Drop the Blanket

6. “Q: Yet it is recorded that ‘Whosoever possesses the thirty-two characteristic signs of a Buddha is able to deliver sentient beings’. How can you deny it?

A: Anything possessing ANY signs is illusory. It is by perceiving that all signs are no signs that you perceive the Tathagata.1 ‘Buddha’ and ‘sentient beings’ are both your own false conceptions. It is because you do not know real Mind that you delude yourselves with such objective concepts. If you WILL conceive of a Buddha, YOU WILL BE OBSTRUCTED BY THAT BUDDHA!!! And when you conceive of sentient beings, you will be obstructed by those beings. All such dualistic concepts as ‘ignorant’ and ‘Enlightened’, ‘pure’ and ‘impure’, are obstructions. It is because your minds are hindered by them that the Wheel of the Law must be turned.2

Just as apes spend their time throwing things away and picking them up again unceasingly, so it is with you and your learning. All you need is to give up your ‘learning’, your ‘ignorant’ and ‘Enlightened’, ‘pure’ and ‘impure’, ‘great’ and ‘little’, ‘your ‘attachment’ and ‘activity’. Such things are mere conveniences, mere ornaments within the One Mind. I hear you have studied the sutras of the twelve divisions of the Three Vehicles. They are all mere empirical concepts. Really you must give them up!

1 Buddha.

2 I.e. that the relative truths of orthodox Buddhism must be taught.

So just discard all you have acquired as being no better than a bed spread for you when you were sick. Only when you have abandoned all perceptions, there being nothing objective to perceive; only when phenomena obstruct you no longer; only when you have rid yourself of the whole gamut of dualistic concepts of the ‘ignorant’ and ‘Enlightened’ category, will you at last earn the title of Transcendental Buddha. Therefore is it written:

‘Your prostrations are in vain. Put no faith in such ceremonies. Hide from such false beliefs.’

Since Mind knows no divisions into separate entities, phenomena must be equally undifferentiated. Since Mind is above all activities, so must it be with phenomena. Every phenomenon that exists is a creation of thought; therefore I need but empty my mind to discover that all of them are void. It is the same with all sense-objects, to whichever of the myriads of categories they belong. The entire void stretching out in all directions is of one substance with Mind; and, since Mind is fundamentally undifferentiated, so must it be with everything else. Different entities appear to you only because your perceptions differ-just as the colours of the precious delicacies eaten by the Devas are said to differ in accordance with the individual merits of the Devas eating them! Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi1 is a name for the realization that the Buddhas of the whole universe do not in fact possess the smallest perceptible attribute. There exists just the One Mind. Truly there are no multiplicity of forms, no Celestial Brilliance, and no Glorious Victory (over samsara) or submission to the Victor.2 Since no Glorious Victory was ever won, there can be no such formal entity as a Buddha; and, since no submission ever took place, there can be no such formal entities as sentient beings.”

1 Supreme Omniscience.

2 Buddha

A Buddha notwithstanding, anything bearing the possession of signs, as the Diamond Sutra would state, is assigned a no-sign-value. Anyone conceiving some kind of an objective-buddha inside their dense heads will be totally obstructed by that counterfeit-conception—like bouncing a marble-buddha off their thick skulls! Any form of mind-construct, including sentient beings, are mere trinkets—ornaments on the Great Tree of the One-Mind. It’s fine to adorn the Tree with some of these from time to time, but they are never meant to obscure the effervescent Light of the Mind-Unborn. The meandering-monkey-mind is always absorbed in fidgeting with these mind-trinkets, but there comes a time when one must get that monkey off their backs! Like Linus’s Blanket in the Peanut’s Cartoons, these false securities will only bankrupt one’s undivided-awareness-power (bodhi) in the Absolute-Purity of Mind’s-Essence that is a prerequisite for final awakening (anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) in the Tathatic-field that is uncontaminated from any formal predilections to the contrary (such as formalized, ceremonial functionalists that feign obeisance {e.g., prostrations} to an “other”,  higher-order of mind); indeed, something quite alien to the Self-actualization of the Unborn.

8. “Q: Does the essential substance of the Buddha differ at all from that of sentient beings or are they identical?

A: Essential substance partakes neither of identity nor difference. If you accept the orthodox teachings of the Three Vehicles of Buddhism, discriminating between the Buddha-Nature and the nature of sentient beings, you will create for yourself Three Vehicle karma, and identities and differences will result. But if you accept the Buddha-Vehicle, which is the doctrine transmitted by Bodhidharma, you will not speak of such things; you will merely point to the One Mind which is without identity or difference, without cause or effect.1

Therefore is it written: ‘There is only the way of the One Vehicle; there is neither a second nor a third, except for those ways employed by the Buddha as purely relative expedients (upaya) for the liberation of beings lost in delusion.’”

1 It is not Huang Po’s intention to deny the validity of karmic law as it applies to the ephemeral world of samsara.

This particular passage is perhaps best reserved for those advanced-adepts, well on the Way to Tathatic-Mind-Development. As expressed in a previous blog, the One-Mind-Substance Is just THAT; there is unequivocally no bifurcations partaking of a self identity or difference of some-thing-other as being quite separately-existent apart from the Unborn. In this sense, there is only ONE MIND VEHICLE. Other expedient vehicles (upaya) have been and are employed by the Tathagata in an attempt to forestall the wild-differential-swinging from tree to tree in the dark forest of illusion by sentient-beings entrapped in the six realms of impermanent-existence. Liberation from samsara is only a small-step in the capacious ascent of Mind-Development.

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