Wednesday Prime



Blessed One, come to my assistance

O’ Lord, make haste to help me

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

Hail, Holy Wisdom; hail, Blessed Dark-Womb of the Unborn, our Translucent Light, our Sweetness, and our Strength. To you do we make supplication, subdued children under Mara’s dominion. To you do we send up our lamentations and afflictions in this valley of dukkha. Turn then, most gracious Tara, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our most lingering exile in samsara, show unto us the Immaculate Seed of your Most Beloved Bodhichild. O Temperate One, Most Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mother.

Om Tare, Tuttare, Ture Swaha.

Lauding the Infinite One: (Buddhist Psalms, by S. Yamabe and L. Adams Beck, [1921])
1. Since He who is Infinite attained unto the Wisdom Supreme, the long, long ages of ten Kalpas have rolled away.
The Light of His Dharma-Kaya is in this world eyes to the blind.
2. Seek refuge in the True Illumination! For the light of His Wisdom is infinite.
In all the worlds there is nothing upon which His light shines not.
3. Take refuge in the Light universal.
As the Light of His deliverance is boundless, he who is within it is freed from the lie of affirmation or denial.
4. Seek refuge in That which is beyond understanding,
For His glory is all-embracing as the air. It shineth and pierceth all things, and there is nothing hid from the light thereof.
5. Take refuge in the ultimate Strength, for His pure radiance is above all things. He who perceiveth this Light is set free from the fetters of Karma.
6. Seek refuge in the World-Honoured.
Since His glorious radiance is above all He is called the Buddha of Divine Light. And by Him is the darkness of the three worlds Enlightened.
7. Excellent is the Light of His Wisdom. Therefore is he called the Buddha of Clear Shining.
He who is within the Light, being washed from the soil of Karma, shall attain unto the final deliverance.
8. Take refuge in the Mighty Consoler. Wheresoever His mercy shineth throughout all the worlds, men rejoice in its gladdening light.
9. The darkness of ignorance perisheth before His light. Therefore is He hailed as the Buddha of Radiant Wisdom. All the Buddhas and the threefold choir of sages praise Him.
10. His glory shineth for ever and ever. Therefore is He called the Buddha of Everlasting Light.
Most excellent is the virtue of this light, for he who perceiveth it is born into Paradise without dissolution of being.
11. The glory of the Infinite is boundless, therefore is He known as the Buddha of Light Past Comprehension.
All the Buddhas glorify the majesty of His holiness that leadeth all the earth into His Kingdom.
12. His clear shining transcendeth all revelation, nor can human speech utter it. Therefore is He named the Buddha of Light Unspeakable.
All the Buddhas glorify the glory of the Infinite One who is Buddha through His promise of Light immeasurable. Swaha.

The Trisagion
Blessed Buddha, Mighty Lord, Unborn and Undying…Have mercy on us
Blessed Buddha, Mighty Lord, Unborn and Undying…Have mercy on us
Blessed Buddha, Mighty Lord, Unborn and Undying…Have mercy on us

Mother Tara, Noble Queen of the Unborn,
In you we take refuge…
Immaculate Heart of Tara, Out of Your Infinite Compassion,
We consecrate ourselves to you…
Tara-Consoler of the afflicted, Dispense your Healing Mantle,
For we have recourse to you.

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

From The Vimalakriti Sutra (Vimalakriti’s Noble Silence):

When the bodhisattvas had given their explanations, they all addressed the crown prince Manjusri: “Manjusri, what is the bodhisattva’s entrance into nonduality?” Manjusri replied, “Good sirs, you have all spoken well. Nevertheless, all your explanations are themselves dualistic. To know no one teaching, to express nothing, to say nothing, to explain nothing, to announce nothing, to indicate nothing, and to designate nothing – that is the entrance into nonduality.” Then the crown prince Manjusri said to the Licchavi Vimalakirti, “We have all given our own teachings, noble sir. Now, may you elucidate the teaching of the entrance into the principle of nonduality!” Thereupon, the Licchavi Vimalakirti kept his silence, saying nothing at all. The crown prince Manjusri applauded the Licchavi Vimalakirti: “Excellent! Excellent, noble sir! This is indeed the entrance into the nonduality of the bodhisattvas.

Here there is no use for syllables, sounds, and ideas.” When these teachings had been declared, five thousand bodhisattvas entered the door of the Dharma of nonduality and attained tolerance of the birthlessness of things. Swaha.

[Commentary from the series]:

Vimalakirti is on par with Mañjuśrī as a “Bodhi-being.” Vimalakirti’s silence itself directly negates duality. No-thing uttered, no-thing grasped. Indeed, the Absolute is unutterable. This sutra-scene is the Absolute-stare-down of any Immanent take on the matter. The Unborn IS the Absolute Silence of the Shining-Ones (bodhi-beings). It is Suchness (Tathata) without the immanent reliance upon words. This Venerable Silence is not the “silence of the tomb”, but the resounding stillness of the Buddha-void emanating in all ten-directions. It is totally devoid (śūnyatā) of any phenomenal attribute. It is the magnificent Parato ghosa, the deathless sound not heard in any conventional sense of hearing, but rather ineffably experienced in the very heart of Suchness; this is fostered within the Bodhi-mandala for those attuned with the Dharma-ear (Dhammasota), mystically represented through the initiating power (Dharmasota) of the Dharmata Buddha—who showers the power (Bodhi-gnosis) of self-realization upon those resilient ones who are ready to awaken from the mad dream of Samsara and who know, through great faith and reason, in the Unborn that the dreaming phenomenal world is nothing apart from Mind itself. This is called “entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Unborn Mind”—Mahaśūnyā, penetrating into the primordial vibration (samanyaspanda) of the Absolute…with no-thing to see, no-thing to hear, no-thing to perceive, no-thing to grasp or cling to…Total Unequivocal Relinquishment.

If we are protected by you, O Arya Tara, calmness amid the perturbations of samsara will not prove to be vain. It will be repose for the resolute, watchfulness against the aggressive forces of Mara; a true refuge away from samsaric corruption. Be present, O Mother and Queen, by showing us the path of Noble Wisdom—forever guiding our feet in the way of its peace. Swaha.

From the The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma:

Everything that appears in the three realms comes from the mind. Hence Buddhas of the past and future teach mind to mind without bothering about definitions. But if they don’t define it, what do they mean by mind? You ask. That’s your mind. I answer. That’s my mind. If I had no mind how could I answer? If you had no mind, how could you ask? That which asks is your mind. Through endless kalpas without beginning, whatever you do, wherever you are, that’s your real mind, that’s your real buddha. This mind is the buddha says the same thing. Beyond this mind you’ll never find another Buddha. To search for enlightenment or nirvana beyond this mind is impossible. The reality of your own self-nature the absence of cause and effect, is what’s meant by mind. Your mind is nirvana. You might think you can find a Buddha or enlightenment somewhere beyond the mind, but such a place doesn’t exist.

[Trying to find a Buddha or enlightenment is like trying to grab space.]

Space has a name but no form. It’s not something you can pick up or put down. And you certainly can’t grab if. Beyond mind you’ll never see a Buddha. The Buddha is a product of the mind. Why look for a Buddha beyond this mind? Buddhas of the past and future only talk about this mind. The mind is the Buddha, and the Buddha is the mind. Beyond the mind there’s no Buddha and beyond the Buddha there’s no mind. If you think there is a Buddha beyond the mind, where is he? There’s no Buddha beyond the mind, so why envision one? You can’t know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself. As long as you’re enthralled by a lifeless form, you’re not free. If you don’t believe me, deceiving yourself won’t help. It’s not the Buddha’s fault. People, though, are deluded. They’re unaware that their own mind is the Buddha. Otherwise they wouldn’t look for a Buddha outside the mind.

Buddhas don’t save Buddhas. If you use your mind to look for a Buddha, you won’t see the Buddha. As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you’ll never see that your own mind is the Buddha. Don’t use a Buddha to worship a Buddha. And don’t use the mind to invoke a Buddha. Buddhas don’t recite sutras. Buddhas don’t keep precepts. And Buddhas don’t break precepts. Buddhas don’t keep or break anything. Buddhas don’t do good or evil.

To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless. Invoking Buddhas results in good karma, reciting sutras results in a good memory; keeping precepts results in a good rebirth, and making offerings results in future blessings-but no buddha. If you don’t understand by yourself, you’ll have to find a teacher to get to the bottom of life and death. But unless he sees his nature, such a person isn’t a teacher. Even if he can recite the Twelvefold Canon he can’t escape the Wheel of Birth and Death. He suffers in the three realms without hope of release. Long ago, the monk Good Star was able to recite the entire Canon. But he didn’t escape the Wheel, because he didn’t see his nature. If this was the case with Good Star, then people nowadays who recite a few sutras or shastras and think it’s the Dharma are fools. Unless you see your mind, reciting so much prose is useless.

To find a Buddha all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the person who’s free: free of plans, free of cares. If you don’t see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you’ll never find a buddha. The truth is there’s nothing to find. But to reach such an understanding you need a teacher and you need to struggle to make yourself understand. Life and death are important. Don’t suffer them in vain.

There’s no advantage in deceiving yourself. Even if you have mountains of jewels and as many servants as there are grains of sand along the Ganges, you see them when your eyes are open. But what about when your eyes are shut? You should realize then that everything you see is like a dream or illusion.

Contemplating Mind (Han-shan Te-Ch’ing ):

Look upon the body as unreal,
An image in a mirror,
Or the reflection of the moon in water.
Contemplate the mind as formless,
Yet bright and pure.
Not a single thought arising,
Empty, yet perceptive,
Still, yet illuminating,
Complete like the Great Emptiness,
Containing all that is wonderful.
Neither going out nor coming in,
Without appearances or characteristics,
Countless skillful means
Arise out of one mind.
Independent of material existence,
Which is ever an obstruction,
Do not cling to deluded thoughts.
These give birth to illusion.
Attentively contemplate this mind,
Empty, devoid of all objects.
If emotions should suddenly arise,
You will fall into confusion.
In a critical moment bring back the light,
Powerfully illuminating.
Clouds disperse, the sky is clear,
The sun shines brilliantly.
If nothing arises within the mind,
Nothing will manifest without.
That which has characteristics
Is not original reality.
If you can see a thought as it arises,
This awareness will at once destroy it.
Whatever state of mind should come,
Sweep it away, put it down.
Both good and evil states
Can be transformed by mind.
Sacred and profane appear
In accordance with thoughts.
Reciting mantras or contemplating mind
Are merely herbs for polishing a mirror.
When the dust is removed,
They are also wiped away.
Great extensive spiritual powers
Are all complete within the mind.
The Pure Land or the Heavens
Can be traveled to at will.
You need not seek the real,
Mind originally is Buddha.
The familiar becomes remote,
The strange seems familiar.
Day and night, everything is wonderful.
Nothing you encounter confuses you.
These are the essentials of mind.

Master Dongshan Liangjie: 

Dongshan next visited Master Guishan, and asked him, “I’ve heard that the National Teacher Huizhong taught that the nonsentient can expound the Dharma, I don’t understand the intricate meaning of this teaching.”
Master Guishan said, “Do you remember the dialog?”
“Tell it again.”
Dongshan then repeated the following dialog: A monk asked, “What is the mind of the ancient Buddha?”
The National Teacher replied, “The wall and the rubble.”
“Aren’t the wall and the rubble nonsentient?”
“Can they expound the Dharma?”
“They speak very clearly and never stop.”
“Why can’t I hear it?”
“You don’t hear it, that doesn’t prevent others from hearing it.”
“Who can hear it?”
“The holy sages can hear it.”
“Do you hear it, master?”
“I don’t”
“If the master doesn’t hear it, how can you know that the nonsentient can expound the Dharma?”
“It’s fortunate that I don’t hear it; if I did, I’d be the equal of the saints, then you won’t hear me expounding the Dharma.”
“Well then it’s hopeless for ordinary beings.”
“I speak to the ordinary beings, not to the holy sages.”
“What happens after ordinary beings hear it?”
“Then they are no longer ordinary beings.”
“According to what scriptures is this teaching of the nonsentient expounding the Dharma?”
“Indeed, a noble one should not speak without references to scriptures. Haven’t you seen in the Avatamsaka Sutra that says, ‘The world speaks, ordinary beings speak, everything in the three periods of time speak.’”

When Dongshan was done, Master Guishan said, “I have this teaching too, but rare is one who can appreciate it.”
Dongshan said, “I don’t understand; I beg the master to instruct me.”
Guishan lifted up his whisk, “Understand?”
“No, please explain to me.”
“The mouth that came from my parents will never explain it to you.”
“Are there someone else who follow the Way like you, master?”
“Go to You County in Liling, where there are stone houses connected together, there is a cultivator of the Way named Yunyan. If you can step through the grass and face the breeze (i.e. are undaunted by the difficulties and pay respects to the master), you won’t be disappointed.”

Dongshan then bid farewell to Guishan and found Master Yunyan. He recounted the previous koan and asked, “Who can hear the nonsentient things expounding the Dharma?”
“The nonsentient can.”
“Do you hear it, master?”
“If I did, you wouldn’t hear me expounding the Dharma.”

“Why can’t I hear it?”
Yunyan lifted up his whisk and said, “Do you hear it?”
“You can’t even hear me expounding the Dharma, how can you hear the nonsentient?”
“According to what scriptures is this teaching of the nonsentient speaking the Dharma?”
“Haven’t you seen in the Amitabha Sutra which says, ‘The water, the birds, the forests all chant the Buddha and the Dharma?’”
Dongshan came to a realization, and said a verse:

How incredible! How incredible!
It’s inconceivable that the nonsentient expounds the Dharma!
You will never understand if you listen with your ears;
You will only know when you hear it with your eyes.

Blessed be the Hallowed Lord of the Unborn;
because He has Revealed His Inmost-Self within his devotees:
And has raised-up a Salvific-Light unto us,
in the face of our enemies:
Once this Noble Self-Realization is reached,
nothing more need be done,
nor is there anything lost by doing nothing less than
basking in the divine Freedom of the Unborn.
Free to partake in His-Self without fear,
Thus filled with Right Devotion,
we unceasingly celebrate His Abiding Presence.
And You MY Child shall be called the Dharma-womb of the Most High:
for you shall go before the Unborn Lord to prepare His Way:
To bestow Buddha-gnosis upon those who live
in the darkness of ignorance.
In the tender compassion of our Dharma-Lord,
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To enlighten those who are in the bondage of Mara’s death,
And to guide all of us homeward bound in the Unborn.

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

May all the Buddhas and Dharma-Guardians bless us, protect us from all harm, and awaken us to the Light of Truth in the Unborn. Swaha.


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