Dharma Talks

 

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(ą¼ąõ). 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”ęStudying

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