“It is said that one who practices the Way will remove obstructing demons. If one simply practices zazen and doesn’t chant sacred words from sutras, by what grace will he remove these obstructions?”
Bassui: “A robber does not break into the home of a poor child. The cave of demons and heretics, on the other hand, is rich with human egos and analytical thoughts. Clearly seeing into one’s nature is called practice, and the seat that puts an end to analytical thoughts is called zazen. When analytical thoughts are forgotten, views based on knowledge are also forgotten, leaving no trace of ego. The path where heavenly beings fulfill their desire to offer flowers no longer exists. There is no gate through which demons and heretics can secretly enter. What medal incantation can compare with this?
It is said in a sutra: ‘On perceiving that the Five Skandhas (form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness) are empty, one is saved from all kinds of pain and misfortune.’ That is why the special incantations cannot be compared with diligent practice of zazen. If, while devoting yourself to practice, you have thoughts of gain and, thinking it will prevent the interference from demons, you recite invocations from sutras, this kind of reasoning will immediately create a demon inside you, attracting demons from the outside, and causing chaos within, like a stinking carcass attracts blowflies. You will quickly lose sight of the seeds of right karma, add to mistaken views, and in the end enter the world of demons and have to drink molten iron. Though you may say you clearly understand this reasoning, if you don’t actually penetrate it to the core, forgetting yourself, there will be nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. The phoenix bird will stay away if you don’t plant phoenix trees. Ten million incantations can’t compare with once penetrating the Way of no-mind. Does anyone here realize this? Who is the one who realizes? Totsu !”
Right zazen has nothing to do with physical posture. Sitting like a stone-statue dares the demons to attack as much as incessantly reciting a scripture passage with a weak intent to shield against such demonic assaults. The demon will only adapt itself to the tempo of the chant or begin to slowly chisel its way through cement-strength zazen. Only the Clear Light of Mind produces demon-proof protection and forms the Right Seat THAT transcends analytical thoughts. The only clear-seeing Buddha is a Dark Buddha. The demons cannot penetrate through ITs gateless-gate. Such a Dark-Translucent Light repels all manner of attacks from the evil one. A Dark Buddha has no thoughts of willful gain that only fuels the formation of inner-demons that also attracts demons from without. Such ill-fated and ego-generated attempts only confines one to the stinking carcass of the skandhas. A Dark Buddha’s Mind is an Empty-one: Self-Empty of all skandhic formations. Penetrating through the Dark Unborn Mind of Zen is the only sure Zazen regardless of its position. Such a no-position of Mind is the Right Penetration into the imageless-abode of the Shining Ones. Quick! What manner of demon or god then dare enter?