The Bodhimaster


Hui Hai (720-814) 

Q: What method must be practiced to attain liberation?

A: Only by practicing the Dharma of Sudden Enlightenment can we attain liberation. 

Q: What is Sudden Enlightenment?

A: “Sudden” means instantly stopping false thought. “Enlightenment” means [awareness] that one attains nothing. 

Q: What method is used to begin this practice?

A: Just practice using the fundamental teaching. 

Q: What is it and how does one practice using the fundamental teaching?

A: Mind is the fundamental source. 

Q: How do you know that mind is the fundamental source?

A: The Lankavatara Sutra says: “When the mind comes into being, then various conceptions (dharmas) come to be; and when the mind ceases to be, then these various conceptions cease to be.” The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra says: “If you wish to attain the Pure Land, you should purify your own mind, because if your mind is pure, all Buddha-Lands are also pure.” The Sutra of Transforming Teaching says: “Just concentrate the mind on one point and all things are achieved.” Another sutra says: “The holy person seeks Mind and does not seek Buddha. The foolish man seeks Buddha and does not seek Mind. The wise man regulates the mind and does not regulate the body, while the foolish man regulates the body but does not regulate the mind.” The Sutra of the Buddha’s Names says: “The evil arising from the mind can be extinguished only by the mind.” Thus, we see that all good and evil arise from one’s own mind and that the mind itself is the fundamental source.

Therefore, if one wishes to seek liberation, he should recognize this fundamental source. On the other hand, if one does not understand this truth, he will seek liberation outside himself, always laboring in vain. The Dhyanaparamita Sutra says: “As long as you seek it from external forms, you cannot come to complete Enlightenment even after many kalpas. However, through perceptive insight Bodhi is suddenly attained.”

Hui Hai is the exemplary Bodhimaster. With Huang Po he asserts that All is Mind; there has never been anything outside this mind. Never has been, never will be. The Fundamental Source is the Unborn Mind that baptizes all with Its Luminous Bodhipower. The foolish ones continue to regulate all through the prism of the Skandhic Consciousness and in doing so condemn themselves to perpetual Dukkha. The vivifying Grace of the Unborn cannot be regulated by any outside agencies. It is exclusively administered through the blessed and imageless hands of countless Tathagatas. Outside this singular Salvific Source there is no liberation.

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