Golden Teaching of the Mind Cultivation

I. Disclose What Is True by Exposing the Sufferings

The torridness and suffering of three different cosmos are like a house on fire; how long can we tolerate such a long suffering in there?

To be free from the karmic wheel, nothing could be better than seeking Buddha (enlightening); but before you seek Buddha, you should know that is just the mind. Do not search for the mind from afar; it is not separated from this body.

Physical body is not true and is subject to birth-and-death; but True Mind is like empty space which is neither finite nor destructive. Therefore, a sutra says,

While the hundred bones will be

Smashed and scattered,

Returning to the elements of fire and wind,

This-One-Thing is eternally self-gnostic,

Engulfs Heaven and Earth.

II. Cultivation of Tao by Confused Mind Wouldn’t Be Benificial

Alas, people today have been confused for so long without understanding the mind-in-itself is true Buddha and the self-nature is real dharma(Truth). In order to search for the Truth(dharma), ones would rater seek after a variety of distant sages; or, even though seeking for Buddha, they do not watch their own mind.

If, while searching for the way of enlightenment(Buddha-Dharma), one insists on saying that Buddha is outside the mind and dharma is outside the self-nature, and then attaches to these opinions; even though one burns his body and scorches his arms for a million kalpas to express great determination or smashes his bones, sits for long periods of time without lying down to sleep, eats only one meal a day or, furthermore, studies all the sutras, etc., the result will only be tiring work for oneself and as fruitless as trying to cook rice by boiling sand.

III. Sage and Ordinary Beings Are on the Same Path; Just Enlighten a Mind

If one’s mind is enlightened(by seeing self-nature), the innumerable dharma-teaching, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, and the limitless and profound implications will follow without effort.

Therefore, the World-Honored-One looked throughout and said,

Each and every indigent-being is thoroughly

Fulfilled by wisdom and virtue of the Tathagata.

and also,

All kinds of delusory changes of each and every indigent-being have directly come from Tathagata’s complete enlightenment and sublime mind.

Because of this it is very clear that Buddha(enlightenment) cannot be attained separate from the mind. All past Tathagatas were the ones who have enlightened just the mind. The present sages and wise-ones are those who have already perfected the mind-cultivation. And, finally, the future students will also necessarily depend upon this mind(to cultivate Tao); therefore, the one who wishes to accomplish the Tao should not seek for it outside

The True Self-nature has no affection,

‘Tis originally complete and fulfilled:

Merely depart from delusory Karmic-context,

‘Tis the Buddha-as-it-is.

IV. Even Though This One Thing Is with Indigent-Being in Everyday Movement, They Do Not Understand It

Student: Since Buddha-nature is already within this body, that means it is not separate from ordinary people; why can I not see this Buddha-nature?

Would you please elucidate once more in order that I may be fully awakened?

Pojo: It is already disclosed within your body; you just do not see it. Who is, at last, this one, who, during the day feels hunger and thirst, cold and heat, anger and joy? The physical body is the temporary collation of four elements; soil, water, fire and wind. The essence is rigid and insensible. How can each of them in themselves possibly see, hear, feel, or be conscious? Seeing, hearing, feeling, and being-conscious, though, are themselves certainly your Buddha-nature. This is the reason Yim Je(Lin Chi) said,

The four elements of this corpse

Is not able to talk and listen to dharma,

Empty space is not able

To talk and listen to dharma.

In front of your eye

It is alone and bright, of itself;

Without having any kind of possible form,

Yet talks and listens to dharma.

This, not having-any-kind-of-form, is the seal of all Buddha-Dharma(Truth-as-it-is) and, also, your original mind.

V. The Ancient Sages Clearly Proved It

Since Buddha-nature is evidently present before you, why do you have to seek it outside? I am afraid you would not believe this; I would like to show you a couple of ancient cases, so listen carefully and nullify your doubt.

Once upon a time there was a king who believed in Outsiders-Dharma(heterodoxy), and he asked the Venerable Bharati:

King: What is the Buddha?

Bharati: Seeing the self-nature is Buddha.

King: Did you see the self-nature?

Bharati: I saw the Buddha-nature.

King: Where does the self-nature abide?

Bharati: Self-nature abides where it functions.

King: What kind of functioning is it? And by what reason can I not see it right now?

Bharati: Even though it is apparently functioning right now, only King, yourself does not see it.

King: Do I have that too?

Bharat: When you are in functioning, not a thing is not with you. But, if you are not in functioning it is not easy to see even your own body.

King: When it is functioning, in how many places can it act?

Bharati: When it acts, it can be done through eight different places.

King: Would you explicate those eight different disclosures.

Bharati: 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 eyes it is called seeing, in the ears it is called hearing, in the nose it is called smelling, or it is called speaking with the tongue, Grabbing things with hands, and taking strides with the legs; when it is spread out everywhere it wraps round the world as many times as there are sands of the Ganges, and when most concentrated cannot even fill a speck of dust. The one who understands calls this Buddha-nature. But, one who dose not understand calls this either soul or spiritual entity.

After hearing this, the king’s mind was opened. Here is another case. One man asked the Venerable Gui Jong(Kuie Tsung):

Student: What is the Buddha?

Gui Jong: I would like to tell you, but I am afraid you would not believe it.

Student: Whatever you say should be rectifiable, how dare I try not to believe it?

Gui Jong: You are the one who Buddha is.

Student: How should I uphold it?

Gui Jong: When eyes are irritated, empty space-flowers are pouring down hither-and-thither.

This man then was awakened by this.

You could actually travel hand-in-hand with all the ancient sages by understanding and believing this Kong-an which will help you to understand how they achieved and were accorded their enlightenment.

VI. Cultivating Should Be Followed after Enlightening: the Miraculous Work Cannot Emerge Immediately

Student: You said you saw the self-nature. If one has really seen the self-nature, he is already a sage who should perform miraculous work, unlike the ordinary people. Why cannot students today(mind-cultivators) perform those miraculous work?

Pojo: Do not speak so ludicrously with little care. If you do not make clear the distinction between right and wrong, then you will be the deluded and the confused one.

Most people talk about the truth by mouth but in their mind they have retreated from it and have said, ‘I am not qualified’; that is the same mistake you are making now.

Learning the Way without understanding initial and final later matters clearly, or talking about what is true without understanding both the fundamental and conclusive matter; these are called delusory thoughts, which cannot be called cultivation.

This not only persecutes oneself but also harms others.

Should not one be careful?

There are so many gateways to the Tao, but essentially they can be spoken of as sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation.

Even though it has been said that sudden enlightenment with sudden cultivation is the way of awakening by only the highest minded, in fact, this can encompass the past fruits that they have been enlightened up to this lifetime and at certain chance moments. If they are awakened totally, then it should be said that we are talking about one’s mind which was suddenly enlightened before and cultivated later.

If so, these two, the sudden and gradual gateways are each and every sage’s pathway; that is, all sages have been enlightened first and cultivated themselves later to attain the Tao.

That miraculous work should naturally emerge with careful and re-examined cultivation after the enlightenment; it cannot emerge immediately after enlightenment.

A sutra says,

Although in truth, one has been purified by sudden enlightenment, still in a practical sense, no thing can be refined immediately. Therefore, one should coherently cultivate himself one by one.

And, Kyu Bong(Kuie Feng) defined the relation-ship between sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation.

Even though we know the frozen lake consists of water, it will melt only by the power of the sun’s shine; and even though we know that ordinary beings, themselves, are originally Buddha; still it has to be integrated and practiced by the power of what is true; when ice is melted, water will flow and wet everything by natural application. If deluded mind has diminished, mind will be divine and bright of itself and will disclose the functioning with radiance and luminosity.

For this reason the real miraculous work will not emerge by one or two day’s endeavor; rather will emerge by gradual re-examination and practice.

Furthermore, the real miraculous work is an apparitional matter for the truly enlightened man and a peripheral matter for the sages. Even though they can do it, they have no concern for the practice. Only ignorant people carelessly say, ‘if one is enlightened in one thought, immediately he should be able to produce unlimited and profound functions of miraculous work’. These are confused ones who cannot distinguish the fundamentals from the conclusive matters (Without knowing what comes first, what goes last, and what is beginning and what is final, if one is looking for Buddha-Tao..……) ; it is like trying to cover up the round hole with a square peg.

VII. Enlighten Initially and Cultivate Gradually

Student: If enlightenment is sudden in its nature, why do we have to cultivate gradually, or, if cultivation is the gradual cultivation in it’s nature, how can we talk about sudden enlightenment? Would you please elucidate further what both sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation are!

Pojo: It is called sudden enlightenment; for, when the ordinary being was confused; four elements were believed as body, and delusion was believed as mind.

Without understanding self-nature is true Dharma-body, and without understanding divinely self-gnostic perception is the true Buddha, he travels around to seek the Buddha outside the mind.

But by suddenly encountering the Master-Mentor who can show the right door, in a flash you would turn your mind and see original self-nature: for, this self-nature itself does not have bewilderment is originally fulfilled. This is nothing different from all the Buddhas’; hence it is called sudden enlightenment.

It is called Gradual Cultivation; for, even though it is understood that original self-nature is not different from the Buddha, habitual tendencies from beginningless beginning cannot be easily dropped right away.

That is the reason to cultivate after the enlightenment, to refine and re-examine until able to conceive the divine embryo; doing this for a long time, one might become a sage.

It is as if a new born baby had come with all the organs already fulfilled, complete and normal; still, the motivity is not fully developed yet, and will require a long period of time to mature.

VIII. To Look for an Expedient for Awakening is Wrong

Student: By what kind of expedient can we reflect on ourselves to suddenly enlighten the self-nature?

Pojo: It is already your own mind. What other expedient do you need? If you create an expedient to know your mind, it is like someone who wishing to see his eyes again, complains that he does not have eyes, because he cannot see his own eyes. But, already it is his eyes. How else could he see but with his own eyes?

If you see that your eyes have never been removed, that is seeing your eyes. Again, there is not even a mind that wants to see, so how can there be a thought of not seeing?

Just so, the divine-self-gnostic-perception is already your own mind.

Again, how can you possibly want to perceive(your mind) again?

Although you want to perceive(the mind),

Yet it will never be perceived.

While comprehending what is not-to-be-perceived

Suddenly this is the seeing Self-nature.

IX. Beholding Directly the Empty, Tranquil, and Divine Self-Gnostic Perception

Student: For the highest minded one, he will be awakened immediately upon hearing; but, for the middle and lower minded ones there are still some doubts. Would you reveal to us an expedient by which the confused one can be awakened?

Pojo: Truth (Tao) has nothing to do wishing to be awakened, caused from confusion. Just listen carefully to what I am about to speak:

Each and every dharma is like a dream, and,

Like an apparition;

Therefore, deluded mind is originally tranquil, and

Inexhaustable outer perspective is originally empty.

Where all dharma is empty without exception, this divinely self-gnostic wisdom is perplexed. This empty, tranquil, and divine-self-gnostic mind is your original face which is the dharma-seal secretly transmitted among the Buddhas, Patriarchs, and all the other sages throughout the three different cosmos.

If this mind were awakened, that means, without using the intermediate steps, you will directly go up to Buddha’s level, and your every step will transcend the three different cosmos and will return -p189- you to your own home by completely nullifying all doubts.

Abruptly you will become a teacher of Heaven and Earth and you will be most fulfilled with both beneficial compassion and wisdom. It is like being offered thousands and thousands of gold coins everyday from Heaven and Earth, with yet, still more to come.

Also, you can be called,

‘one-who-has-completed the greatest work for mankind.

X. Directly Pointing Out that the Humman Mind Is What Buddha Is

Student: In what of my activities is the mind empty and tranquil as well as divinely self-gnostic?

Pojo: Presently the questioning one is the empty and tranquil as will as divinely self-gnostic mind. Why are you still looking outside instead of reflecting upon yourself?

I will point out your original mind in your activities so that you may be awakened right away. Listen carefuly with an open mind.

From morning ’til night, all day long,

You are seeing, hearing, laughing, and talking,

You are being angered or being pleased,

Insisting that

You are right or criticizing

That something is wrong, etc.;

You are doing all different kinds of activities;

Now tell me, at last, what drives you?

If you said, this physical body drives it, then why, for one who are already died though not yet decomposed, can his eye not see it, can his ear not hear it, can his nose not smell it, can his tongue not talk, can his body not move, can his hand not grab, and can his legs not take strides?

It is obvious that whatever is seeing, whatever is hearing, whatever is moving must be your mind as-it-is; not your physical body.

The nature of the four elements in this(physical) body is void like a shadow in the mirror and like a moon in the water.

How can these four elements possibly be able to always know clearly and, without confusion, feel brilliantly, performing as many wonderful functionings as number of the sands of the River Ganges? Because of that it is said,

Miraculous work and the wonderful functioning,

Are not different from drinking water or

Striking the match.

XI. Directly Pointing Out the Entrance by Which Avalokita(Perceiving the Sound) Was Enlightened

Pojo: There are many ways to the truth; here I will let you return to the origin by showing you one entrance. Are you hearing the sound of crows and magpies?

Student: Yes, I am hearing.

Pojo: Go back to the listener and hear, too, of your nature of hearing. Are there various sounds there?

Student: Here there are not a variety of sounds nor distinctions at all.

Pojo: Wonderful. This is the entrance of Avalokita’s (perceiving the sound) way of Truth. Let me ask you again, when you said, ‘there are not a variety of sounds nor distinctions at all,’ if there was already no thing there at all, at that time, don’t you mean it became an empty space(empty and void)?

Student: It is originally not even empty, rather it is bright and clear; it has never been perplexed.

Pojo: What is the essence of what is not empty?

Student: Since it is formless and invisible; it cannot be attained by word.

Pojo: This is the life of all Buddhas and Patriarchs Do not carry any further doubt. If this is formless and invisible, can it be big or small? If there is neither big nor small, does it have boundary or limit? Because there is neither boundary nor limit, there is neither inside nor outside. Because of neither inside nor outside, there is neither farther away nor nearby. Because there is neither farther away nor nearby, there is neither you nor I. If there is neither you nor I, there should be neither going nor coming. If there is neither going nor coming, there is neither birth nor death. If there is neither birth nor death, there should be neither past nor present. If there is neither past nor present, there should be neither confusion nor enlightenment. If there is neither confusion nor enlightenment, there should be neither ordinary-being nor the sage. If there is neither ordinary-being nor sage, there should be neither impurities nor purities. If there are neither impurities nor purities, there should be neither right nor wrong. If there is neither right nor wrong, it is possible to grasp this neither by names nor by words.

If these things already do not exist at all, then every sense organ and object of sense perception, and, furthermore, each and every delusion, and various forms, names, and words are also unattainable; is it not originally empty and tranquil and is there no thing originally? -p197-

However, where all dharmas are void, the divinely self-gnostic faculty itself is not perplexed at all. Because it is different from inorganic material, self-nature itself is being divinely gnostic which is already your empty, tranquil, and divine self-gnostic faculty and your pure mind in itself.

This pure, empty and tranquil mind is the same as the very pure and luminous Buddha’s mind from past, present and future; it is also the fountain of indigent-being’s enlightening nature. If one is awakened by this and upholds it, then he is sitting in Oneness-as-it-is which is the highest immovable Nirvanic Stage. But, it one is confused and turns away from this, then he will fall into the six sense-realms and will travel around for several kalpas. For this reason it was said that,

When one mind is confused follows

To the six sense-realms,

It is called ‘gone’ or ‘moved’.

When one mind is recovered by Understanding

The Dharma world, it is called ‘come’ or ‘still’.

The names, ‘confusion‘ and ‘enlightenment‘ are different but the origin is the same. It is said, Dharma is the indigent-being’s mind. This void and tranquil mind cannot be increased in the sage and nor decreased in the ordinary-being. It is also said,

Even in the wisdom of the sages,

It is not beaming;

Hidden in the ordinary being’s mind

It is not perplexed either.

Since it cannot be increased in the sage nor decreased in the ordinary-being, how can it possibly be different from Buddhas and Patriarchs? The only difference is that ordinary-beings oreserve the dead reality in their thoughts.

XII. Cultivate Yourself

If you have become convinced in faith, you might be able to suddenly rest your doubt. Also, if you have determined will and truly raise righteous comprehension, then you will directly taste and approve that level by yourself. This is the right place to be enlightened for the truthful student; there would be no further caste or priorities. Because of this it is called Sudden and also said,

By the good motive of faith when all the virtue and merit of Buddhas will accord with yours without the slightest difference;

At last, you will accomplish the ultimate and true faith itself.

XIII. Re-explanation of Gradual Cultivation after Enlightenment

Student: One already enlightened to the truth and since there are no castes or priorities, why should one need to cultivate gradually in order to reach that same goal?

Pojo: I have already explained explicitly but you have not yet broken through the confusion. It is not difficult to explain again. Just listen very carefully with an open mind.

From the beginningless beginning to now, ordinary-beings have wandered in five karmic realms; Hell, Asura, Animal, Human and Heaven during the time of birth-coming and death-going they have firmly attached to the form of the ‘I’ and have molded the self-nature by converted delusion and habitual unenlightened darkness. Even though one has realized that our self-nature is originally void and tranquil and nothing different from Buddhas, still, the old habit is extremely difficult to nullify immediately.

Therefore when they are faced with progressive and regressive situation, the anger-pleasure and right-wrong will arise and disappear haphazardly. So, the rough and delicate bewilderments are not different, but if one does not re-examine them with wisdom, how can he possibly eliminate the habitual darkness and attain the Great Calm-and-Rest?

According to the old saying,

Enlightenment itself, when it is completed suddenly is the same as the Buddha’s, but, habitual tendencies from several lifetimes are still deeply congested.

Or again,

Wind has ceased, waves still climbing over,

Truth came before, delusion still assaults.

Also, the Venerable Master Chong Ko (Ta Hui Tsung Kao) said,

Some brilliant ones might be enlightened without putting in great endeavor and give up further cultivation, raising a thought, saying, ‘it is easy’; suddenly they return to the land of Karmic-wheel, as thay were wandering days and months after.

How possibly can anyone overlook their cultivation after only the initial glimpse of awakening?

Therefore, after the awakening you should care-fully re-examine and study it for a long time. And you should not chase delusion whenever it arises.

The gradual decrease of delusion will lead you to the time where there is no more delusion; then, it will become perfect. This is the reason all the wise sages have practiced the ox-herding (cultivation) after enlightenment.

We are discussing the later cultivation; since the nature of delusions is originally void, and the nature of the mind, itself, is originally pure, severing the evil-doing is to have nothing to sever, and practicing the good is to have nothing to practice. Now it can be called true severing and true practice. This is the reason it has been said,

Each and every cultivation is completely rooted in no-mindedness.

Kyu Bong (Kuei Feng) made a clear distinction of primary-enlightenment before cultivation:

The nature of sudden enlightenment originally has no defilement; and the self-gnostic-nature without be-wilderment is originally completed: if one practices by this understanding, it is called the highest vehicle meditation (Son). It is also called Tathagata’s immaculate Meditation.

Cultivating one thought after another will, without a doubt, result in one hundred-thousand samadhis, which is the same dharma that has been transmitted since Bodhidharma.

After sudden enlightenment, one should cultivate oneself gradually; the relationship between these is like two wheels of a vehicle, one cannot exist without the other.

Some people insist that mind cultivation could be best accomplished by immovable sitting; by controlling body and mind, like a stone and a weed; they call this cultivating the mind. But this is a very wrong concept, and they do not understand the fact that the nature of the good and the bad is originally void. Therefore, it is said,

Sravakas try to cut out their confusion in every thought.

But the mind which is trying to cut is a thief.

Killing, stealing, adultery, and deluded speaking are raised from our self-nature. As long as you contemplate this rising with great awareness, then rising is not the rising since the one in itself who raises a thought is already void-and-tranquil. What else can you cut? Therefore it has been said:

Do not be afraid of the coming of delusion,

Rather be alert for your tardiness of awakening.

And further said,

Awaken as soon as thought comes;

As soon as awakened, immediately no thing remains.

Therefore, for the enlightened man, all various unnatural bewilderments become the most marvelous dessert.

As long as the confusion is rootless, the three-empty-space-flowered-worlds are like smoke before the wind and the illusory six sense-roots are like the melting ice in hot water.

If you cultivate and contemplate every thought in this way without negligence, while upholding serenity and wisdom equally, then like and dislike will finally be diminished, and instead the compassionate wisdom will be naturally augmented. And also, the sins and karma-chamber will vanish, re-placed by the steady and consistent appearance of virtue, merit, and spiritual exercise. When bewilderments have ended, birth-and-death will come to an end.

If even a tiny bit of bewilderment is permanently cut off and the great wisdom of fulfilled awakening is alone bright, then immediately a thousand-billion bodies will be manifested according to each and every character of the roots in all of the world through all of the ten directions.

Like the moon shining the middle of the sky and appearing in each and every pond, immeasurable applications will follow each and every indigent-being. Thus we call him who liberates all indigent-beings equally, with gladness and without worry, the Great-Enlightened-World-Honored-One.

XIV. Exposing the True Serenity (samadhi) and Wisdom (prajna)

Student: I am still not sure of your explanation of the way we can uphold serenity and wisdom equally in order to cultivate gradually after enlightenment. Would you expound further in detail how to operate upon my ignorance and to enter the Nirvanic gate?

Pojo: If you are concerned about the dharma and its meaning, the entrances to the truth can number one-thousand; but, those are either serenity or wisdom. Concerning the most central ones, they can be summarized as belonging to the categories of either essence or function of the self-nature; which is, as we have said previously, ‘the void-and-tranquil and divinely self-gnostic faculty.

Serenity (samadhi) is the essence; wisdom(prajna) is the function; but, the functioning is of essence. Therefore, wisdom is not separated from serenity and essence is of functioning; therefore, serenity is not separated from wisdom. Since serenity as-it-is, is wisdom itself, therefore, it is tranquil and ceaselessly gnostic. And the wisdom as it is, is the serenity itself, therefore, it is gnostic and ceaselessly tranquil. Our teacher from Cho gye said (Sixth Patriarch).

Having no entanglement in the foundation of mind,

Is the serenity of self-nature. having no ignorance in the foundation of mind, is the wisdom of self-nature.

If one has awakened to this point and understood without entanglement; and when the veiling and the luminosity are not dual, then this means the suddenly enlightened one exercises both serenity and wisdom at the same time.

Some insist that,

First of all, entangled mind should be managed by perfect quiescence; then, chaotic mind should be managed by vigilant awareness, and that by these first and latter managements, one will equally control the entanglement and chaos and enter into the tranquility.

This means that one is doing what has been done by the lower minded one who is gradually awakened.

Although one is mentioning equal control of entanglement and chaos, one is already mistaken in trying to cultivate his mind by being quiescent. How can he be called a master who is freely cultivating both without separation from the original tranquility and from the original divinely self-gnostic nature? Once more, the Sixth Patriarch said:

Self-awakened and self cultivated faculties

Are far away from the subject of argument;

Who argues before and after

Is just confused one.

At the Masters’ level, upholding serenity and wisdom equally have nothing to do with great effort; originally he has no form of doing and no further achievements required.

His seeing the colors and hearing the sounds are formless doing as are his dressing, eating food, defecating and urinating; talking with someone is formless doing and furthermore, so are taking a walk, stopping, sitting, lying down, speaking, being silent, being joyful or angry-all are always the same. It is like an empty boat which when on top of the wave is higher but then sinks lower; like water passing through the mountain valley, sometimes straight and sometimes meandering in its course; or like from one thought to the next without perceptions.

Today he is free; and tomorrow too, free as a lark. No matter what karmic object comes, he accords without hindrance, and about the good and the bad, neither does he practice nor, does he discount them. He is beyond right or wrong. He has perfected seeing and hearing.

Since there is not even a speck of dust(to oppose), why should we put in such effort to be separate from dust; since there is not a thought from which you can raise delusory feeling, why should we eagerly try to nullify mental attachment in general?

While self-reflective re-examination is not steady and mind is still not settled, various obstacles are thick and habitual tendency is heavy; yet the power of the unenlightened mind is great. One for whom the mind is not comfortable because the power of wisdom is still weak, and while facing a situation of good or bad, will easily cling to either noisy or calm outside conditions; there is, for him, a way to study(the mind) to rid himself of these collections of perspectives. Here is an old saying:

When the six sense roots collect the outer perspectives

And the mind does not chase the collection of those perspectives;

That is the serenity.

When the mind and outer perspectives are both void, it is luminously radiant without confusion;

That is the wisdom.

Although this is the form-pursuers’ door of serenity and wisdom; or rather, the lower-minded activities from the gradual school, it is very necessary to be utilized for the purpose of mind cultivation.

First, if the mind is entangled heavily, calm your chaos by utilizing your serenity appropriately. Do not let the mind chase the collection of outer perspectives; instead, let it be in accord with the original nature of tranquility.

Second, if the mind is often sleepy, discover what is true by utilizing your wisdom, contemplate what is empty and let the luminous radiance without confusion be in accord with the original self-gnostic nature (without learning).

By utilizing serenity, calm your chaotic thoughts, and by utilizing wisdom, awaken from your Senseless Blankness. After finishing all tasks of destroying both the noise and the calm, you will be one with originality, and, even if you are faced with the outer perspectives, from one thought to the next you will be one with Tao. If one freely exercises both, he will be named non-doer. Thus, this is the one who saw the Buddha-nature and who upholds serenity and wisdom equally.

XV. Mutual Exposition of the Serenity and Wisdom

Question: According to your conclusion, there are two cultivating doors after enlightenment by which to concurrently uphold serenity and wisdom; one is self-gnostic-nature door of serenity and wisdom, the other is form-pursuers’ door.

1. Of the Self-gnostic-nature door it is said:

Free and still; it is originally doingless, but is gnostic of itself; since there is not even a speck of dust to oppose, why should we put in such effort to be separated from dust; since there is not a thought from which you can raise delusory feeling, why should we eagerly try to remove mental attachment?

So we can say,

This is what the suddenly enlightened man

Upholds his serenity and wisdom concurrently,

Without being separated from self-nature.

2. Of the form-pursuers’ door it is said:

Calm your chaos appropriately,

Discover what is true;

Contemplate what is empty,

By concurrently controlling chaos and sleepiness,

Until the level of doinglessness is reached.

So we can say,

This is the gradual form-pursuers’ door which

Is for the inferior-minded activities of

Controlling chaos and sleepiness.

But still, some doubt about these two doors of serenity-and-wisdom remains.

If this is what has to be done by everyone, which door should be primary; first to the self-gnostic-nature door of the serenity and wisdom followed by the form-pursuers’ door, or going first to the form-pursuers’ door to control sleepiness and chaos followed by the self-gnostic-nature door?

Suppose one has to depend upon the serenity and wisdom of the self-gnostic-nature itself is already free in its tranquil intellect and there should not be any further work to do.

On the other hand, why should one need to uphold serenity and wisdom by the form-pursuers’ door?

Wouldn’t it be just like having carved white jade by which the beauty of jade would be ruined?

Suppose one has to go to the self-gnostic-nature door after accomplishing definite goals utilizing the form-pursuers’ door of serenity and wisdom. That means this is the gradual way of mind cultivation-inferior-minded. How can it possibly be said, ‘the one from the path of sudden-enlightenment should be awakened before cultivation by the formless study?’

Student: If both are concurrent without occurring before and after and since the serenity and wisdom of both the gradual and the sudden are distinctly different, how can it be accomplished concurrently? On the one hand the man from the sudden-enlightened path should be free from studying because he relies on the self-gnostic-nature. On the other hand the inferior-minded person, by relying on the form-pursuers’ door, should cultivate himself eagerly to be improved.

Those of both paths are distinctly different; there are those of the sudden, while the others are of the gradual. Those of the prior are superior while the latter are inferior. How can you explain, then, their being together in the sense of the path of cultivation-after-enlightenment?

Pojo: I have already explained to you clearly: you, yourself raise the doubt. Just understand the meaning and do not follow the words and everything will be clear without argument. According to what we have seen of both doors, one who practices self-gnostic-nature of serenity and wisdom depends upon the sudden enlightenment path by formless examination. One who practices serenity and wisdom at the sudden enlightenment door, utilizing effortless effort and practicing serenity and wisdom together without separation in perfect quiescence, cultivates his own self-nature and attains Buddha Tao by himself.

The ones who practice serenity and wisdom through (compared to those above) the form-pursuers’ door gradually cultivate before they become enlightened which is very inferior-minded: practicing the riddance of outer perspective from one thought to the next by trying to cut out confusion and enter the stillness.

The activities of both, the sudden and gradual, are very different and shouldn’t be overlooked.

However, the reason, in the cultivation-after-enlightenment-path, that they utilize the form-pursuers’ expedient methods of cultivation is not because they totally depend on inferior-minded activities but rather choose these expedients as temporary paths to traverse and as rest spots. Why? Because even on the path of sudden enlightenment there are also superior and inferior-minded ones, And so, one behavior is not indicative of the wholeness of one’s enlightenment.

If one’s bewilderment is not heavily coated and body and mind are easy-joyful, then, when facing the good or the bad, one is obstructed by neither the good nor the bad; also, the eight fundamental vices and three faculties of perception are already tranquil. One is able to practice the serenity and wisdom of self-gnostic-nature freely and concurrently, because his nature is divinely true and doing-less. Either moving or resting he is always in serenity(ch’an), having accomplished the nature-as-it-is. Why is it necessary for him to do the form-pursuers’ expedient method of cultivation? Do not search for the remedy without the disease.

Even though one is already suddenly awakened, if his bewilderment is heavily coated and his habitual inclinations are strong and rigid, when facing the outer perspectives, from one thought to the next, he creates delusory opinions. When facing external karmic relations from one thought to the next, one creates the opposed relativities and, getting lost in the sleepiness and chaos, he is obscuring luminous radiance of self-gnostic quiescence. Such a one should depend on the serenity and wisdom of the form-pursuers’ door to cultivate himself by that expedient method and control himself from sleepiness and chaos in order to be one with the non-doer.

Even though he utilizes the expedient method to control his habitual inclinations; and, because it was suddenly awakened before that the nature of mind in itself is originally pure and the nature of bewilderment is originally empty, he wouldn’t be deceived by the path of the inferior-minded, defiled cultivation.

Fir what reason? Generally speaking, cultivating before awakening, even though one studies hard in every thought without forgetting, still whatever one faces(outer perspectives) one would wonder about and thus find it impossible to be obstruction-less. It is just like a heavy weight on his chest. Terrible anxiety is hanging around in front of his eyes. Only after a long period of time has passed and great practice has ripened, will one’s body and mind’s bewilderment be eased. Even though he becomes easy now, still the roots of the wondering are ceaseless. It is as if the wild bushes were compressed by stone; it is still not completely free from the life-and-death boundary. Because of this all sages say,

Cultivation-before-awakening is not real cultivation.

For the one who is awakened, in spite of having expedient methods of cultivation, in each and every thought, he does not have wondering; because of that, he cannot be defiled. When days and months have passed, he will naturally be unified to the divinely true and sublime nature, and is gnostic of himself; free and still. In every thought he might encounter the collection of outer perspectives but, even so, he will cut out all bewilderments permanently without separating from self-nature and uphold the serenity and wisdom concurrently. He will finally attain the annutarasamyaksambodhi and thus be neither undifferentiatingly nor differentiatingly at the level of the superior-minded.

The serenity and wisdom in the form-pursuers’ door is still for the gradual-cultvators’ activities; but, for the masters’ level it is the same as the refining of gold from its raw are form.

If one understands this meaning, he wouldn’t be confused as to whether or not the two doors of serenity and wisdom are different.

XVI. Conclusion of Encouraging the Cultivation

I want mind-cultivators to review this deep meaning and not retreat by thwarting doubt. How can one give up this way if he is looking for the highest Buddha Tao with great determination.

I sincerely ask that you not to become attached to the word; just understand the essential meaning and let each and every essence return to the origin of the self. When it does finally accord with the fundamentals of the Teaching, then the wisdom-without-teacher will naturally be revealed Trueness-as-it-is will be bright and will not be obscure, and you will not depend on any other enlightened one to accomplish your wisdom-body itself.

This is the most sublime wisdom which every-body has, but of which only the superior-mahayana-minded who have planted the seed of Prajna in the formerlife can raise the right faith(belief). (Others) do not just disbelieve; in addition, they actually humiliate which will result in their going into the Exitless Hell.

But, even if they don’t believe it, if they keep the connection to the Tao even by only having just caught wind of it for a second, their virtue and merit will be immeasurable. The Gateway to the Mind-Only said,

Though they wouldn’t believe by hearing, still the seed of Buddha will be produced by them.

Though they didn’t accomplish by learning, their for-tunes are more than the fortunes of human beings and heaven-being. So, still their spirtual cause to attain Buddhahood will not be lost.

Considering our past life-cycle of karma, for several thousand kalpas, how long have we suffered and fallen into the Lightless-hell and Exitless-hell? On the other hand, how often have we tried to accomplish Buddha-Tao but did not have a chance to meet a helpful wise friend; but, instead, caused various bad karmic power and wandered around ignorantly without being awakened by this friend?

Oh, what a miserable thing it would be to have happen! In no way could this be allowed to be repeated!

What was the real cause for our being born now as a human-being and the greatest-being in the world to have a chance to uphold the right way of cultivation? It is as rare as a blind turtle(who just by accident) met a floating board in the ocean, or a mustard seed (which, coincidentally) was pierced through by a tiny needle dropped from heaven. There are, by no means, enough words to express this luck.

If we constantly delay by raising any thought of retreating or thought of tardiness, then in the blink of an eye we will lose this life and fall into a bad path and receive all sufferings. Even if we try to listen, praise Buddha-Dharma, believe it, comprehend it and uphold it in order to be free from sufferings, would it still be possible? At the final moment; even though you regret it, it is already too late to be beneficial.

Do not be tardy as a Tao-cultivation! Do not attach to greediness or lustfulness.

Do not forget to study as if trying to blow out a fire on your own head!

Time is incalculably fast; morning dew-like physical body, setting sun-like life of vain! Today, everything seems alive. Tomorrow, it is not guaranteed by any!

Carve these words in your heart very well!

If one utilizes the form of doing goodness to be liberated from the triple-karmic-suffering, it will result in excellent rewards and happiness, either in heaven or earth. However, what will happen if one utilizes this highest and deepest truth-door?

No matter for haw short a time one mobilizes the true faith, the virtue and merit is too great to be explained by any kind of analogy. In a sutra;

One who offers with precious-seven-jewels to the worldly indigent-beings

From three-thousand-thousand worlds and lets them be satisfied;

And further, one who liberates those indigent-beings and lets them attain four kinds of enlightenment,

Then, his virtue and merit will be immeasurable.

But, still, this is a lower virtue and merit than that attained by having thought of the right dharma (truth) for even a moment while taking a spoonful of food. Therefore, you can understand that this teaching is the highest, the most virtuous, and meritious. Also the sutra said,

One thought from immaculate mind is the temple.

Even superior to the merits of erecting as many seven-jeweled stupas as number the sands of the Ganges River.

Jeweled-Stupa wjll finally perish to the dust;

One thought from immaculate mind will attain righteous enlighement.

One who would cultivate the Tao should carve these words into his heart-mind very well and be watchful.

If you do not liberate this body in this lifetime, in which life can it be liberated? If you do not cultivate now, you will be afar for ten-thousand kalpas. Even though it is difficult, if you work hard, it will gradually be easier, and, finally your refining powers will automatically increase.

Alas! Today, after a long hunger, people received a great banquet, but, they do not know how to raise even a morsel of food to their lips; after a long disease, they finally met the doctor, yet, they do not know how to take the medicine, and they say, what should I do? what should I do?

But, what should I do for one who does nothing?

The worldly activities can be seen and the result experienced; people laud one for even one small attainment as if it were a rarity, but our teaching style of awakening mind-nature cannot be seen.

Here, word-and-utterance is for all time severed,

Thought and its adiding place are also annihilated;

It is our mind.

Therefore, Heavenly Maras (devils) and heretics cannot degrade, Indra and Brahmins and Heaven cannot praise; how possibly can ordinary unknowledgeable beings even be comparable?

Alas! How can a frog in a well acknowledge the width of blue ocean? How can baby fox understand the lion’s roar?

In the last era of the dharma, if one takes refuge in any part of the sutra, he will be able to mobilize a sincere faith; and by this, if he will actualize it, you should know that he has just restored his good ulterior motives with several Buddha for immeasurable millions of kalpas and planted all right karmic causes to produce great wisdom. You should know that he is the superior-minded one. Therefore in the Diamond Sutra it is said,

You should know that if one moilizes the faith in any part of the sutra, he already has planted all various ulterior motives to immeasurable Buddhas.

And also it said,

This was spoken for one who mobilized Mahayana mind. Also for the one who mobilized highest-vehicle mind.

I want the mind-cultivators, as truth-seekers, to not be afraid of anything. Rather, be brave, your-selves; you may not realize the good karmic connections awaiting you from your past life.

Without believing the highest Tao, in principle, if one pretends to be stupid, insists it is hard and using this excuse, does not cultivate the Tao in this life (no matter how many good roots he has created in his past lives) the good roots are now cut off and cultivating the Tao becomes more difficult and, finally further away. Now, you are where the treasure is. Do not pass by with an empty hand. Once you lose the human body, it is almost impossible to be born again with a human body for a million kalpas. Do not do it! Since you already know where the treasure is, why do you not investigate it?

Why do you denigrate yourself by saying that you are lonely and poor?

If you want to keep the treasure, drop this leather bag (corpse)!

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