On Lineage

1. No Buddha-Nature Outside of the Mind

Even though in the three different cosmos there have been so many chaotic events, all will be finally concluded in just one mind.

Former and later Buddhas have transmitted the mind to the mind without depending on the written world.

Student: if we do not depend upon any written word, with what and how do we conceive the mind?

Bodhidharma: When you are asking me, that is your mind. When I am responding to you, that is my mind;1 from the ancient, beginningless time, each and every movement in all different times and places is your original mind and your original Buddha.

That is the reason it has been said, the mind in itself is Buddha in himself.

Without this mind no one could seek different Buddha; because it is impossible to find either Bodhi(the wisdom of enlightenment) or Nirvana out-side of the mind.

Our self-nature is fulfilled in truth; it is already neither cause nor effect.

Self, as it is , is its own mind; the mind in itself is this Buddha.2

And, this mind is the Nirvana which is already perfectly radiant and serenely luminous3.

Insisting that there should be Buddha or Bodhi outside of the mind would be a critical fault.

Where could both Buddha and Bodhi be?

How can empty space be held?

Empty space is just a name; no form, no size, so, impossible to hold or to drop.

As if trying to hold empty space; seeking Buddha outside of the mind would be to no avail.

Since Buddha is a product of one’s mind, how can it be possible to seek Buddha outside of the mind? Former and later Buddhas have spoken the mind only:

Only the mind is Buddha,

Only Buddha is the mind;

Buddha exists not outside of the mind,

Mind exists not outside of Buddha.

If Buddha exists outside of the mind, where can it be? if Buddha exists not outside of the mind, from where did the idea of Buddha come?

Without seeing the original mind, and by exchanging false opinions, we stick to the dead substance(Buddha’s statue), and thus become unfree beings. If you do not believe this, you are fooling yourself, which is not at all helpful. Buddha does not have any deceptions, rather, confused indigent-beings do not realize or understand the fact that one’s mind is already the Buddha.

If you see Buddha is just your mind, then do not seek Buddha outside of the mind. Buddha cannot be liberated by Buddha, and Buddha cannot be seen if sought with the kind; for, that would result only that Buddha must be outside which is caused by an ignorance, knowing not that Buddha is no different from your own mind.

And, being Buddha already, do not worship Buddhas, or being your mind, do not think of(recite) Buddhas. Buddha in itself cannot read the sutras; Buddha in itself cannot uphold the precepts(of Sangha); Buddha in itself cannot violate the precepts; Buddha in itself does not have something to uphold or violate, and Buddha in itself does not cause the good or the bad.

If you truly seek Buddha, you must just see the self- nature; which is Buddha without seeing self-nature, no matter how well you recite(think of) Buddhas, read the sutras, bow in ceremonies, and uphold precepts, still no benefit will result.

Thinking of(reciting) Buddhas will promise you a happy next life. Reading the sutras will make you wise and knowledgeable, upholding the precepts will let you be born in heaven. Helping others will result in prosperous fortune; but, Buddha cannot be seen by doing these.

If you still do not know yourself clearly, you should be awakened to the essence of life-and-death by finding and meeting a Master who already has attained a great awakening.

One cannot be called Master if he has not4 yet seen self-nature. So, even if one has studied all sections of sutra volumes, he would still, without fail, fall into the sea of life-and-death and karmic cycle in the three different cosmos, without freedom from great sufferings.

Once upon a time there was a monk5 named Son Sung(善性). And, although he had mastered all twelve sections of the sutra volumes, he had not seen self-nature, and thus, he could not be freed from his karmic chain.

And, people today believe they can be enlightened by only studying a few sutras, believe they can be enlightened!

How terribly wrong they are!6

Without understanding one’s mind, memorizing groundless phrases is useless.

To seek Buddha, see the self-nature!

Self-nature is Buddha!

Buddha is being in himself; doingless and creationless one!

Without seeing self-nature, no matter how hard you look for Buddha, day and night, it is absolutely impossible(to see).

Even though we might say there say there is originally not a thing to be attained, if you do not yet understand it, you must, with sincere effort and work, find and meet a Master to open your mind.

Life-and-death is a great puzzle. Do not spend your life in vain.

Deceiving yourself does not help you in anyway.

Even if one has jewels stored in quantity as big as a mountain or, if one has a lot of followers, these things can only be seen while eyes are alive. But, when eyes are dead; are they still possible to be seen? Therefore, it is very obvious fact that anything we do is a fleeting apparition, like a dream or a ghost. Unless you quickly find a teacher, you will waste your life meaninglessly because of this; everyone already has Buddha-nature, but unless you depend on teacher’s help, no one can acknowledge and sanction your understanding. That is why it is almost impossible to attain great understanding without a teacher.

But one, who, by his own karmic privilege, has already attained the level of understanding of a sage; he does not gave to go find a teacher. Although everyone has a Buddha-nature before birth, if there is even one tiny residue of misunderstanding remaining, he must go and meet with the teacher who will open him and cultivate his understanding.

If one understands perfectly, he might be different from ordinary ones and not have to learn. But, if, still, he cannot make a crystal clear distinction between black and white; and feigning mastery, talk about Buddha-Dharma, he is actually humiliating the Buddha and destroying the Buddha-Dharma.

Such a speech, no matter how fluidly spoken is just talk of the devil, not of Buddha.

The leader of such speech-makers is the devil’s kind. And his followers are the devil’s disciple without a doubt, they will fall into the dark sea of life-and-death under devil’s direction.

Only the people who have not seen the self-nature talk about Buddha nonsensically; and they are great sin-makers, because by deception they lead people toward devilish ways. -p37-

If one is able to speak about the twelve sections of sutra volumes perfectly, yet does not see the self-nature, then still it is the devil speaking and producing offspring of the devil, not a disciple from Buddha’s family.

Thus, if one’s understanding is not crystal clear, how can he avoid life-and-death?

Seeing the self-nature is Buddha, not seeing the self-nature is indigent-being. If you believe Buddha-nature can be attained by separating from the indigent-being’s nature, then where could the Buddha be now? The nature of indigent-being is the Buddha-nature. Buddha does not ex-ist outside of the self-nature, Buddha is the self-nature.

Without this self-nature, Buddha cannot be attained. Without this Buddha, the self-nature cannot be attained.

1 cf. Sol Bong’s edition(1968). ‘If I have no Mind, how could I respond? If you have no Mind, how could you ask? Asking to mi is your Mind’ is missing here.

2 cf. Ibid,.’Bodhi’ was used instead of ‘Buddha’.

3cf. ibid., ‘Nirvana’ was explained as ‘A complete luminosity and tranquil radiance’.

4‘If not’ is added in Sol Bong’s edition.

5 The title ‘Bhikkhsus’, monk was not here.

6 cf. Reciting→Studying


II. Confused Mind Cannot Be Free from Karmic Resrlt

Student: Is it possible to become Buddha without seeing the self-nature, if one endeavors the perfected practice of chanting, reading sutras, upholding precepts, and exercising great discipline?

Bodhidharma: It is impossible.

Student: Why is it impossible?

Bodhidharma: If one says there is some dharma to be attained, big or small, then this is the dharma of the form of doing, the dharma of the cause and effect, the dharma of the necessity of inevitable result, and the dharma of karmic result; since these dharma cannot avoid the life-and-death, at what point could the way of Buddha be attained? To attain Buddha, one must see the self-nature. Without seeing the self-nature, speaking of cause-and-effect, and those above mentioned, are all outsiders’-dharma. Buddha, himself, cannot operate outsiders’-dharma; Buddha is the non-karmic person and is without the cause-and-effect. As soon as someone says there is some dharma to be attained, big or small, then he is actually humiliating the Buddha. How can he attain Buddhahood?

Attaching to one-mind, one-functioning, one-opinion, even one-idea, results in no room for Buddha here. Buddha has nothing to uphold nor to violate. Mind-nature is originally void; there is neither pure-dharma nor impure-dharma. Nothing to be practiced, nothing to be attained, no cause and no effects.

Buddha neither upholds nor violates the precepts, neither practices the good nor causes the bad, and neither endeavors to practice nor is languid. Buddha is the one who does nothing. As soon as you raise the thought of mind abiding somewhere or attaching to something, there is no longer room for Buddha.

When Buddha is called Buddha, it is already not the Buddha.

Do not raise a thought of Buddha.

If you do not realize this at all times and places, original mind cannot be grasped.

If one continuously raises a thought of nondoingness without seeing the self-nature, he is a great sinner and of great ignorance.

Dwelling in blank-minded emptiness, blinded like a drunken man, he cannot distinguish the good from the bad.

If you want to practice the non-doing-dharma, see the self-nature first, and then rest the thoughts stemming from the outer perspectives. Before seeing the self-nature, there is no place to enlighten and no place to attain.

Someone who ignores the truth of the cause-and-effect, while causing all kinds of bad karma and demeanor, and says that, ‘everything is originally empty’, and ‘there is nothing wrong even though I do some bad things’; without fail he will enter the Exitless Hell and the Lightless Hell eternally without a hope of getting out; because of this, a wise one would not raise this kind of thought.

Student: If there is already original mind in every listinction, in every movement, and at all times, Vhy can we not see it while this physical body is abnormal?

Bodhidharma: Original mind is always appearing in front of you; but just you, yourself, do not see it.

Student: If the mind is already there where I see what is the reason I cannot see it?

Bodhidharma: Have you ever dreamed?

Student: Yes, I have.

Bodhidharma: When you had a dream, was that your own body?

Student: Yes, that was my own body.

Bodhidharma: When you are talking, distinguishing, and moving, is this different from your self or the same as your self?

Student: It is not different.

Bodhidharma: If it is already not different, then this body, as it is, is your original dharma-body. This dharma-body itself is your original mind.

This mind, from the beginningless beginning, is nothing different from what it is now; it has never been born, it has never died; never perished, never increased, never decreased; never been dirty, never been immaculate; never been good, never been bad; has never come, has never gone; was never right, never wrong; never been a man. never been a woman’s shape either; never been a monk, never been a layman; never been old, never been a young man’s shape either; neither a saint, nor ordinary being; not Buddha, nor indigent-being; has had nothing to attain, has nothing to practice. Has had no cause, no effect, no energy, no form.

It is like empty space; it cannot be held nor dropped.

Even a mountain, river or great wall cannot obstruct this; whether entering or exiting, whether coming or going, it is free and divine.

It will cross over the ocean of the life-and-death and the mountains of five skandhas; all kinds of karma cannot even imprison this dharma-body.

Such a mind is so hard to see because it is deeprooted.

The mind is different from the physical material; that is, this mind is this Buddha.

Everyone wishes to see mind; yet, already he is in the midst of this bright light; moving his arms and legs in as many ways as the sands of the Ganges River; yet, as soon as he is questioned about what it is, he is absolutely silent, like a puppet. These movements are his own actions; why can it not be known?

Buddha said,

All indigent-beings are confused and from this,

They produce their future Karma,

Falling into the ocean of the life-and-death;

They are trying to escape from it,

But, instead, are falling back in.

Why? just because the self-nature was not yet seen.

If all indigent beings are not confused, why does no one see when they are questioned?

Why can one not know the one who moves arms and legs?

Even though the words spoken by all the sages were right, still, they just are unknown.

Therefore, you should know that it is difficult to comprehend the mind; Buddha being the only one who has completed it.

No other creature, except him; no one amongst human-beings or heaven-beings can do this. If the mind were understood clearly by wisdom; it might be called,

Dharma-nature or called, Complete Liberation.

Sometimes it is called, The-Great-King-of-Freedom Buddha; Because life-and-death cannot hinder(the mind) and even all dharma cannot control it.

Sometimes it is called, The-Unthinkable-On. Sometimes it is called, The True Body-of-the-Sage. Sometimes it is called, The-Eternal-Life-Without-Death. Sometimes it is called, The-Great-Sage.13

All the differentiations made by the divine-beings are not separated from the mind in itself; the mind has immeasurable size and it’s function is limitless.

Acting with eye, it sees the color, with ear it hears the sound, with nose it smells the odors, and with tongue it distinguishes the taste; and, furthermore, all different actions are self-mind.

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

Thought and its abiding place, also annihilated;

It is our mind.

Thereafter it was said,

The Buddha’s14 acts are uncountable and

So is his wisdom.

Uncountable acts are the mind in itself.

The conscious mind is the one that discerned everything and furthermore, since the mind is formless wisdom and is limitless, each and every functioning and movement is all it’s wisdom.

Because of that it was said,

Buddha’s acts are uncountable and so is his wisdom.

All acts by the four elements are the affliction-body which is working with life-and-death. On the other hand, there is the dharma-body which always abides nowhere. That is the reason why the dharma-body of Tathagata is perpetually changeless.

To support this, in the sutra, it is said;

Indigent-being should be understood as a substance Which originally embodied Buddha-nature.15

In the case of Mahakasapa, he just achieved a realization of the self-nature and nothing else.

Original self-nature is the mind; the mind is the self-nature.16 This Buddha’s mind, the former Buddha and later Buddha, are all transmitting the same mind.

There is no Buddha to be found outside.

The confused indigent-being, without knowing his own mind is Buddha, searches outside, day and night, for the Buddha and recites(thinks of) Buddha, bowing to Buddha. But where is the Buddha? Do not produce such a thought; just know the mind.

There is other Buddha17 outside of the mind.

The Sutra says,

Whatever has a form, as a whole, is delusory.


Wherever being is, there is Buddha.

Since the mind in itself is this Buddha, do not bow to Buddha again, being already the Buddha.

Even if a Buddha or Bodhisattva were suddenly to appear, you must never bow to them, because the mind is void and serene, it originally cannot have these phenomena; if you follow what is seen, you will be immediately captivated by the devil and totally fall into the corrupted way.

If it is clear that these phantoms are raised by the mind, then there is no need to bow to them. One who bows, knows no thing. One who knows, does not bow. If you bow to them, immediately you will be captivated by the devil. I am explaining this to protect the students from such corruption.18

It is a most important thing to realize that all Buddhas,19 in their original self-nature, do not have any images. If some extraordinary outer perspectives should appear, do not try to grab it nor be afraid of it, nor raise a doubt; since mind in itself is already pure, where can that image be?

Furthermore, do not even raise a thought of respect to Heaven, Dragon, Yoksa, Goods, sovereign Sakra and Brahmin Kingetc20. Nor, be afraid of them. Your mind is originally void and serene; all appearance is delusory image; do not follow or try to grasp it.

By raising a thought of Buddha or dharma and a thought of respect toward Buddha or Bodhisattvas, you are making yourself an indigent-being.

If you want to understand clearly, just do not attach to any kind of form; there is nothing else to say.

That is the reason why sutra says,

Whatever has a form, as a whole, is delusory;

There is no definite reality; illusion does not have any definite form.

This is called the ‘dharma of transitoriness.’

Just avoid grasping the form it will be at once with the divine truth. No wonder sutra says,

Detaching from all forms, is called lhe Buddhas.

13 Names are all different but the essence is one.

14 cf. ‘Tathagata’ instead of ‘Buddha’.

15 cf. ibid., You should know that Buddha-nature is ‘originally there with us’ instead of ‘originally embodied’.

16 cf. ibid., ……’is the same’ all Buddha-mind.

17 Ibid., p.117. There is no ‘other’ Buddha.

18 cf. p.117 top-left. Instead of ‘explain’ ‘lime to prove it’ as above.

19 cf. Buddha and ‘Tathagata’.

20 ‘The form’ of the……

III. Reason Not to Respect the Buddha-Statue

Student: Why should we not bow to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas?

Boddhidharma: Through magical powers, evil spirits from heaven, such as kings of devils and Asuras, etc. disguise themselves to appear as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; they are outsiders, not the Buddhas. Since Buddha21 is your mind, do not bow to the wrong one.

What Buddha is,21 is divine self-awakening, according to different roots and different types of being; it sometimes blinks it’s eye, it sometimes raises it’s eyebrows, sometimes swings it’s legs; all these movements are the nature of divine self-awakening.

Self-nature is the mind. The Mind is Buddha. Buddha is the Way, and the Way is the Buddha. This particular word, ‘Buddha’22 is not comprehensible by indigent-being. However, the sutra says that,

Seeing the original self-nature is Buddha.22

If original self-nature is not seen, then Buddha cannot be. Even though one can talk about a thousand -p59- sutras and even more shastras, as long as self-nature is not seen, he is still an ordinary-being; that is not the dharma of Buddha.

The utmost truth is profound and impenetrable; not understood by word and impossible to be known by sutra. If original self-nature is seen, it matters not whether one is knowledgeable of letters. Divine nature, originally immaculate, cannot be tainted; seeing self-nature is immediately the Buddha. Each and every word is the functioning from the mind of the sage; but essence of the functioning is ultimately void and unaccomplished by names and utterances; so, how possibly attained by the twelve sections of sutra volumes?

Truth was, in its origin, already apprehended clearly; needing no practice nor attainment truth is neither the sound nor the color being too profound to be seen. The warmth or coolness of water can be known only to the one who drinks. Now, do not try to talk to others about this. Only Tathagata knows, human-beings and haven-beings, etc. absolutely have no way of knowing this matter and cannot realize it.

Ordinary-beings, because of their unencompassing wisdom are attached only to what appeares, without knowing the fact that their own mind is originally void and serene.

Therefore, if one attaches to phenomena of tran sitory-dharma, he naturally becomes an outsider.

If you understood that all dharma came from the mind, then you would not attach to anything. As soon as one attaches, no thing can be known.

If self-nature is seen, twelve sections of sutra volumes are unnecessary.

Thousands of sutras and even more shastras are only to explain the mind. When understanding occurs immediately, then word-dependent teaching is useless. Ultimate truth is wordless.

Teaching by word is only language,24 which is not real; truth does not name herself; whatever is named is illusory.

In a dream, you might see houses of fantasy or palaces, sometimes herds of elephants or horses, trees, forests, lakes, and even gazebos, but, do not, even in thought, become captivated by the rapture.

You should be so careful because they are creatures of delusion.

Up to the final moment of your life, if you do not chase outward forms,25 then all bewilderment will be cut off; but as soon as you raise illusory thought, you will immediately be led by the devil.26

Dharma-body is originally so pure that it has no sense-perception; only by confusion is one unknowing and unawakened.

By illusory cause-and-effect, one becomes enraptured, becomes attached, and then finally is not free.

If is never too late to awaken your original mind and body; if you realized your original mind and body, you would not be contaminated by habits.

Sometimes the sages join the ordinary way and disguise themselves in all different kinds of appearances to help all indigent-beings; no kind of karmacan hinder them; that is the reason they are called sages; free to be either progressive or regressive.

If they gad attained sagehood long before, then, having great virtuous power, even heaven and hell could not interrupt their ways and all different karma would simply follow their way.

Ordinary-beings are called ordinary-beings because they are confounded, not like sages who are bright inside and outside.

If there is any lack of confidence, do not be overcome by it; once that has happened, you will fall into the sea of birth-and-death, for which even regretting cannot help.

Even such things as poverty and suffering come from delusion. Realize the mind and awaken to it constantly. If one performs without having a thought of performance, he will immediately enter the world of Buddha’s vision.

One, who has initially awakened the mind, may still not be tranquil. For example, he might see some supernatural view in a dream, even so, he should not chase it nor lack confidence either; for everything was raised by mind which is not outside.

About the time when the remaining habitual potentialities(karmic power) have gone and self-nature of truth is fully disclosed. you may see a light which is brighter than sunshine coming to you. If you have this kind of experience, it will be an important element in becoming a Buddha. It is yours only personally and cannot be unfolded to anybody else.

Sometimes27 while you are walking, stopping, sitting, or lying down in the quiet forest, you might view, big or small, lightening, Do not talk about it with anyone and do not attach to it; it might be the light from your self-nature.

Sometimes while you are walking, stopping, sitting, or lying down at night, you might view bright-as-daylight-lightening, but, do not be surprised by it.

It may be a signal that your self-nature is getting brighter.28

Sometimes the moon and stars are so clear in your dreams, which may also be a sign that your self-mind is liberated from that phenomenal objectivity. You should not tell this to anyone either; this is your own experience. if it is so dark in your dream; just like you are travelling in the middle of the night, your mind has such a thick wall of which you should be carefully aware.

When one has seen original self-nature, there is no need to understand sutras or to recite Buddhas; learning widely to know a lot, rather than giving you some benefit, darkens your spirit.29

Various forms of teachings were set down for pointing out the mind to us; however, after the mind is seen, the written teaching is no longer worth reading. If, as an ordinary-being, you want to co-exist with sages, you should rest your karma and, for your lifetime, nourish the spirit in accordance with your own ability. The farther away you are from the truth, the more the hateful and pleasurable states arise,30 which is also self-deception without benefit. The sage is free within birth-and-death; coming and going, hiding and interrupts him; rather, he prevails31 over wicked devils.

When indigent-beings see the original self-nature, the rest of their habitual potentiality totally dissolves, until, finally, the spirit is no longer dark.

If you truly want to know Tao, do not attach to a single dharma; instead, rest your karma and nourish the spirit. When the rest of your habitual potentiality is dissolved, it will naturally be brightened, and finally, you will have no thing to study.

Since their understanding is not compatible with Buddha’s all the outsiders, no matter how hard they work to be enlightened, still go in countermotion to and far from Buddha’s blessed vision. In spite of their chanting Buddha’s blessed vision. In spite of their chanting Buddha’s name and reading the sutras with great effort, their darkened spirit cannot escape karmic result.

Buddha is a non-doer; how could he have something additional to do? What are you going to do after eagerly looking for fame and fortune?

Only the people who have not seen self-nature are reading the sutras and chanting Buddhas. They believe that long practices, such as; chanting six times a day, sitting for long periods without lying down, and learning widely to know a lot, are Buddha-dharma. But, these kinds of indigent-beings are actually humiliating the Buddha-dharma.

All the Buddhas, earlier and later, only emphasize the necessity of seeing self-nature32. The greatest sin is to not see self-nature while ignorantly saying, ‘I have attained the higher-less truth.’33

Among the great disciples of Buddha’s time, Ananda34 was the most knowledgeable35 and experienced. Budda once reprimanded him, saying,

Let all Great-Listeners36 and Outsiders try to become knowledgless.

Because the attainment of Knowledge by numerous words leads to the dharma of cause-and-effect. This is the natural Karmic cycle of indigent-beings, that they cannot avoid birth-and-death, and that goes against the Buddha-dharma; it is actually the indigent-beings who humiliate the Buddha, and, even though you kill them, it would not be any sin.37 Because of that, a sutra says, that,

Since they38 have never awakened the faithful mind, it would not be a sin to kill an evil doer who cuts the root of the good.

If one has awakened to the faithful mind, this one is abiding at the level of Buddha; without seeing the self-nature you must not humiliate another wise one at all. For, self-deception is not beneficial by any means. The good and the bad are already distinct, heaven and Hell are crystal clear right in front of your eyes.

Although falling into the dark hell caused by not having awakened faithful mind, the unwise ones can neither understand nor notice it. Why? Because Karma was impacted so heavily,40 they could not believe it. It is just like a blind man not believing in sunshine. Even if someone told him about it, still, he would not believe it; the reason is only that he does not have the eye to discriminate the sunshine from the darkness.

The unwise ones are just like this; right this minute they are being born as animal; as one of various unknown creatures or sometimes of poor and lower class beings, and cannot determine at all what they want to be; they want to exist, but cannot, they want not be exist, but must.

Even though they are in such suffering every moment, when they are questioned directly, they would rather answer by saying.

My pleasure at the present time is

No different from being in heaven.

Therefore, it is easy for us to see thar all indigent-beings do not notice nor understand their origin and instead, define their present condition as ultimate satisfaction. They are evil-beings because of heavily stored karma. By knowing that self-mind is Buddha, anyone can be Buddha, whether one shaves his head and beard or not.

However, if self-nature is not seen, even though they are shaved, they are still outsiders.

21 cf. Sol Bong, ‘Buddha is a Sanskrit word, which means the nature of Enlightenment in Chinese. And, the nature of Enlightement is devine Enlightening’.

22 Ch’an(Son) was written instead of Buddha.

24 ‘word’ became ‘language’

25 If ‘mind’ was moved even a second.

26 ‘then, devil will control everything’

27 ……’silent’ night……

28 It is about ‘to disclose’ the brightness of your mind.

29 ‘dark’→’not clear’

30 ‘It will change the human-nature’.

31 ‘The devine-being would destroy’ the devils.

32 Everything is vanish. The……

33 Instead of ‘the higher-less truth’, ‘Annuttarasamyaksambodhi’ was used.

34 The name means ‘happiness’.

35 ‘was the best disciple among Shravaka, but Buddha himself is knowledgeless……’

36 outside ‘dualistic vehicle’

37 Sin and ‘fault’

38 ‘their origin has no faith’

40 Just because their Karmic power is heavy; ‘they cannot mobilize the faith and not free……’


IV. Tao Has Nothing to Do with Being Priest or Layperson

Student: The layperson has a wife and children, so he has not yet cut out the sexual desire. How can he become Buddha?

Bodhidharm’a: I have just talked about seeing nature, not the sexual desire. If you saw the self nature, sexual desire would already be void and serene; there would be nothing to attach; even though one may still have habitual potentiality, it would not be disruptive.

For what reason?

Self-nature is originally immaculate; although buried underneath physical body which holds the five skandhas, the self-nature is originally pure and cannot be tainted.

Truth(Dharma)-body originally does not have sense-perception; not of hunger and thirst, nor of cold and heat; it gas no diseases nor sickness; is neither blessed nor loved; is of no religious sect; undergoes neither suffering nor pleasure; is neither good nor bad, not long nor short and neither strong nor weak. Therefore, originally, there is nothing to be attained but, rather, just this physical body created those conditions of hunger and thirst, cold, heat, diseases and sicknesses, etc. If those cannot deceive you anymore, then behave however you want; for, even in the midst of life-and-death, you have already attained freedom and are able to roll the Dharma-wheel just like all the sages, without having obstacles. Then there is no place which is not comfortable.

But, if mind is still lacking clarity and all kinds of outside phenomena are still barriers to you, then it means there is no way to avoid karmic result.41

However, if self-nature were seen, even the butcher could naturally attain the Buddhahood.

41 ‘Do nothing is the best. If done’, one cannot avoid……

V. Even Butcher Can Attain the Buddhahood

Student: Killing is Butchers’ job; how can they attain Buddhahood?

Bodhidharma: I have told you just to see the self-nature; not about the resulting karma; although one who saw self-nature is creating karma, still, he is different from the confused ones; that is, all variety of karma would not imprison him.

From the beginningless beginning, just because ones have not seen the self-nature, they have been falling into the hell. Because of this karma, they produced and are still rolling the birth-and-death wheel; but if original nature were enlightened, karmic power would, at last, no longer be manufactured.

Without seeing the self-nature, chanting and prayer will not prevent you from cause-and-effect. Killing is, compared to this, of no great concern. If one, by seeing self-nature, totally eliminated the confused doubt, even killing live creatures would not be disruptive to him.

Twenty eight patriarchs from India before me have only transmitted mind. My coming to this country(China) is just to point out Sudden enlightenment43 which is the dharma of Mind-is-Buddha; I am not interested in practicing the precepts, excruciating training, ascetic practices, or magical ways of entering the fire or water, standing on the tip of the swords, the eating of only one meal a day, or sitting for long periods of time without lying down.

Those who practice such are all outsiders dependent upon dharma-of-doing. Your mind is those Buddhas mind, As long as you see the divine-awakening-nature in each and movement.

All the Buddhas, former and later, have taught a Dharma-of-transmitting-the-mind and no other dharma.

By seeing this mind,44 without knowing a letter, Buddhahood can be attained.

Although working hard even until physical body becomes ashes, without knowing the divine self-awakening-nature, Buddhahood46 cannot de attained.

Buddha is called either Truth-body(Dharma-body) or the awakened-mind. This mind is formless, cause-and-effectless, muscle-and-boneless; it is just like empty space; you cannot grab it.

And, above all, it is different from material-world and different from outsiders’ belief.

Only Tathagata, one man, knows this mind; any other creatures or confused ones do not know completely.

This mind is not separate from four elements of the physical body; without this mind one who moves does not exist. This body does not have knowing, just like weeds and trees; or like rooftile this corpse itself does not have feeling and sensation; how can it move?

When the mind moves, saying, doing, seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing are all movement of the mind and movement of functioning. Because this movement is moving of the mind; moving itself is functioning. Without moving and functioning, there is no mind; and, without mind, there is no movement. Yet, what is moving is not mind; what the mind is does not move; because movement itself, does not have the mind; mind, itself does not have movement.47

Movement is not separate from mind; and mind is not separate from movement, but the mind is neither separation nor what is separated; the mind, also, is neither movement nor what is moved.

This is the function of the mind and on what the mind functions; this is the movement of the mind and what the mind has moved; this is the function of the mind itself and what the mind itself has moved.

This is the movement of the mind itself and what the mind itself has moved.

The mind is neither ‘movement’ nor’ ‘function’. The origin of functioning itself is empty; for no movement can be allowed in emptiness.

Both, movement and functioning are the mind. But no movement can be allowed in the essence of the mind. This is the reason, sutra says,

It moves without moving.

All day and night it goes and comes, but it has never gone and never come; all day and night it sees, yet it has never seen; laughed, yet has never laughed; listened, yet has never listened; knows all the time, yet has no knowledge; happy, yet has never been happy; walking around, yet it has never walked around; and finally, abiding(somewhere), yet has never abided.

That is the reason sutra says,

Word-and-utterance is for all time severed,

Thought and it’s abiding place are also annihilated.

Seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing, themselves are completely serene; how possibly dan anger, pleasure, itching, and suffering be different from the original self?48

No matter how hard you look for them,49 you can find them no-where. Therefore sutra says,

Bad karmic elements will result in srffering, and good karmic elements of karma will result in happiness.

Anger results in falling into hell, happiness results in being born in heaven; however, if one sees the empty nature of anger and happiness without having attachment,50 then, he will immediately be free from karmic power.

So once more, If one has not seen the self-nature, no matter how well one teaches and speaks of the sutras and shastras, it would not be of any help.

Although it requires endlell discussion to explain all the necessities, nevertheless, I have here simply represented what is wrong and right, although details are still not adequate.

I will tell you by gatha:

The Mind, which calls the mind, ‘the mind’

Has, no way to be seen;

When expanded it wraps round the whole world,

When contracted, it permits not even the tip of a needle.

I am just searching for the mind;

Never looked for the Buddha

Everything in the three different cosmos is void;

I truly understand know no thing exists.

If you are looking for Buddha,

Just search the mind;

This mind which you are calling ‘the mind’,

This is the Buddha which is mind itself.

Even though originally I am searching for the mind,

The mind in itself already knows it all.

If you want to search for the mind,

The nature of Buddha,

Cannot be attained outside of the mind,

As soon as a mind arises,

Sin will also arise.

Transmission Gatha to the Second Patriarch;

I came to this country

To liberate all indigent-beings by transmitting Dharma;

One flower will open five leaves,

The fruit will be ripened naturally:

43 ‘Mahayana’s’ which says Mind is Buddha.

44 ‘among Indigent-beings’

45 ‘Seeking’ Buddha was used instead of ‘Attainment’.

47 ‘Functioning is the function of the mind’ was added.

48 ‘original’ man→’wooden’ man

49 ……’if one searches the karmic-path……’

50 In Sols edition ‘着’ is missing.


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