Archive for the ‘The Platform Sutra’ Category

A Farewell Stanza from Hui-neng

(Yampolsky)  The Master passed away on the third day of the eighth month of the second year of Hsien-t'ien (= August 28,713). On the eighth day of the seventh month he called his disciples together and bade them farewell. In the first year of Hsien-t'ien the Master had constructed a pagoda at the Kuo-en Temple in Hsin-chou, and now in the seventh month of the second year of Hsien-t'ien he was taking his leave. The Master said: "Come close. In the eighth month I intend to leave this world. Read more [...]

Transmission

  Part 3:  MISCELLANEA  The remainder of the Platform Sutra consists in an assortment of miscellaneous and unrelated subject matter. A portion amounts to a repetition of the sermon material on prajñā, along with sundry accounts of the superiority of the Sudden School over the Northern, Gradual School. Some of these sections are bracketed by certain interlocutors who pose questions to Hui-neng revolving around his teachings. By and large, these disparate accounts can be grouped Read more [...]

Proclamation of the Bodhi-Dharma

    (Wong Mou-Lam)  Learned Audience, when we use Prajñā for introspection we are illumined within and without, and in a position to know our own mind. To know our mind is to obtain liberation. To obtain liberation is to attain Samādhi of Prajñā, which is *'thoughtlessness'. What is 'thoughtlessness'? 'Thoughtlessness' is to see and to know all Dharmas (things) with a mind free from attachment. When in use it pervades everywhere, and yet it sticks nowhere. What we have Read more [...]

Walk like a Tathāgata

  (Wong Mou-Lam) "Learned Audience, in this system of mine one Prajñā produces eighty-four thousand ways of wisdom, since there are that number of 'defilements' for us to cope with; but when one is free from defilements, wisdom reveals itself, and will not be separated from the Essence of Mind. Those who understand this Dharma will be free from idle thoughts. To be free from being infatuated by one particular thought, from clinging to desire, and from falsehood; to put one's own Read more [...]

Prajñā-pāramitā

(Yampolsky)  "What is prajñā?  Prajñā is wisdom (chih-hi). When at all times successive thoughts contain no ignorance, and you always practice wisdom, this is known as the practice of prajñā. If but one instant of thought contains ignorance, then prajñā is cut off; but if one instant of thought contains wisdom, then prajñā is produced.   "People are deluded and do not see prajña. They speak of prajñā with the mouth, but in their minds they are constantly ignorant. They Read more [...]

Taking Refuge

  Receiving the signless precepts through the recitation of the three refuges (Yampolsky) "Having finished repentance, I shall give you the formless precepts of the three refuges." The Master said: "Good friends, 'take refuge in enlightenment [the Buddha], the most honored among two-legged beings; take refuge in the truth [the Dharma], the most noble [doctrine which sets people] free from the desires; take refuge in purity [the Sangha] the most honored among sentient beings.' Read more [...]

O’ Wanderer, Turn-About and Save Thyself

  Reciting the four Bodhisattva Vows (Yampolsky) "Now that you have already taken refuge in the threefold body of Buddha, I shall expound to you the four great vows. Good friends, recite in unison what I say: 'I vow to save all sentient beings everywhere. I vow to cut off all the passions everywhere. I vow to study all the Buddhist teachings everywhere. I vow to achieve the unsurpassed Buddha Way.' (Recite three times.) "Good friends, when I say 'I vow to save all sentient beings Read more [...]

The Three Bodies of the Tathagata

(Yampolsky)  "Good friends, you must all with your own bodies receive the precepts of formlessness and recite in unison what I am about to say. It will make you see the threefold body of the Buddha in your own selves. 'I take refuge in the pure Dharmakaya Buddha in my own physical body. I take refuge in the ten thousand hundred billion Nirmanakaya Buddhas in my own physical body. I take refuge in the future perfect Sambhogakaya Buddha in my own physical body.' (Recite the above three times). Read more [...]

Fatal Obstructions

(Yampolsky)  "Good friends, in this teaching from the outset sitting in meditation does not concern the mind nor does it concern purity; we do not talk of steadfastness. If someone speaks of 'viewing the mind,' [then I would say] that the 'mind' is of itself delusion, and as delusions are just like fantasies, there is nothing to be seen. If someone speaks of 'viewing purity,' [then I would say] that man's nature is of itself pure, but because of false thoughts True Reality is obscured. If Read more [...]

Wu-hsin

(Yampolsky) Good friends, in the Dharma there is no sudden or gradual, but among people some are keen and others dull. The deluded recommend the gradual method, the enlightened practice the sudden teaching. To understand the original mind of yourself is to see into your own original nature. Once enlightened, there is from the outset no distinction between these two methods; those who are not enlightened will for long kalpas be caught in the cycle of transmigration. This is a good passage Read more [...]
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