Dharma Talks

Pojo: Sublime Functioning of True Mind


XIII. Experience and Re-examination of the True Mind

Student: When the true mind appears, how do we know it is fully ripened and unhindered?

Pojo: While studying the Tao, one might see the true mind before him. If karmic inclinations are not diminished, while facing the mature outer perspectives, he sometimes forgets the right memory. It is like the ox which obeys well only while the shepherd is pulling him; the shepherd is not yet able to give up his whip. Only when the ox is fully trained, so that even when pulled to an open crop-field; he would not damage the crops; only then can the whip be released. At this level, the ox-herding man, using no whip, would not worry about damaging the crops.

Just so, after a man of Tao attains the true mind, first he should carefully refine and nourish his understanding so that great power and functioning will eventually result; he can then naturally help the indigent-beings.

If you want to experience and examine the true mind, first of all, imagine in front of your eyes, the outer perspectives you used to hate or delight in. If you still raise the thought of hatred or delight as usual, then the Mind of Tao is not yet mature. If the thought was not raised, then the mind of Tao is mature.

Even though you are at that level, still that is not yet the level of naturally unraised hate and delight. You should re-experience and re-examine while you deliberately face the conditions of hatred and delight.

If the mind still is not moved at all, then the mind has become unhindered just like the white ox, free in the open field, not damaging the crops. That is the reason why, from long ago, there have sometimes been ones who cursed Buddha and reviled the Patriarchs in order to bring their minds in accord with their understanding, by re-examining it under these conditions. However, some students who just began patriarchal Ch'an study, without knowing their distance from the Tao and having practiced little, imitate the way of cursing Buddha and reviling the Patriarchs which is just premature cunning.

XIV. True Mind Has no Knowledge

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