Dharma Talks

Pojo: Sublime Functioning of True Mind

 

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.

And again,

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.

Someone expressed,

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

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