I. True Mind-Right Faith
In the Hua-Yen Sutra,
Faith is the Spring of Tao (Truth),
The Motherhood of Virtue and Merits;
It will nourish each and every good ulterior motive.
And also in the Mind-Only Shastra,
Faith is like a water-purifying-jewel;
It will purify the dirty water.
According to this we should know faith as the frontiersman of ten-thousand good conducts.
Therefore, every sutra begins with ‘Thus have I heard’, To manifest the faith in the sincerity.
Student: What is the difference between patriarchal faith and doctrinal faith?
Pojo: There are many differences; in the doctrinal teaching the intent is to teach the truth of cause-and-effect for human and heaven-beings. By this, those who wish to receive fortune and happiness will, by practicing the Ten Good-conducts, create good karmic motives. As a result, they will be born in a happy land either as a human or a heaven-being.
On the other hand, those who wish peace and tranquility are taught of the karmic connection between birth and death; that righteousness is the cause while the Four noble Truths; i.e. suffering, its causation, its extinction, and the path (to Nirbana) are the noble effects.
Or, again, those who believe in the attainment of Buddhahood are taught (to believe) that the six paramitas over three samkhyea kalpas are a cause, and the accomplishment of right enlightenment(Bodhi and Nirvana) is the effect.
But, the Patriarchal door does not depend on the truth of cause-and-effect through karmic actions; rather, just on the belief that the self is originally Buddha. Everyone has divinely true self-nature and has accomplished the essence of complete enlightenment ( Nirvana); which does not depend on another, but is perfect in itself. In the Gatha, of Third Patriarch, Sung Chan(Seng chan):
Tao is as pervasive as space, neither excessive nor deficient; although it is, only because of a thought, which is inclined to choose or relinguish.
And in the Gatha of Ji Gong (Chih Kung):
The formless body inside of visualized body, birth-and-deathless Way in the way of unenlightened darkness.
And Young ka (Yung chia) sang,
The true nature of unenlightened darkness is the Buddha-nature; the illusory empty body is the Dharma Body(of the Truth).
Therefore, one should know that the indigent-being is originally the Buddha. Although one mobilizes the right faith, he should understand clearly that which is said in Young Myung’s (Yen Shou) Gatha:
Faith without understanding increases the unenlightened Darkness. Understanding without faith increases the evil opinion.
Therefore, you should know that faith and understanding must combine for one to enter the gateway swiftly.
Student: What if one has not entered the Buddha-Tao Yet, but has already mobilized the mind of faith; is it beneficial?
Pojo: According to the Awakening of Faith:
One who, hearing this Dharma, does not have any fearful feeling, will finally become a transmitter of Buddha; he will be sealed by all Buddhas. The one who teaches innumerable numbers of indigent-beings throughout the three-thousand times three-thousand worlds and allows them to learn and practice ten-good-conducts, still cannot be compared with, and is inferior to, the one who has raised a righteous thought of this dharma even for a very short time.
In the Wisdom-Paramita Sutra,
Buddha3 will see and know all who mobilized an immaculate faith, even if in one thought; he will attain immeasurable virtue and merit.
It is like this; a one-thousand mile trip begins with one right first step! One wrong step will result in a thousand miles of going the wrong way. In order to go to the Country of Formless-Doing, first, have right initial faith! If one loses this faith, all the good will be gone by then. This is the reason all patriarchs say:
Once there is a tiny crack;
Split will be as great as the distance from sky to earth.
II. True Mind and Its Many Names
Student: Here we have mobilized the right faith, but still I, do not know what is the true mind.
Pojo: What is not deluded is called true. What divinely reflects is called the mind. In the Surangama Sutra it was clearly explained.
Student: Is the true mind the only name or does it have other names?
Pojo: There is a difference in naming in the teaching of Buddha versus in the teaching of the patriarchs, In the teaching of Buddha, for instance, in the Bodhisattva’s Precept Sutra it is called Mind-ground, because it creates ten-thousand of the good. In the Wisdom Paramita Sutra it is named Bodhi (enlightening), because it is the essence of the Buddha. In the Hua Yen Sutra, (Flower Adorn-mint Sutra) it is called Dharma World, because it is harmoniously interpenetrating. In the Diamond Sutra it is called Tathagata because there is no place to come.
In the Prajna Paramita Sutra it is called Complete Stillness (Nirvana), because all the sages depend on this. In the Golden Lightning Sutra it is called, Thus-as-it-is, because it is perpetually true and unchangeable. In the Immaculate Name Sutra it is called Truth-Body, because karmic-consequential-body and transformation-body are dependent on this. In the Awakening of Faith it is called Truth Suchness, because it is never born and never perishes.
In the Nirvana Sutra it is called Buddha-nature because it is the wellspring of Triple Bodies.
In the Complete Enlightenment Sutra it is called Dharani, because it is a fountain of virture and merit.
In the Lions Roar of Queen Srimala Sutra it is named Tathagatagarbha (Chamber of Tathagata), because even though hidden, it encompasses everything.
In the Perfect Understanding Sutra it is called Complete-Enlightenment, because it breaks through the cloudiness and is luminously radiant of itself. Because of this, Venerable Master Soo(Yen Shou) said in his Gateway of Mind-Only,
On dharma, ten-thousand names; creates the name according to their karmic condition
Which it is impossible for us to name them all.
Student: We have known the Buddha’s teaching; now, what is the Patriarch’s teaching?
Pojo: In the patriarchal gateway names and words are severed; they do not even let one name represent them; how can they have several names? But, according to one’s level of self-conception and according to one’s mind-orientation(higher or lower-minded) it can be called by different names.
Sometimes it is called Self, because that is the essence of the self-nature of indigent-beings.
Sometimes it is called Right Eye, because it sheds light on each and every form of intentional conduct.
Sometimes it is called Sublime Mind. because it is empty, yet divinely self-gnostic.
Sometimes it is called Old Self-Master, because affiction has been moved by this.
Sometimes it is called Bottomless Bowl, because it is always rich and everywhere prosperous.
Sometimes it is called Stringless Harp, because it plays right-at-this-moment.
Sometimes it is called Endless Lantern, because it shines upon and destroys illusory sentiments.
Sometimes it is called Rootless Tree, because its roots and eyes are imperishable.
Sometimes it is called Hair-Removing Sword, because it cuts out the roots of bewilderments.
Sometimes it is called Effortless Land, because it is as immovable as the ocean and as transparent as poverty.
Sometimes it is called Keyless Lock, because it closes off the six sensations.
And, furthermore, it is called, Mud-Ox, Wood-en-Horse, Mind-Source, Mind-Seal, Mind-Mirror, Mind-Moon, Mind-Jewel, etc.; all the names of which are impossible to innumerate.
If you realized this True Mind then you would realize all these names. But, if you are not certain of this True Mind you will be blocked to all these names.
Therefore, you should carefully watch this True Mind.
III. The Sublime Essence of the True Mind
Student; We have understood the names of True Mind. But what is its essence?
Pojo: In the Lightning Wisdom Sutra,
-Wisdom has no forms, has no Birth and Death form.
And in the Awakening of Faith,
True nature of the self-as-it-is neither excessive nor deficient, whether it is in every ordinary-being, or in every Shravaka in every Pratyekabuddha, or in every Bodhisattva and Buddha. It has never been born before nor will it perish. It is always as it has been; self-nature already satisfied in all the virtues and merits of itself.
Therefore, according to these Sutras and Shastras, we can conclude that the true mind itself is surpassing the cause-and-effect and past and present.
Not insisting on a difference between ordinary-being and the sage, and just like the omnipresently pervasive empty-space, sublime essence is still and quiet, far away from rhetorical argument; neither moving nor shaken; but it always transparently abides. Because of that it is called Old self-Master or also called, One-from-King-of-Voice-Before-Beginning(Bhisma-garjita-ghosa-svara-raja) or sometimes called Self-Before-the Beginning-of-the-Universe. If a thought were placid, there would be no irritations.
Each and every mountain, river, tree, weed, forest, and every dharma in the world, whether dirty or clean, came from this.
In the Complete Enlightenment Srtra is a Gatha,
Good man! The highest-Dharma-King
Has a great Dharani Door,
Which is called Complete Enlightenment;
Every pure Truth-as-it-is, Bodhi, Nirvana,
And Paramita is derived from this
To teach all Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas.
And Kyu Bong (Kuie Feng) sang,
The mind is concave, sublime and pure, also divinely bright without going or coming; it passes through three different times at the same time, not in the middle nor outside; it passes through the ten directions.
Since it has never been born nor destroyed, how can it possibly be harmed by four Mountains? Since its self-nature and form have vanished, how can it possibly be blinded by five colors?
And, also, in a Gatha by Young Myung (Yun Ming) from The Gateway of Mind-Only,
Generally speaking, this mind becomes a king of ten-thousand Dharmas; because all of the sublime and all of the divine are here gathered. Also Three Vehicles and Five Different Natures, (ordinary good people, Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, indifferent being, and outsiders) are depending on this as a motherhood of ten-thousand sages; it is most excellent of itself; it is alone most emminent. Therefore it is incomparable and nothing is parallel with it; that is, the source of great Truth; the Essence of True Dharma.
What Bodhisattvas from three different times have so far studied, is what has been studied of this Mind.
What Buddhas from three different periods of time have so far experienced, is what has been experienced of time have so far experienced, is what has been experienced of this Mind.
What all the Sutras from Tripitaka have thus far exposed, is what has been exposed of this Mind.
Whatever each and every indigent-being has confused, is whatever has been confused of this Mind.
Whatever each cultivator has awakened, is whatever has been awakened of this Mind.
What all the Patriarchs have transmitted from one to the other, is what has been transmitted of this mind.
What all the world’s students wish to contemplate, is nothing but the contemplation of this mind.
If one masters this Mind, all matters will be right and every affair will be completely will be right and every affair will be completely disclosed. If this Mind is confused, everything will be topsyturvy everywhere and each and every thought will be insane. Every indigent-being has this essence; it is their original Buddha-nature; it is the source of everything in the world.
Therefore, this is the reason, Buddha was completely silent for a while at Vulture Peak and why, under the huge rock, Subhuti has forgotten the word and why Bodhi-dharma faced the wall in the Shao Lin Hut, and why Vimalakirti shut his mouth in the Vaisali Castle; all these are exposing the sublime body of the mind.
Therefore, one who comes to the Patriarchal door must, first of all, understand the essence of this mind.
IV. Sublime Functioning of True Mind
Student: I understood the sublime essence, then, next, what is the sublime function?
Pojo: Citing an old sage,
When wind blows, mind shakes tree,
When clouds gather, self-nature raises the dust,
If one forces clarity on today’s matter,
It will darken the original man.
This is the functioning of sublime essence. The sublime essence of true mind originally does not move. It is peaceful, tranquil, real, and constant; its sublime function is exposed with the real and constant essence.
So, the sublime essence should be attained while being carried with the flow.
By one Patriarch,
Mind flows with outer perspectives,
Where it flows is unspeakably profound.
If one understood the nature of this flowing,
Neither joy nor sorrow would be real.
Therefore, whenever it moves or distinguishes things; either going to the east, moving to the west, eating food or putting on clothes, lifting up a spoon or fork, or glancing left or right; these are all representations of the sublime-functioning of the true-mind.
Because ordinary-beings are confused, when they dress they assume it is the real action of dressing, and when they eat, they assume that it is the real action of eating; but they are chasing only forms in every matter even though it(True Mind) is with them in everyday life. They just cannot feel it and do not understand it, even though it is in front of their eyes.
For one who understands the self-nature, he would not be deceived while he is moving or distinguishing. Thus here is one Patriarch’s gatha,
When it is in the womb it is called a fetus with an energy; when it is born it is called a person; in the eye it is called seeing; in the ears it is called hearing; in the nose it is called smelling; or with the tongue it is called speaking, grabbing things with hands and taking strides with the legs; when it is spread out every-where, it wraps ’round the world’ as many times as number the sands of the River Ganges. And, when most concentrated cannot even fill a speck of dust. The one who knows calls this Buddha-nature: But, one who does not know calls this either ‘soul’ or ‘spiritual entity’.
Therefore, To oh(Tao Wu) danced with his fan, Bi Ma(Mi Mo) waved his staff, Ku Ji (Chu Ti) raised a finger, Hun Ju (Hsin Chou) hit the ground, and Woon Am(Yun Yen) teased the lion; all these conducts are the disclosure of the great functioning of the Mind.
If you are not deceived in the ordinary life, naturally nothing can be a hindrance in any direction.
V. Are the Essence and Function of the True Mind Same or Different?
Student: Are the essence and the function of the true mind same or different?
Pojo: Speaking of the form they are not the same. But in nature they are not different.(Therefore, the essence and function is neither one nor two.) How do we know? Let us try to argue as an experiment. The sublime essence is unmovable, but off from the relativities, and separated from various forms.
Except the one who is awakened to self-nature, and is able to accord with this, no one can even imagine what this is.
The sublime essence accords with karmic conditions; but deluded, we assume this illusory existence to have real existence, and of talking about discriminating the being from the non-being, then it is not the same.
On the other hand, its function came from that essence, which means, it function is not separate from essence, and since essence creates its function, essence is not separate from its function. One cannot be separate from another, that is, they are not different.
For instance, water’s essence is moisture, but it has no motion. The form of wave is motion which is caused by wind. The nature of water is motionless, and the nature of wave is in motion, which are not the same.
But, there cannot be water without waves; waves cannot be without water.
The nature of moisture itself is same and not different, which tells us the sameness and difference between essence and function.
VI. True Mind Lives with Confusion
Student: If everyone has the essence and function of true-mind, then, why is the ordinary-being different from the sage?
Pojo: True-mind is the same whether it is with the ordinary-being or with the sage. But ordinary ones have lost their immaculate self-nature because of their objectified, deluded cognition. Due to this obstruction, the true-mind cannot be disclosed, just like the shade of the tree in the darkness and the spring-stem under the ground; it is there but cannot be seen.
In the sutra,
Good man, it is like a pure Mani Gem with light diffused into five different colors in every direction. The ignorants believe that the Gem possesses all those colors; good man, the immaculate nature of complete enlightenment manifests in body and mind and discloses itself according to the various outer perspectives. Just so, within the immaculate Complete Enlightenment, the ignorants assume body and mind possess actual self-natures.
In Sung Jo’s(Seng Chao) Shastra;
Among earth, heaven, and the universe, there is one treasure; it is hidden inside mountain of corpse, which represents the mind hidden inside relative hindrance.
Also, Cha Un(Tau En),
From the beginning there is a Dharma-Body; it is the same whether in Buddha or in ordinary being, hidden by delusion and relatively hindered by bewilderment; that’s why it is called, ‘The Chamber of Tathagata.’
And from Pai Hui (Pei Xiu),
It is, all day long, completely enlightened; it did not become a complete enlightenment because of ordinary ones themselves.
Even though the True Mind is hidden under the bewilderment, it cannot be altered; just like white jade thrown and hidden in the mud; the luster remains unchanged.
VII. The True Mind Does Not Have Deluded Confusion
Student: If we have to study the true mind, and since we are ordinary ones, how can we possibly be free from delusion and become sages?
Pojo: An ancient sage said,
Where the deluded mind is nowhere, that is Bodhi.
Birth, Death, and Nirvana are all originally the same.
And in a Sutra,
When the delusory body of indigent-being vanishes, illusory mind also will vanish; when illusory mind vanishes, illusory dust will vanish; when illusory dust vanishes, illusory vanishing will vanish too. When illusory vanishing vanishes, what is not illusory cannot vanish. It is just like polishing the mirror(ancient copper mirror); when the rust is removed, brightness comes naturally.
Young ka (Yung Chia) sang,
Mind is root, Dharma is dirt; both are like dust on the mirror; when the dust is removed, brightness is naturally exposed; when neither mind nor body adhere, self-nature becomes true.
This is the direct way from delusion to the truth.
Student: Chang ja (Chuang Tzu) said,
The hotness of mind can even burn the fire; the coldness of mind can freeze the ice; while it stretches and bends, in its speed, it can caress the four oceans twice over. When it abides, it can be deep like an old well; when it moves, it can be high like the sky: That is the human Mind.
By that statement, Chang Ja was referring to the fact that the mind of ordinary-beings is very difficult to control. Now, how about your case in the Ch’an school?
Pojo: By the Dharma of mindlessness, delusion can be controlled.
Student: If one becomes mindless, that means, he is like a vagetable or a tree. Would you explain more about that mindlessness?
Pojo: When I said, mindlessness it did not mean that there is no mind in itself, but that there is no thing in the mind; this we like to call mindlessness. When we say, empty bottle, that means there is no thing inside of the bottle, we are not talking about the bottle itself.
By one Patriarch,
Just nothing to do in the mind, and no mind in the form of doing; it will become concave sooner or later and will be divinely tranquil and profound.
This is saying that the deluded mind does not exist, but that the sublime functioning of the true-mind does.
Many of the patriarchal masters have talked about the ways to study mindlessness which here -p293- I will summarize in ten categories.
First: Watch wakefully. While you study you should cut out delusion and protect yourself from it. As soon as one thought arises, it should be destroyed immediately by wakefulness. When illusory thought has been destroyed by awakening, after-thought should not be born. But don’t even uphold what was awakened as a knowledge, because disregarding both illusion and awakening is called mindlessness. A Patriarch warned us:
Do not be afraid of the coming of delusion;
Rather, be alert for your tardiness of awakening.
And a Gatha,
Do not search for the Truth; Just rest your opinion.
This the study of resting illusion.
Second: Drop and rest. While you study, uphold neither the good nor the bad. When mind arises, abruptly drop it. When you are faced with outer perspectives abruptly rest them.
Encouraged by an ancient sage here,
Do it as if finishing a piece of raw muslin until it is white, do it like cool autumn rains falling, and do it -p295- like the Candleholder in the old temple.
Remove even the finest dust and separate yourself from discriminations; finally, when you act like you know nothing, and like a retarded one, then you will be near.
This is the way of studying to rest and drop illusion.
Third: Abandon the mind and leave behind outer perspectives. While you study, rest the various delusions completely, without concern for outer perspectives. Just drop your own mind. After thought is dropped, whether outer perspectives remain or not, it will not be hindered. How can it be hindered? According to the ancient sages, this is the dharma which ‘removed’ the man but did not remove the outer perspectives. Someone previously said,
Here is a flower garden,
But none of my close friends is.
And Layman Pang,
If you are mindless in front of every perspective, even if you are surrounded by them, what could be hindered?
This is the way of studying to rest delusions, by abandoning the mind and leaving behind the outer perspectives.
Fourth: Disregard the outer perspectives and leave behind the mind. While you study you should be vigilantly aware of all inside and outside perspectives as being void and tranquil, and uphold only the mind left behind. Once an ancient sage said,
Do not be together with Ten-thousand Dharmas, and, do not stand before all outer perspectives. If mind attaches to them, mind will be illusory. Since there is not even an outer perspective, where can the illusion be?
This is the same as another ancient,
Remove the outer perspective; do not remove the man.
Another portrayal of the same,
In the wonderful flower-garden flowers were already Feded away; people and traffic are still busy.
Where are three thousand sword-men right now? Chang-ja (Chuang-tzu) is planning to keep the world calm just by himself.
Fifth: Disregard the mind and outer pespectives. That is, while you study, first of all you should empty outer perspectives and then eliminate the mind. If the mind and the perspectives, inside and outside, are calmed down, trom where can illusion arise?
A gatha by Kwan Gye (Kuan Ch’i),
No walls in the room, no doors on any side,
It is as clear as having just been flushed out;
‘Tis as obvious as though naked.
This is the way of Dharma which removes the man and the outer perspectives, as taught by the Patriarchs. I still remember the saying of someone,
The clouds are scattered, and the water has flowed;
It is completely void; heaven and earth are empty.
The same also said,
Both man and ox cannot be seen;
It is indeed when the moon is bright.
This is the way to study the resting of both mind and outer perspectives.
Sixth: Seave behind both the mind and the outer perspectives. While you study, mind abides where the the mind is, while the outer perspectives stay where the outer perspectives should stay.
Even though the mind and the outer perspectives confront each other, the mind does not take the outer perspectives while the outer perspectives do not follow the mind. If each of them does not mix -p301- with the other, then naturally, delusion could not be raised and Tao could not be obstructed. When a sutra says,
Because this dharma abides where the dharma should be, worldly phenomena are always abiding as well;
It is the same as the Patriarchs saying,
Do not remove either the man or the outer perspectives.
The crescent moon reflects on the sea,
How many people will be at the viewing-pavilion.
As did another,
Because of thousands and thousands of blossoms of the mountain flower, the vagabonds forget to return.
This is the way to study to eliminate the delusion leaving behind both the mind and the outer perspectives.
Seventh: Study everything inside and outside as one whole body. While you study mountain, river, earth, sun, moon, stars, body, and world, etc., know that all dharma together is the body of one true mind. Since it is completely void and perfectly clear there should be no difference whatsoever. Thus, the great world systems even become one small piece. Now, where can delusion be raised? This is the reason Sung Jo (Seng Chao) said,
Heaven and earth have the same origin as I;
Everything in the Universe has the same body as I.
This is the study of eliminating delusion by becoming a whole body inside outside.
Eighth: Study the one complete functioning of both inside and outside. While you study you study you should be vigilantly aware of each and every Dharma and the movements of body and mind and the places either inside or outside as one sublime functioning of the true mind. As soon as some thought arises, that is immediately nothing but one sublime functioning appearing in front of you.
Since everything is already sublime functioning, where can the illusory mind stay? As Yung Ka (Yung Chia) mentioned,
The True Self-nature of the unenlightened Darkness
Is precisely the Buddha-Nature;
Empty body, like apparition, is the Dharma-Body.
Chi Kong (Chih Kung) also said this in his Gatha,
During the first hour of morning inside of masked dance, the body of the sage is hidden;
Not knowing there is a saint.
Without knowing this body is a sage and without knowing that sitting and lying down are originally the Tao, we stay so busy inviting the useless sufferings.
This is how to study the resting of delusion by complete functioning of inside and outside.
Ninth: Study the essence itself as a functioning itself. While yu study, be in accord with the one taste of void and stillness of the true essence in which divine self-gnostic brightness is hidden. This becomes the essence itself as functioning itself.
Said by Bung Ka (Bung Cia),
It is right to be vigilantly aware while calm and still, but it is wrong to be vigilantly aware while deluded; It is right to be vigilantly aware while calm and still, but it is wrong to be in senseless blankness while calm and still.
If senseless blankness is not allowed while it is already calm and still; if delusion is not allowed while vigilantly aware, then how can various delusions be raised? This is the way to study the elimination of delusion by the essence itself as the functioning itself.
Tenth: Transcend both the essence and function. While you study, do not discriminate inside from -p307- outside, do not divide east, west, north and south. Assume the four sides and the eight directions are as one great Nirvanic Gate. By not discriminating between essence and functioning, and leaving nothing behind, everything becomes one small piece; then from where could deluded mind come? One ancient sage succintly said,
In a whole body there are no scars from stitches;
Upper and lower are totally one whole sphere.
Which refers to the study of eliminating the mind by transcending the essence and the functioning.
As stated, there are ten different ways of studying. But, just pick one of them, and when the study is ripened, the delusion will naturally vanish and the true mind will appear. Get along with your natural abilities and former karmic inclinations, find out which way is suitable for you and watch carefully.
This studying should be effortless and mindless. I have talked a lot of how to rest and drop the deluded mind.
And because this is so important, I did not mind talking in detail.
So far I have explained much; please do not retreat from or half-heartedly toss-to-the winds, what I have said.
VIII. The Four Conduct-Modes of the True Mind
Student: We have heard how to rest our deluded mind. Now, do we have to just sit (meditate) to practice or is it possible even while in motion or in rest?
Pojo: All sutras and shastras explore sitting practice because it is convenient. However, it is also possible while we are in motion or in rest, one can be gradually refined and fully practical only by ceaseless training.
In the Awakening of Faith,
If one wishes for ‘cessation’ (meditative tranquility), he should abide in a quiet place, sit straight, and control his will. He should not depend upon his breathing, upon any form or color, not upon empty space nor upon the four elements; soil, water, fire, or wind; and furthermore, one should not depend upon sight, audition, perception, elements; soil. water, fire, or wind; and furthermore, one should not depend upon sight, memory, or consciousness. Whatever kind of thought comes, you should cut it out as well as cut out this thought of cutting out, because all dharmas have no origin in thought (delusion).
From one thought to the next, mind itself cannot be born; and from one thought to the next, mind itself cannot be perished; also, by following the mind, your mind cannot be grasped.
If the mind is scattered, one should immediately focus and abide in right thinking.
This right thinking is only the mind which has no outer perspectives.
This mind does not even have its own form and cannot be gained by thought. Whether you stand up from your seat, come and go, walk or stand, or further do all different movements, you should always think of an expedient method according to your abilities, train yourself for a long time and achieve mastery; then your mind will cease.
After the mind has ceased, one will become gradually braver and sharper and will enter the samadhi of Truth as-it-is; thereby, overcoming deep defilements. Also, sincere faith will be increased and will quickly lead to entry into the retreatless level. Only the skeptics, disbelievers and humiliators, and those hidden by thick karmic-sin and the too-arrogant are exceptions to entry into the retreatless level.
The above is referring to the four conduct-modes of the true mind.
In the Complete Enlightenment Sutra it was also mentioned,
First of all, depend on Tathagata’s Samatha Practice, by upholding the precepts firmly, and staying with crowds harmoniously, or sitting in a quiet room.
On the other hand, Young Ka (Yung Chia),
Coming-and-going or sitting down is Ch’an;
Whether you speak or are silent,
Move or are still,
Essence is always the same.
The above also refers to the four conduct-modes of the true mind.
Summarizing what we have said regarding the results of studying; to enter the Tao is difficult even though sitting still; so, how can we expect to gain entry easily while walking or standing? But if one’s functioning of study were masterfully ripened, even though a thousand sages appeared in front of him, he would not even move an inch. And if ten-thousand devils appeared he would not even look.
Why is impossible to study while moving or sitting? It is just like one who is revenging his enemy; whether walking, stilled, lying down, eating, or all the various movements, he cannot forget his enemy for one moment. The same is true when one loves somebody.
Hatred and love are both inside-the-mind-matters; even though such things are great, why are they not for someone who is studying?
If you uphold a sincere faith, Tao in the four conduct modes would not be lost.
IX. Where the True Mind Is
Student: You said.’ the true mind will be disclosed if we rest our deluded mind’. Where is the essence and functioning of the true mind right now?
Pojo: The essence of the true mind is omnipresent, as Young Ka (Yung Chia) said,
It is right here, not far away from where you are now; also, it has always been transparent; as soon as you look for it, you should know it cannot be seen.
And a sutra gives us a good explanation,
Because it has the nature of empty space, it does not move even an inch, and nothing arises nor disappears in the Tathagata-Chamber.
The Great Pop-An (Fa Yen) also shows us where the mind is,
Everywhere is the path to Bodhi;
Everything is the forest of Virtuous Merit.
The sublime functioning of the true mind is reflected according to what is perceived, as an echo is reflected from an empty valley. As Popdung said,
Now and before, without decreasing its reflection,
It is right front of these eyes.
Small pieces of clouds arise in the valley,
A lone crane is descending at the far end of the sky.
And take a look at what said old Hwa Yen from Wipu (Wei fu),
Buddha-Dharma is in your everyday life; where you walk, stay, sit, and lie down; where you drink a cup of tea, and eat a meal, where you speak, and converse with others, where you act and distinguish things; to uphold the mind and to raise a thought are again wrong.
As you see, even though the essence is omnipresent and is functioning always with you; because each one of us has different karmic conditions, each function is also appearing differently, not because there is no sublime function. If one wishes to enter the ocean of formless-doing, and to be life-and-deathless, do not let the abode of true mind’s essence and function be confused.
X. The True Mind Does Not Perish
Student; We have heard before that one who has seen the self-nature is free from birth-and-death. But all the past patriarchs have died, and people today who cultivate their Tao also experience birth-and-death. How can we be free from birth-and-death?
Pojo: Originally there is no birth-and-death. It exists because delusion exists because exists because delusion exists; like one, whose eyes are infected, seeing flowers in the space. If one who has no infection were to tell him that there is no flower in the space, he would not believe it. And after the eye infection heals, the space-flower will also automatically disappear. Now he believes there is no space-flower.
But even before that flower disappeared, the space-flower was void. It did not exist all all. But the one with an infected eye was attached to the flower.
Even though one without birth-and-death says there is no birth-and-death, the man of illusion, mistakenly believing birth-and-death, will finally realize that there is originally no birth-and-death. Even before birth-and-death were nullified by resting delusory speculation, there is really no birth-and-death, simply one’s misjudgement.
It is said in the sutra,
Good man, all indigent-beings are topsy-turvy, from the beginningless beginning;
Think four elements as their true bodies, as if one has confused the four directions.
‘Tis like infected eye seeing space-flower; as if space-flower disappears, it cannot be said there is definite place for flower to disappear.
Why? Because there is no place for it to happen. Because the indigent-being sees the illusory birth-and-death from the place, where life-and-death do not exist at all. That is why it is called ‘the wandering in the life-and-death’.
If one understood the true mind of complete enlightenment, there would not be any birth-and-death. The reason we cannot be free from birth-and-death, although we understand it, is because the cultivation of Tao (study) is not yet fully deep-ened.
Once Ambapoli asked Manjusri: ‘I have understood cleary that birth-and-death is originally no birth-and-no death, but why am I still not free from birth-and-death?
Because your strength of the mind is not fully developed.
Later, Master Jin asked Master Soo the same question.
I have understood clearly that birth is originally no-birth, but why am I still not free from birth-and-death?
Bamboo shoot will eventually become bamboo; if raft is made from bamboo shoot, could it be used right now?
Therefore, knowing birth-and-deathlessness is less than experiencing no-birth and no-death; experiencing no-birth and no-death is less than being in accord with birth-and-deathlessness; but, being in accord with birth-and-deathlessness is less than operating the life with birth-and-deathlessness.
People today do not even know birth-and-deathlessness; do you think they are able to experience it, be in accord with it, or operate their life with it?
One who misunderstands birth-and-death necessarily would not believe the birth-and-deathless dharma.
XI. Primary and Secondary Motives of the True Mind
Student: As we have mentioned, the true mind will be disclosed after the deluded mind is rested. Now, before resting the deluded mind, do we have to drop the outer delusion to be mindless, or is there another way to control the deluded mind?
Pojo: Primary and secondary motives are different things.
To rest the deluded mind with mindlessness is the primary motive.
To train yourself with all the good conducts is the secondary motive.
For example, if a bright mirror is covered with dust, you can remove the dust by hand, but still, you necessarily need a polishing cream to make it shine brightly; here, dust is defilement, handling it is a mindless-study, the polishing cream is all the good conducts, and the brightness of the mirror is the true mind.
In the Awakening of Faith:
Question: To accomplish the faithful mind effectively, what mind should we mobilize?
Answer: There are three different ways. The first, is by the straight mind, because it is thinking of Truth-as-it-is, righteously. The second is by the profound mind, because it gathers all good conducts. The third is by the great compassionate mind, because it tries to liberate all kinds of be wilderments by the indigent-being.
Question: As you mentioned moments ago, the dharma world has only one form; that is, the essence of Buddha cannot be divided. Then, instead of thinking one truth-as-it-is, why do we have to learn all kinds of good conduct?
Answer: As an analogy, even though the essence and self-nature of a great Mani Jewel has brightness and clarity, still it can have some flaws. So too, one can understand treasury self-nature, but it cannot be luminous if it is not cultivated and examined by various expedient methods. Although Truth-as-it-is of the indigent-being’s nature is originally empty and pure in its essence and self-nature, still, immeasurable dusts of bewilderment remain. Even if one is aware of Truth-as-it-is, he must integrate it for himself by expedient methods to purify the self-nature. Dirt is immeasurable and ommipresent in all dharmas. By good conduct it should be removed. If you cultivate all good dharmas, naturally one will return to the dharma of Truth-as-it-is and become one with it.
That is what Awakening of Faith shows us about the primary motive of resting the deluded mind and the secondary motive of training by good conduct. When you cultivate good conduct, you should accord with mindlessness and not attach to cause-and-effect. As soon as you attach to cause-and-effect, the ordinary-being and heaven-being will fall into the next karmic sequence which means hard to attain Truth-as-it-is, and finally will not be free from birth-and-death.
If you accord with mindlessness, immediately you will experience the Truth-as-it-is; it is the expedient of that experience and the secret way of liberation from birth-and-death which will lead you to vast virtue and merit.
As the Diamond Sutra said,
Subhuti, if any Bodhisattva makes an offering
Without abiding in any form,
Then virtue and merit will be immeasurable.
Instead, people today who practice Ch’an (Zen) and just begin to see there is an original Buddha-nature, abruptly think they are divine Truth-holders. They do not exercise good self-conduct, so is it not impossible for them to enlighten their true mind? Rather, they become lazy. If they cannot even be free from the bad ways, how can they be free from life and death? What a terrible mistake it is!
XII. Virtue and Merit of the True Mind
Student: There is no doubt that mindful cultivation will result in certain virtues and merits. Then from where did the virtue and merit come if cultivation is mindless?
Pojo: Mindful cultivation will result in the effect of the form of doing. Mindless cultivation will result in disclosing the virtue and merit of the self-nature. All these virtues and merits are originally completed, but because of delusion are not disclosed. But, if delusion were cut out, virtue and merit would naturally be disclosed. Young-Ka showed us the original perfection of virtue and merit in the self-nature by saying,
Three Bodies and Four Wisdoms are complete and fulfilled within this being:; eight karmec liberations and six magical works are carved in the bottom of mind.
A sage also said,
If one man sits quietly for even one second,
It is still superior to the merits of erecting.
As many seven-jeweled stupas as number the sands of the Ganges River;
Jeweled-stupa will finally perish to the dust,
While one thought from immaculate mind
Will attain the right Enlightenment.
The strength from the mindless study is far greater than the mindful study. When Suryo (Shui Liao) from Hong Ju (Hung Chou) went to Majo to ask, ‘What is the reason Bodhidharma, the first patriarch, came from the West?’ Instead of being given an answer, he was kicked out by Majo, but suddenly enlightened, and said: ‘What a strange thing it is!
Thousands of samadhis with immeasurable sublime truths were completely disclosed at the end of the hair.
Then, he bowed to Majo and left, which proves that virtue and merit do not come from outside but are intrinsically sufficient in our self-nature in itself. The Fourth Patriarch said to Na Young (Fa Jung),
All dharma returns to one square inch of mind, virtue and merit, as many as the sands of the Ganges River, are all in the spring of mind.
Various precepts, tranquilities, wisdoms, magics and miraculous changes are complete and not separate from your original mind.
As Patriarch mentioned, mindless virtue and merit are already great; but one who attaches to the form of virtue and merit does not mobilize this kind of faith at all.
XIII. Experience and Re-examination of the True Mind
Student: When the true mind appears, how do we know it is fully ripened and unhindered?
Pojo: While studying the Tao, one might see the true mind before him. If karmic inclinations are not diminished, while facing the mature outer perspectives, he sometimes forgets the right memory. It is like the ox which obeys well only while the shepherd is pulling him; the shepherd is not yet able to give up his whip. Only when the ox is fully trained, so that even when pulled to an open crop-field; he would not damage the crops; only then can the whip be released. At this level, the ox-herding man, using no whip, would not worry about damaging the crops.
Just so, after a man of Tao attains the true mind, first he should carefully refine and nourish his understanding so that great power and functioning will eventually result; he can then naturally help the indigent-beings.
If you want to experience and examine the true mind, first of all, imagine in front of your eyes, the outer perspectives you used to hate or delight in. If you still raise the thought of hatred or delight as usual, then the Mind of Tao is not yet mature. If the thought was not raised, then the mind of Tao is mature.
Even though you are at that level, still that is not yet the level of naturally unraised hate and delight. You should re-experience and re-examine while you deliberately face the conditions of hatred and delight.
If the mind still is not moved at all, then the mind has become unhindered just like the white ox, free in the open field, not damaging the crops. That is the reason why, from long ago, there have sometimes been ones who cursed Buddha and reviled the Patriarchs in order to bring their minds in accord with their understanding, by re-examining it under these conditions. However, some students who just began patriarchal Ch’an study, without knowing their distance from the Tao and having practiced little, imitate the way of cursing Buddha and reviling the Patriarchs which is just premature cunning.
XIV. True Mind Has no Knowledge
Student: When the true mind and deluded mind are facing the outer perspectives, how do you discriminate the true from the deluded?
Pojo: Facing the outer perspectives with a deluded mind entails having knowledge with which one either agrees and goes along with or disagrees and goes against. Then, greed, hatred, and ignorance are raised.
Since the three poisonous minds are already raised, then you would know clearly that is the deluded mind. So, A Patriarch said,
Mind disease comes from conflict,
Whether you go along or go against.
So, therefore, you should know that thinking that this is right or that this is not right is the deluded mind.
If it were the true mind it would be self-gnostic without having knowledge; which differs from vegetables and trees since it has steady thinking, is omnipresently luminous, and it sees the outer perspectives without hatred or delight but with emptiness and brightness.
Being self-gnostic without knowledge is the true mind.
In the shastra of Sung-Jo.
Holy mind is so profound that it has no form; it cannot be said, ‘it exists’. The more you use, the busier would it be; it cannot be said, ‘it does not exist’.
Because it is not non-existence, it knows without something known; because it is not non-existence, it knows without having knowledge.
Because it knows without knowledge it cannot be different from the sage-mind. Again, the deluded mind is attached to being when it is and attached to non-being when it is not. It includes either being or non-being and does not know the Golden Mean.
As Young-Ka said,
If you abandon the deluded mind, and invite the true mind, then abandonment and invitation themselves are also delicate deceits.
The student has a lingering disease in which he is deceived, thinking the thief for his son.
If that is truly the true mind, you would not fall into either Being nor into non-being, whether it is or is not, and you would always abide in the golden mean.
Let me remind you, one patriarch said thusly,
Do not chase the outer perspectives of being,
Do not abide even in the wisdom of emptiness;
If one mind is straight forward,
Everything will be completed by itself.
In Shastra of Sung-Jo,
For the sage-being, existence is not as existence;
Nonexistence is not as non-existence.
Invite neither existence nor non-existence,
Abandon neither existence nor non-existence.
It is just like sunshine staying with dust; it is omnipresent in every branch of five sense organs, it goes quietly, suddenly returns, sounds comfortable, but sometimes looks like nothing is happening; yet does everything.
But the deluded mind is as we have discussed, not the same as this.
Here, the truth and delusion are two different things; the true mind is the steady and unchangeable mind; the deluded mind is the unsteady and changeable mind.
Student: What is the steady and unchangeable mind?
Pojo: Everyone has his own divine radiance which is as transparent as empty-space and as omnipresent. For ordinary knowledge it is called reason. For the sake of activities of spirits it is expediently called the true mind.
Because there is no discrimination at all, when the true mind is faced with karmic conditions, it would not be perplexed.
Because there is no thought to eliminate or invite and since omnipresent turth whatever it faces, it would not be changed by ten-thousand outer perspectives.
It is sublime while flowing with others, but without separating from itself as it is always transparent. Looking for it, it is just yourself, yet it cannot be seen. This is True Mind.
Student: What is the unsteady and changeable mind?
Pojo: In the outer perspectives there are differences between sages and ordinary men; tained and pure, cut off and constant, theoretical and practical, birth and death, moving and still, going and coming, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, and cause and effect.
If you try to describe in detail, there can be ten-thousand different things all of which are unsteady and changeable outer perspectives.
We call it ‘deluded mind’, because unsteady and changeable outer perspectives of life-and-death are contrasted with the formersteady-and-unchangeable-true-mind. The true mind is originally (perfected) against unsteady and changeable outer perspectives. It does not create any differences.
That is why it is called the steady-and-unchangeable-true-mind.
Student: If the true mind is steady and unchangeable and does not create differences, why did Buddha tell us of cause-and-effect, good-and-bad, and karmic sequences?
Pojo: Because the deluded mind does not know various outer perspectives they create various thoughts while following the outer perspectives. Thar is why the Buddha told us the dharma of cause-and-effect; to control the deluded mind. But the true mind does not follow various outer perspectives, and does not create various thoughts. Buddha did not say about any other dharmas; where can cause-and-effect be?
Student: Then, is the true mind not created but still, steady and unchangeable?
Pojo: It is not. The discriminating function of the true mind is not created by outer perspectives, but it consorts with sublime functioning, and because of that, would not adversely affect cause-and-effect.
XV. Where the True Mind Goes
Student: One who did not understand the true mind, because he was confused about it, would create the good and the bad. Then, since he created the good, he would e born on a good path, or, because of the bad, he would be born on a bad path.
Accordingly, I would not doubt the principle of karmic sequence. But, one who understood the true mind, because he rested all deluded attitudes, and was in accord with the true mind, would not have good or bad causes. If so, then, after this corpse passes away where would this one spirit take refuge?
Pojo: Do not judge that having a place of refuge would be better than not having a place. Nor judge a man who has no place to go just like a prodigal son, by saying, ‘having no place to take refuge’. Nor judge the abidingless lonely soul among the ghosts.
Do you wish especially to have some place to take refuge?
Student: Yes, I do.
Pojo: If you completely understood the self-nature, it would not be that way. Because only indigent-beings are confused about the nature of enlightenment and they gather all the karmic cause by deluded love and thought and are born into the six branches of the karmic cycle; and will thus receive the result of the good or the bad.
For example, if you take karmic effect in heaven and of no other place. Since everything follows that karmic cause, the place in which you should be reborn is, they say, very satisfying because it is in accord with where you are.
They like the place where they were reborn and they would not like any other place. The place in which they should be reborn they call. ‘refuge’, while the place in which they should not be reborn they call. ‘somebody’s refuge’. Therefore, if you have deluded sentiment, you are creating deluded cause. If you have deluded cause, then deluded effect will result. If deluded result ensues, then there will be a refuge-place. If there is a refuge place, then you and I will be divided. If ‘I-and-you’ is divided then there is something right or wrong.
Now, the one who completely understands the true mind will accord with life-and-deathless self-enlightening-nature and will cause life-and-death-less sublime-functioning. Sublime-essence is true and perpetual, originally having no life-and-death because it follows cause-and-effect.
However, since functioning is from the essence itself, functioning itself is already essence itself. How can it have life-and-death? It is like essence of water which is the nature of moisture and its functioning is the wave. The nature of moisture is life-and-deathless, so too with the nature of moist nature of wave have life-and-deathless. How can the moist nature of wave have life-and-death? But wave cannot exist without moist nature. Therefore, wave does not have life-and-death either.
All the sages said,
Whole world is true man’s right eye.
Whole world is one church.
Because this is the place where the enlightened one can dwell and have sanctity.
Once true mind is completely understood, four different lives and six different karmic-cycles will -p353- immediately vanish; mountain, river, and, whole earth are nothing but the true mind. There is no other place to take refuge other than this true mind. Since there is no delusory cause in three different cosmos there is no delusory effect in six branches.
Since there is no delusory effect, of what refuge place can we talk or think? You and I are not separate. Since already I and you are not different, where are the right and the wrong? This ten-direction world is only one true mind. It will be one whole body. There is no other refuge place. It can be born as an expedient appearing by free-will without obstacles.
In the Transmission of the Lamp, minister On Jo(Wen Tsao) asked master Kyu Bong (Kjeu Feng),
On-jo: The one who has understood the truth, after one period of life has passed; where does he take refuge?
Kyu Bong: There is no indigent-being who does not have divine nature of enlightenment. Not even a slight difference from Buddha; if this true self-nature were awakened, originally there is no birth. Where can the refuge place be? It is not perplexed, but divinely radiant. It is wakeful awareness which has no place to come. It is wakeful awareness which has no place to come. It has no place to come, no place to go. Just know it is void and tranquil essence.
Do not confuse it with physical body. Just know divinely self-gnostic mind. Do not confuse with delusion.
Even if deluded thought arises, if you do not chase it., when the time comes, you wouldn’t be entangled with karma. Even though you are in a state of purgatory.
Whatever the direction you choose, you will be completely free either in Heaven or in Human; you will take refuge wherever you wish to be. This is where True Mind goes after physical body has passed on.