The Mind Gem

9. “This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling and knowing, they do not perceive the spiritual brilliance of the source-substance. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like the sun ascending through the void and illuminating the whole universe without hindrance or bounds. Therefore, if you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions, your way to Mind will be cut off and you will find nowhere to enter. Only realize that, though real Mind is expressed in these perceptions, it neither forms part of them nor is separate from them. You should not start REASONING from these perceptions, nor allow them to give rise to conceptual thought; yet nor should you seek the One Mind apart from them or abandon them in your pursuit of the Dharma. Do not keep them nor abandon them nor dwell in them nor cleave to them. Above, below and around you, all is spontaneously existing, for there is nowhere which is outside the Buddha-Mind.”

The mind that relies exclusively upon its cognitive-skandhic make-up is a no-mind of the Tathagatas. Pure Mind forever shines as perfectly void of any skandhic reference points as Its Deathless Suchness permeates all in the ten directions. Disregarding all conceptual-thought patterns would awaken one’s mind to That which is shining-through at all times and Illumines the inner-mechanism that Recollects Mind As It Is In Itself.  Seeking for Mind in all the wrong places via the external-sensate mechanism of the Five Skandhas will only deter and detour one away from That which, left to Its own accord, will Self-Realize Itself in an instant flash of Self-Same Mind Recognition. If one chooses, however, to use the skandhic-mind vehicle of reasoning about what it “perceives” to be the Reality of Pure Mind, then these incessant and blurred relative perceptions cloaked as the Absolute will continue to be perceived as the real thing; the Master advises one to avoid the reasoning-process based on these false pattern recognitions not by trying to erase them—for by that very ACTION one gives them the undue credit that they do not deserve, thus becoming more attached to them—like sinking in quicksand. On the other hand, nor should one try to embrace them, thinking that by doing so they will eventually just fade-away. So then, what’s the cure for this mind-disease that stands in the way for the quest of the Buddhadharma? It’s not a question of doing nothing or doing something, but rather remaining unbound (Wu-Wei) in Perfect-Primordial Quiescence within the Unborn Buddha Mind That is All-Pervasive (Omnipresent).

10. “When the people of the world hear it said that the Buddhas transmit the Doctrine of the Mind, they suppose that there is something to be attained or realized apart from Mind, and thereupon they use Mind to seek the Dharma, not knowing that Mind and the object of their search are one. Mind cannot be used to seek something from Mind; for then, after the passing of millions of aeons, the day of success will still not have dawned. Such a method is not to be compared with suddenly eliminating conceptual thought, which is the fundamental Dharma. Suppose a warrior, forgetting that he was already wearing his pearl on his forehead, were to seek for it elsewhere, he could travel the whole world without finding it. But if someone who knew what was wrong were to point it out to him, the warrior would immediately realize that the pearl had been there all the time. So, if you students of the Way are mistaken about your own real Mind, not recognizing that it is the Buddha, you will consequently look for him elsewhere, indulging in various achievements and practices and expecting to attain realization by such graduated practices. But, even after aeons of diligent searching, you will not be able to attain to the Way. These methods cannot be compared to the sudden elimination of conceptual thought, in the certain knowledge that there is nothing at all which has absolute existence, nothing on which to lay hold, nothing on which to rely, nothing in which to abide, nothing subjective or objective. It is by preventing the rise of conceptual thought that you will realize Bodhi; and, when you do, you will just be realizing the Buddha who has always existed in your own Mind! Aeons of striving will prove to be so much wasted effort; just as, when the warrior found his pearl, he merely discovered what had been hanging on his forehead all the time; and just as his finding of it had nothing to do with his efforts to discover it elsewhere. Therefore the Buddha said: ‘I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled Enlightenment.’ It was for fear that people would not believe this that he drew upon what is seen with the five sorts of vision and spoken with the five kinds of speech. So this quotation is by no means empty talk, but expresses the highest truth.”

The Buddha’s Mind-Transmission is a No-Transmission of Mind. The Worldlings (puthujjanas) have no inkling of this and perceive something to be transmitted by something (mind). Mind cannot be used to grasp Mind as that would implicate Mind in some kind of subjective/objective substratum affair. Mind does not seek the dharma, It IS the Dharma. So then, what does “get-transmitted?” Who does the transmitting and who gets what is transmitted? Many have assumed that Huang Po is actually transmitting a Doctrine of Mind Transmission; this is really far-off the beaten path of what the Master was attempting to convey. One discerns from studying and meditating on the Teachings of Huang Po after many years that he would not want his efforts to be classified under any form of “doctrine”; indeed, that would be the ultimate slap in the face. What wrongly gets translated as Mind Doctrine here is actually the re-evaluation of all doctrines, including meditational-denominations of any form for that matter. For the Master, Mind is Mind (Fait accompli) and no-thing else. No-thing gets transmitted; this is why he includes the Buddha’s admonition time and time again, ‘I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled Enlightenment.’ I love his use of the parable to illustrate the foolishness of searching for That which one already has. The “gem” in the parable represents one’s Buddha-nature; indeed, many go searching for it for aeons upon aeons, never coming to the Noble Self-Realization that It’s always been “right-there/here” (in the forehead, representing Real Mind) all the time. The Master uses this illustration in reference to the puthujjanas, but also to his own disciples (as well as disciples from other zen schools) to relay the foolhardiness of trying to find IT through various meditational/contemplative/academic disciplines because in the end IT will always evade “all-constructs” that attempt to cultivate and thus pin-IT-down. Just Realize the Buddha in your Mind of Minds. No-thing more need be done. This section concludes with Huang Po’s reference to the “five sorts of vision” which was covered recently in our study of the Diamond Sutra (Human Eye; Divine Eye; Gnostic Eye; Transcendent Wisdom Eye; Omniscient Buddha-Eye), as well as the five kinds of speech (Right speech; deceptive speech; divisive speech; harsh speech; idle chatter).

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