Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cut Off Thinking

Just accord with your conditions and exhaust your old karma and do not create new calamity. The mind contains brightness. Therefore, your old levels of understanding must all be abandoned. Jingming (Vimalakirti, from the sutra of the same name) says, ‘Get rid of your possessions.’ The Lotus Sutra says, ‘Twenty years spent removing dung.’This was only the removal of viewpoints from within the mind. [The Lotus Sutra] also says, ‘Eliminate the dung of silly talk.’ Thus, the tathagatagarbha is itself originally empty and silent. It does not allow a single dharma to remain.
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If it is uncaused, it cannot be said that it exists or does not exist. When it responds to causes, it also does not leave footprints. Just understand in this way. Today I only direct you to abide in silence. This is practicing the All-Buddhas-Vehicle. The sutra says, ‘You should give birth to a mind that is without anything upon which to stand.’ All of the sentient beings in the wheel of birth and death; thinking causes them to move [along the wheel]. Create thoughts and you will be endlessly within the six paths. This will cause you to be afflicted with suffering and all kinds of bitterness.
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Jing Ming said, ‘Like monkeys, it is difficult to transform people’s minds because the various types of dharmas restrain their minds.’ After that, they are subdued. Therefore, ‘When thoughts are bom, every type of dharma is brn. When thoughts extinguish, every type of dharma is extinguished.’
Now if you only study no-mind, all causation will cease. Do not give birth to false thoughts and distinctions. There are no ‘people’ and there is no ‘self”. There is no ‘desire’ or ‘anger’. No ‘hate’, no ‘love’. No ‘victory’, no ‘defeat’. Simply abandon these like the many types of false thoughts. The nature of the self is, from the beginning, pure. This is practicing bodhi, Dharma, Buddha, etc.
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Zhigong said, ‘The original essence is created in your own mind.’ How could this be sought in the written word (the sutras)? Now, only know your own mind. Cut off thinking. In this way, false thoughts and defilements will not arise. Jingming says, ‘Only lay out a bed for sleeping while sick and lie down.’ Thoughts do not arise. Now as an invalid, climbing over these objects (of the mind) comes to a rest, and false thoughts extinguish. This is bodhi.
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If you do not taint the mind as it appears, this is called ‘untainted wisdom’. You will not create human and god karma. You will not create hell-being karma. You will not give rise to any thoughts. All conditions will extinguish and you will not be re-bom. This very body and mind are a self-created person. If [the process] of re-birth is not completely stopped, then you will be re-born as you wish. The sutra says, ‘Bodhisattvas are born into the bodies that they wish to be born into.’ This is so. The instant that they lose their understanding of no-mind, they will become attached to forms and create them. All of this belongs to Mara-karma.
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Therefore, Bodhidharma’s wall-gazing. He did not command people to have any viewpoints. This is why it is said that forgetting mental dispositions is the path of the buddhas, while distinctions are Mara-vishayas . Even while you are deluded, this nature will not diminish. At the time of awakening, it will not gain [anything]. Naturally, your own nature is from the beginning without delusion or awakening. It is my One Mind essence that fundamentally fills the ten directions and the sky realm. Even if you were to engage in creation, how could you be away from the empty sky? The empty sky is fundamentally without the concepts of ‘great’ and ‘small’. It is untainted and unconditioned. It is non-delusion and non-awakening. The clever see that there are no ‘things’. There are also no ‘humans’ and no ‘buddhas’, down to even the tiniest width of a hair.


-Huangbo (translation by Jeffrey M. Leahy)

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