there is still a basic delusion, without beginning and without end, which cannot be entirely eliminated. Therefore the elimination of the manifestation of karma, which causes the remaining delusion to come to the surface, should be taught.
CHCHCHQU - Daikan Eno [Hui-neng] (638-713) (6th Patriarch, China)
An ordinary man is Buddha! and defilement is enlightenment (bodhi). A passing foolish thought makes one an ordinary man, while an enlightened thought makes one a buddha. A passing thought that clings to sense-objects is defilement; a second thought that frees one from attachment is Enlightenment. It is the function of Tathata (suchness) to give rise to "ideas". It is not the sense-organs that do so. ...Without Tathata, sense-organs and sense-objects would disappear immediately. Because it is an attribute of Tathata to give rise to ideas, our sense organs, in spite of their functioning in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and knowing, are not tainted and defiled under all circumstances. Our true nature is self-manifesting all the time. ...Who are these sentient beings, potential within our minds? They are the delusive mind, the deceitful mind, the evil mind, and such like - all these are sentient beings. Each of them has to be delivered by oneself by means of his own Essence of Mind; only by his own deliverance, is it genuine... The false will be delivered by truthfulness; the delusive by enlightenment; the ignorant by wisdom; and the malevolent by benevolence; such is genuine deliverance. Let not a vagrant thought rise up again, is 'Mind'. Let not a coming thought be repulsed, is 'Buddha'. To manifest all kind of phenomena, is 'Mind'. To be free of all form, is Buddha. Never for a moment was Nirvana either the phenomena of Becoming and Cessation, or the ceasing of Becoming and Cessation. It is the perfect manifestation of Rest and Cessation of Change, and at the 'time' of manifestation, there is no such thing as manifestation. It is called everlasting joy, because it has neither enjoyer nor non-enjoyer. Let your mind be like the illimitable void, but do not think of it as 'vacuity'. Let the mind function freely, but whether it is in activity or at rest, let it abide nowhere. Forget all discriminations: see no distinction between a sage and an ordinary man; ignore the distinction between subject and object; let Essence of Mind and all phenomena and objects be alike in a state of "Suchness". Then you will truly be in Samadhi all the time.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
The way to practice without having any goal is to limit your activity, or to be concentrated on what you are doing in this moment. Instead of having some particular object in mind, you should limit your activity. When your mind is wandering about elsewhere you have no chance to express yourself. But if you limit your activity to what you can do just now, in this moment, then you can express fully your true nature, which is the universal Buddha-nature. This is our way.
JDJAJSQU - Bassui (b. 1327)
When the profound questioning penetrates to the very bottom, and that bottom is broken open, not the slightest doubt will remain that your own Mind itself is Buddha, the Void-universe. There will then be no anxiety about life or death, no truth to search for. In zazen neither despise nor cherish the thoughts that arise; only search your own Mind, the very source of these thoughts. You must understand that anything appearing in your consciousness or seen by your eyes is an illusion, of no enduring reality. ...If you keep your mind as empty as space, no evil spirits can disturb you even on your deathbed. While engaged in zazen, however, keep none of this counsel in mind. You must only become the question "What is this Mind?" or "What is it that hears these sounds?" When you realize this Mind you will know that it is the very source of all Buddhas and sentient beings. The Bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokitesvara) is so called because he attained enlightenment by perceiving [grasping the source of] the sounds of the world about him.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
To have nothing in your mind is naturalness. ...When you do something, you should be completely involved in it. You should devote yourself to it completely. Then you have nothing. So if there is no true emptiness in your activity, it is not natural... When you have that mind, you have the joy of life. When you lose it, you lose everything. You have nothing... But when all you do comes out of nothingness, then you have everything. After we realize the emptiness of things, everything becomes real - not substantial. When we realize that everything we see is a part of emptiness, we can have no attachment to any existence; we realize that everything is just a tentative form and color. Thus we realize the true meaning of each tentative existence... It is because our way of observing things is deeply rooted in our self-centered ideas that we are disappointed when we find everything has only a tentative existence. But when we actually realize this truth, we will have no suffering.
JDJAJSQU - Sayings of Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
If you would be free of greed, first you must leave selfhood behind. In order to leave selfhood behind, the contemplation of impermanence is the foremost mental discipline. ...With a profound heart, which thinks little of your own life and has compassion for living beings, you should arouse a mind which aspires to entrust your bodily life to the Buddhist precepts. If you already have such a mind, even for a moment, you should preserve it so as not to lose it. Without once arousing such a mind, there can be no awakening to the Buddha Way. Even in a grass hut or under a tree, pondering even a single phrase of the Teaching, practicing even a single period of sitting meditation, this is indeed the true flourishing of Buddhism. Once you have perceived that all dharmas are the Buddha Dharma, then you should know that evil is definitely evil and is far from the Way of Buddhas and Patriarchs, and that good is definitely good and becomes an affinity with the Buddhist Way. If you are still thinking deep inside, "The fundamental purpose of the study of the Teachings is for finding the path to liberation; how could I lightly abandon the accomplishment of many years of study?": then this mind is called a mind which is bound to birth and death. You should contemplate this thoroughly. In sitting meditation as well, if you do it for a long time, you will spontaneously become suddenly aware of the Great Matter, and you should know that sitting meditation is the correct entrance. It is also said, 'That which would incur pain is called bad; that which should bring about happiness is called good.' Only when one has cast body and mind into the Buddhist Teaching and practices it with no further hope of anything - even that he awaken to the Path and grasp the truth - such is called an Undefiled Wayfarer. This is the meaning of the saying, "Do not stay where there is Buddha; run quickly by where there is no Buddha." As for the patchrobed ones, it is those who are like clouds, having no fixed abode, flowing onward like a stream, attached to nothing, who are called true monks. If you do not study the way and cultivate its practice in this life, in which life would you become a man of capacity, a man without illness, to study the Way? Just to arouse the mind and cultivate practice without worrying about your bodily life, this is the most essential thing in the study of the Way. Depending upon zeal or sloth, there is slowness or quickness in attaining the Way. The difference between zeal and sloth is whether one's determination is thoroughgoing or not. When one's determination is not thoroughgoing, it is because he does not contemplate impermanence. We die from moment to moment, ultimately not abiding even for a while. As long as you are alive for the time being, do not pass the time in vain. Without looking forward to tomorrow every moment, you must think only of this day and this hour. Because tomorrow is difficult and unfixed and difficult to know, you must think of following the Buddhist Way while you live today... You must concentrate on Zen practice without wasting time, thinking that there is only this day and this hour. After that it becomes truly easy. You must forget about the good and the bad of your nature, the strength or weakness of your power. If life comes, this is life. If death comes, this is death. There is no reason for your being under their control. Don't put any hope in them. This life and death are the life of the Buddha. If you try to throw them away in denial, you lose the life of the Buddha.
THINTHSU - Visuddhimagga
Suffering alone exists, none who suffer; The deed there is, but no doer thereof; Nirvana is, but no one seeking it; The Path there is, but none who travel it.
THINTHSU - Kevaddha-Sutta, Digha-Nikaya
Monk: Where do earth, water, fire and air come to an end? Where are these four elements completely annihilated? Buddha: Not thus, O monk, is the question to be put, but: Where is it that these elements find no footing? --- In the invisible, infinite, all-radiant consciousness; there neither earth nor water, neither fire nor air can find a footing.
MOUSJRQU - Yasutani-roshi (1885-1973)
One of the salient characteristics of water is its conformability: when put into a round vessel it becomes round, when put into a square vessel it becomes square. ...The mind of Buddha is like water that is calm, deep, and crystal clear, and upon which the "moon of truth" reflects fully and perfectly. The mind of the ordinary man, on the other hand, is like murky water, constantly being churned by the gales of delusive thought and no longer able to reflect the moon of truth. The moon nontheless shines steadily upon the waves, but as the waters are roiled we are unable to see its reflection. Thus we lead lives that are frustrating and meaningless. When you walk only Mu walks, when you eat only Mu eats, when you work only Mu works, and when you come before me only Mu appears. Prostrating yourself, it is Mu that prostrates. Speaking, it is Mu that speaks. Lying down to sleep, it is Mu that sleeps and Mu that awakens. Having reached the point where your seeing, your hearing, your touching, your smelling, your tasting, and your thinking are nothing but Mu, suddenly you directly perceive Mu. After you have seen into your True-nature, you see all objects as temporary phenomena undergoing endless change, but you see them in and through the aspect of sameness. You then understand that without the undifferentiated there can be no individual existences. If you don't separate yourself from the circumstances of your life, you live without anxiety. In summer you adapt yourself to heat, in winter to cold. If you are rich, you live the life of a rich man; if you are poor, you live with your poverty. Were you to go to heaven, you would be an angel; were you to fall into hell, you would become a devil. In Japan you live like a Japanese, in Canada like a Canadian. Lived this way, life isn't a problem. Animals have this adaptability to a high degree. Human beings also have it, but because they imagine they are this or that, because they fashion notions and ideas of what they ought to be or how they ought to live, they are constantly at war with their environment and themselves. In the profoundest sense, we can know nothing. When he awakens to the fact that he embraces the whole universe, he ceases his grasping, for he no longer feels a lack within himself. One whose actions are still dominated by ego cannot be said to have had a valid enlightenment. Furthermore, an authentic experience not only reveals one's imperfections, but it simultaneously creates the determination to remove them. Whatever is in your mind is the reflection of your mind, therefore it is you. So when you perceive this mat or this table you are perceiving yourself. Again, when your mind is devoid of all conceptions - opinions, ideas, points of views, values, notions, assumptions - your mind is reflecting itself. This is the condition of undifferentiation, of Mu. All existence is relative, yet each of us creates his own world; each perceives according to the state of his own mind. ...If when you die the universe dies with you, you and the universe are not separate and apart. Enlightenment is no more than the realization that the world of discrimination and the world of undifferentiation are not two. When you directly and positively experience this, you are enlightened.
CHCHCHPO - [Layman P'ang] (8th-9th c. A.D.)
[People of] the ten directions are the same one assembly - Each and every one learns wu-wei. * (* non-doing) This is the very place to select Buddha; Empty-minded having passed the exam, I return. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - When the mind's as is, circumstances are also as is; There's no real and also no unreal. Giving no heed to existence, And holding not to non-existence - You're neither saint nor sage, just An ordinary man who has settled his affairs. Easy, so easy! These very five skandhas make true wisdom. The ten directions of the universe are the same One Vehicle. How can the formless Dharmakaya be two! If you cast off the passions to enter Bodhi, Where will any Buddha-lands be? To preserve your life you must destroy it; Having completely destroyed it you dwell at ease. When you attain the inmost meaning of this, An iron boat floats upon water.
BUINBUQU - Guru Kankanapa
The mind alone is the radiant jewel from which all things borrow their temporal reality.
PRINPRSU - from Mahayana-Sraddhotpada-Sastra
The mind has two doors from which issue its activities. One leads to a realization of the mind's Pure Essence, the other leads to the differentiations of appearing and disappearing, of life and death. What, however, is meant by the Pure Essence of Mind? It is the ultimate purity and unity, the all-embracing wholeness, the quintessence of Truth. Essence of Mind belongs to neither death nor rebirth, it is uncreated and eternal. The concepts of the conscious mind are being individualized and discriminated by false imaginations. If the mind could be kept free from discriminative thinking, there would be no more arbitrary thoughts to give rise to appearances of form, existences and conditions... for in Mind-essence, there is nothing to be grasped nor named. But we use words to get free from words until we reach the pure wordless Essence.
MOXXTIQU - Lama Anagarika Govinda
Every individual represents a certain position in space and time. Even if its consciousness has become all-embracing, by breaking down all limitations (or by no more identifying itself with individual limitations), it retains the character of its position or its starting point as a particular centre of experience.
THINTHSU - from the Dhammapada (line 330)
For it is better to go alone on the path of life than to have a fool for a companion. With few wishes and few cares, and leaving all sins behind, let a man travel alone, like a great elephant alone in the forest.
MOXXTIQU - Lama Anagarika Govinda
In the moment of profound intuition or enlightenment, the past is transformed into a present experience, in which all the moving forces and circumstances, all inner and outer connexions, motives, situations, causes and effects, in short the whole dependent origination, the very structure of reality, is clearly perceived.
PRINPRSU - from the Lankavatara Sutra
When it is recognized that there is nothing beyond what is seen of the mind [Mind] itself, the discrimination of being and non-being ceases and, as there is thus no external world as the object of perception, nothing remains but the solitude of Reality. Further, Mahamati, according to the teaching of the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future, all things are unborn. Why? Because they have no reality, being manifestations of Mind itself, and, Mahamati, as they are not born of being and non-being, they are unborn. Mahamati, all things are like the horns of the hare, horse, donkey, or camel, but the ignorant and simple-minded who are given up to their false and erroneous imaginations, discriminate things where they are not; therefore, all things are unborn. ...The self-nature and characteristic marks of body, property and abode evolve when the Alayavijnana is conceived by the ignorant as grasping and grasped; and then they fall into a dualistic view of existence where they recognize its rise, abiding, and disappearance. 2-XIX That all things are devoid of self-nature means that there is a constant and uninterrupted becoming, a momentary change from one state of existence to another; seeing this, Mahamati, all things are destitute of self-nature. ...There is no Nirvana except where there is Samsara; there is no Samsara except where there is Nirvana; for the condition of existence is not of mutually-exclusive character. ...I always preach emptiness which is beyond eternalism and nihilism; Samsara is like a dream and a vision, and karma vanishes not. 2-XXVII When the self-nature and habit-energy of all the Vijnanas, including the Alaya, Manas and Manovijnana, from which issues the habit-energy of wrong speculations - when all these go through a revulsion, I and all the Buddhas declare that there is Nirvana, and the way and the self-nature of this Nirvana is emptiness, which is the state of reality. Further, Mahamati, Nirvana is the realm of self-realisation attained by noble wisdom, which is free from the discrimination of eternality and annihilation, existence and non-existence. ...Again, Mahamati, the great Parinirvana is neither destruction nor death. Mahamati, if the great Parinirvana is death, then it will be a birth and continuation. If it is destruction, then it will assume the character of an effect-producing deed. ...Neither has it anything to do with vanishing; it is the goal of the Yogins. Again, Mahamati, the great Parinirvana is neither abandonment nor attainment, neither is it of one meaning nor of no-meaning; this is said to be Nirvana. 2-XXXVIII Of neither existence nor non-existence do I speak, but of Mind-only which has nothing to do with existence and non-existence, and which is thus free from intellection. Suchness, emptiness, realm of truth, the various forms of the will-body - these I call Mind-only. Multiplicity of objects evolves from the conjunction of habit-energy and discrimination: it is born of Mind, but is regarded by people as existing outwardly: this I call Mind-only. The external world is not, and multiplicity of objects is what is seen of Mind; body, property, and abode - these I call Mind-only. 3-LXIV
PRINPRSU - from the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra
This Buddha land of mine is always pure, but appears filthy so that I can lead people of inferior spirituality to their salvation. This is like the food of the devas which takes various colors according to the merits of the individual eater. So, Sariputra, the man whose mind is pure sees this world in its majestic purity. (- Sakyamuni Buddha) For meditation means the non-appearance of body and mind in the three worlds (of desire, form, and no-form); giving no thought to inactivity when in nirvana while appearing (in the world) with respect-inspiring deportment; not straying from the Truth while attending to worldly affairs; the mind abiding neither within nor without; being imperturbable to wrong views during the practice of the thirty-seven contributory stages leading to enlightenment: and not wiping out troubles (klesa) while entering the state of nirvana. If you can thus sit in meditation, you will win the Buddha's seal. (- Vimalakirti) Sariputra, death is unreal and deceptive, and means decay and destruction (to the worldly man), while life which is also unreal and deceptive means continuance to him. As to the Bodhisattva, although he disappears (in one place) he does not put an end to his good (deeds), and although he reappears (in another) he prevents evils from arising. (- Vimalakirti) Therefore, Maitreya, do not mislead the devas because there is neither development of supreme bodhi-mind nor its backsliding. Maitreya, you should instead urge them to keep from discriminating views about bodhi. Why? Because bodhi can be won by neither body nor mind. For bodhi is the state of calmness and extinction of passion because it wipes out all forms. Bodhi is unseeing, for it keeps from all causes. Bodhi is non-discrimination, for it stops memorizing and thinking. Bodhi cuts off ideation, for it is free from all views. Bodhi forsakes inversion, for it prevents perverse thoughts. Bodhi puts an end to desire, for it keeps from longing. Bodhi is unresponsive, for it wipes out all clinging. Bodhi complies (with self-nature), for it is in line with the state of suchness. Bodhi dwells (in this suchness), for it abides in (changeless) Dharma-nature. Bodhi reaches this suchness, for it attains the region of reality. Bodhi is non-dual, for it keeps from intellect and its objects. Bodhi is impartial, for it is equal to boundless space. Bodhi is the non-active (wu-wei) state, for it is above the conditions of birth, existence and death. Bodhi is true knowledge, for it discerns the mental activities of all living beings. Bodhi does not unite, for it is free from all confrontation. Bodhi disentangles, for it breaks contact with habitual troubles (klesa). Bodhi is that of which the position cannot be determined, for it is beyond form and shape, and is that which cannot be called by name, for all names are void. Bodhi is like the mindlessness of an illusory man, for it neither accepts nor rejects anything. Bodhi is beyond disturbance, for it is always serene by itself. Bodhi is real stillness, because of its pure and clean nature. Bodhi is non-acceptance, for it keeps from causal attachments. Bodhi is non-differentiating, because of its impartiality towards all. Bodhi is without compare, for it is indescribable. Bodhi is profound and subtle, for although unknowing, it knows all. World Honoured One, when Vimalakirti so expounded the Dharma, two hundred sons of devas realized the patient endurance of the uncreate (anutpattika-dharma-ksanti). This is why I am not qualified to call on him and enquire after his health.
BUINBUSU - Sakyamuni Buddha (c. 563-483 B.C.)
In the universe there is not a spot of land as small as a mustard seed where I have not sacrificed my life or have not buried my bones.
CHCHCHQU - [Ta Hui] (1089-1163)
By keeping mindful of the matter of birth and death, your mental technique is already correct. Once the mental technique is correct, then you won't need to use effort to clear your mind as you respond to circumstances in your daily activities. ...When correct mindfulness stands out alone, inner truth adapts to phenomena; when inner truth adapts to events and things, events and things come to fuse in inner truth. When phenomena fuse with their inner truth, you save power; when you feel the saving, this is the empowerment of studying the path. If you can avoid giving rise to a second thought about the scriptural teachings or the stories of the ancient worthies entering the Path, and realize directly what they go back to, then there will be nothing in your own realm or in the realms of others that is not according to your will, nothing of which you are not the master. Yung Chia also said, 'The real nature of ignorance is identical to the nature of enlightenment; the empty body of illusory transformations is identical to the body of reality. Once you've awakened, there's not a single thing in the body of reality. Original inherent nature is the naturally real enlightened one.' If you think like this, suddenly, in the place where thought cannot reach, you will see the body of reality in which there is not a single thing - this is the place for you to get out of birth and death. What I said before, that one cannot seek the Dharma which has nothing to attain with the attitude that there is something to attain, is just this principle. Neither suffering nor bliss have any real substance: but since delusion and enlightenment are different, suffering and bliss go separate ways. If you want to cut directly through, don't entertain doubts about Buddhas and Patriarchs, or doubts about birth and death - just always let go and make your heart empty and open. When things come up, then deal with them according to the occasion. Be like the stillness of water, like the clarity of a mirror, so that whether good or bad, beautiful or ugly approach, you don't make the slightest move to avoid them. Then you will truly know that the mindless world of spontaneity is inconceivable. As Vimalakirti said, "The companions of passion are the progenitors of the Tathagatas: I fear that people will destroy the worldly aspect to seek the real aspect." He also made a comparison: "It's like the high plateau not producing lotus flowers: it is the mud of the lowlying marshlands that produces these flowers." If you can penetrate through right here, ... your power will surpass that of us leavers of home by twentyfold. If you can cut off the road of intellectual knowledge, then talk of all kinds of things is all this Dharma. Once this Dharma is clear then this very clarity is the state of inconceivable great liberation. ...Thus it is said that the abode of bodhisattvas is inconceivable, but therein thought is inexhaustible. When you've entered this inconceivability, thought and no-thought are both quiescent and extinct. Yet you should not abide in quiescent extinction, for if you do, you are being absorbed by the experience of the Dharma realm. In the Teachings this is called affliction by the dust of the Dharma. When you can arouse yourself to the point where the habit-energy of love and affection within the Storehouse Consciousness is exhausted, then naturally it's like water being returned to water, giving you back your original being, without affliction, without thoughts, without sorrow or joy.
CHCHCHQU - Hyakujo [Pai-Chang] (720-814)
People who are disciples, though they hear the teaching of the enlightened one, are not able to conceive the spirit of the unexcelled Way. That is why people who cut off the roots of goodness have no enlightened nature. A scripture says this is called the deep pit of liberation, a fearsome place - if for one instant the mind retreats, it falls into hell as fast as an arrow shot... [criticizing Hinayana self-only liberation] Yet one cannot talk only in terms of retreating or of not retreating. Consider the likes of Manjusri, Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta; they come back to the stage of entering the stream, mingling with various kinds of beings to lead them. Bodhidharma said, "If the mind affirms something, it must deny something too." If you value a single thing, you are deluded by that thing; esteem anything and you are confused by it. How does a monk serve Buddha? That which is called the nonindulgent six senses is also called "adornments". Emptiness has no indulgences; forests and trees adorn it. Emptiness has no defilement; flowers and fruits adorn it. Emptiness has no Buddha eye; it depends on the reality eye of someone who cultivates it to distinguish the pure and defiled without any understanding that he is discriminating the pure and defiled - this is called "ultimately no eye". The discipline of doing is to cut off the things of the world. Just do not do anything yourself, and there is no fault - this is called the discipline of nondoing. It is also called unmanifested discipline, and it is also called the discipline of nonindulgence. As long as there is arousal of mind and movement of thoughts, this is called breaking discipline. If you say that the Buddha absolutely does not experience the mortal cluster, you are in no way right. Buddha is not empty space - how could he not sense it? A Buddha is only different from sentient beings in that he is free to go or stay. ...if you do not have even a single thought giving rise to ideas of others and self, yet abide in the absence of even a single thought and consider that right, this is called defilement by the dust of the Dharma. Even people in the tenth stage of bodhisattvahood cannot get rid of this completely, and flow into the river of birth and death. ...But right now, if you have the slightest bit of love for anything existent or nonexistent defiling your mind... it would still be the same as demon's work.
PRINPRSU - from the Diamond Sutra
And why? Because, Subhuti, in these Bodhisattvas (1) no perception of a self takes place, (2) no perception of a being, (3) no perception of a soul, (4) no perception of a person. Nor do these Bodhisattvas have (5) a perception of a dharma, or (6) a perception of a no-dharma. (7) No perception or non-perception takes place in them. And why? If, Subhuti, these Bodhisattvas should have a perception of either a dharma, or a no-dharma, they would thereby seize on a self, a being, a soul, or a person. And why? Because a Bodhisattva should not seize on either a dharma or a no-dharma. Therefore this saying has been taught by the Tathagata with a hidden meaning: 'Those who know the discourse on dharma as like unto a raft, should forsake dharmas, still more so no-dharmas.' The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, is there any dharma which the Tathagata has fully known as 'the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment' or is there any dharma which the Tathagata has demonstrated? - Subhuti replied: No, not as I understand what the Lord has said. And why? This dharma which the Tathagata has fully known or demonstrated - it cannot be grasped, it cannot be talked about, it is neither a dharma nor a no-dharma. And why? Because an absolute exalts the Holy Persons. (owe their distinction to, arise from [prajna]) ...Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhi-being, the great being, after he has got rid of all perceptions, should raise his thought to the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment. He should produce a thought which is unsupported by forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or mind-objects, unsupported by dharma, unsupported by no-dharma, unsupported by anything. Any why? All supports have actually no-support. Subhuti, this son of good family, who is the foremost of those who dwell in Peace, does not dwell anywhere; that is why he is called "a dweller in Peace, a dweller in Peace". The Tathagata teaches, 'selfless are all dharmas, they have not the character of living beings, they are without a living soul, without personality'. From the Dharma should one see the Buddhas, From the Dharmabodies comes their guidance. Yet Dharma's nature cannot be discerned, And no one can be conscious of it as an object. As stars, a fault of vision, as a lamp, A mock show, dew drops, or a bubble, A dream, lightning flash, or cloud, So should one view what is conditioned.
PRINPRSU - Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra (SFZC version)
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita perceived that all five skandhas in their own being are empty and was saved from all suffering. "O Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form. That which is form is emptiness; that which is emptiness, form. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness. O Shariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness; they do not appear nor disappear, are not tainted nor pure, do not increase nor decrease. Therefore in emptiness, no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no impulses, no consciousness; no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind; no realm of eyes until no realm of mind-consciousness; no ignorance and also no extinction of it until no old-age-and-death and also no extinction of it; no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path; no cognition, also no attainment. With nothing to attain the Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita and his mind is no hindrance. Without any hindrance no fears exist; far apart from every perverted view he dwells in Nirvana. In the three worlds all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita and attain unsurpassed complete perfect Enlightenment. Therefore know the Prajna Paramita Is the great transcendent mantra, Is the great bright mantra, Is the utmost mantra, Is the supreme mantra, Which is able to relieve all suffering And is true, not false. So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra, Proclaim the mantra that says: Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate! Bodhi! Svaha!"
PRINPRSU - from the Perfection of Wisdom
All beings are desirous of happiness but outside of wisdom we do not see, O Lord, any happiness for any being. Apart from the mode of life adopted by Bodhisattvas there is nowhere any happiness for any being. Those who will understand the meaning of this teaching are people who are not doomed to birth-and-death, nor are they, doomed to Parinirvana, set free. They are not shaken by their individuality, and yet their greed, hatred and delusion are not extinct. For non-extinction does not become extinct, nor go to complete extinction. Not having transcended birth-and-death, they are reckoned among birth-and-death. Not lacking in the Path, they do not produce a notion of the Path. Just as a clever magician... well trained in magical illusions, would conjure up the five sense-qualities, delight in them, play with them, minister to them. What do you think, Sariputra, would that magician, or magician's apprentice, have actually tasted and relished those five sense-qualities? No, Lord. Just so do Bodhisattvas, through their skill in means, taste the five kinds of sense-qualities, for the sake of maturing beings. The Lord: An irreversible Bodhisattva observes the ten ways of wholesome action. He himself observes, and he instigates others to observe, abstention from taking life, abstention from taking what is not given, abstention from wrong conducts as regards sensuous pleasures, abstention from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind, abstention from lying speech, abstention from malicious speech, abstention from harsh speech, abstention from indistinct prattling, abstention from covetousness, abstention from ill-will, abstention from wrong views. Even in his dreams he never commits offences against those ten precepts, and he does not nurse such offences in his mind. Even in his dreams an irreversible Bodhisattva keeps the ten wholesome paths of action present in his mind. For just the very skandhas, elements and sense fields are empty, isolated and calmly quiet. It is thus that the Perfection of Wisdom and the skandhas, elements and sense-fields are not two, nor divided. As a result of their emptiness, isolatedness and quietude they cannot be apprehended. The lack of a basis of apprehension in all Dharmas, that is called "perfect wisdom". Where there is no perception, appellation, conception or conventional expression, there one speaks of "perfect wisdom". On the seventh stage a Bodhisattva does not seize on a self, or a being, or a soul, or a person, because, absolutely, a self, being, soul or person do not exist. He does not seize on annihilationist views; for all dharmas are absolutely unproduced, and therefore no dharma is ever annihilated. He does not seize on eternalist views; because all dharmas are not produced, and there is neither eternity or annihilation. He has no notion of a sign, because, absolutely, defilement does not exist... The conviction that all dharmas are empty does not make him dejected: because all dharmas are empty through their own marks, and not through their emptiness. He does not obstruct emptiness, because all dharmas are empty, and emptiness does not obstruct emptiness. A Bodhisattva, who repeatedly and often dwells in mental activities connected with that Suchness, comes near to the supreme enlightenment, and he does not lose those mental activities again. It is certain that there can be no growth or dimunition of an entity which is beyond all words, and that therefore neither the perfections, nor all dharmas, can grow or diminish. It is thus that, when he dwells in mental activities of this kind, a Bodhisattva becomes one who is near to perfect enlightenment. Nowhere did the Tathagata stand, because his mind sought no support. He stood neither in what is conditioned, nor in what is unconditioned, nor did he emerge from them. If a Bodhisattva in his mind forms the aspiration not to abandon all beings but to set them free, and if in addition he aspires for the concentration on emptiness, the signless, the wishless, i.e. for the three doors to deliverance, then that Bodhisattva should be known as one who is endowed with skill in means. ...For it is skill in means which protects him (from premature extinction). ...He should in his mind form the following aspiration: "For a long time those beings, because they have the notion of existence, course in the apprehension of a basis. After I have won full enlightenment I shall demonstrate dharma to those beings so that they may forsake their erroneous views about a basis." ...He does not lose his concentration on friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and evenmindedness. For, upheld by skill in means, he increases his pure dharmas more and more.
ECCHECSU - from "The Awakening of Faith"
If they understand that, concerning all things, though they are spoken of, there is neither that which speaks, nor that which can be spoken of, and though they are thought of, there is neither that which thinks, nor that which can be thought of, then they are said to have conformed to it. And when they are freed from their thoughts, they are said to have entered into it. All ordinary people are said not to be enlightened because they have had a continuous stream of [deluded] thoughts and have never been freed from their thoughts; therefore, they are said to be in beginningless ignorance. If a man gains [insight into] that which is free from thoughts, then he knows how those [thoughts] which characterize the mind arise, abide, change, and cease to be, for he is identical with that which is free from thoughts. But; in reality, no difference exists in the process of the actualization of enlightenment, because the four states...[are taking place on the ground of original enlightenment, as its phenomenal aspects]. ...Ignorance does not exist apart from enlightenment; therefore it cannot be destroyed. Because of not truly realizing oneness with Suchness, there emerges an unenlightenend mind and, consequently, its thoughts. These thoughts do not have any validity to be substantiated; therefore, they are not independent of the original enlightenment. It is like the case of a man who has lost his way: he is confused because of [his wrong sense of] direction. If he is freed from [the notion of] direction altogether, then there will be no such thing as going astray. If should be understood that [the conception of] the entire world of objects can be held only on the basis of man's deluded mind of ignorance. All things, therefore, are just like the images in a mirror which are devoid of any objectivity that one can get hold of; they are of the mind only and are unreal. When the [deluded] mind comes into being, then various conceptions (dharma) come to be; and when the [deluded] mind ceases to be, then these various conceptions cease to be. What we speak of as "cessation" is the cessation of the marks of [the deluded] mind only and not the cessation of its essence. ...Because the wind (delusion) ceases, the marks of its movement (on the water) cease accordingly. This is not the cessation of water. Finally, in order to be completely free from erroneous attachments, one should know that both the defiled and the pure states are relative and have no particular marks of their own-being that can be discussed. Thus, all things from the beginning are neither matter nor mind, neither wisdom nor consciousness, neither being nor non-being; they are ultimately inexplicable. And yet they are still spoken of.
MOUSJSQU - Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905-71)
It is not a matter of good or bad, convenient or inconvenient. You just do it without question. That way your mind is free. Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Because we point something out, there are problems. But actually it is not possible to point anything out in particular. Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty; difficulty in happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different, in essence they are the same. This is the true understanding transmitted from Buddha to us. We do not even know what we are doing when we just practice with a pure mind. So we cannot compare our way to some other religion. Some people may say that Zen Buddhism is not religion. Maybe that is so, or maybe Zen Buddhism is religion before religion. So it might not be religion in the usual sense. But it is wonderful, and even though we do not study what it is intellectually, even though we do not have any cathedral or fancy ornaments, it is possible to appreciate our original nature. This is, I think, quite unusual.
DOCHDOQU - [Chuang Tzu] (4th c. B.C.) (Taoist)
Only when one has been detached from clinging to life can one be as clear as the morning. When one is as clear as the morning, one is capable of seeing the Unique One. Seeing the Unique One, one transcends the past and present. To transcend the past and present is to enter the realm of no-death and no-birth, of the one who dispenses death and life to all things while He himself does not die nor is ever born. When a man is in this state, he becomes infinitely adaptable to external things, accepting all and welcoming all, equal to all tasks, whether in tearing down or in building up. This is what is called 'Peace in the midst of trials and sufferings'. How can one maintain peace in the midst of trials and sufferings? Because it is precisely through these that peace is perfected.
CHCHCHQU - Isan Reiyu [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
If a man is truly enlightened and has realized the fundamental, and he is aware of it himself, in such a case he is actually no longer tied to the poles of cultivation and non-cultivation. But ordinarily, even though the original mind has awakened by an intervening cause, so that the man is instantaneously enlightened in his reason and spirit, yet there still remains the inertia of habit, formed since the beginning of time, which cannot be totally eliminated at a stroke. He must be taught to cut off completely the stream of his habitual ideas and views caused by the still operative karmas. This (process of purification) is cultivation... What you hear must first be accepted by your reason; and when your rational understanding is deepened and subtilized in an ineffable way, your mind will of its own spontaneity become comprehensive and bright, never to relapse into the state of doubt and delusion. However numerous and various the subtle teachings are, you know intuitively how to apply them - which to hold in abeyance and which to develop - in accordance with the occasion.
Kuei-shan: My son, speak something immediately: only do not enter the
Yang-shan: I do not even formulate my creed.
Kuei-shan: Do you believe in a creed, which you refuse to formulate, or is it that you really believe in no creed and therefore you have nothing to formulate?
Yang-shan: Whom else can I believe than my inner Self?
Kuei-shan: In that case you are a Sravaka of a set mind.
Yang-shan: I see no Buddha.
Kuei-shan: In the forty rolls of the Mahanirvana Sutra, how many words are the Buddha's and how many the demon's?
Yang-shan: All words belong to the demon!
Kuei-shan: Hereafter, nobody will be able to do anything to you.
PRINPRSU - from the Diamond Sutra (passage to which Hui-Neng awakened)
Let your mind function freely without abiding anywhere or in anything.
MOXXBGQL - RH Blyth (commenting on the [Hsinhsinming])
When this Mind is our mind, when we are not bored with here and longing to be there, when the life of things is breathed in and breathed out with every breath we take, when we live with the past of our world and into the unborn future without desiring to undo what is done, or avoid what must be, then we live in a timeless life now, a placeless life here.
CHCHCHQU - Sekito Kisen [Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien] (700-790)
Monk: How does one get emancipated?
Sekito: Who ever put you in bondage?
Monk: What is the Pure Land?
Sekito: Who has ever defiled you?
Monk: What is Nirvana?
Sekito: Who has ever subjected you to birth and death?
ECCHECSU - Avatamsaka Sutra [Hua Yen]
A bodhisattva is concerned about what he does, but not about what he receives. A common man worries about what he receives, but not about what he does.
CHCHCHQL - [Layman P'ang and Shih-T'ou]
Shih-T'ou: Since seeing me, what have your daily activities been?
P'ang: When you ask me about my daily activities, I can't open my mouth.
Shih-T'ou: Just because I know you are thus I now ask you.
P'ang: My daily activities are not unusual, I'm just naturally in harmony with them. Grasping nothing, discarding nothing, In every place there's no hindrance, no conflict. Who assigns the ranks of vermilion and purple? - The hills' and mountains' last speck of dust is extinguished. [My] supernatural power and marvelous activity - Drawing water and carrying firewood.
Shih-T'ou gave his assent. Then he asked, "Will you put on black robes or will you continue wearing white? "I want to do what I like", replied the Layman. So he did not shave his head or dye his clothing.
CHCHCHPO - [Shen Hsiu and Hui-Neng] (6th patriarch, China)
The body is the Bodhi Tree;
The mind like a bright mirror stand.
Take care to wipe it all the time, And allow no dust to cling.
[Hui-Neng]:(638-713) (Watts translation)
There never was a Bodhi Tree,
Nor bright mirror standing.
Fundamentally, not one thing exists,
So where is the dust to cling?
or (D.T. Suzuki trans.,1906)
The Bodhi is not like the tree:
The mirror bright is nowhere shining:
As there is nothing from the first,
Where can the dust itself collect?
CHCHCHPO - from Zenrin Kushu (tr. Alan Watts)
The morning glory which blooms for an hour
Differs not at heart from the giant pine,
Which lives for a thousand years.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection;
The water has no mind to receive thair image.
JRJAXXPO - Ryokan (1758-1831)
The thief Left it behind - The moon at the window.
Buddha is your mind
And the Way goes nowhere.
Don't look for anything but this.
If you point your cart north
When you want to go south,
How will you arrive?
Without a jot of ambition left
I let my nature flow where it will.
There are ten days of rice in my bag
And, by the hearth, a bundle of firewood.
Who prattles of illusion or nirvana?
Forgetting the equal dusts of name and fortune,
Listening to the night rain on the roof of my hut,
I sit at ease, both legs stretched out.
JRJAXXPO - So-toba
The whispers of the mountain stream are so eloquent.
Since last night they made eighty-four thousand stanzas.
There are no mountains which are not pure Dharma.
How can I tell to others when I meet with them?
JDJAJSPO - Dogen-zenji (1200-53) (Waka poem)
Coming, going, the waterfowl
Leaves not a trace
Nor does it need a guide.
JRJAXXPO - Ryokan (1757-1831)
With no-mind, blossoms invite the butterfly;
With no-mind, the butterfly visits the blossoms.
When the flower blooms, the butterfly comes;
When the butterfly comes, the flower blooms.
I do not "know" others, Others do not "know" me.
Not-knowing each other we naturally follow the Way.
The rain has stopped, the clouds have drifted away,
and the weather is clear again.
If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world, abandon yourself,
Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way.
Green mountains front and back,
White clouds east and west.
Even if I met a fellow traveler,
No news could I give him.
...I have nothing to report, my friends.
If you want to find the meaning, stop chasing after so many things.
Once again, many greedy people appear
No different from silkworms wrapped in cocoons.
Wealth and riches are all they love,
Never giving their minds or bodies a moment's rest.
Every year their natures deteriorate
While their vanity increases.
One morning death comes before
They can use even half their money.
Others happily receive their estate,
And the deceased's name is soon lost in darkness.
For such people there can only be great pity.
If you speak delusions, everything becomes a delusion;
If you speak the truth, everything becomes the truth.
Outside the truth there is no delusion,
But outside delusion there is no special truth.
Followers of Buddha's Way!
Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places?
Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own hearts.
In the entire ten quarters of the Buddha land
There is only one vehicle.
When we see clearly, there is no difference in all the teachings.
What is there to lose? What is there to gain?
If we gain something, it was there from the beginning.
If we lose anything, it is hidden nearby.
Look at the ball in the sleeve of my robe.
Surely it has great value.
The number of days since I left the world and
Entrusted myself to Heaven is long forgotten.
Yesterday, sitting peacefully in the green mountains;
This morning, playing with the village children.
My robe is full of patches and
I cannot remember how long I have had the same bowl for begging.
On clear nights I walk with my staff and chant poems;
During the day I spread out a straw mat and nap.
Who says many cannot lead such a life?
Just follow my example.
MOUSJRPO - Nyogen Senzaki ( -1958) (dated 12-10-44)
Mountains and rivers do not conflict.
Grasses and trees live harmoniously.
Nature itself manifests loving-kindness.
Eighty-four thousand delusions
Cover the eyes of man.
He dreams the whole world In a fighting mood.
He does not see the morning star
In the same way as Buddha did.
Unless he enters into deep Zazen
And emancipates himself
From his own conflicts,
He cannot comprehend
The beautiful cooperation of this Universe.
JRJAJRPO - Bunan (1602-76), Rinzai school, waka poem
The moon's the same old moon,
The flowers exactly as they were,
Yet I've become the thingness
Of all the things I see!
JDJAXXPO - Shutaku (1308-88)
Mind set free in the Dharma-realm,
I sit at the moon-filled window
Watching the mountains with my ears,
Hearing the stream with my open eyes.
Each molecule preaches perfect law,
Each moment chants true sutra:
The most fleeting thought is timeless,
A single hair's enough to stir the sea.
JDJAXXPO - Shunoku (1311-88)
After the spring song, 'Vast emptiness, no holiness',
Comes the song of snow-wind along the Yangtze River.
Late at night I too play the noteless flute of Shorin,
Piercing the mountains with its sound, the river.
JRJAZZPO - Manzan (1635-1714)
One minute of sitting, one inch of Buddha.
Like lightning all thoughts come and pass.
Just once look into your mind-depths:
Nothing else has ever been.
JDJAJRPO - Reizan ( -1411) , Rinzai school
The myriad differences resolved by sitting, all doors opened. In this still place I follow my nature, be what it may. From the one hundred flowers I wander freely, The soaring cliff - my hall of meditation (With the moon emerged, my mind is motionless). Sitting on this frosty seat, no further dream of fame. The forest, the mountain follow their ancient ways, And through the long spring day, not even the shadow of a bird.
JDJAJRPO - Bokuo (1384-1455) Rinzai school, death poem
For seventy-two years I've kept the ox well under. Today, the plum in bloom again, I let him wander in the snow.
MOUSBGPO - Yoko Ono, 1981
Spring passes, and one remembers one's innocence
Summer passes, and one remembers one's exuberance
Autumn passes, and one remembers one's reverence
Winter passes, and one remembers one's perseverance.
There is a season that never passes,
And that is the season of glass.
CHCHCHPO - ? (Zen poem)
In the spring, hundreds of flowers;
In autumn, a harvest moon,
In the summer, a refreshing breeze;
In winter, snow will accompany you.
If useless things do not hang in your mind,
Any season is a good season for you.
BUINBUSU - Dhammapada 1 (1-2)
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present
thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.
If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows him as the
wheel of the cart follows the beast that draws the cart. If a man speaks
or acts with a pure mind, joy follows him as his own shadow.
(6) Many do not know that we are here in this world to live in harmony. Those who know this do not fight against each other.
(13) Even as rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passions will break through an ill-guarded mind.
(20) If a man speaks but a few holy words and yet he lives the life of those words, free from passion and hate and illusion - with right vision and a mind free, craving for nothing both now and hereafter - the life of this man is a life of holiness.
2 (21) Watchfulness is the path of immortality: unwatchfulness is the path of death. Those who are watchful never die: those who do not watch are already as dead. Those who with a clear mind have seen this truth, those who are wise and ever-watchful, they feel the joy of watchfulness, the joy of the path of the Great.
5 (61) If on the great journey of life a man cannot find one who is better or at least as good as himself, let him joyfully travel alone: a fool cannot help him on his journey.
6 (81) Even as a great rock is not shaken by the wind, the wise man is not shaken by praise or by blame.
8 (111) Better than a hundred years lived in ignorance, without contemplation, is one single day of life lived in wisdom and in deep contemplation.
10 (129) All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.
11 (146) How can there be laughter, how can there be pleasure, when the whole world is burning? When you are in deep darkness, will you not ask for a lamp?
(153-4) I have gone round in vain the cycles of many lives ever striving to find the builder of the house of life and death. How great is the sorrow of life that must die! But now I have seen thee, housebuilder: never more shalt thou build this house. The rafters of sins are broken, the ridge-pole of ignorance is destroyed. The fever of craving is past: for my mortal mind is gone to the joy of the immortal NIRVANA.
12 (160) Only a man himself can be the master of himself: who else from outside could be his master? When the Master and servant are one, then there is true help and self-possession.
(165) By oneself the evil is done, and it is oneself who suffers: by oneself the evil is not done, and by one's Self one becomes pure. The pure and the impure come from oneself: no man can purify another.
13 (168) Arise! Watch! Walk on the right path. He who follows the right path has joy in this world and in the world beyond.
(170) When a man considers this world as a bubble of froth, and as the illusion of an appearance, then the king of death has no power over him.
14 (183) Do not what is evil. Do what is good. Keep your mind pure. This is the teaching of Buddha.
15 (204) Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Nirvana is the greatest joy.
(205) When a man knows the solitude of silence, and feels the joy of quietness, he is then free from fear and sin and he feels the joy of the Dhamma.
(208) If you find a man who is constant, awake to the inner light, learned, long-suffering, endowed with devotion, a noble man - follow this good and great man even as the moon follows the path of the stars.
16 (219-20) Just as a man who has long been far away is welcomed with joy on his safe return by his relatives, well-wishers and friends; in the same way the good works of a man in his life welcome him in another life, with the joy of a friend meeting a friend on his return.
18 (243) But the greatest of all sins is indeed the sin of ignorance. Throw this sin away, O man, and become pure from sin.
19 (265) But he who turns into peace all evil, whether this be great or small, he in truth is a samana (monk), because all his evil is peace.
20 (277-8-9) 'All is transient'. When one sees this, he is above sorrow. This is the clear path. 'All is unreal'. When one sees this, he is above sorrow. This is the clear path.
21 (300) The followers of Buddha Gotama are awake and for ever watch; and ever by night and by day they find joy in love for all beings.
24 (354) The gift of Truth conquers all gifts. The taste of Truth conquers all sweetness. The Joy of Truth conquers all pleasures. The loss of desire conquers all sorrows.
JRJAJRPO - Hakuin-zenji (1686-1769) (Song of Meditation)
Sentient beings are primarily all Buddhas It is like ice and water, Apart from water no ice can exist; Outside sentient beings, where do we find the Buddhas? Not knowing how near the Truth is, People seek it far away, - what a pity! They are like him who, in the midst of water, Cries in thirst so imploringly; They are like the son of a rich man Who wandered away among the poor. The reason why we transmigrate through the six worlds Is because we are lost in the darkness of ignorance; Going astray further and further in the darkness, When are we able to get away from birth-and-death? As regards the Meditation practised in the Mahayana, We have no words to praise it fully: The virtues of perfection such as charity, morality, etc., And the invocation of the Buddha's name, confession, and ascetic discipline, And many other good deeds of merit, - All these issue from the practice of Meditation; Even those who have practised it just for one sitting Will see all their evil karma wiped clean; Nowhere will they find the evil paths, But the Pure Land will be near at hand. With a reverential heart, let them to this Truth Listen even for once, And let them praise it, and gladly embrace it, And they will surely be blessed most infinitely. For such as, reflecting within themselves, Testify to the truth of Self-nature, To the truth that Self-nature is no-nature, They have really gone beyond the ken of sophistry. For them opens the gate of the oneness of cause and effect, And straight runs the path of non-duality and non-trinity. Abiding with the not-particular which is in particulars, Whether going or returning, they remain for ever unmoved; Taking hold of the not-thought which lies in thoughts, In every act of theirs they hear the voice of the truth. How boundless the sky of Samadhi unfettered! How transparent the perfect moon-light of the fourfold Wisdom! At that moment what do they lack? As the Truth eternally calm reveals itself to them, This very earth is the Lotus Land of Purity, And this body is the body of the Buddha.
BUINBUSU - Sakyamuni Buddha (c. 563-483 B.C.) (from the Sutra of Forty-two chapters)(18)
My doctrine is to think the thought that is unthinkable, to practice the deed that is not-doing, to speak the speech that is inexpressible, and to be trained in the discipline that is beyond discipline.
ECCHECSU - from Kegon-gyo (Avatamsaka Sutra)
Mind is like a clever artist; it paints all worlds, and out of it rise the Five Aggregates. When a man knows that the Mind is the creator of worlds he sees the Buddha, he knows the true nature of Buddhahood, because Mind, Buddha, and Beings are the same. When a man wishes to understand all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future, he should meditate that it is the mind which creates all the Tathagatas.
ECCHECSU - from Daishogonhomon-gyo (Manjusri-vikridita sutra)
The Bodhisattva is enlightened in his own mind, which is also the Mind of all beings. When his mind is pure, the mind of all beings is also pure, for the substance of one Mind is that of all beings. When the dust of one's own mind is thoroughly wiped off, all beings also have their mind free from dust. When one's mind is freed from greed, anger and folly all beings are also freed from greed, anger, and folly. Such a Bodhisattva is known as the All-knowing One.
ECCHECSU - from Hannya-kyo (Prajnaparamita)
When this body is regarded as mine, body-karma is produced; when this speech is regarded as mine, speech-karma is produced; when this mind is regarded as mine, mind-karma is produced. Whereupon covetousness follows, precepts are violated, anger arises, and indolence, distraction, and an evil way of thinking against the Six Paramitas. This is not the way of the Bodhisattvas.
ECCHECSU - from Kegon-gyo
A Bodhisattva reveals all the activities of this world, is never tired of teaching beings, and manifests himself according to the wish of beings. He is never attached to deeds, and delivers all, manifesting himself sometimes as an ignorant being, sometimes as a holy man, sometimes in the midst of Samsara, and sometimes in the state of Nirvana.
BUINBUSU - Sakyamuni Buddha
Whenever an individual is not proficient in the management of his body, is not proficient in the precepts, is not proficient in concentration, is not proficient in wisdom, is limited and bounded and abides in what is finite and evil: that is the sort of individual whose pain-producing actions, however slight, would bring him to a hellish state. The Tathagata has nothing to do with theories, but this is what he knows: the nature of form, how form arises, how form perishes: the nature of perception, how it arises and how it perishes (and the same with the other skandhas). Therefore I say that the Tathagata is emancipated because he has completely and entirely abandoned all imaginations, agitations, and false notions about an ego and anything pertaining to an ego.
JMJAXXQU - Seikan Hasegawa (1945- )
Our Mahayana Buddhism is like this lotus. No one can find the correct enlightenment when they cut off their worldly passions. The flower of enlightenment blooms in the midst of worldly passions. And there is no enlightenment even if we finish our training of the Bodhisattva Way. Our training has no end. There is the fruit of enlightenment only while we are training. Or we can say, when we begin our training already there is enlightenment. The Ten-shi, (a king) asked to Monju Bodhisattva, "What kind of priest is worthy of being called Zenji?" Monju: "The priest who doesn't separate his thinking and acting in any Dharma. That is, the one who is not born. Such a priest is worthy of being called Zenji."
MOUSJRQU - Nyogen Senzaki (6-16-57)
Friends in Dharma, be satisfied with your own head. Do not put any false heads above your own. Then, minute after minute, watch your steps closely. Always keep your head cold and your feet warm. These are my last words to you.
PRINPRSU - from the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra
The absolute Dharma... is free from the (illusion of) living beings; it is free from self for it is beyond an ego; from life for it is beyond birth and death and from the concept of a man which lacks continuity (though seemingly continous, like a torch whirled around); is always still for it is beyond (stirring) phenomena; it is above form for it is causeless; is inexpressible for it is beyond words and speech; is inexplainable for it is beyond intellection; is formless like empty space, is beyond sophistry for it is immaterial; is egoless for it is beyond (the duality of) subject and object; is free from discrimination for it is beyond consciousness; is without compare for it is beyond all relativities; is beyond cause for it is causeless; is identical with Dharmata, the underlying nature (of all things); is in line with the absolute for it is independent; dwells in the region of absolute reality, being above and beyond all dualities; is unmovable for it does not rely on the six objects of sense; neither comes nor goes for it does not stay anywhere; is in line with voidness, formlessness and inactivity (the 3 gates to nirvana); is beyond beauty and ugliness; neither increases nor decreases; is beyond creation and destruction; does not return to anywhere; is above the six sense organs of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind; is neither up nor down; is eternal and immutable; and is beyond contemplation and practice. Manjusri then asked: What should a Bodhisattva say when comforting another Bodhisattva who falls ill? Vimalakirti replied: He should speak of the impermanence of the body but never of the abhorrence and relinquishment of the body. He should speak of the suffering body but never the joy in nirvana. He should speak of egolessness in the body while teaching and guiding all living beings (in spite of the fact that they are fundamentally non-existent in the absolute state). He should speak of the voidness of the body but should never cling to the ultimate nirvana. He should speak of repentance of past sins but should avoid slipping into the past. Because of his own illness he should take pity on all those who are sick. Knowing that he has suffered during countless past eons he should thing of the welfare of all living beings. He should think of his past practice of good virtues to uphold (his determination for) right livelihood. Instead of worrying about troubles (klesa) he should give rise to zeal and devotion (in his practice of the Dharma). He should act like a king physician to cure others' illnesses. Thus a Bodhisattva should comfort another sick Bodhisattva to make him happy. A sick Bodhisattva should free himself from the conception of sensation (vedana) when experiencing any one of its three states (painful, pleasurable, neither). Before his full development into Buddhahood (that is, before delivering all living beings in his own mind) he should not wipe out vedana for his own benefit with a view to attaining nirvana for himself only. Knowing that the body is subject to suffering he should think of living beings in the lower realms of existence and give rise to compassion (for them). Since he has succeeded in controlling his false views, he should guide all living beings to bring theirs under control as well. He should uproot their (inherent) illnesses without (trying to) wipe out non-existent dharmas (externals or sense data). For he should teach them how to cut off the origin of illnesses. What is the origin of illnesses? It is their clinging which causes their illnesses. What are the objects of their clinging? They are the three realms (of desire, form, and beyond form). By what means should they cut off their clinging? By means (of the doctrine that) nothing whatsoever can be found, and (that) if nothing can be found there will be no clinging. What is meant by 'nothing can be found'? It means (that) apart from dual views (there is nothing else that can be had). What are dual views? They are inner and outer view beyond which there is nothing. As the Buddha said, there is no such thing as untying others when one is still held in bondage for it is possible to untie others only after one is free from bonds... Clinging to serenity (dhyana) is a Bodhisattva's bondage, but his expedient rebirth (for the salvation of others) is freedom from bondage. Further, he is held in bondage by wisdom which lacks expedient methods (upaya), but is liberated by wisdom supported by expedient devices; he is (also) held in bondage by expedient methods which are not upheld by wisdom but is liberated by expedient methods backed by wisdom. Consciousness and voidness are a duality (yet) consciousness is identical with voidness, which does not mean that consciousness wipes out voidness for the underlying nature of voidness is void of itself. A thorough understanding of this is initiation into the non-dual Dharma.
MOUSJRQU - Philip Kapleau-roshi (1912-)
Before awakening one can easily ignore or rationalize his shortcomings, but after enlightenment this is no longer possible; one's failings are painfully evident. Yet at the same time a strong determination develops to rid oneself of them. Even opening the Mind's eye fully does not at one fell swoop purify the emotions. Continuous training after enlightenment is required to purify the emotions so that our behavior accords with our understanding. This vital point must be clearly understood... Asians are more tolerant... they do not categorically reject a teacher whom they discover to be less than buddha-like... a Japanese long experienced in Zen once told me, "My roshi does have character flaws, yet of the teachers I have had he is the only one who has taught me real Zen and I am exceedingly grateful to him. But alas, his karmic load is heavy." Why a Zen master, who is nothing if not compassionate, would isolate himself on a mountain unless he knew that by doing so he could aid many people... zazen, chanting the sutras, and engaging in other devotions. In effect they become powerful broadcasting stations, transmitting the buddha truth... Q: "How can people tune in...?" A: They are already "tuned in" whether they know it or not, for they are all part of one Mind. In the Buddhist view, individual consciousness is a "knowing" energy force, the sum total of a constantly changing series of sense impressions, perceptions, thoughts, tendencies and memories, all of which are fundamentally empty. As a changing aspect of Mind, consciousness is coextensive with similar and higher energy forces - for instance, buddhic - with which it constantly interacts on individual and cosmic levels, conscious as well as subconscious. But human beings, misled by their bifurcating intellects, lose awareness of this basic communion. Out of this estrangement grows the unconscious longing for reconciliation, a longing that is nourished by the solitary devotions of the masters, who with their disciplined, purified and awakened minds can freely absorb high energies and transmit them to other minds. Fundamentally the communion is never lost, and because of this the "signal" gets through and eventually effects a turnabout in the deepest seat of consciousness. That all of this occurs on an unconscious level doesn't make it any the less real. Dogen: "One person sitting egolessly in zazen becomes imperceptibly one with all the visible and invisible worlds, throughout past, present, and future, carrying on the ceaseless work of leading beings to enlightenment." Do you see that towering pine outside the window? That's you bridging heaven and earth. Do you hear that bird warbling? That's the sound of your entry into the world. Look! Listen!
CHCHCHQU - Kanchi Sosan [Seng Ts'an] (6th c. A.D.)
(Third patriarch, China): When faith and Mind are not separate, this is where words all fail to reach, for here there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.
MOUSJSQU - Jiyu Kennett-roshi
A Bodhisattva... remains in the world, just as an ordinary person, devoting himself to leading others gently and compassionately with just so much teaching as they can manage at a time, which may be nothing more than just an example, because it is the natural thing for him to do. But it is more than an example because he has realized his eternal oneness with all men; he suffers as they suffer without being conscious of a difference between himself and them although he has overcome the cause of suffering. And it is because of this that he continues to train himself endlessly so as to overcome everything that stands in the way of his deepening oneness with all men; this oneness gives him increased power in their service, including the service of his enemies.
PRINPRSU - Surangama Sutra (poses 4 questions:)
1. Where is mind, as functioning through vision, located?
2. If it has no location, how do we determine its reality and nature?
3. To be able to view that which is changing implies a power to view that which is changeless.
4. The power of vision, though changeless, is not, as such, absolute. What then, is absolute, and why?
MOUSJSQU - Jiyu Kennett-roshi
...Activity and stillness, compassion and love, dissolve into wisdom, which is the immaculacy of nothingness, leading to be able to just live, expecting nothing, seeking nothing and knowing nothing - the acme of perfection of spiritual poverty which possesses the universe. Dogen: Anyone who truly trains must definitely realise enlightenment and, within the correctly transmitted truth, you may always thoroughly enjoy the rarest of treasures which is to be found within your own house. Anyone who trains knows whether or not he has reached enlightenment in the same way as someone drinking water knows for himself whether or not it is cold or hot. (from Shobogenzo Bendowa)
JDJAJSQU - Keizan Jokin (from Denkoroku)
When Shakyamuni saw, sees and will see the morning star and was, is and will be enlightened, he said, says and will say, "I was, am and will be enlightened instantaneously with the universe." ...The so-called "I" is not Shakyamuni Buddha; He is born out of this "I". Not only He but also the whole world and animate things are outside it. When Shakyamuni was, is and will be enlightened, the whole world and animate things were, are and will be enlightened at the same time, just as the main rope has every branch rope connected with it. Not only the whole world and animate things were, are and will be enlightened, but all Buddhas in the Triple Universe apprehend the truth. Although this is so, Shakyamuni Buddha is not conscious of being enlightened. Do not look for Shakyamuni Buddha outside the whole world, the ground and animate things. Everything within the universe is within Shakyamuni's eyes; you too are standing within them. Not only are you within them, they are you. Further, Shakyamuni's eyes become a globule of your flesh, and all is within all, standing straight, unruled by anything. Therefore, do not think that Shakyamuni's eyes are Shakyamuni's eyes and that you are you, constantly, unchangeable. You were, are and will be Shakyamuni's eyes. Shakyamuni is all of you. As this is so, what is the principle of enlightenment? ...If you want to understand... in detail throw away Shakyamuni and you at the same time and know that they are "I". The "I" and "with" in Shakyamuni's first utterance was, is and will be the whole world, universe and animate things; this "I" is not the "old" Gautama. Mind is being transmitted with mind; others cannot know this. Although both Makakashyo and Ananda are the representations of the Truth, we should not MAKE them the Truth; you yourself are the manifestation of Truth. If you can realize truth you disappear at once; as this is so we should not look for it outside ourselves. Do you want to hear my humble words? The wistaria has withered and the trees have fallen down; But the water in the valley has increased and from the stones fire has gushed forth. The so-called monk of mind does not shave his head and change the color of his clothes; although he lives among his family and attends to worldly affairs he is as pure as a lotus untouched by dirt, or as a jewel that accepts no dust... As the moon in the sky, or a bowl rolling on a tray, he has leisure in a crowd; he goes beyond limitation on reaching limitation, knowing that worldly desire is a disease to be discarded and that it is wrong to look for Truth. He knows that Nirvana, birth and death are illusions in the sky and has no concern with the Truth and delusion. This is a monk of mind. The Fifth Ancestor, Daitaka, said, "A monk has no self and because of this he has no selfish thing; therefore his mind is beyond changeability: this is called constant Truth. Buddhas are thus; neither their minds nor their bodies have aspects. Everything in the world is endless; it is not a problem of comparison. When we see our bodies we see our minds; when we know the mind we know the body. Body and mind are not two separate things; form and matter are not different. Even though one is in another world than that of humans still one is in samadhi; just one does not know it and doubts both oneself and others. If someone does not know that everything was, is and will be in samadhi he cannot understand the fundamental Truth.
MOUSJSQU - Jiyu Kennett-roshi
What happens as a result of constant training after the first kensho
may be called the On-Going Fugen kensho. This one, because of its almost
imperceptible growth, is not associated in the mind with any one event
although certain "little moments that make one dance" are signs of it...
to break the precepts are much greater and far more subtle. When advanced
spiritual development is reached the world seems to treble and quadruple
its efforts to distract and dishearten... and it is then that faith in
the memory of the first kensho is absolutely vital; one second of doubt,
even the possibility of thinking of the possibility of doubting, can cause
the spirit to despair and death is the result. "Immaculacy is called the
Dharma Treasure" -one must live with the roots of karma cut away. To do
this I must indeed know the house-builder of this house of ego, know all
his tools, know all his building materials; there is no other way that
I can know immaculacy. The house-builder of the house of ego must be known
absolutely, recognised at all times. It is not enough to have a kensho;
I must go back to the source of the karmic stream; I must return to that
source to find out what set it going. Kensho wipes the slate clean; to
find the source of karma cuts its roots and, with constant training, keeps
the slate clean but, since there is nothing from the first, there is nothing
clean and nothing that is unclean - I cannot know this, however, until
I have first tried to clean it. "Most houses can do with a thorough sweeping
but even a million sweepings will not clear away the dust completely."
Thus I remain in my body and accept it, knowing that nothing matters, that
I am immaculate, always was and always will be. This is the immaculacy
if the Dharma Treasure; this makes the immaculacy and harmony of the Sangha
Treasure possible. It is the knowledge of the True Kesa, that which is
immaculate above all dust and dirt, the knowledge that the dust and dirt
are indeed a figment of my own imagination as a result of past, accrued
karma, that makes possible
the Transmission of the Light from the far past to the now and the far future without words. The scriptures show up blank pages; there IS a Transmission that lies beyond them. Shakyamuni Buddha told his disciples, "Do not believe anything I have said because you have heard it from me; when you have proved it true for yourselves then you can believe it absolutely." This is a teaching that I put into practice years ago, refusing to teach anything I had read in any book on Buddhism, or any Scripture, until I personally knew with my whole being that it was true for me. Only by so doing could I live at peace with myself... All hurt is illusion and in ratio to the size of the egocentric self; whilst in duality there are pain and pleasure, good and evil; when body and mind are harmonised they both vanish. Trainees come and go, they train themselves or they do not according to their personal bent; if they are truly my disciples they try to follow my teaching. The Lord of the House remains eternally in meditation, in eternal training; unmoved, unhasting, silent. All creatures are born, die and are born again - none impedes the Lord's work. Like the Buddhas and Patriarchs of old, the Lord helps and teaches at all times just by being the Lord. He, She, It is not a being and is not not a being. He has no specific gender, no specific form. He is not emptiness and He is not not emptiness. We are born here, die there, born again to joy or sorrow accordingly as we have cleansed ourselves from our karmic impregnations... if at the moment of death, a person can embrace infinity instead of his own delusions, he is immediately united with the Lord... the means of training are thousandfold, but PURE Zazen must be done. Through Zazen we are immediately united with the Lord; together with him we go out into emptiness, into form and again into emptiness...
PRINPRSU - from the Lotus Sutra
Though I preach nirvana This is no true extinction. The dharmas from their very origin are themselves characterized by the marks of quiet extinction. The Thus Come One at this time observes these beings, their keenness or dullness, their exertion or laxity, and in accord with what they can bear, preaches the Dharma to them in an incalculable variety of modes, each causing them to rejoice and enabling them speedily to gain good advantage. These beings, having heard this Dharma, in the present age are tranquil and are later born in a good place; they enjoy pleasure consonant with the path and also are enabled [again] to hear the Dharma. When they have heard the Dharma, they are separated from obstacles, and in the midst of the dharmas, in keeping with their powers, gradually contrive to enter upon the Path. Only the Thus Come One knows these beings, their kinds, their signs, their substance, their nature, what things they think back on, what things they think ahead to, what things they cultivate, how they think back, how they think ahead, how they practice, by resort to what dharmas they think back, by resort to what dharmas they think ahead, by resort to what dharmas they practice, what dharma they gain and by resort to what dharma they gain it. The living beings dwell on a variety of grounds. Only the Thus Come One sees them for what they are and understands them clearly and without obstruction. After my extinction there shall again be disciples who, not having heard this scripture and not knowing, nor being aware of, bodhisattva conduct, shall entertain the notion of extinction with regard to the merits attained by themselves and shall enter nirvana. I will become a Buddha in another realm, having again a different name. Though these persons may evince the notion of extinction and enter nirvana, yet in that land, seeking Buddha-wisdom, they shall be able to hear this scripture, to hear that it is only with the Buddha Vehicle that one can gain extinction, that there is no other vehicle, except for the dharmas preached by the Thus Come One as a matter of expedient device. O bhiksus! When the Thus Come One of himself knows that his time of nirvana has arrived, and also that his multitude is pure, that their inclinations are firm, and that, having arrived at an understanding of the Dharma of emptiness, they have profoundly entered into dhyana-concentration, he then assembles the bodhisattvas and the multitude of voice-hearers and for their sakes preaches the sermon: "There are not in the world two vehicles by which one can gain extinction. There is only one Buddha Vehicle by which one can gain extinction, and that is all. O bhiksus, know that the Thus Come One's skill at the use of expedient devices is such that he profoundly enters into the beings' natures, and that, knowing that they aspire to a lesser dharma and that they are profoundly attached to the five desires, for their sakes he preaches nirvana. These persons, when they hear the preaching, then believe and accept it." Good man, if incalculable hundreds of thousands of myriads of millions of living beings, suffering pain and torment, hear of this bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World and single-mindedly call upon his name, the bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World shall straightaway heed their voices, and all shall gain deliverance. (One of the foundation quotations of the Pure Land sects) - Lotus Sutra If a good man or good woman perfects four dharmas, after the extinction of the Thus Come One he shall attain this Scripture of the Dharma Blossom. First, he must be the object of the protectively mindful thoughts of the Buddhas. Second, he must plant the roots of a multitude of excellences. Third, he must enter into a collection of right concentrations. Fourth, he must launch the thought of rescuing all living beings. If a good man or good woman in this way perfects the four dharmas, after the extinction of the Thus Come One he shall without fail attain this scripture. (Shakyamuni speaking to Samantabhadra)
JDJAJSQU - Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
Forgetting body and mind, by placing them together in Buddha's hands and letting him lead you on, you will without design or effort gain freedom, attain Buddhahood. There is an easy road to Buddhahood: avoid evil, do nothing about life-and-death, be merciful to all sentient things, respect superiors and sympathize with inferiors, have neither likes nor dislikes, and dismiss idle thoughts and worries. Only then will you become a Buddha.
JDJAJSQU - Keizan Jokin (1268-1325)
It should be clear to all that the Buddhas and patriarchs have never 'gained' satori. It is equally true that no ignorant person has ever 'gone' astray. Whether awakened or not, one is free. In the awakening of the Bodhi-mind there is neither beginning nor end; while in this mind there is no scale of worth: Buddha and sentient man are as one, being freely and unconditionally just as they are. For numberless kalpas they have followed an unrestrained course, ever conscious of their karma. The truth taught by Sakyamuni permeates the universe, but only by denying the senses (passions), by avoiding dualistic thoughts, and by minute observation can you hope to attain it. Yet you must not proceed step by step. Rather you must exert yourself once and for all. Only then will you push through to enlightenment. What is there to be enlightened about? Only the man of no-satori thinks that illusion can be turned into satori, the profane into the sacred. What illusion is there to awaken from, what profane thought to crush? You must understand that One exists who is without not only speech but mouth itself, who lacks eyes, the four elements and the six roots of perception. Yet none can call him a void, for it is he alone that brought your body and mind into being. There are no sense organs to grasp, and there is no need to obliterate their fields. Each is transcended along with the mind and the objective world. Viewed minutely, none has true existence. Reach this state of awareness, and you are ready to inherit the Dharma-store, join the Buddhas and patriarchs. When all discrimination is abandoned, when contact with things is broken, the mind is brighter than sun and moon together, cleaner than frost and snow. Nothing reveals itself apart from Mind, no dust tarnishes the spirit. Each is above the senses and their objects, each follows the Way, possesses Mind. One's mind has absolute identity with one's self, and one is the Way itself. One must not seek after the formed or formless Buddhas. The body's meaning is this: there is nothing separable. The mind's: there is nothing inseparable. Should one reach this stage, one must not search for mind apart from body. Though there is nothing to give or receive, satori should be as conclusive as knowing your face by touching the nose. After gaining satori, teach. Otherwise you will be no better than goblins clinging to grasses and trees. Above all, scorn the heretic's view that things are sufficient to themselves.
JDJAJUSQU - Meiho (1277-1350) 5th Soto Patriarch, Japan
Zen-sitting is the way of perfect tranquillity: inwardly not a shadow of perception, outwardly, not a shade of difference between phenomena. Identified with yourself, you no longer think, nor do you seek enlightenment of the mind or disburdenment of illusions. You are a flying bird with no mind to twitter, a mountain unconscious of the others rising around it... The superior student is unaware of the coming into the world of Buddhas or of the transmission of the non-transmittable by them: he eats when hungry, sleeps when sleepy. Nor does he regard the world as himself. Neither is he attached to enlightenment or illusion. Taking things as they come, he sits in the proper manner, making no idle distinctions.
JRJAJSQU - Manzan (1635-1714) Soto school
Even in a single thought unborn, the All is apparent... Like training, satori must be true. If one holds that there is something to practice and realize, one is a follower of the false religion of entity based on affirmation. If, on the other hand, one asserts that there is nothing to practice or realize... one is an adherent of the equally false religion of nothingness, founded on negation. And this is the shadowy product of the dichotomous intellect, holding no truth.
JRJAJRQU - Bankei-Eitaku (1622-93) Rinzai school
The birthless Buddha-mind can cut any and every knot. You see, the Buddhas of the past, present and future, and all successive patriarchs should be thought of as mere names for what has been born. From the viewpoint of birthlessness, they are of little significance. To live in a state of non-birth is to attain Buddhahood; it is to keep your whereabouts unknown not only to people but even to Buddhas and patriarchs. A blessed state. From the moment you have begun to realize this fact, you are a living Buddha, and need to make no further efforts on your tatami mats. ... Don't get involved (dependent) with anyone, whoever he happens to be; rather by ridding yourself of the need for others (which is really a form of self-love) remain in the Buddha-mind. [speaking of a priest's quick temper:] Then you weren't born with it. If you were, you'd have it at all times. You lose your temper as occasion arises. ...Your mistake is one of self-love, which makes you concern yourself with others and insists that you have your own way. To say you were born with a hothead is to tax your parents with something that is no fault of theirs. From them you received the Buddha-mind, nothing else. This is equally true of other types of illusion. If you don't fabricate illusions, none will disturb you. Certainly you were born with none. Only your selfishness and deplorable mental habits bring them into being. Yet you think of them as inborn, and in everything you do, you continue to stray. To appreciate the pricelessness of the Buddha-mind, and to steer clear of illusion, is the one path to satori and Buddhahood... Those who make light of the Buddha-mind transform it when angry into a demon's, into a hungry ghost's when greedy, into an animal's when acting stupidly... Nothing can be so weighty as the Buddha-mind. But perhaps you feel that to remain in it is too tough a job? If so, listen and try to grasp the meaning of what I say. Stop piling up evil deeds, stop being a demon, stop being a hungry ghost, an animal. Keep your distance from those things that transform you in that way, and you'll attain the Buddha-mind once and for all. One in the Buddha-mind is far from idle. When you are not in it, when you sell it, so to speak, for worthless things you happen to be attached to, then you are being idle... Remember that all you see and hear is reflected in the Buddha-mind and influenced by what was previously seen and heard. Needless to say, thoughts aren't entities. So if you permit them to rise, reflect themselves or cease altogether as they're prone to do, and if you don't worry about them, you'll never stray. In this way let one hundred, nay, one thousand thoughts arise, and it's as if not one has arisen. You will remain undisturbed. To a nun: If the Vinaya sect makes a merit of obeying commandments, it's merely admitting the presence of sinful members. Stay in the Buddha-mind of non-birth and such considerations will prove unnecessary. ...The birthless Buddha-mind has absolutely nothing to do with sitting with an incense stick burning in front of you. If one keeps in the Buddha-mind without straying, there's no further satori to seek. ...Zazen means only one thing - sitting tranquilly in the Buddha-mind. But really, you know, one's everyday life, in its entirety, should be thought of as a kind of sitting in Zen.
MOJABGQL -Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1869-1966) from Zen Sect of Buddhism (1906)
...Zen teachers endeavored...to make their disciples as original and independent as possible, not only in their interpretation of traditional Buddhism but in regard to their ways of thinking. If there was one thing with which they were intensely disgusted, it was blind acceptance of an outside authority and meek submission to conventionality ...not to be obstructed by... worshipping the Buddha as a saviour, a blind belief in the sacred books, or an unconditioned reliance upon an outside authority. They advised their followers not to accept anything until it was proved by themselves to be true. Everything, holy or profane, has to be rejected as not belonging to one's inner Mind. Do not cling to the senses, ...do not cling to intellection; do not rely upon dualism, nor upon monism; do not be carried away by an absolute nor by a God; but be yourself even as you are, and you will be as vast as space, as free as the bird in the air or the fish in the water, and your spirit will be as transparent as the mirror. Buddha or no-Buddha, God or no-God, all this is quibbling, a mere playing on words, without real significance.
CHCHCHQL - [Layman P'ang] (8th-9th c. A.D.)
The past is already past - Don't try to regain it. The present does not stay - Don't try to touch it from moment to moment. The future is not come - Don't think about it beforehand. With the three times non-existent, Mind is the same as Buddha-mind. To silently function relying on Emptiness - This is the profundity of action. Not the least dharma exists - Whatsoever comes to eye leave it be. There are no commandments to be kept, There is no filth to be cleansed. With empty mind really penetrated, The dharmas have no life. When you can be like this You've completed the ultimate attainment.
CHCHCHQL - [Layman P'ang] (8th-9th c. A.D.)
No-greed surpasses charity, No-folly surpasses seated meditation, No-anger surpasses morality, No-thought surpasses seeking relationships. I manifest all an ordinary man's affairs, And at night I sleep at ease. In winter I turn to the fireplace - The fire that's basically smokeless. I neither fear the demoness Blackness Nor seek her sister Charity. Trust in fate produces expedients; All [ride] together in the Prajna-boat. If you can understand this, Your merit is truly boundless.
CHCHCHPO - Kanchi Sosan (d. 606) [Seng-ts'an] (3rd Patriarch, China) [Hsinhsinming] (On believing in Mind) - D.T. Suzuki translation
1 The Perfect Way knows no difficulties Except that it refuses to make preferences; Only when freed from hate and love, It reveals itself fully and without disguise; A tenth of an inch's difference, And heaven and earth are set apart; If you wish to see it before your own eyes, Have no fixed thoughts either for or against it.
2 To set up what you like against what you dislike - This is the disease of the mind: When the deep meaning [of the Way] is not understood Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose.
3 [The Way is] perfect like unto vast space, With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous: It is indeed due to making choice That its suchness is lost sight of.
4 Pursue not the outer entanglements, Dwell not in the inner void; Be serene in the oneness of things, And [dualism] vanishes by itself.
5 When you strive to gain quiescence by stopping motion, The quiescence thus gained is ever in motion; As long as you tarry in the dualism, How can you realize oneness?
6 And when oneness is not thoroughly understood, In two ways loss is sustained: The denying of reality is the asserting of it, And the asserting of emptiness is the denying of it.
7 Wordiness and intellection - The more with them the further astray we go; Away therefore with wordiness and intellection, And there is no place where we cannot pass freely.
8 When we return to the root, we gain the meaning; When we pursue external objects, we lose the reason. The moment we are enlightened within, We go beyond the voidness of a world confronting us.
9 Transformations going on in an empty world which confronts us Appear real all because of Ignorance: Try not to seek after the true, Only cease to cherish opinions.
10 Abide not within dualism, Carefully avoid pursuing it; As soon as you have right and wrong, Confusion ensues, and Mind is lost.
11 The two exist because of the One, But hold not even to this One; When a mind is not disturbed, The ten thousand things offer no offence.
12 No offence offered, and no ten thousand things; No disturbance going, and no mind set up to work: The subject is quieted when the object ceases, The object ceases when the subject is quieted.
13 The object is an object for the subject, The subject is a subject for the object: Know that the relativity of the two Rests ultimately on one Emptiness.
14 In one Emptiness the two are not distinguished, And each contains in itself all the ten thousand things; When no discrimination is made between this and that How can a one-sided and prejudiced view arise?
15 The Great Way is calm and large-hearted, For it nothing is easy, nothing is hard; Small views are irresolute, The more in haste the tardier they go.
16 Clinging is never kept within bounds, It is sure to go the wrong way; Quit it, and things follow their own courses, While the Essence neither departs nor abides.
17 Obey the nature of things, and you are in concord with the Way, Calm and easy and free from annoyance; But when your thoughts are tied, you turn away from the truth, They grow heavier and duller and are not at all sound.
18 When they are not sound, the spirit is troubled; What is the use of being partial and one-sided then? If you want to walk the course of the One Vehicle, Be not prejudiced against the six sense-objects.
19 When you are not prejudiced against the six sense-objects, You are then one with the Enlightenment; The wise are non-active, While the ignorant bind themselves up; While in the Dharma there is no individuation, The ignorant attach themselves to particular objects. It is their own mind that creates illusions - Is this not the greatest of all self-contradictions?
20 The ignorant cherish the idea of rest and unrest, The enlightened have no likes and dislikes: All forms of dualism Are contrived by the ignorant themselves. They are like unto visions and flowers in the air; Why should we trouble ourselves to take hold of them? Gain and loss, right and wrong - Away with them once for all!
21 If an eye never falls asleep, All dreams will by themselves cease: If the Mind retains its absoluteness, The ten thousand things are of one Suchness.
22 When the deep mystery of one Suchness is fathomed, All of a sudden we forget the external entanglements; When the ten thousand things are viewed in their oneness, We return to the origin and remain where we have ever been.
23 Forget the wherefore of things, And we attain to a state beyond analogy; Movement stopped and there is no movement, Rest set in motion and there is no rest; When dualism does no more obtain, Oneness itself abides not.
24 The ultimate end of things where they cannot go any further Is not bound by rules and measures: In the Mind harmonious [with the Way] we have the principle of identity, In which we find all strivings quieted; Doubts and irresolutions are completely done away with, And the right faith is straightened; There is nothing left behind, There is nothing retained, All is void, lucid, and self-illuminating; There is no exertion, no waste of energy - This is where thinking never attains, This is where imagination fails to measure.
25 In the higher realm of true Suchness There is neither "self" nor "other": When direct identification is sought, We can only say, "Not two".
26 In being "not two" all is the same, All that is is comprehended in it; The wise in the ten quarters, They all enter into this Absolute Reason.
27 This Absolute Reason is beyond quickening [time] and extending [space], For it one instant is ten thousand years; Whether we see it or not, It is manifest everywhere in all the ten quarters.
28 Infinitely small things are as large as large things can be, For here no external conditions obtain; Infinitely large things are as small as small things can be, For objective limits are here of no consideration.
29 What is is the same as what is not, What is not is the same as what is: Where this state of things fails to obtain, Indeed, no tarrying there.
30 One in All, All in One - If only this is realized, No more worrying about your not being perfect!
31 Where Mind and each believing mind are not divided, And undivided each believing mind and Mind, This is where words fail; For it is not of the past, present and future.
MOJABGQL - Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1869-1966) from "Role of Nature in Zen Buddhism" (1953)
Zen takes us at once to the realm of non-dichotomy, which is the beginningless beginning of all things. Time has not yet come to its own consciousness. Zen is where this consciousness is about to rise. ...consciousness is caught at the very moment of rising from the unconscious. This moment is an absolute present, the crossing point of time and timelessness, of the conscious and unconscious. This crossing moment is... the moment of no-mind or no-thought, [and] refuses to be expressed in language. ...It is a matter of personal determination. ...The awakening itself is a simple psychological event, but its significance goes deep down to the basic make-up of human and cosmic consciousness. For we humans thereby penetrate into the structure of reality which is behind the dichotomy of subject and object, of Man and Nature, of God and Man. In terms of time we are back at the point where there is yet no consciousness or mind or intellectualization; therefore it is a moment of timelessness... A satori-event takes place at this moment... in which Nature comes to itself and becomes Man, known in Zen as "the original face" or ... "the Primary Man". ...This, however, is not symbolization. ...Nature is already Man, or otherwise no Man could come out of it. It is ourselves who fail to be conscious of the fact. ...The masters simply express themselves at the point where time has not yet cut, as it were, into timelessness. ...They are at the crossing point or cutting point itself and... it is this point that makes the masters the instruments of communication in order that Nature may become conscious of itself. Pure Being descends from its seat of absolute identity and, becoming dichotomous, speaks to itself. This is what Zen calls the master's 'kyogai' or his "frame of consciousness"...
CHCHCHQU - from Transmission of the Lamp (China) c. 7th century A.D.
All hindrances to the attainment of bodhi which arise from passions
that generate karma are originally non-existent. Every cause and effect
is but a dream. There is no triple world which one leaves, and no bodhi
to search for. The inner reality and outer appearance of man and ten thousand
things are identical. The great Tao is formless and boundless. It is free
from thought and anxiety. -Tao-hsin (4th patriarch, China)
[It is like a pail of water when the bottom has fallen away. When nothing retains the water and it has all dropped, the negation is indeed complete.]
Do not abide in the extremity of the Void, but illumine the non-being in the being. It is neither out of the Void nor out of being. Void and being are not conceived of as two. This is called the Middle Way. -Niu-T'ou Fa-yung (594-657)
Who is he that contemplates and what is the Mind that is contemplated? -Tao hsin to Fa-yung (to which he awakened)
When wisdom emerges, freedom is achieved. Yet in this freedom there is nothing from which to be free. When this freedom is achieved, wisdom is produced. Yet in this production of wisdom, nothing is produced. -Yung-chia Hsuan-chio (665-713)
Fa-yung: Since Mind is sufficient and complete in itself, then what is Buddha, and what is Mind? Tao-hsin: To deny this mind, one need not look for Buddha; to look for Buddha, one should not deny this mind... The origin of mental attitude is neither good nor bad; its emergence is due to your mind. If your mind were free from formulation or conception, how could illusions occur? When illusions do not occur, the real mind will be free to be aware of everything. You just follow the mind as it is. Do not look for ways to deal with it. This is called the ever-abiding essence of things [dharmakaya]. Do not deviate from it! (4th patriarch)
The moment when the mind is in action is the moment at which no-mind acts. To talk about names and manifestations is useless, but a direct approach easily reaches it. No-mind is that which is in action; it is that constant action which does not act. The no-mind of which I speak is not separate from the mind. -Fa-yung (594-657)
The external world and the mind of consciousness, one following the other, cannot really produce the internal condition. Through 'One Thought' all of them naturally disappear in contemplation. Who can tell whether the mind is in action or non-action? In this state of knowing, primarily nothing is known. Knowledge in which something is known falls short of this. One should look into one's original nature and not search outside. Then there is no need for the first condition to fade away, nor for continuing thought to be present. How can one seek the moon by observing its shadow? How can one catch a bird by tracing its tracks? So it is with the search for the original nature of the mind. What one can discover is like that which can be seen in a dream. It is like the ice that cannot last anywhere during the summer. If you run away from the Void, you can never be free from it; if you search for the Void, you can never reach it... When there is an image occupying a mirror-mind, where can you find mind? -Fa-yung (594-657)
Bhutatathata, or reality, is free from thoughts and yet it is no different from the calculating mind. Illusory thoughts come forth in disorder; yet when we trace them back to their source, they are nothing but silence. -from Yung-chia Hsuan-chio (665-713)
CHCHCHPO - Tendo Wanshi [Hung-chih] (1091-1157)
This is the essence of all Buddha's teaching,
And the essence of all that the Patriarchs taught:
Understanding should be gained free from objectivity;
Illumination should be achieved without causation.
That which is understood, free from objectivity, is invisible.
That illumined, without causation, becomes a wonder.
When understanding is invisible, it is the consciousness of non-differentiation.
When illumination becomes wonder, it is instantaneous enlightenment.
The consciousness of non-differentiation is awareness of the Absolute One beyond duality
The instantaneous enlightenment is the light which is self-illuminating.
Pure is the water and transparent, where fish move slowly, slowly in it.
Boundless is the sky where flying birds disappear, disappear into the unseen.
CHCHCHQU - Tozan [Tung-shan] (807-869) and Sozan [Ts'ao-shan] (840-941)
Tozan: Where are you going?
Sozan: I go where it is changeless.
Tozan: How can you go where it is changeless?
Sozan: My going is no change. If you say that mind can be transmitted, then how can you say that it is nothing?
Huang-po: To achieve nothing is to have the mind transmitted ... it is certainly not knowledge.
CHCHCHQU - Hyakujo [Huang-po] (?-850)
People in the world cannot identify their own mind. They believe that what they see, or hear, or feel, or know, is mind. They are blocked by the visual, the auditory, the tactile, and the mental, so they cannot see the brilliant spirit of their original mind. ...The mind is illuminated, and pure as the Void, without form. Any thought deviates from the true source.
CHCHCHPO - [Wang Wei] (699-759)
When there is nothing to give up
One has indeed reached the Source
When there is no void to abide in
One is indeed experiencing the Void.
Transcending quiescence is no-action
Rather it is Creation, which constantly acts.
CHCHCHQU - Joshu Jushin [Chao-chou] (778-897)
Monk: In whom does Buddha cause passion?
Joshu: Buddha causes passion in all of us.
Monk: How do we get rid of it?
Joshu: Why should we get rid of it?
Visitor: How is it that even a great wise man like yourself is not free from dust.
Joshu: The dust comes from the outside.
Monk: How could you find a speck of dust in such a pure and clean monastery?
Joshu: Look, here is another one.
CHCHCHPO - (anon.) quoted by D.T. Suzuki
Even when then bamboos are growing thick, they do not obstruct the running stream.
CHCHCHQU - [Kuei-shan Ling-yu] (771-853)
If he should be truly enlightened, achieving his original nature and realizing himself, then the question of self-cultivation or non-cultivation is beside the point. Through concentration a devotee may gain thoughtless thought. Thereby he is suddenly enlightened and realizes his original nature. However, there is still a basic delusion, without beginning and without end, which cannot entirely be eliminated. Therefore the elimination of the manifestation of karma, which causes the main delusion to come to the surface, should be taught. ...There is no other way of cultivation.
CHCHCHQU - [Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien] ( - )
The Tao is attained by one's inner awakening; it does not depend on words. Look at the invisible and boundless. Where can you find any intermittence? How can you reach it by the labor of the intellect? It is simply the reflection of illumination, and that is your whole daily task. Only those who are ignorant will go in the opposite direction.
CHCHCHPO - Tendo Wanshi (1091-1157)
Plain water has flavor, subtly transcending the senses.
It precedes forms, though seeming endlessly to exist.
The Way is precious, though seeming massively to be foolish.
Inscribe designs on a jewel and its glory is lost.
A pearl even from an abyss naturally beckons.
Plenty of bracing air purely burnishes off autumn's swelter.
Far away a single tranquil cloud divides sky & water.
CHCHCHQU - [Fa-yen Wen-i] (885-958)
Within identity there is yet difference. To take the difference would differ from identity: It would mean to entirely misunderstand the idea of all Buddhas. All Buddhas further maintain that both universality and particularity are without either identity or difference. When one enters into the realm of universality the opposites are discarded. To disregard opposites is to do away with names. Thus it is quite obvious that all forms are free from reality and appearance. You must grasp the absolute moment and watch what is coming to you. To lose the moment and miss the chance is to waste time in mistaking the visible for the invisible.
CHCHCHPO - Zenrin Kushu (excerpts compiled by Toyo Eicho) (1429-1504))
Nothing whatever is hidden
From of old, all is clear as daylight
The old pine-tree speaks divine wisdom
The secret bird manifests eternal truth
There is no place to seek the mind
It is like the footprints of the birds in the sky
Above, not a piece of tile to cover the head
Beneath, not an inch of earth to put one's foot on
Sitting quietly, doing nothing
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself
The water before, and the water after
Now and forever flowing, follow each other
One word determines the whole world
One sword pacifies heaven and earth
If you do not get it from yourself
Where will you go for it? [wisdom]
If you wish to know the road up the mountain
You must ask the man who goes back and forth on it
Falling mist flies together with the wild ducks
The waters of autumn are of one color with the sky
If you don't believe, just look at September, look at October!
The yellow leaves falling, falling, to fill both mountain and river
The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection
The water has no mind to receive their image
Scoop up the water and the moon is in your hands
Hold the flowers and your clothes are scented with them
Mountains and rivers, the whole earth, -
All manifest forth the essence of being
The voice of the mountain torrent is from one great tongue
The lines of the hills, are they not the Pure Body of Buddha?
In the vast inane there is no back and front
The path of the bird annihilates East and West
From of old there were not two paths
"Those who have arrived" all walked the same road
Day after day the sun rises in the east
Day after day it sets in the west
Ever onwards to where the waters have an end [the source]
Waiting motionless for when the white clouds shall arise
Wind subsiding, the flowers still fall
Bird crying, the mountain silence deepens
To save life it must be destroyed [illusory ego]
When utterly destroyed, one dwells for the first time in peace
Taking up one blade of grass
Use it as a sixteen-foot golden Buddha
Heat does not wait for the sun, to be hot
Nor wind the moon, to be cool
If you do not kill him [illusory ego]
You will be killed by him
To be conscious of the original mind, the original nature -
Just this is the great disease of Zen! [objectless, subjectless]
Like a sword that cuts, but cannot cut itself
Like an eye that sees, but cannot see itself
Perceiving the sun in the midst of the rain
Ladling out clear water from the depths of the fire
Ride your horse along the edge of a sword
Hide yourself in the middle of the flames
You cannot get it by taking thought
You cannot seek it by not taking thought
It is like a tiger, but with many horns
Like a cow, but it has no tail
Draw water, and you think the mountains are moving
Raise the sail, and you think the cliffs are on the run
The blue hills are of themselves blue hills
The white clouds are of themselves white clouds
In the landscape of spring there is neither high nor low
The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short
Alive, I will not receive the Heavenly Halls
Dead, I fear no Hell
He holds the handle of the hoe, but his hands are empty
He rides astride the water-buffalo, but he is walking
Entering the forest he moves not the grass
Entering the water he makes not a ripple
If you meet an enlightened man in the street
Do not greet him with words, nor with silence
Meeting, they laugh and laugh -
The forest grove, the many fallen leaves!
We sleep with both legs outstretched
Free of the true, free of the false
For long years a bird in a cage
Today, flying along with the clouds [trans. R.H. Blyth]
MOUSBGQL - Alan Watts (1915-1973)
Shunyata is the Buddhist term for the void, - which is space, which
is consciousness, which is that in which "we live and move and have our
being" - God, the Great Void. Fortunately, there is no way of knowing what
it is, because if we could know, we would be bored...
If you imagine yourself in the position of being God... you know all past, you know all futures, you are completely in control of the cosmos, you have absolute power, and you are bored to death. So you say to yourself: "Man, get lost! I want a surprise." And here you are; only you must not admit it.
---> SINCERE, BUT NOT SERIOUS
Now, herein lies one of the great mysteries of being, because music,
like survival, does not really have to happen. Music is a fantasy with
no destination. Dancing is the same thing only in motion. When we dance
we are not going anywhere except round and round, thus, music and dance
are models of the universe. ...
What purpose is served by our idea of God? Obviously none at all. Like children when they are little and wise: they make goo-goo noises; the sounds have no meaning, no purpose - and the universe is just like that.
The point is then that life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present. ...When I speak of the eternal now, please do not confuse it with a split second; it is not the same kind of thing. The eternal now is roomy, easy, and rich, but also frivolous!
"The long night, the sound of the water says what I think." -haiku, quoted by Watts
JDJAJSQU - Eihei Dogen-zenji (1200-53)
Although the views of an ordinary person and the causes and conditions of those views are what the ordinary person sees, they are not neccessarily the ordinary person's truth. The truth merely manifests itself for the time being as an ordinary person. Because you think your time or your existence is not the truth, you believe that you are not the sixteen-foot golden body. However, your attempts to escape from being the sixteen-foot golden body are nothing but bits and pieces of existence-time. Those who have not yet confirmed this should look into it deeply.
MOUSXXQU - Isshu Miura (mid 20th c.)
Enlightenment, the personal experience of Reality, is man's ultimate experience. The quest for this experience is the most difficult quest upon which he can embark. It demands of him faith, determination, sacrifice, and, above all, passion. Without the sustained sense of urgency which passion imparts, the goal cannot be achieved.
JDJAJRQU - Daito Kokushi (1282-1368) founder of Daitoku-ji (Rinzai fromChina)
Some of you may preside over large and flourishing temples with Buddha-shrines and rolls of scripture gorgeously decorated with gold and silver, you may recite the sutras, practice meditation, and even lead your daily lives in strict accordance with the precepts, but if you carry on these activities without having the eye of kensho, every one of you belongs to the tribe of evil spirits. On the other hand, if you carry on your activities with the eye of kensho, though you pass your days living in a solitary hut in the wilderness, wear a tattered robe, and eat only boiled roots, you are the man who meets me face to face every day and requites my kindness.
JRJAJRQU - Hakuin-zenji (1686-1769) (Sokko roku kaien fusetsu)
My advice to you eminent persons who study the profound teaching is this: You resolute men must dauntlessly display your spirit and attain insight into your real nature... (and settle these koans)... Then, for the first time, grasping in your two hands the talons and teeth from the cave of Dharma and wearing the supernatural talisman that wrests life from death, you can enter the realms of the Buddhas and sport in the world of the Maras; you can pull out the nails and wrench out the wedges, spread the cloud of Great Compassion, practice the almsgiving of the Great Dharma, and abundantly benefit those who came to you from all directions: yet all the while you are only an old monk with two horizontal eyes and a perpendicular nose, who, having nothing further to do, enjoys the greatest ease. ...Now you may pass your days in tranquillity, drinking tea when there is tea, eating rice when there is rice. If there is nothing further to do, that is all right; if there is something to do, that is all right. The patriarchs cannot lay their hands on you, and you can spend ten thousand ounces of gold.
CHCHCHPO - from the Zenrin Kushu (Ruth Fuller Sasaki trans.)
- To know, yet deliberately to transgress.
- It can't be swallowed, it can't be spit out.
- Pushing down the ox's head, he makes it eat grass.
- The ten directions are without walls, The four quarters are without gates.
- For ten years I couldn't return; Now I've forgotten the road by which I came.
- Where the sun and moon do not reach, There is marvelous scenery indeed.
- When you recognize [Mind's] nature while according with its flow, There is no more joy, nor is there any sorrow.
- The flute without holes is the most difficult to blow.
- The hazy mist does not stay the plum flower's fragrance.
- Last year's poverty was not real poverty, But this year's poverty is poverty indeed.
- He sees only the winding of the stream and the twisting of the path. He does not know that already he is in the land of the immortals.
- Endlessly rise the distant mountains, blue heaped upon blue.
- In the bottomless bamboo basket I put the white moon; In the bowl of mindlessness I store the pure breeze.
- Lovely snowflakes, they fall nowhere else!
- The true does not conceal the false, the bent does not hide the straight.
- Officially, a needle is not allowed to pass; unofficially, carriages can get through.
- If you want to write such a poem, you must first be capable of such a mind; If you want to paint such a picture, you must first be capable of grasping such a form.
- Enwrapped in billows of white clouds, I do not see the clouds; Absorbed in the sound of flowing water, I do not hear the flowing water.
- I take blindness as vision, deafness as hearing; I take danger as safety and prosperity as misfortune.
- When I see smoke beyond the mountain I know there's a fire; When I see horns beyond the fence I know there's an ox.
- To pass through the dusty turmoil of the world you must know the main road; To dispense healing medicine you must first enquire into the source of the illness.
MOUSJSQU - Genpo Merzel, sensei (ZCLA), quoting a sutra
When we have a negative or angry thought, it's like carving a groove in water. It immediately washes away. When we speak negatively, it's like carving the groove in sand. In a short time, the groove disappears. But when we act out of our negativity, the effect is like carving it into stone. The imprint remains for a long, long time.
CHCHCHPO - Tendo Wanshi (1091-1157) (on plaque at ZCNY Greyston)
Vast emptiness, no holiness
The questioner's far away
Gain is to swing the axe and not harm the nose
Loss is to drop the pot and not look back back
Alone at Shorin he sits quiet as dead ash
In silence the great law is fully revealed.
The autumn is clear, the moon a turning frosty wheel
The milky way is pale, and the big dipper sinks low in the heavens.
The robe and bowl passed on, unceasingly
Are henceforth a poisoned medicine for men and devas.
BUINTHSU - Tevigga Sutta
Know, Vasettha, that from time to time a Tathagata is born into the world, a fully awakened one, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher of gods and men, a Blessed One, a Buddha. He, by himself, thoroughly understands this universe, seeing it face to face... The truth does he proclaim both in the letter and in the spirit, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation: the higher life does he make known, in all its purity and in all its perfectness.
PRINPRSU - from Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines (Conze trans., p. 215)
Subhuti: That Bodhisattva does not make any efforts, while he courses in the course of a Bodhisattva, to reach in this present birth the state in which all signs are forsaken. If he were to reach that state before all Buddha-dharmas are complete in him, he would automatically become a Disciple. The skill in means of a Bodhidsattva consists in this, that he cognizes that sign, both its mark and cause, and yet he surrenders himself completely to the Signless [realm of Dharma, in which no sign has ever arisen]. Subhuti: If it increases through development by day, then it also increases in one who dreams [about it]. For the Lord has said that dream and waking are indiscriminate, [essentially the same]. If a Bodhisattva who has received perfect wisdom, day by day courses in perfect wisdom, then he also in his dreams also remains quite close to perfect wisdom, and develops it even then in abundance.
CHCHCHQU - quoted in Hekigan Roku (Blue Cliff Record), case 90
Mind is the faculty, things are the objects;
Both are like flaws on a mirror.
When the defilements of objects are obliterated, the first light appears.
When mind and things are both forgotten, nature is real.
The mind-moon is solitary and full:
Its light engulfs the myriad forms.
The light is not shining on objects,
Nor do the objects exist -
Light and objects both forgotten,
Then what is this ? -P'an Shan
When reasoning is exhausted, saying and feeling are forgotten;
How could this be properly described?
Wherever I go, the frosty night's moon
Falls as it may on the valley ahead.
The fruits are ripe and heavy with monkeys,
The mountains go on so far it seems I've lost my way.
When I raise my head, there's a remnant of illumination left -
Actually this is west of my dwelling place. -Fa Yen's verse on Perfect Reality
I've always lived in a three-section reed hut;
In the spiritual light of the one Path, myriad objects are at rest.
Don't use right and wrong to judge me -
Fleeting life and its rationalizations have nothing to do with me.
CHCHCHQU - from Hekigan Roku, 95
Where there is Buddha, do not stay; if you keep staying there, your head will sprout horns. Where there is no Buddha, quickly run past, weeds will grow ten feet high. Even if you are pure and naked, bare and clean, without mental activity outside of things, without things outside of mental activity, you still have not escaped standing by a stump waiting for a rabbit. But tell me, without being like any of this, how would you act?
CHCHCHQU - from Hekigan Roku, 99
...he had to have broken up his habitual active consciousness, so that there is nothing that can be apprehended; yet he has still only realized one half. An Ancient said, "If you do not give rise to any thought of practice or study, within formless light you'll always be free." Just discern that which is always silent and still; do not acknowledge sound and form; just discern spiritual knowledge, do not acknowledge false imagination. This is why it was said, "Even if an iron wheel is turning on your head, with concentration and wisdom complete and clear, they are never lost."
[Ch'ang Sha] said,
Students of the Way do not know reality
Just because they acknowledge the conscious spirit as before;
It's the root of countless aeons of birth and death,
Yet fools call it the original man.
CHCHCHQU - [Shih T'ou and Wei Yen] [of Yao Shan]
Shih T'ou: What are you doing here?
Wei Yen: I'm not doing anything at all.
Shih T'ou: If so, then you're sitting idly.
Wei Yen: If I were sitting idly, that would be doing something.
Shih T'ou: You speak of not doing: not doing what?
Wei Yen: Even the thousand sages do not know.
CHCHCHQU - Daikon Eno [Hui Neng] (638-713) in [T'an-ching]
In this moment there is nothing which comes to be. In this moment there is nothing which ceases to be. Thus there is no birth-and-death to be brought to an end. Wherefore the absolute tranquillity (of nirvana) is this present moment. Though it is at this moment, there is no limit to this moment, and herein is eternal delight.
CHCHCHQU - Rinzai [Lin-chi I-hsuan] (d. 866)
When it's time to get dressed, put on your clothes. When you must walk, then walk. When you must sit, then sit. Don't have a single thought in your mind about seeking for Buddhahood. You talk about being perfectly disciplined in your six senses and in all your actions, but in my view this is making karma. To seek the Buddha (nature) and to seek the Dharma is at once to make karma which leads to the hells. To seek (to be) Bodhisattvas is also making karma, and likewise studying the sutras and commentaries. Buddhas and Patriachs are people without such artificialities. ...It is said everywhere that there is a Tao which must be cultivated and a Dharma which must be realized. What Dharma do you say must be realized, and what Tao cultivated? What do you lack in the way you are functioning right now? What will you add to where you are?
CHCHCHQU - [Yuan-wu] (1063-1135)
If you are a real man, you may by all means drive off with the farmer's ox, or grab the food from a starving man.
DOCHDOPO - [Cheng-tao Ke] (Taoist)
Like the empty sky it has no boundaries,
Yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.
When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.
You cannot take hold of it, but you cannot lose it.
In not being able to get it, you get it.
When you are silent, it speaks;
When you speak, it is silent.
The great gate is open to bestow alms,
And no crowd is blocking the way.
CHCHCHQU - Quoted by Hyakujo [Pai-chang] (720-814)
Bodhidharma: The mind should be (insensate) like wood and stone.
Seng Ts'an: Profound is this state of suchness - Lofty and beyond illusions.
Hui Neng: Do not think of either good or evil.
Ma Tsu: Like one losing his way who does not even know the direction he takes.
Seng Chao: Obstruct your knowledge and block your intelligence to ensure the intuitive recognition (of reality) in solitude.
Manjusri: His mind is (vast) like the great emptiness, hence I salute Him who looks into nothing - which is a profound sutra which can neither be heard nor practiced.
Pai Chang: If the mind is unstirred there is no need to seek Buddha, Bodhi and Nirvana, for the search for Buddha is a desire which becomes a (spiritual) illness. Hence the saying: "the Buddha-illness is very difficult to cure".
Therefore a Bodhisattva should hold the correct view of an entirely solitary Dharma, forsaking even this very idea of its solitariness, and the nature of his wisdom will become absolute by itself and independent from all causes. This is called the formation of his (enlightened) substance and also the gathering of this substance which cannot be discerned by his intellect and known by his consciousness, being above and beyond all thinking and estimating until this serene substance is no more and all mental activities cease forever, like rivers and streams that flow into the vast ocean to merge in its deep water without further rippling its surface. -[Pai Chang]
CHCHCHQU - [Huai Jang] (677-744) and [Ma Tsu] (709-88)
Huai Jang: In practising zazen, what does your Reverence aspire to attain?
Ma Tsu: To attain Buddhahood.
Thereupon Huai-jang picked up a piece of floor-tile and began to polish it on a rock.
Ma Tsu: What are you doing, Master?
Huai Jang: I am polishing it to make a mirror.
Ma Tsu: How could polishing a tile make a mirror?
Huai Jang: How could sitting in meditation make a Buddha?
Ma Tsu: What should one do then?
Huai Jang: If a cart drawn by an ox does not move, is it correct to whip the ox or the cart? Do you want to sit in meditation, or to be a sitting Buddha? If you want to sit in meditation, meditation is neither sitting nor lying down. If you want to be a sitting Buddha, Buddha is not a fixed form. [Moreover (even its opposite), motion should be neither accepted nor rejected.]. To sit to become a Buddha is to kill the Buddha. If you cling to sitting, you will never realize the Dharma.
Ma Tsu: How should I use my mind to agree with the formless samadhi?
Huai jang: Your study of the Mind Dharma is like sowing seeds and my expounding of its essentials is like the rain. Since your potentiality agrees with the Dharma, you should perceive the truth. (Tao)
Ma Tsu: Truth is formless, how can it be perceived?
Huai jang: The mind eye can perceive the truth. (Tao) So it is with formless samadhi.
Ma Tsu: Is the truth subject to creation and destruction?
Huai jang: If one sees the truth from the standpoint of creation and destruction, formation and decay, one does not really perceive the truth. Listen to my gatha:
The Mind-ground holds the (flower) seeds
Which sprout when moistened by the rain.
The blossom of samadhi is formless,
How can it decay or come into being? (Ma Tsu thereupon awakened to the Mind Dharma and stayed to serve the master for ten years.)
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