Yantou’s treasure

As soon as he arrived at master Te Shan’s place, Hsueh Feng asked him, “Does this student [Hsueh Feng] have any share in this matter handed down from antiquity as the fundamental vehicle?”
Te Shan struck him a blow and said, “What are you saying?”
Because of this, Hsueh Feng had an insight.

Later Hsueh Feng told Yen T’ou, “When Te Shan hit me, it was like the bottom falling out of a bucket.”
Yen T’ou shouted and said, “Haven’t you heard it said that what comes in through the front gate isn’t the family treasure? You must let it flow out from your own breast to cover heaven and earth; then you’ll have some small portion of realization.”
Suddenly Hsueh Feng was greatly enlightened; he bowed and said to Yen T’ou, “Elder brother, today I have finally attained the Path.”

Cleary, Thomas & Cleary J.C.: The Blue Cliff Record.
Boston 1992, p. 32-33

◄║►

Dongshan’s flame

When Shenshan had picked up a needle to mend clothes, Master Dongshan asked, “What are you doing?”
“Mending,” answered Shenshan.
“In what way do you mend?” asked the Master.
“One stitch is like the next,” said Shenshan.
“We’ve been traveling together for twenty years, and you can still say such a thing! How can there be such craftiness?” said the Master.
“How then does the venerable monk mend?” asked Shenshan.
“Just as though the entire earth were spewing flames” replied the Master.

Powell, William F.: The record of Tung-shan.
Honolulu 1986, p. 35

◄║►

Vimalakirti’s pleasure

The daughters of the gods asked:
What is this pleasure that has as its object the garden of the Law (dharma)?

Vimalakirti replied:

It is the pleasure which consists in believing firmly in the Buddha, in desiring to hear the Law (Dharma), attending to the community (Sangha), driving away pride and respecting the teachers, extricating oneself from the triple world, not stopping over any object, considering the aggregates (skandha) as transitory and like killers, considering the eighteen elements like poisonous snakes, considering the twelve bases of consciousness [senses] like an empty village, protecting the thought of enlightenment (bodhicitta), benefiting beings, excluding all avarice in giving (dana), avoiding all relaxation in pure morality (shila), exercising endurance and self-control in patience (kshanti), cultivating good roots in vigour (virya), possessing undisturbed knowledge in meditation (dhyana), excluding even a shadow of defilement in wisdom (prajna), spreading enlightenment, overcoming Maras, destroying passions, purifying the Buddha-fields, accumulating all good roots, not trembling on hearing the profound dharmas, penetrating in depth the three doors to deliverance, assembling skillful means (upaya), and finally, cultivating the auxiliary dharmas of enlightenment (bodhipakshikadharma).

It is in this garden of the Law that the great Bodhisattvas always reside.

Lamotte, Etienne: The teaching of Vimalakirti.
Oxford 1976, p. 103

◄║►

Hongzhi’s fulness

Practice in emptiness and forget conditioning as dazzling light gleams from the shadows. When each portion of spirit is luminous and unhindered, the mind of the three times is interrupted and the four material elements are in balance.

Transparent and marvelously bright, in solitary glory for multitudinous kalpas, a patch-robed monk can practice like this and not be bound by life and death. In upright practice let go from the edge of the high cliff, not grabbing anything. The ropes around your feet are severed. In wholeness take one step. The buddhas and ancestors all do not reach one’s own genuine, wondrously illuminating field, which is called one’s self.

At this juncture sustain the family business. Just when involved in deliberations, turn around from the stream of thoughts. Empty with enduring spirit, pure with enduring illumination, clear and white, reed flowers and bright moonlight are mixed together. Oars pulled in, the solitary boat drifts past without difficulty.

At this time please tell me, who would be anxious to display the eye of discrimination?

Leighton, Taigen Dan: Cultivating the empty field;
The silent illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi.
Boston 2000, p 50

◄║►

Clear your mind (Huihai)

[A sutra says:] Wise men regulate their minds rather than their persons; fools regulate their persons rather than their minds. Another sutra states: ‘Evil springs forth from the mind, and by the mind is evil overcome.’ Thus, we may know that all good and evil proceed from our minds and that mind is therefore the root.

Q: By what means is the root-practice to be performed?
A: Only by sitting in meditation, for it is accomplished by dhyana (ch’an) and samadhi.

Q: Please describe dhyana and samadhi.
A: When wrong thinking ceases, that is dhyana; when you sit contemplating your original nature, that is samadhi, for indeed that original nature is your eternal mind.

Blofeld, John: Zen teaching of instantaneous awakening;
being the teaching of the Zen master Hui Hai.
Devon 2015, p. 44-45

◄║►