Archive for the ‘The Zen Teachings of Huang Po’ Category

Drop the Blanket

6. “Q: Yet it is recorded that 'Whosoever possesses the thirty-two characteristic signs of a Buddha is able to deliver sentient beings'. How can you deny it? A: Anything possessing ANY signs is illusory. It is by perceiving that all signs are no signs that you perceive the Tathagata.1 'Buddha' and 'sentient beings' are both your own false conceptions. It is because you do not know real Mind that you delude yourselves with such objective concepts. If you WILL conceive of a Buddha, YOU WILL Read more [...]

The One Substance

PART TWO  Selections from:  THE WAN LING RECORD OF THE ZEN MASTER HUANG PO (TUAN CHI) A collection of dialogues, sermons and anecdotes recorded by P'ei Hsiu during his tenure of the prefecture of Wan Ling  1. “Once I put this question to the Master. How many of the four or five hundred persons gathered here on this mountain have fully understood Your Reverence's teaching? The Master answered: Their number cannot be known. Why? Because my Way is through Mind-awakening. How Read more [...]

Throw-down the flagpole!

34. “Q: What is meant by relative truth?1 A: What would you do with such a parasitical plant as that? Reality is perfect purity; why base a discussion on false terms? To be absolutely without concepts is called the Wisdom of Dispassion. Every day, whether walking, standing, sitting or lying down, and in all your speech, remain detached from everything within the sphere of phenomena. Whether you speak or merely blink an eye, let it be done with complete dispassion. Now we are getting towards Read more [...]


30. “If you now set about using your minds to seek Mind, listening to the teaching of others, and hoping to reach the goal through mere learning, when will you ever succeed? Some of the ancients had sharp minds; they no sooner heard the Doctrine proclaimed than they hastened to discard all learning. So they were called 'Sages who, abandoning learning, have come to rest in spontaneity'.1 In these days people only seek to stuff themselves with knowledge and deductions, seeking everywhere for Read more [...]

Get out of your head, stupid!

27. “Q: What is the Way and how must it be followed? A: What sort of THING do you suppose the Way to be, that you should wish to FOLLOW it? Q: What instructions have the Masters everywhere given for dhyana-practice and the study of the Dharma? A: Words used to attract the dull of wit are not to be relied on. Q: If those teachings were meant for the dull-witted, I have yet to hear what Dharma has been taught to those of really high capacity. A: If they are really men of high capacity, Read more [...]

A Silent Affair

24. “A Buddha has three bodies. By the Dharmakaya is meant the Dharma of the omnipresent voidness of the real self-existent Nature of everything. By the Sambhogakaya is meant the Dharma of the underlying universal purity of things. By the Nirmanakaya is meant the Dharmas of the six practices leading to Nirvana and all other such devices. The Dharma of the Dharmakaya cannot be sought through speech or hearing or the written word. There is nothing which can be said or made evident. There is Read more [...]


22. “The Bodhisattva's mind is like the void, for he relinquishes everything and does not even desire to accumulate merits. There are three kinds of relinquishment. When everything inside and outside, bodily and mental, has been relinquished; when, as in the Void, no attachments are left; when all action is dictated purely by place and circumstance; when subjectivity and objectivity are forgotten--that is the highest form of relinquishment. When, on the one hand, the Way is followed by the Read more [...]

The Place of Precious Things

19. “On the eighth day of the tenth moon, the Master said to me: That which is called the City of Illusion contains the Two Vehicles, the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva's Progress, and the two forms of Full Enlightenment.1 All of them are powerful teachings for arousing people's interest, but they still belong to the City of Illusion.2 That which is called the Place of Precious Things is the real Mind, the original Buddha-Essence, the treasure of our own real Nature. These jewels cannot be measured Read more [...]

The Fundamental Principle

16. “On the first day of the ninth moon, the Master said to me: From the time when the Great Master Bodhidharma arrived in China, he spoke only of the One Mind and transmitted only the one Dharma. He used the Buddha to transmit the Buddha, never speaking of any other Buddha. He used the Dharma to transmit the Dharma, never speaking of any other Dharma. That Dharma was the wordless Dharma, and that Buddha was the intangible Buddha, since they were in fact that Pure Mind which is the source of Read more [...]

There is no-environment in the Unborn

14. “If you students of the Way desire knowledge of this great mystery, only avoid attachment to any single thing beyond Mind. To say that the real Dharmakaya of the Buddha1 resembles the Void is another way of saying that the Dharmakaya is the Void and that the Void is the Dharmakaya. People often claim that the Dharmakaya is in the Void and that the Void contains the Dharmakaya, not realizing that they are one and the same. But if you define the Void as something existing, then it is not Read more [...]
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