Mazu’s truth

A dharma talk by zen master Mazu (709–788).
Here the contents of this fragment:

“All dharmas [all phenomena] are mind dharmas; all names are mind names. The myriad dharmas are all born from the mind; the mind is the root of the myriad dharmas.

The sutra says, ‘It is because of knowing the mind and penetrating the original source that one is called a shramana [monk].’ The names are equal, the meanings are equal: all dharmas are equal. They are all pure without mixing. If one attains to this teaching, then one is always free.

If the dharmadhatu [dharma-sphere] is established, then everything is the dharmadhatu.

For instance, though the reflections of the moon are many, the real moon is only one. Though there are many springs of water, water has only one nature. There are myriad phenomena in the universe, but empty space is only one. There are many principles that are spoken of, but ‘unobstructed wisdom is only one.’

Whatever is established, it all comes from one mind. Whether constructing or sweeping away, all is sublime function; all is oneself. There is no place to stand where one leaves the truth. The very place one stands on is the truth; it is all one’s being.

(Foster, Nelson & Shoemaker, Jack:
The roaring stream; a new Zen reader. Hopewell 1996, p. 450)

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Dogen’s certainty

Spoken by Eihei Dogen (1200-1255) at the beginning of a summer retreat. Here the contents of this fragment:

Once when Zikong was at Tiantong monastery in Siming at the beginning of a summer retreat he said, “For people in meditation the most important thing is that the nostrils be right; then the eyes must be thoroughly clear.

Then it’s important to realize the source and understand the explanation, and after that capability and its actualization are equally realized – only then can you enter among enlightened ones and demons as well, where oneself and others succeed together at once.”

What does this mean?

When the nostrils are right, everything is right. It is like a man in a house; if the master is upright, his family naturally influenced. But how can you get your nostrils straight?

An ancient sage said: “Certainty does not drift into a second thought; only therein you can enter the gate to our school.”

(from the Record of Sayings of Zen Master Dogen of Eihei;
source: Clearly, Thomas: Timeless spring; A Soto Zen Anthology. New York 1980, p. 100)

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