2. The triple world is blazing in defilement as if it were a house on fire.

The triple world is blazing in defilement as if it were a house on fire.1 How can you bear to tarry here and complacently undergo such long suffering? If you wish to avoid wandering in samsara there is no better way than to seek Buddhahood. If you want to become a Buddha, understand that Buddha is the mind. How can you search for the mind in the far distance? It is not outside the body. The physical body is a phantom, for it is subject to birth and death; the true mind is like space, for it neither ends nor changes. Therefore it is said, “These hundred bones will crumble and return to fire and wind. But One Thing is eternally numinous and covers heaven and earth.”2
It is tragic. People have been deluded for so long. They do not recognize that their own minds are the true Buddhas. They do not recognize that their own natures are the true dharma. They want to search for the dharma, yet they still look far away for holy ones. They want to search for the Buddha, yet they will not observe their own minds. If they aspire to the path of Buddhahood while obstinately holding to their feeling that the Buddha is outside the mind or the dharma is outside the nature, then, even though they pass through kalpas as numerous as dust motes, burning their bodies, charring their arms, crushing their bones and exposing their marrow, or else write sutras with their own blood, never lying down to sleep, eating only one offering a day at the hour of the Hare [5 to 7 a.m.], or even studying through the entire tripitaka and cultivating all sorts of ascetic practices, it is like trying to make rice by boiling sand―it will only add to their tribulation.3 If they would only understand their own minds, then, without searching, approaches to dharma as numerous as the sands of the Ganges and uncountable sublime meanings would all be understood. As the World Honored One said, “I see that all sentient beings everywhere are endowed with a tathagata’s wisdom and virtue.”4He also said, “All the illusory guises in which sentient beings appear take shape in the sublime mind of the tathagata’s complete enlightenment.”5 Consequently, you should know that outside this mind there is no Buddhahood which can be attained. All the Buddhas of the past were merely persons who understood their minds. All the sages and saints of the present are likewise merely persons who have cultivated their minds. All future meditators should rely on this dharma as well. I hope that you who cultivate the path will never search outside. The nature of the mind is unstained; it is originally whole and complete in itself. If you will only leave behind false conditioning, you will be “such” like the Buddha.’

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