What really fine-tunes Wŏnhyo’s contribution to this series is his fine-art of balancing principles with praxis. His opening comments for the beginning of his exegesis at the beginning of this chapter pivots directly on Right Practice:
At the time when a bodhisattva perfects his contemplation practice, he cultivates according to principles that he has come to understand through his own personal contemplation of mind: namely, that the mind is neither produced nor unproduced and his practice also is neither existent nor nonexistent.
It is only in order to leave behind the extreme of erroneous affirmation (samāropikā) [about the existence of things] that we provisionally refer to nonproduction. One should neither produce a thought in regard to production nor produce a thought in regard to nonproduction; therefore, in order to leave behind the extreme of denigration (apavāda), we also provisionally refer to “practice. “Although this is not a practice that is conditioned, it also is not a practice that is unconditioned, either. For this reason, this chapter is titled “The Practice of Nonproduction.” (Cultivating Original Enlightenment, pg. 116)
Right Practice essentially frees the adapt from what once temporarily induced even Manjushri into paralysis as he appeared to be dwarfed between the two iron mountains of dualism—or in our illustration here between production and nonproduction—both instances of mind-numbing depression that can afflict any aspiring adept in one’s contemplative/meditative practice; once one slides in either direction will inevitably inflict stupor and ultimate failure. The balancing-act is achieved on the nexus of anutpāda—or self-realizing the True Nature of Seeing that all mind [productions/nonproductions] are without Self-Substance.
Chapter Three: The Practice of Non-Creation
At that time Cittaraja (Mind King) Bodhisattva heard the Buddha’s discourse of the Dharma that transcends the three realms of existence, which is inconceivable. Arising from his seat, he joined his palms together and asked in stanza:
The Doctrine the Tathagata has pronounced,
Transcends the world without signs.
It enables all sentient beings,
To completely abandon the leakages (the three realms).
Eradicating the knots and emptying both mind and self,
Is this [the state of] non-creation?
If nothing is being created,
How can one attain the non-creation
Cittaraja (Mind King) Bodhisattva: name associated within the dominion of the Dharma of the One Mind.
Once again we begin an exchange on the nature of the paralysis stemming from any “created-order” of dharmas.
Then the Buddha proclaimed to Cittaraja Bodhisattva, “Good man, the Dharma relating to the non-abidance and non-creation of dharmas is basically unborn [as all dharmas are essentially void of self-nature].
[Being void of nature,] all practices lead to nothing, not that there is a practice on non-creation. [Therefore] any attainment through abidance by non-creation is a deception.”
All-else apart from the One Dharma of the Unborn Buddha Mind is acquiescing to the devil of self-emptiness which is always a deception lying in wait. Nonproduction-in = nonproduction out, yet this is no-practice of nonproduction.
Cittaraja Bodhisattva asked, “Lord! Since attainment through abidance by non-creation is a deception, non-attainment and non-abidance should not be deceptions?”
The Buddha replied, “Not so. Why? In non-attainment and non-abidance exists attainment (mental activity). [Similarly,] in attainment and abidance there exists creation (arising of the mind). Both the creation through attainment and the creation of dharmas are [therefore] deceptions.”
In the Bodhi-mind there is no non-achievement nor not-acquiescence to bundles of misperception emanating from mind’s abiding in the substrata of non-existent dharmas.
Cittaraja Bodhisattva asked, “Lord! What is a non-attaining and non-abiding mind which is beyond deception?”
The Buddha replied, “A mind which is free from both abidance and attainment, has neither form nor impermanence (existence-extinction). It is like [the nature of] fire, though latent in wood, cannot be found there; as its presence has no absolute location (depending on other co-originating factors). [Therefore] all names and descriptions of everything [being void ultimately], are beyond grasping (should not be depended upon). They (names and descriptions) have been provisionally given to facilitate understanding [in communication]. [Similarly,] the mind and all its characteristics, being void ultimately, are beyond grasping they have no abode. Know the mind to be thus and it will not fabricate anything.
This is the very nature of the provisional-beast. All names and descriptions are induced fabrications of THAT which cannot be self-induced to acquiesce to perceptional norms that are always an inadequate mode of True Self-Expression. Yet, Mind and IT’s locationlessness are always beyond the faculty of grasping after the ungraspable. This is of vital import because within one’s own practice there is a need to forever dissociate from any arising fabrications.
“Good man, the nature and characteristics of the mind are like the example of the myrobalan (amalaka) fruit. They are not: self-generated, generated by an external agent, generated jointly with something else, or generated in the absence of a [co-originating] cause. Why? Because conditions appear and disappear alternately [according to co-origination].
When conditions arise [resulting in fruition through co-origination], it is not [considered] creation. When conditions subside [after fruition through co-origination], it is not [considered] extinction. Whether hidden or manifesting, [the nature and characteristics of the conditions] are without form. Their fundamental principle is the calm-void. There is nowhere they abide and no abode can be located. This is due to their Absolute nature.
“This Absolute nature is neither one nor different; neither transient nor permanent. It has neither access nor egress and it can neither be created nor destroyed. It abandons all the four perimeters (fullness, void, both-fullness-and-void, and neither-fullness-nor-void). [In this way] the pathways
of words and speech are being abandoned. The unborn nature of the mind is the same. How can it be said that something is being created or extinguished; or that there is abidance or non-abidance?
“If [a person] says that the mind is capable of attainment, abidance, or perception, that means he has not attained anuttarasamyaksambodhi (complete, perfect enlightenment). [This] prajna (wisdom) is for those
who are willing to abandon the ‘long night’ of the mind and its characteristics. Know that the mind is thus and its characteristics are also thus. This is non-creation and non-practice.”
Co-origination is similar to co-dependency in that dependence upon [an-other] generates a reliance upon all that is inadequate in Light of the Unborn. Being neither [one] nor [different] what need in the Unborn for self-gratification? There are spiritual goals [within one’s own praxis] that are ascertainable; yet within the Unborn Buddha Mind there is no-need of any self-attainment of THAT which is always primordially Self-Realized. Anuttarasamyaksambodhi is thus a Self-Perfection that is beyond both the attainable/ [Un]attainable.