Adelaide Zen Group Readings
SHODOKA by Yung Chia (665 - 713)
There is the leisurely one,
Walking the Tao, beyond philosophy,
Not avoiding fantasy, not seeking truth.
The real nature of ignorance is the Buddha-nature itself;
The empty delusory body is the very body of the Dharma.
When the Dharma body awakens completely,
There is nothing at all.
The source of our self-nature
Is the Buddha of innocent truth.
Mental and physical reactions come and go
Like clouds in the empty sky;
Greed, hatred, and ignorance appear and disappear
Like bubbles on the surface of the sea.
When we realize actuality,
There is no distinction between mind and thing
And the path to hell instantly vanishes.
If this is a lie to fool the world,
My tongue may be cut out forever.
Once we awaken to the Tathagata-Zen,
The six noble deeds and the ten thousand good actions
Are already complete within us.
In our dream we see the six levels of illusion clearly;
After we awaken the whole universe is empty.
No bad fortune, no good fortune, no loss, no gain;
Never seek such things in eternal serenity.
For years the dusty mirror has gone uncleaned,
Now let us polish it completely, once and for all.
Who has no-thought? Who is not-born?
If we are truly not-born, We are not un-born either.
Ask a robot if this is not so.
How can we realize ourselves
By virtuous deeds or by seeking the Buddha?
Release your hold on earth, water, fire, wind;
Drink and eat as you wish in eternal serenity.
All things are transient and completely empty;
This is the great enlightenment of the Tathagata.
Transience, emptiness, and enlightenment -
These are the ultimate truths of Buddhism;
Keeping and teaching them is true Sangha devotion.
If you don't agree, please ask me about it.
Cut out directly the root of it all, -
This is the very point of the Buddha-seal.
I can't respond to any concern about leaves and branches.
People do not recognize the Mani-jewel.
Living intimately within the Tathagata-garbha,
It operates our sight, hearing, smell, taste, sensation, awareness;
And all of these are empty, yet not empty.
The rays shining from this perfect Mani-jewel
Have the form of no form at all.
Clarify the five eyes and develop the five powers;
This is not intellectual work, - just realize, just know.
It is not difficult to see images in a mirror,
But who can take hold of the moon in the water?
Always working alone, always walking alone,
The enlightened one walks the free way of Nirvana
With melody that is old and clear in spirit
And naturally elegant in style,
But with body that is tough and bony,
Passing unnoticed in the world.
We know that Shakya's sons and daughters
Are poor in body, but not in the Tao.
In their poverty, they always wear ragged clothing,
But they have the jewel of no price treasured within.
This jewel of no price can never be used up
Though they spend it freely to help people they meet.
Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya,
And the four kinds of wisdom are all contained within.
The eight kinds of emancipation and the six universal powers
Are all impressed on the ground of their mind.
The best student goes directly to the ultimate,
The others are very learned but their faith is uncertain.
Remove the dirty garments from your own mind;
Why should you show off your outward striving?
Some may slander, some may abuse;
They try to set fire to the heavens with a torch
And end by merely tiring themselves out.
I hear their scandal as though it were ambrosial truth;
Immediately everything melts
And I enter the place beyond thought and words.
When I consider the virtue of abusive words,
I find the scandal-monger is my good teacher.
If we do not become angry at gossip,
We have no need for powerful endurance and compassion.
To be mature in Zen is to be mature in expression,
And full-moon brilliance of dhyana and prajña
Does not stagnate in emptiness.
Not only can I take hold of complete enlightenment by myself,
But all Buddha-bodies, like sands of the Ganges,
Can become awakened in exactly the same way.
The incomparable lion-roar of the doctrine
Shatters the brains of the one hundred kinds of animals.
Even the king of elephants will run away, forgetting his pride;
Only the heavenly dragon listens calmly, with pure delight.
I wandered over rivers and seas, crossing mountains and streams,
Visiting teachers, asking about the Way in personal interviews;
Since I recognized the Sixth Founding Teacher at Ts'ao Ch'i,
I know what is beyond the relativity of birth and death.
Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen;
Speaking or silent, active or quiet, the essence is at peace.
Even facing the sword of death, our mind is unmoved;
Even drinking poison, our mind is quiet.
Our teacher, Shakyamuni, met Dipankara Buddha
And for many eons he trained as Kshanti, the ascetic.
Many births, many deaths;
I am serene in this cycle, - there is no end to it.
Since I abruptly realized the unborn,
I have had no reason for joy or sorrow at any honour or disgrace.
I have entered the deep mountains to silence and beauty;
In a profound valley beneath high cliffs, I sit under the old pine trees.
Zazen in my rustic cottage is peaceful, lonely, and truly comfortable.
When you truly awaken,
You have no formal merit.
In the multiplicity of the relative world,
You cannot find such freedom.
Self-centred merit brings the joy of heaven itself,
But it is like shooting an arrow at the sky;
When the force is exhausted, it falls to the earth,
And then everything goes wrong.
Why should this be better
Than the true way of the absolute,
Directly penetrating the ground of Tathagata?
Just take hold of the source and never mind the branches.
It is like a treasure-moon enclosed in a beautiful emerald.
Now I understand this Mani-jewel
And my gain is the gain of everyone endlessly.
The moon shines on the river, the wind blows through the pines, -
Whose providence is this long beautiful evening?
The Buddha-nature jewel of morality
Is impressed on the ground of my mind,
And my robe is the dew, the fog, the cloud, and the mist.
A bowl once calmed dragons
And a staff separated fighting tigers;
The rings on this staff jingle musically.
The form of these expressions is not to be taken lightly;
The treasure-staff of the Tathagata
Has left traces for us to follow.
The awakened one does not seek truth -
Does not cut off delusion.
Truth and delusion are both vacant and without form,
But this no-form is neither empty nor not empty;
It is the truly real form of the Tathagata.
The mind-mirror is clear, so there are no obstacles.
Its brilliance illuminates the universe
To the depths and in every grain of sand.
Multitudinous things of the cosmos
Are all reflected in the mind,
And this full clarity is beyond inner and outer.
To live in nothingness is to ignore cause and effect;
This chaos leads only to disaster.
The one who clings to vacancy, rejecting the world of things,
Escapes from drowning but leaps into fire.
Holding truth and rejecting delusion -
These are but skillful lies.
Students who do zazen by such lies love thievery in their own children.
They miss the Dharma-treasure; they lose accumulated power;
And this disaster follows directly upon dualistic thinking.
So Zen is the complete realisation of mind,
The complete cutting off of delusion,
The power of wise vision penetrating directly to the unborn.
Students of vigorous will hold the sword of wisdom;
The prajña edge is a diamond flame.
It not only cuts off useless knowledge, but also exterminates delusions.
They roar with Dharma-thunder; they strike the Dharma-drum;
They spread clouds of love, and pour ambrosial rain.
Their giant footsteps nourish limitless beings;
Sravaka, Pratyeka, Bodhisattva - all are enlightened;
Five kinds of human nature all are emancipated.
High in the Himalayas, only fei-ni grass grows.
Here cows produce pure and delicious milk,
And this food I continually enjoy.
One complete nature passes to all natures;
One universal Dharma encloses all Dharmas.
One moon is reflected in many waters;
All the water-moons are from the one moon.
The Dharma-body of all Buddhas has entered my own nature,
And my nature becomes one with the Tathagata.
One level completely contains all levels;
It is not matter, mind, nor activity.
In an instant eighty thousand teachings are fulfilled;
In a twinkling the evil of eons is destroyed.
All categories are no category; what relation have these to my insight?
Beyond praise, beyond blame, - like space itself it has no bounds.
Right here it is eternally full and serene,
If you search elsewhere, you cannot see it.
You cannot grasp it, you cannot reject it;
In the midst of not gaining, in that condition you gain it.
It speaks in silence, in speech you hear its silence.
The great way has opened and there are no obstacles.
If someone asks, what is your sect and how do you understand it?
I reply, the power of tremendous prajña.
People say it is positive;
People say it is negative;
But they do not know.
A smooth road, a rough road - even heaven cannot imagine.
I have continued my zazen for many eons;
I do not say this to confuse you.
I raise the Dharma-banner and set forth our teaching;
It is the clear doctrine of the Buddha
Which I found with my teacher, Hui Neng,
Mahakashyapa became the Buddha-successor,
Received the lamp and passed it on.
Twenty-eight generations of teachers in India,
Then over seas and rivers to our land
Bodhi Dharma came as our own first founder,
And his robe, as we all know, passed through six teachers here,
And how many generations to come may gain the path,
No one knows.
The truth is not set forth; the false is basically vacant.
Put both existence and non-existence aside,
Then even non-vacancy is vacant,
The twenty kinds of vacancy have no basis,
And the oneness of the Tathagata-being
Is naturally sameness.
Mind is the base, phenomena are dust;
Yet both are like a flaw in the mirror.
When the flaw is brushed aside, the light begins to shine.
When both mind and phenomena are forgotten,
Then we become naturally genuine.
Ah, the degenerate materialistic world!
People are unhappy; they find self-control difficult.
In the centuries since Shakyamuni, false views are deep,
Demons are strong, the Dharma is weak, disturbances are many.
People hear the Buddha's doctrine of immediacy,
And if they accept it, the demons will be crushed
As easily as a roofing tile. But they cannot accept, what a pity!
Your mind is the source of action;
Your body is the agent of calamity;
No pity nor blame to anyone else.
If you don't seek an invitation to hell,
Never slander the Tathagata's true teaching.
In the sandalwood forest, there is no other tree.
Only the lion lives in such deep luxuriant woods,
Wandering freely in a state of peace.
Other animals and birds stay far away.
Just baby lions follow the parent,
And three-year-olds already roar loudly.
How can the jackal pursue the king of the Dharma
Even with a hundred thousand demonic arts?
The Buddha's doctrine of directness is not a matter for human emotion.
If you doubt this or feel uncertain,
Then you must discuss it with me.
This is not the free rein of a mountain monk's ego.
I fear your training may lead to wrong views
Of permanent soul or complete extinction.
Being is not being; non-being is not non-being;
Miss this rule by a hair, and you are off by a thousand miles.
Understanding it, the dragon-child abruptly attains Buddhahood;
Misunderstanding it, the greatest scholar falls into hell.
From my youth I piled studies upon studies,
In sutras and sastras I searched and researched,
Classifying terms and forms, oblivious to fatigue.
I entered the sea to count the sands in vain
And then the Tathagata scolded me kindly
As I read "What profit in counting your neighbour's treasure?"
My work had been scattered and entirely useless,
For years I was dust blown by the wind.
If the seed-nature is wrong, misunderstandings arise,
And the Buddha's doctrine of immediacy cannot be attained.
Sravaka and Pratyeka students may study earnestly
But they lack aspiration.
Others may be very clever, but they lack prajña.
Stupid ones, childish ones,
They suppose there is something in an empty fist.
They mistake the pointing finger for the moon.
They are idle dreamers lost in form and sensation.
Not supposing something is the Tathagata.
This is truly called Kwan-Yin, the Bodhisattva who sees freely.
When awakened we find karmic hindrances fundamentally empty.
But when not awakened, we must repay all our debts.
The hungry are served a king's repast, and they cannot eat.
The sick meet the king of doctors; why don't they recover?
The practice of Zen in this greedy world -
This is the power of wise vision.
The lotus lives in the midst of the fire;
It is never destroyed.
Pradhanashura broke the gravest precepts;
But he went on to realize the unborn.
The Buddhahood he attained in that moment
Lives with us now in our time.
The incomparable lion roar of the doctrine!
How sad that people are stubbornly ignorant;
Just knowing that crime blocks enlightenment,
Not seeing the secret of the Tathagata teaching.
Two monks were guilty of murder and carnality.
Their leader, Upali, had the light of a glow-worm;
He just added to their guilt.
Vimalakirti cleared their doubts at once
As sunshine melts the frost and snow.
The remarkable power of emancipation
Works wonders innumerable as the sands of the Ganges.
To this we offer clothing, food, bedding, medicine.
Ten thousand pieces of gold are not sufficient;
Though you break your body
And your bones become powder, -
This is not enough for repayment.
One vivid word surpasses millions of years of practice.
The King of the Dharma deserves our highest respect.
Tathagatas, innumerable as sands of the Ganges,
All prove this fact by their attainment.
Now I know what the Mani-jewel is:
Those who believe this will gain it accordingly.
When we see truly, there is nothing at all.
There is no person; there is no Buddha.
Innumerable things of the universe are just bubbles on the sea.
Wise sages are all like flashes of lightning.
However the burning iron ring revolves about my head,
With bright completeness of dhyana and prajña
I never lose my equanimity.
If the sun becomes cold, and the moon hot,
Evil cannot shatter the truth.
The carriage of the elephant moves like a mountain,
How can the mantis block the road?
The great elephant does not loiter on the rabbit's path,
Great enlightenment is not concerned with details.
Don't belittle the sky by looking through a pipe.
If you still don't understand, I will settle it for you.
VERSES ON THE FAITH MIND Hsin Hsin Ming by Sengtsan
The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other,
you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment,
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend,
and when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.
When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes,
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because there is a subject or mind;
and the mind is a subject because there are objects.
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality:
the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult.
But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go.
Clinging cannot be limited;
even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way
and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,
for everything is murky and unclear.
The burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise do not strive after goals but the foolish fetter themselves.
There is one Dharma, not many;
distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with discriminating mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong:
such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things are as they are,
of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence
is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally, the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
Consider motion in stillness and stillness in motion,
both movement and stillness disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.
For the unified mind in accord with the Way
all self-centred striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.
In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality
just simply say when doubt arises, "Not two."
In this "not two" nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.
No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space;
in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
no difference, for definitions have vanished
and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and non-Being.
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.
One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction.
To live in this realisation is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.
The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is no yesterday,
no tomorrow, no today.
VERSES OF LAYMAN P 'ANG by P'ang Yün (740 - 808)
Of a hut in the fields the elder,
I'm the poorest man on earth!
Inside the house there's not one thing;
When I open my mouth it says "empty, empty."
In the past I had bad friends -
I saved them all, made them priests;
Sitting together in harmony,
I always have them hear of the Mahayana.
At mealtimes I carry bowls for them,
I serve them one and all.
People have a one-scroll sutra without form and without name.
No-one is able to unroll and read it, and none of us can hear it.
When you are able to unroll and read it,
You enter the principle and accord with the Birthless.
Not to speak of becoming a bodhisattva,
You don't even need to become a Buddha.
White-robed, I don't adhere to appearances;
The true principle arises from Emptiness.
Because my mind's without obstruction
Wisdom goes forth to all directions.
I only consider the lion's roar - I don't let wild jackals yap!
Bodhi is said to be most marvelous, but I scold it for being a false name.
Some people despise old P'ang,
But old P'ang does not despise them.
Opening my gate, I await good friends,
But good friends do not stop by.
As is my mind's endowed with the threefold learning -
Consciousness-dusts do not mix with it;
This one pill cures the ten thousand ills -
I've no need for the many prescriptions.
Travelling the path is easy, travelling the path is easy!
Within, without, and in between I depend on innate Wisdom:
Innate Wisdom being non-sentient, the dharmas are not born;
Birthless, I enter the true principle.
Not form, not mind, a single radiance streams forth;
In the mind-ground appears the Udumbara tree of Emptiness.
Without no other, within no self.
Not wielding spear and shield, I accord with Buddha-wisdom.
Well-versed in the Buddha-way, I go the non-Way.
Without abandoning my ordinary affairs,
The conditioned and name-and-form are all flowers in the sky.
Nameless and formless, I leave birth-and-death.
It is called Wisdom, and Wisdom is the honoured.
Mind and Wisdom interfusing, you penetrate the Origin,
And the ten thousand things likewise return into the Gate of Non-duality.
Existence is not existence - the Principle is always present;
Nothingness is not nothingness - Nothingness is the root of existence.
All Buddhas of the future will also be thus;
Those of today are the same as the ancient World-honoured Ones.
Throughout the three realms there is no other Way;
What Buddha imparted to Buddha is being transmitted today.
Going out of the room, coming into the room,
Coming and going, coming and going - therefore your weeping!
Coming and going was due only to greed, anger, and folly.
Now that you've realized, you should be content.
Being content, you should penetrate the Source,
And discard your former false teachers.
Those false teachers - make them your servants!
Dharma-almsgiving has no before or after;
Together you preserve the Birthless Land.
If it's said that Bodhi is difficult,
Bodhi is also not difficult.
Wanting little and knowing content, the least is ample.
Forever free from wealth and lust, the spirit of itself is at ease.
I clearly perceive the Three Road's pain,
And am not concerned with worldly fame.
Difficult, so difficult!
Trying intentionally to get free of desire, you covet Nirvana.
You just seek the Pure Land everywhere else.
If it's a question of true practice, you're not concerned with it.
Uselessly striving, your coming and going is painful,
Until at last you empty forms and return home.
Easy, so easy!
These very five skandhas make true Wisdom.
The ten directions of the universe are the same One Vehicle.
How can the formless Dharmakaya be two!
If you cast off the passions to enter Bodhi,
Where will any Buddha-lands be?
Mind depends upon true Wisdom,
The Principle pursues activity of mind;
With Principle and Wisdom unhindered,
The mind is birthless.
Deluded, there is self;
Enlightened, there is no-sentience.
With great Wisdom penetrated,
All the dharmas do not arise,
The five skandhas are masterless,
The six lands are in repose,
The seven deaths are not encountered,
The eight mirrors are completely bright,
And excellent transformations fittingly occur
In accord with the Buddha's words.
The past is already past - don't try to regain it.
The present does not stay - don't try to touch it from moment to moment.
The future is not come - don't think about it beforehand.
With the three times non-existent, mind is the same as Buddha-mind.
To silently function relying on Emptiness - this is profundity of action.
Not the least dharma exists - whatsoever comes to eye leave it be.
There are no commandments to be kept, there is no filth to be cleansed.
The empty mind really penetrated, the dharmas have no life.
When you can be like this, you've completed the ultimate attainment.
No-greed surpasses charity,
No-folly surpasses seated meditation,
No-anger surpasses morality,
No-thought surpasses seeking relationships.
I manifest all an ordinary one's affairs, and at night I sleep at ease.
In winter I turn to the fireplace - the fire that's basically smokeless.
I neither fear the demoness Blackness, nor seek her sister Charity.
Trust in fate produces expedients; all ride together in the Prajña-boat.
If you can understand like this, your merit is truly boundless.
Grasp emptiness, and emptiness is form;
Grasp form, and form is impermanent.
Emptiness and form are not mine -
Sitting erect I see my native home.
When the mind's as is, the spirit of itself is empty.
Without applying medicine, ills remove themselves.
With ills removed, you naturally see the lotus-flower Mani-jewel.
Don't trouble over affairs, don't bustle around!
The wise one, perceiving wealth and lust,
Knows them to be empty illusion;
Food and clothes sustain body and life -
I advise you to learn being as is.
When it's time, I move my hermitage and go,
And there's nothing to be left behind.
GENJOKOAN by Dogen Kigen (1200 - 1253)
As all things are Buddha-dharma, there is delusion and realisation, practice, and life and death, and there are Buddhas and sentient beings.
As the myriad things are without an abiding self there is no delusion,
no realisation, no Buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death.
The Buddha Way is, basically, leaping clear of the many and the one;
thus there are birth and death, delusion and realisation, sentient beings and Buddhas.
Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.
To carry yourself forward and experience the myriad things is delusion.
That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.
Those who have great realisation of delusion are Buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realisation are sentient beings.
Further, there are those who continue realising beyond realisation, who are in delusion throughout delusion.
When Buddhas are truly Buddhas they do not necessarily know they are Buddhas.
However, they are actualised Buddhas who go on actualising Buddhas.
When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflection in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illuminated, the other side is dark.
To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be actualised by myriad things.
When actualised by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away.
No trace of realisation remains, and this no trace continues endlessly.
When you first seek Dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs.
But Dharma is already correctly transmitted; you are immediately your original self.
When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you imagine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent.
When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self.
Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet do not suppose that the ash is future and firewood is past. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes past and future and is independent of past and future.
Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes future and past. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death.
This being so, it is an established way in Buddha-Dharma to deny that birth turns into death. Accordingly, birth is understood as no-birth.
It is an unshakeable teaching in Buddha's discourse that death does no turn into birth. Accordingly, death is understood as no death.
Birth is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring.
You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring.
Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water.
Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water.
You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon.
Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realises the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.
When the Dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient.
When Dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing.
For example, when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round nor square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It looks circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this.
Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach.
In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there.
It is not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water.
A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims, there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements.
When their activity is large, their field is large. When their need is small, their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm.
If the bird leaves the air it will die at once.
Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life.
Life must be the bird and life must be the fish.
It is possible to illustrate this with more analogies.
Practice, enlightenment, and people are like this.
Now if a bird or a fish tries to reach the other end of its element before moving in it, this bird or this fish will not find its way or its place.
When you find your place where you are, practice occurs, actualising the fundamental point.
When you find your way at this moment, practice occurs, actualising the fundamental point; for the place, the way, is neither larger nor small, neither yours nor others.
The place, the way, has not carried over from the past, and it is not merely arising now. Accordingly, in the practice-enlightenment of the Buddha way, meeting one thing is mastering it - doing one practice is practising completely.
Here is the place; here the way unfolds.
The boundary of realisation is not distinct, for the realisation comes forth simultaneously with the mastery of Buddha-Dharma. Do not suppose that what you realise becomes your knowledge and is grasped by your consciousness.
Although actualised immediately, the inconceivable may not be apparent.
Its appearance is beyond your knowledge.
Zen Master Baoche of Mt. Myau was fanning himself.
A monk approached and said, "Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?"
"Although you understand that the nature of wind is permanent," Baoche replied, "You do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere."
"What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?" asked the monk again.
The master just kept fanning himself.
The monk bowed deeply.
The actualisation of the Buddha-Dharma,
the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this.
If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent;
because of that, the wind of the Buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.
THE SCRIPTURE OF MOUNTAINS AND WATERS (Sansuikyo by Dogen Kigen)
The mountains and waters of the immediate present are the manifestation of the path of the ancient Buddhas.
Together abiding in their normative state, they have consummated the qualities of thorough exhaustiveness.
Because they are events prior to the empty eon, they are the livelihood of the immediate present.
Because they are the self before the emergence of signs, they are the penetrating liberation of immediate actuality.
By the height and breadth of the qualities of the mountains, the virtue of riding the clouds is always mastered from the mountains and the subtle work of following the wind as a rule penetrates through to liberation from the mountains.
Master Dokai said to the congregation,
The green mountains are forever walking; a stone woman bears a child by night.
Mountains lack none of the qualities proper to them.
For this reason they forever remain settled and they forever walk.
That quality of walking should be investigated in detail.
Because the walking of mountains must be like the walking of people, don't doubt the walking of mountains just because it doesn't look the same as the walking of human beings.
Now the teaching of the Buddhas and Zen adepts has already pointed out walking - this is the attainment of the fundamental.
You should thoroughly examine and be sure about this indication to the congregation of 'forever walking' - because of walking, it is forever.
Though the walking of the green mountains is fast as wind and even faster, people in the mountains are unaware, uncognizant.
In the mountains is blooming of flowers that is inside the world - and people outside the mountains are unaware, uncognizant.
People who do not have the eyes to see the mountains do not notice, do not know, they do not see, do not hear - it is this principle.
If one doubts the walking of the mountains, one doesn't even yet know one's own walking either.
It's not that one's own walking doesn't exist - it is that one does not yet know or understand one's own walking.
If one knew one's own walking, one would know the walking of the green mountains.
The green mountains are not animate, not inanimate; the self is not animate, not inanimate. One should not doubt this walking of the green mountains.
Who knows by the measure of how many phenomenal realms the green mountains may be perceived. The walking of the green mountains as well as the walking of oneself should be clearly examined.
There should be examination both in stepping back and stepping forward.
At the precise time of before signs, as well as from the other side of the king of emptiness, in stepping forward and stepping back, walking never stops for a moment - this fact you should examine.
If walking ever stopped, Buddhas and Zen adepts would not appear.
If walking had a final end, Buddhism wouldn't have reached the present.
Stepping forward has never stopped, stepping back has never stopped.
When stepping forward, that doesn't oppose stepping back, and when stepping back, that doesn't oppose stepping forward.
This quality is called the mountains flowing, it is called the flowing mountains.
Because the green mountains too learn walking, and the eastern mountains learn travelling on the water, this learning is the learning of the mountains.
This doesn't change the body and mind of the mountains - keeping the face of the mountains, they have learned on a winding road.
Don't repudiate this by saying that the green mountains cannot walk, that the eastern mountains cannot travel on the waters.
It is because of the meanness of a low point of view that one doubts the saying
the green mountains are walking;
it is because of the incompetence of little learning that one is startled by the saying flowing mountains.
While you don't even understand fully the words flowing water now, you are only sunk and drowning in small views and small learning.
So it is that the total bringing forth of amassed qualities is made into form and name, into the lifeline. There is walking, there is flowing.
There is a time when mountains give birth to mountain children.
Because of the principle of mountains becoming Buddhas and Zen adepts, Buddhas and Zen adepts emerge and appear in this way.
Even when we may have eyes for the manifestation of plants and trees, earth and stones, walls and fences, we are not in doubt, not disturbed -
this is not total manifestation of being.
Even though a time may manifest when it is seen as arrays of treasures, this is not the true ultimate.
Even if there is manifestation of being seen as the realm of the Buddha's practice of the Way, it is not necessarily something to love.
Even if we attain the summit of seeing manifestation of being as the inconceivable qualities of the Buddhas, reality as it is is not only like this.
Individual views of being are individual objects and subjects.
This is not to say that they are to be considered the work on the Way of Buddhas and Zen adepts - they are limited views of one corner.
Transforming the environment, transforming the mind is something scorned by great sages; speaking of mind, speaking of nature is something not approved by Buddhas and Zen adepts; seeing the mind, seeing nature is the livelihood of heretics; sticking to words and phrases is not the expression of liberation.
There is that which has passed through and shed such realms - that is the green mountains are forever walking, it is the eastern mountains travel on the waters.
You should examine this thoroughly.
As for a stone woman bearing a child by night,
the time when a stone woman bears a child is called night. Generally speaking, there are male stones and female stones, and there are stones neither male nor female; they patch the sky and patch the earth. These are celestial stones and earth stones.
Though this is a folk saying, it is rare for anyone to know it.
You should know the principle of bearing a child.
When bearing a child, do parent and child emanate together?
Would you only approach the study of this in terms of child becoming parent being the actualization of bearing a child?
You should study and penetrate how the time when parent becomes child is the practice and realization of bearing a child.
Great Master Ummon said, The eastern mountains travel on the waters.
As for the essential meaning of this expression of being, all mountains are the eastern mountains; all the eastern mountains are travelling on the waters.
For this reason the manifestation, the experience of the nine mountains, Mt. Sumeru, and so on is called the eastern mountains.
But how could Ummon pass freely through the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow, the livelihood of cultivation and realization of the eastern mountains?
You should know that the eastern mountains travel on the waters is the bones and marrow of the Buddhas and Zen adepts.
The waters have become manifest at the feet of the eastern mountains; for this reason the mountains climb to the clouds and walk in the heavens.
The top of the head of the waters is the mountains; walking, both heading upwards and right down, is on the waters.
The points of the feet of the mountains walk on the waters, cause the waters to spurt forth; so the walking is uninhibited, it is not that there is no cultivation and realization.
Water is not strong or weak, not wet or dry, not moving or still, not cool or warm, not existent or nonexistent, not delusion or enlightenment.
When frozen, it is hard as a diamond - who can break it?
When melted it is softer than whey - who can break it?
Thus one cannot doubt the qualities it manifestly has.
For the time being you should study the time when you must look upon the waters of the ten directions in the ten directions. This is not the study of only when humans or celestials see water. There is the study of water seeing water.
Because water cultivates and realizes water, there is the investigation of water expressing water. One should actualize the way through where self meets self.
One should advance on the living road where other meets other, and should leap out.
Seeing mountains and waters has differences depending on the species.
That is to say, there are those who see water as jewel necklaces; nevertheless, that is not seeing jewel necklaces as water.
As what forms would we see that which they take to be water?
Their jewel necklaces we see as water. There are those who see water as beautiful flowers; but they don't use flowers as water. Ghosts see water as raging fire, as puss and blood. Dragons see fish palaces and pavilions.
Some may see water as precious substances and jewels, or as forests and walls, or as the natural state of pure liberation, or as the real human body, or as the characteristics of the body and nature of the mind.
People see it as water. It is an interdependency of killing and enlivening.
It is established that what is seen differs according to the species.
For the moment we should question this.
Do you say that in viewing one object the views are varied?
Do you say that it is misapprehending multiple forms as one object?
At the peak of effort one should exert further effort.
Thus cultivation and experience, clarification of the Way, cannot be either one or dual; the ultimate sphere must be a thousandfold, ten thousandfold.
In reflecting further on the basic meaning here, even though the basic types of water may be many, it is as if there were no water of various kinds.
However, the various waters according to the species (of perceiver) do not depend on mind, do not depend on body, are not born from actions, are not dependent on the eyes, do not depend on others - there is transcendence which depends on water.
Therefore water is not of the ranks of earth-water-fire-air-space-consciousness, water is not blue, yellow, red, white, black, and so on, it is not form, sound, odor,
flavour, feeling, phenomenon, and so on - yet nevertheless the water of earth-water-fire-air-space-consciousness is spontaneously manifested.
Being so, one can hardly say for sure what the lands and dwellings of the present are producers or products of.
To say they are resting in a sphere of space or an atmosphere is not the truth of self and not the truth of other - it is a proposal of the calculation of a small view. This statement comes from the idea that they cannot abide if they don't rest on anything.
Buddha said, All things, ultimately liberated, have no abode.
You should know that although they are liberated and have no bondage, all things dwell in their normative state. This being so, when humans see water, there is a way of seeing it as flowing incessantly.
That flowing has many kinds - this is one aspect of people's perception.
It is said to flow through the earth, flow through the sky, flow upwards, flow downwards, flow through one bend, and flow in nine abyssal troughs.
Rising, it becomes clouds; descending, it becomes pools.
In an old Confucian book it says,
"The path of water is to become rain and dew when it goes up into the sky, to become rivers and streams when it descends to the earth."
Even the saying of a worldly man was like this; for those who would claim to be descendants of the Buddhas and Zen founders to be more ignorant than a worldling would be most shameful.
What this says is that while the path of water is not yet consciously known by water, yet water does actualize it; while it is not that water is unaware, water does actualize its course.
The book says ascending to the sky, it becomes rain and dew - you should know that water ascends to any number of skies and upper regions and makes rain and dew.
Rain and dew are various according to the world.
To say there is somewhere water doesn't reach is the teaching of the listeners of the small vehicle. Or it is the wrong teaching of heretics.
Water reaches even into the flames of fire, it reaches even into thoughts, contemplations, and discriminations, and it reaches into awareness of the buddha-nature.
Descending to the earth, it becomes rivers and streams:
you should know that when water descends to the earth it makes rivers and streams.
The spirit of rivers and streams becomes wise people.
Now what ordinary fools and common types think is that water must be in rivers, streams, oceans. That is not so.
Rivers and oceans are made within water, therefore there is water even in places where there are no rivers or seas; when water descends to the earth it performs the function of rivers and seas, that's all.
Also, you shouldn't get the idea that in places where water has formed rivers or seas there can't be worlds or buddha-lands there.
Even in one drop infinite buddha-lands are manifest.
So it is not that there is water in buddha-lands, and it is not that there are buddha-lands in water. Where water is has no relation to past, present, or future, no relation to the elemental cosmos.
Yet even so, it is the issue of the manifestation of water.
Wherever there are Buddhas and Zen adepts, there must be water; wherever there is water, Buddhas and Zen adepts must appear. Because of this, Buddhas and Zen adepts always bring up water as their body and mind, as their meditation.
Therefore to say water doesn't rise on high is not in accord with either Buddhist or non-Buddhist classics.
The path of water is to permeate above and below, vertically and horizontally.
However, in Buddhist scriptures, fire and air rise above, earth and water descend below. This above and below has a point to study.
That is to study the above and below of the Buddha Way.
That is to say, where earth and water go is considered below - it is not that below is taken to be the place where earth and water go. Where fire and air go is above - it is not that above is taken to be where fire and air go. Though the elemental cosmos doesn't necessarily have anything to do with measurements of direction, nevertheless, based on the action of the four, five, and six major elements, we temporarily set up an elemental cosmos of locations and directions.
It is not that thoughtless heaven is above and uninterrupted hell is below - uninterrupted hell is the whole cosmos, thoughtless heaven is the whole cosmos too.
Thus, when dragons and fish see water as palaces, it must be like people seeing palaces. They cannot cognize or see them as flowing anymore.
If a bystander should tell them, "Your palaces are flowing water,"
the dragons and fish would be surprised and doubtful, just as we are when we now hear it said that the mountains are flowing.
Yet they might maintain that there is such an explanation of the balustrades, stairs, and pillars of the palaces and pavilions.
You should quietly ponder this treatment of the matter.
If you do not learn to penetrate freely beyond these bounds, you have not been liberated from the body and mind of ordinary people, you have not thoroughly investigated the lands of Buddhas and Zen adepts. Nor have you thoroughly investigated the lands of ordinary people, and they have not thoroughly investigated the palaces of ordinary people.
Though now in the human world they have deeply ingrained cognition of what is in the oceans and rivers as water, they do not yet know what dragons, fish, and so on perceive and know and use as water.
Do not ignorantly assume that what you perceive and know as water is used as water by all other species too. One should not linger only in the human realm - one should go on to study the water of the Buddha Way.
As what do we see the water used by Buddhas and Zen adepts - one should study this. One should also study whether there is or there is not water in the house of the Buddhas and Zen adepts.
Mountains have been the dwelling place of great sages since beyond the past and beyond the present.
Wise people and holy people both have made mountains their inner sanctum, have made mountains their body and mind; mountains have become manifest.
Though it seems that so many great saints and great sages have gone into the mountains and gathered there, after having entered the mountains, there is not a single person who has met a single person - it is only a manifestation of the livelihood of the mountains. There are no further traces even of having entered.
In the time of gazing at the mountains while being in the world, the crown and eyes are far different from the time of meeting the mountains in the mountains.
The idea of not flowing, and the cognition and view of not flowing as well, could not be equal to the cognition and views of dragons and fish.
Humans and celestials find palaces in their own worlds; other species doubt this,
or may not even get to the point of doubting.
Thus you should learn about the saying mountains flow from Buddhas and Zen adepts - you should not give free reign to surprise and doubt.
Bringing up one, it is flowing; bringing up one, it is not flowing:
one time is flowing; one time is not flowing.
Without this exhaustive study, it is not the Buddha's wheel of true teaching.
An ancient Buddha said, If you want to be able not to elicit hellish karma,
don't repudiate the Buddha's wheel of true teaching.
You should engrave this statement on your skin, flesh, bones and marrow.
You should engrave it on body and mind, object and subject;
you should engrave it on emptiness, engrave it on form.
It is engraved on trees and stones, on fields and hamlets.
Though mountains belong to the territory of the nation, they are entrusted to people who love the mountains.
When mountains definitely love the "owners", saints, sages, and those of exalted virtue are in the mountains.
When saints and sages live in the mountains, because the mountains belong to them,
the trees and rocks are abundant, the birds and beasts are holy.
This is because the saints and sages affect them with their virtue.
You should know that the fact exists that mountains like sages and saints.
Many rulers have gone to the mountains to pay respects to sages and ask questions of great saints - this is an excellent example for past and present.
When they do so, they pay respect to the saints as teachers, without following the ordinary laws of society. In the sphere of influence of wise rulers, there is no compulsion of mountain sages at all.
It should be obvious that the mountains are apart from human society.
In remote antiquity a chieftain went on his knees kowtowing to call on a sage in the mountains.
Shakyamuni Buddha left the palace of his father the raja and went into the mountains, but his father didn't resent the mountains, nor did he suspect the people in the mountains who taught his son. Most of the Buddha's twelve years of training were in the mountains. The beginning of his teaching was also in the mountains.
Truly even a supreme ruler doesn't coerce the mountains.
Know that the mountains are not the realm of human society, not the realm of heavens.
One cannot know or see the mountains by the measurement of human thought.
If they did not take the flowing of the human world as the standard of comparison,
who would doubt the flowing of the mountains, or the nonflowing of the mountains?
Then again, since ancient times there have occasionally been sages and saints who live on the water. While living on the water, they have caught fish, they have caught people, they have caught the Way.
All of these are ancient traditions of life on the waters.
Advancing further, there should be catching oneself, there should be catching catching, there should be being caught by catching, there should be being caught by the Way.
In olden times the monk Tokujo one day left Yakuzan to live on the river. Then he found the sage of Flower Inn River.
Why not catch fish, catch people, catch water, catch oneself?
Someone's getting to see virtue and sincerity is virtue and sincerity; virtue and sincerity making contact with someone is meeting someone.
It is not that there is water in the world; there are worlds in the realm of water.
And this is so not only in water - there are also worlds of sentient beings in clouds,
there are worlds of sentient beings in wind, there are worlds of sentient beings in fire, there are worlds of sentient beings in earth, there are worlds of sentient beings in phenomena, there are worlds of sentient beings in a single blade of grass,
there are worlds of sentient beings in a single staff.
Where there are worlds of sentient beings, there must be the world of Buddhas and Zen adepts - you should meditate on this principle very thoroughly.
So water is the palace of the true dragon. It is not flowing.
If you recognise it only as flowing, the word flow slanders water. That is because it is like insisting that it doesn't flow. Water is just the true form of thusness of water.
The fact is that water is the quality of water. It is not flowing.
In investigating the flow of one body of water and investigating not flowing, the completed investigation of myriad phenomena suddenly becomes apparent.
In the case of mountains too, there are mountains concealed in jewels, there are mountains concealed in marshes, there are mountains concealed in the sky, there are mountains concealed in mountains.
There is study which conceals mountains in concealment.
An ancient Buddha said, Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.
This saying does not say that "mountains" are mountains; it says mountains are mountains. Therefore you should investigate the mountains.
If you investigate the mountains, that is meditation in the mountains.
Such mountains and waters of themselves make sages and saints.