Sunday, August 27, 2017

True Mind & False Mind

It is hard to give a simple definition of the distinction between true and false. It is a mistake to say the true mind and the false mind are the same, and yet it is also mistaken to say they are different.

Suppose you press your eyeball with your finger, causing yourself to see a doubled image, such as a second moon beside the real moon. Now this second moon is only seen because of the pressure of the finger on your eye; there isn't really any second moon beside the real moon.

This does not mean, however, that if you don't want to be seeing a second moon, you should get rid of the false moon and see the real moon. If you simply remove the finger pressing your eyeball, there is no other moon beside the original moon. If you try to get rid of the second moon without removing the finger from your eye, you will never succeed. There are some people who think there is no real moon apart from this second moon, so they are in love with it. That is also a big mistake.

Those who do not put pressure on their eyeballs do not see a second moon to begin with; how could there be any debate about whether or not to get rid of the second moon? So the issue of the sameness or difference of the true and false mind arises because of pressing the eye of the fundamental with the finger of confusion.

-Zen Master Muso, Dream Conversations

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Jewel Beyond All Price

Though others may talk of the Way of the Buddhas as something to be reached by various pious practices and by sutra study, you must have nothing to do with such ideas. A perception, sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one, will lead to a deeply mysterious wordless understanding; and by this understanding will you awake to the truth of Zen. When you happen upon someone who has no understanding, you must claim to know nothing. He may he delighted by his discovery of some "way to Enlightenment"; yet if you allow yourselves to be persuaded by him, you will experience no delight at all, but suffer both sorrow and disappointment. What have such thoughts as his to do with the study of Zen? Even if you do obtain from him some trifling "method," it will only be a thought-constructed dharma having nothing to do with Zen. Thus, Bodhidharma sat rapt in meditation before a wall; he did not seek to lead people into having opinions. Therefore it is written: "To put out of the mind even the principle from which action springs is the true teaching of the Buddhas, while dualism belongs to the sphere of the demons." Your true nature is something never lost to you even in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of Enlightenment. It is the Nature of the Bhutatathata. In it is neither delusion nor right understanding. It fills the Void everywhere and is intrinsically of the substance of the One Mind. How, then, can your mind-created objects exist outside of the Void? The Void is fundamentally without spacial dimensions, passions, activities,delusions, or right understanding. You must clearly understand that in it there are no things, no men, no Buddhas; for this Void contains not the smallest hairsbreadth of anything that can be viewed spatially; it depends on nothing and is attached to nothing. It is all-pervading, spotless beauty;it is the self-existent and uncreated Absolute. Then how can it ever be a matter for discussion that the real Buddha has no mouth and preaches no dharma, or that real hearing requires no ears, for who could hear it? Ah,it is a jewel beyond all price! 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Take No Notice

In days gone by, Ch'an master Hui Chueh of Lang Yeh mountain, had a woman disciple who called on him for instruction. The master taught her to examine into the sentence: 'Take no notice.' She followed his instruction strictly without backsliding.

One day, her house caught fire, but she said: 'Take no notice.' Another day, her son fell into the water and when a bystander called her, she said: 'Take no notice.' She observed exactly her master's instruction by laying down all causal thoughts.

One day, as her husband ht the fire to make fritters of twisted dough, she threw into the pan full of boiling (vegetable) oil a batter which made a noise. Upon hearing the noise, she was instantaneously enlightened. Then she threw the pan of oil on the ground, clapped her hands and laughed.

Thinking she was insane, her husband scolded her and said: 'Why do you do this? Are you mad?'

She replied: 'Take no notice.' Then she went to master Hui Chueh and asked him to verify her achievement.

The master confirmed that she had obtained the holy fruit.

-Charles Luk, Ch'an and Zen Teaching: First Series