Saturday, April 4, 2015

Unfurling the Red Flag of Victory

For students of mystic wisdom, seeing the real nature of things and awakening to the true pattern and treading in the steps of the Buddhas is everyday food and drink.

You should realize that on the crown of the heads of the Buddhas and enlightened adepts there is a wondrous way of “changing the bones” and transforming your existence. Only then can you get beyond conventional categories and sectarian limits and act like a transcendent person, so that even great Zen masters like Linji and Deshan would have no way to apply their blows and shouts to you.

At all times just remain free and uninvolved. Never make any displays of clever tricks -- be like a stolid simpleton in a village of three families. Then the gods will have no road on which to offer you flowers, and demons and outsiders will not be able to spy on you.

Be undefinable, and do not reveal any conspicuous signs of your special attainment. It should be as if you are there among myriad precious goods locked up securely and deeply hidden in a treasure house. With your face smeared with mud and ashes, join in the work of the common laborers, neither speaking out nor thinking.

Live your whole life so that no one can figure you out, while your spirit and mind are at peace. Isn't this what it is to be imbued with the Way without any contrived or forced actions, a genuinely unconcerned person?

Among the enlightened adepts, being able to speak the Truth has nothing to do with the tongue, and being able to talk about the Dharma is not a matter of words.

Clearly we know that the words spoken by the ancients were not meant to be passively depended on. Anything the ancients said was intended only so that people would directly experience the fundamental reality. Thus, the teachings of the Sutras are like a finger pointing to the moon, and the sayings of the Zen masters are like a piece of tile used to knock on a door.

- Master Yuanwu, Zen Letters