Dharma Talks

 Bodhidharma: On Mind-Watching


XX. What Is True Prayer?

Prayer means always being in accordance with Truth(Dharma). The essential meaning of doing-prayer can be understood by the action itself. Although it may be of changing appearance, still, the essential meaning cannot be discarded. But, the doing-prayer has what is apparently exposed and what is hidden.

If one understood this, he might be in accord with the dharma.

Generally speaking, prayer means; first respecting highly; second, kneeling down in submission. In this case if one respects the true self-nature, and if unenlightened darkness has knelt down in submission, then it can be called prayer.

Since they respect, they do not humiliate. Since it knelt down, it cannot be negligent. If sinful thought permanently vanishes and good thought steadily stays, then, even though it is not seen from the outside, one is continually in prayer. What is appearently exposed is the physical appearance when they bow in respect. In order to submit their minds and humble themselve, the ordinary-beings kneel down in respect to on outer image of Buddha.

When it is functionig, then it is exposed(as bowing). When that functioning is eliminated, then it is hidden. Only when self-nature and physical form are in mutual accord can inside-wisdom be brightened through physical prayer.

When one is attached to only the outside form of prayers, then he will be negligent, having greed, anger, and ignorance; raises sinful thought inside and have only false prayer outside, which is not real prayer. This is deceiving the sages and fooling the wise ones. The karmic consequence of which endures!

XXI. What Is Bathing?

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