ZEN TEACHING OF HUANG PO
Master said to me: All the Buddhas and all sentient beings
are nothing but the One Mind (consciousness), besides
which nothing exists.
This Mind, which is without beginning is unborn and indestructible. It
is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It
does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not
exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of new or old. It is neither
new or old. It is neither long nor short, big nor small, for it transcends
all limits, measures, names, traces and comparisons.
It is that which you see before you (as the universe)... begin
to reason about it and you at once fall into error. It
is like the boundless void which cannot be fathomed or measured.
The One Mind (consciousness) alone is Buddha, and there is no
distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that
sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood.
By their very seeking they lose it, for
that is using the Buddha to seek for the Buddha and using
mind to grasp the Mind. Even though they do their utmost
for a full eon, they will not be able to attain to it.
They do not know that if they put a stop to conceptual thought and
forget their anxiety, the Buddha will appear before them, for
this Mind is the Buddha and the Buddha is all living beings. It is not
the less for being manifested in ordinary beings, nor is it greater for
being manifested in the Buddhas.
to performing the six-paramitas and vast number of similar practices,
or gaining merits as countless as the sands of the Ganges, since
you are fundamentally complete in every respect, you
should not try to supplement that perfection by such meaningless
When there is occasion for them, perform them, and when the occasion
has passed, remain quiescent. If you are not absolutely convinced
that the Mind (consciousness) is the Buddha (the Absolute), and
if you are attached to forms, practices, and meritorious performances, your
way of thinking is false and quite incompatible with the Way.
The Mind is the Buddha, nor are there any
other Buddhas or any other mind. It is bright and spotless
as the void, having no form or appearance whatever. To
make use of your minds to think 'conceptually' is to leave
the substance and attach yourselves to form. The
Ever-Existent Buddha is not a Buddha of form or attachment.
To practice the six-paramitas and a myriad of similar practices with
the intention of becoming a Buddha thereby is to advance by stages, but the
Ever-Existent Buddha is not a Buddha of stages (since it is ever present).
Only awake to the One Mind and there is
nothing whatsoever to be attained. This is the real Buddha. The
Buddha and all sentient beings are the One Mind (your own
awareness) and nothing else.
is only the One Mind and not a particle of anything else on which
to lay hold, for this Mind is the Buddha. If you students
of the Way do not awake to this Mind substance (consciousness),
you will overlay Mind with conceptual thoughts, you
will seek the Buddha outside yourselves, and you will remain
attached to forms, pious practices, and so on, all of which are
harmful and at all the way to supreme knowledge.
Mind (consciousness) is no mind of conceptual thought and it
is completely detached from form. So Buddhas and sentient
beings do not differ at all.
If you can only rid yourself of conceptual
thought, you will have accomplished everything. But
if you students of the Way do not rid yourselves
of conceptual thought in a flash, even though you
strive for eon after eon, you will never accomplish
building up of good and evil both involve attachment to form.
Those who, being attached to form do evil, have to undergo various
incarnations unnecessarily; while those who being attached to
form do good, subject themselves to toil and privation equally
to no purpose. In either case it is better to achieve
sudden Self-realization and to grasp the fundamental Dharma (consciousness). This
Dharma is Mind beyond which there is no Dharma, and this Mind
is the Dharma beyond which there is no more mind.
original Buddha-Nature is in highest truth devoid of any atom
of objectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is
glorious and mysterious peaceful joy - and that is all. Enter
deeply into it by awakening to it yourself. That which
is before you (awareness) is it, in all it's fullness, utterly
complete. There is naught beside.
pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all
with the brilliance of it's own perfection. But the people of
the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees,
hears and feels and knows as mind. Blinded by their own sight,
hearing, feeling, and knowing, they do not perceive the
spiritual brilliance of the source-substance (consciousness).
If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that
source-substance would manifest itself like the sun ascending
through the void and illuminating the whole universe without hindrance
Therefore, if you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing,
hearing, feeling, and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions,
your way to the Mind will be cut off and you will find nowhere to enter.
Only realize that, though real Mind is expressed in these perceptions,
it neither forms part of them nor is separate from them.
You should not start reasoning
from these perceptions, nor allow them
to give rise to conceptual thought; yet
nor should you seek the One Mind apart
from them or abandon them in your pursuit
of the Dharma. Do not keep
them or abandon them nor dwell in them
nor cleave to them.
Above, below, and around you, all is spontaneously existing...
for there is nowhere which is outside the Buddha-Mind (consciousness).
(From The Zen Teaching
of Huang Po)