Tuesday, December 31, 2013

profisee 38 - now where's eve

the person is prologue
to no beginning—

the whole orange of it all
is just to see an apple
through the ripe bananas—

getting stuck
in unbecoming the false is not
unbecoming the false
but being the true is—

one cannot feed the tiger
nickels forever—

i am infinity of the power
and potentiality of the station

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Balancing Chan: Southern—Northern; Sudden—Gradual; Wu-nien—Li-nien; Knowledge—Purity

These three paragraphs by Yanagada Seizan may be the most concise, clearest, balanced view of the complex dialectic involved in early Chan and its later development that I've yet come across, and in turn, sharp pointed guidance to the inherent errors involved in following any concept of the non-conceptual too far in any way.

from: Yanagida, Seizan. "The Li-tai fa-pao chi and the Ch'an Doctrine of Sudden Awakening." Transl. Carl Bielefeldt. in Early Chan in China and Tibet
The teaching of sudden awakening, which split the Ch'an movement in the eighth century, finds its most concrete expression in Shen-hui's central doctrine of "no-thought" (wu-nien). This doctrine was originally put forward as a criticism of the Northern school's teaching of "detachment from thought" (li-nien). The notion of li-nien is later described by Shen-hui's follower Tsung-mi (780-841) as the practice of "wiping away defilements and viewing purity" (fu-ch 'en k'an-ching), a characterization based  on the famous verse attributed to Hui-neng's Northern school rival Shen-hsiu (606?-706) in the Liu tsu t'an ching. The Northern school believed in the original purity of the mind—that is, in an original self free from all defilements; its practice was to maintain and to magnify this self. This teaching is common to the Ta sheng ch'i hsin lun [*Mahayana-sraddhotpada, T.1666], the Vimalakirti-sutra [T.475], and many other basic Mahayana texts. But the belief in the original purity of one's own mind can itself become a form of attachment, in which one becomes bound by the notion of purity. The danger of such attachment is recognized in the Vimalakirti-sutra itself, and the Northern school was by no means unaware of it. In fact, despite the criticism leveled against it by the followers of Hui-neng, the Northern school taught a sophisticated and coherent system of Buddhist philosophy. Nevertheless, by emphasizing purity it seemed to be in danger of falling into a form of quietism. It was this point which Shen-hui attacked.
Shen-hui summarized what he considered the mistaken practice of the Northern school masters in a four-line maxim, which was later used by Lin-chi (d. 866) as well: "To concentrate the mind and enter samadhi, to settle the mind and view stillness, to arouse the mind and illumine the outside, to control the mind and verify the inside" (ning-hsin ju-ting chu-hsin k'an-ching ch'i-hsin wai-chao she-hsin nei-cheng) According to Shen-hui, the Northern school's doctrine of li-nien, taught on the basis of the Ta sheng ch'i hsin lun and the Vimalakirti-sutra, involves a bondage to purity: it is the practice of intentionally attempting to look at one's own pure mind. Shen-hui's summary of the Northern school teaching is, in fact, a criticism of a form of Ch'an sickness, in which one is attached to the detachment from thought and the contemplation of the pure original mind. Historically it does not seem that the masters of the Northern school were particularly attached to the practice of li-nien, but it must be admitted that philosophically their thought left them open to such criticism. At least Shen-hui saw the school as attached to li-nien, and taught his own doctrine of wu-nien in opposition to it.
Shen-hui's wu-nien doctrine is based on the notion of "natural knowledge" (tzu-jan chih) or "original knowledge" (pen-chih). The emphasis on such knowledge is the key issue separating the Northern and Southern schools. For Shen-hui, no-thought is itself sudden awakening, and as such there must be knowledge at work within it. The centrality of original knowledge for the Southern school's wu-nien dotrine was later recognized by Tsung-mi, who held that "the single term knowledge is the gateway to all mysteries" (chih chih i-tzu chung-miao chih men) Tsung-mi's emphasis on original knowledge was an attempt to defend Shen-hui's concept of wu-nien from misinterpretation by his contemporaries. On the one hand he was warning against the rise of the Ma-tsu school of Ch'an, which had transformed the teaching of no-thought into an emphasis on vital activity within everyday life. Such was the thrust of the school's famous sayings, "The ordinary mind is the Way" (p'ing-ch'ang hsin shih tao) or "This very mind is the Buddha" (chi hsin chi fo). For Tsung-mi this emphasis on the concrete function of the mind suggested blind activity devoid of original knowledge. At the same time, as we shall see, Tsung-mi's teaching was a criticism of the followers of the LTFPC [Li tai fa pao chi] who, while adopting Shen-hui's doctrine of no-thought, had in Tsung-mi's eyes forgotten that wu-nien is based on the functioning of knowledge.

Friday, December 20, 2013

profisee 37 - see saw sea

a wave of lost


which on self-

is unseen

and seen through
by the sea

one is

that’s always

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Early Chan Meditation 2: Daoxin (Tao-hsin) — practice, with understanding, and with realization

A Radical Edit of 'Pacifying the Mind' contained in 
'Record of the Lanka Masters and Disciples'

There is no separate Buddha apart from mind, and no other mind apart from Buddha. To be mindful of Buddha is to be mindful of mind. To seek mind is to seek Buddha. Why? Consciousness has no shape, Buddha has no form. Knowing this truth is pacifyng mind. With constant mindfulness of Buddha, grasping at objects does not arise. Then it is totally formless, everywhere equal and without duality. When you enter this station, the mind that [actively] remembers Buddha fades away and no longer has to be summoned. When you witness this type of mind, this is the true reality-nature body of the Tathagata. It is also called the Correct Dharma, buddha-nature, the real identity of all phenomena, reality itself. It is also called the Pure Land. It is also called bodhi, diamond samadhi, fundamental enlightenment, and so on. It is also called the realm of nirvana, and prajna, and the like. Though the names are countless, they all share one and the same essence. There is no sense of the subject observing and the object observed.


There are four kinds of people who study. The highest are those with practice, with understanding, and with realization. Next are those with understanding and realization but without practice. Next are those with practice and understanding but without realization. Lowest are those with practice, but without understanding or realization. Question: In the moment, how should we practice contemplation?

Daoxin said: You must let it roll.


Is it that mind is buddha, or that mind makes buddha? We must realize that mind is buddha-outside of mind there is no other buddha. In brief, there are five types [of approaches to this truth] .

One: by realizing that the mind-essence is by nature pure and clean, that this essence is the same as buddha.

Two: By realizing that the mind-function produces Dharma jewels and creates eternal quiescence, that the myriad forms of delusion are all Thus.

Three: By always awakening without stopping, so that the awakened mind is always present, aware that Reality is formless.

Four: By constantly contemplating bodily existence as empty and still, inner and outer pervaded and equalized, entering bodily into the realm of reality without obstruction.

Fifth: By preserving unity and not stirring, always abiding through motion and stillness, enabling the learner to clearly see buddha-nature and quickly enter the gate of concentration.


Those who hear should practice: don't be doubtful and confused. It is like a person learning archery. At first he shoots at large targets. By and by he can hit smaller and smaller ones. Then he can hit a single feather, then hit and smash it into a hundred pieces, then hit one of the hundredths. Then he can shoot the arrow before with the arrow after, and hit the notch, so the arrows line up one after another and he does not let any arrows fall.

This is a metaphor for practicing the Path, concentrating the mind from thought-instant to thought-instant, going on continuously from mind-moment to mind-moment without any interruptions, so that correct mindfulness is not broken and appears before you.


When beginning students sit in meditation, in undivided stillness they directly contemplate body and mind. They must investigate the four elements and the five skandhas, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body feeling, and conceptual mind, greed, anger, and ignorance, along with all phenomena, whether good or bad, hostile or friendly, ordinary or holy. They must observe that all these are originally empty and still, unborn and undestroyed, everywhere equal and without duality. Since the beginning there has been nothing at all, just ultimate quiescent extinction. Since the beginning, just pure liberation. You must do this contemplation always, no matter whether day or night, whether you are walking, standing, sitting, or lying down.

If you do, you will realize that your own bodily existence is like the moon in the water, like an image in a mirror, like a mirage when it is hot, like an echo in an empty valley. If you say it exists, wherever you seek it, it cannot be seen. If you say it does not exist, when you comprehend completely, it is always before your eyes. The buddhas' body of reality is also like this. Then you come to know that from countless ages past your own body has ultimately never been born, and that in the future ultimately there is no one who dies. If you can always do this contemplation, this is true repentance: the heavy evil karma of thousands of ages dissipates of itself.


When beginners sit in meditation to contemplate mind: Sit alone someplace. First straighten out your body and sit upright; let your robe be wide and your belt loose. Let your body relax: rub yourself down seven or eight times. Let the exhalations from the belly through the throat cease. Then you will find in abundance the purity, emptiness, and peace of inherent reality-nature.

When body and mind are properly attuned, when mind and spirit are at peace, then in deep mystic fusion, the breath is pure and cool. Slowly gather in mind until the path of the spirit is pure and sharp and the mind-ground is illumined and pure. As you perceive clearly and distinctly, inner and outer are empty and pure-this is the mind's inherent nirvana. With this nirvana, the mind of the sages is manifest. Though its real nature is formless, intent and proportion always remain. Thus, the profound luminous one never ends: it remains forever shining bright. This is called the buddha-nature, the enlightened real identity. Those who see buddha-nature leave behind forever birth and death: they are called people who transcend the world.

 from Zen Dawn translated by J.C. Cleary (bold formatting by aumdada)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Early Chan Meditation 1: Bodhidharma, Wall-Examining, and Broughton’s Commentary on Tibetan Abiding in Brightness

Bodhidharma - from Two Entrances

Entering by principle means that one awakens to the thesis by means of the teachings, and one deeply believes that all living beings, common and sagely, are identical to the True Nature; that it is merely because of the unreal covering of adventitious dust that the True Nature is not revealed. If one rejects the false and reverts to the real and in a coagulated state abides in wall-examining, then self and other, common man and sage, are identical; firmly abiding without shifting, in no way following after the written teachings-this is mysteriously tallying with principle. It is nondiscriminative, quiescent,  and inactive; we call it entrance by principle.

tr-Jeffrey Broughton (bold formatting by aumdada)

Commentary on Wall-examining (by Jeffrey Broughton)

The elusive term wall-examining has been the subject of countless exegeses, from the most imaginative and metaphorical to the suggestion that it refers to the simple physical act of facing a wall in cross-legged sitting posture. Tibetan Ch'an, a new and exciting subfield of early Ch'an studies, offers us one more. Various Ch'an texts were translated into Tibetan, one of the most important being the Bodhidharma Anthology, which in Tibetan is usually referred to as the Great Chinese Injunctions (Rgya lung chen po). The recently discovered ninth-century Tibetan treatise Dhyana of the Enlightened Eye (Bsam gtan mig sgron) contains translations of some of the Two Entrances, some material from Record I, and the whole of Record III. Early on the Dhyana of the Enlightened Eye gives summaries of four teachings known in early Tibet: the gradualist gate; the all-at-once gate (Chinese Ch'an); Mahayoga; and Atiyoga (Rdzogs-chen).

The summary of Ch'an ends with a series of quotations from Ch'an masters, the first of whom is Bodhidharmatara, the version of the name that is encountered in Tibetan sources: "From the sayings of the Great Master Bodhidharmatara [Bo-dhe-dar-mo-ta-ra]: 'If one reverts to the real, rejects discrimination, and abides in brightness, then there is neither self nor other. The common man and sage are equal. If without shifting you abide in firmness, after that you will not follow after the written teachings. This is the quiet of the principle of the real. It is nondiscriminative, quiescent, and inactive. It is entrance into principle.' " A Tibetan Tunhuang manuscript gives a virtually identical rendering. This understanding of wall-examining must have been widespread in early Tibet.

The Tibetan closely follows T'an-lin's Chinese with one exception, the line "in a coagulated state abides in wall-examining" (ning chu pi-kuan), for which the Tibetan reads: "rejects discrimination and abides in brightness" (rtogs pa spangs te I lham mer gnas na). This is a curious and consistent divergence. Why not a literal rendering, since the Tibetan translations of Chinese Ch'an materials are as a rule quite literal? We have the gloss of a Tibetan commentator.

The subsequent summaries of Mahayoga and Atiyoga give us the context of this gloss, since both of these tantric teachings center on luminosity (gsal ba). Of the Mahayoga thesis it is said: "All dharmas are a self-knowing brightness wherein the two truths do not exist. It is not made by a maker. The universal bright light and the infinity of gnosis are nondual. " Of the Atiyoga thesis it is said: "What is there to cultivate in the bright, bright [lhan ne lhang nge = lham me lham me] primordial light that is self-knowing, does not split, does not move, is undefiled, and does not abide?" The translator most certainly did not see wall-examining as a practice of sitting cross-legged facing a wall-an interpretation that often appears in later Ch' an texts. He saw it not as a physical posture but as an analogue of tantric teachings on all-at-once perfection. 

(bold formatting by aumdada)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Moheyan: Timeline and Timeless Zen Teaching

“There is evidence of human habitation in the Dunhuang area as early as 2,000 BC, possibly by people recorded as the Qiang in Chinese history.” ~Wikipedia

To set the stage: Dunhuang, Mogao Caves. Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. The first one is dug out in 366. Thereabouts. For Buddhist meditation and worship.

A Chan monk, Moheyan (Wade-Giles: Mo-ho-yen) travels to Dunhuang, once and future part of China but for the time being part of Tibet, in 781 or 787, to spread the Dharma. He has been schooled in East Mountain Teaching by what are now called Northern School teachers, which is not, despite belief, a gradual teaching.

In 793, the Council of Lhasa Debate between Moheyan and an Indian monk named Kamalasila takes place, although it actually took place in a monastery at Samye (where Moheyan was now situated). After the debate, which may or may not have even taken place, King Trisong Detsen of Tibet declares for Indian gradualism over Chinese subitism. Or maybe he did, and then again, maybe not.

Dunhuang, because it was not part of China at the time, escapes the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution initiated by Tang Emperor Wuzong in 845 CE. For our timeline, this turns out to be a key exemption. Nothing is destroyed.

Tenth or Eleventh century. For some reason, an abundance of Buddhist manuscripts, some of which are Chan-related, transcribed in either Chinese or Tibetan script, are sealed up in one of the caves, and forgotten until…

June 25, 1900: documents are discovered in a sealed cave, Cave 17, to be known as the Library Cave, by the Daoist monk, Wang Yuanlu.

1907: Aurel Stein purchases a selected assortment and takes them back to England. Months later, Paul Perriot, in a similar fashion, buys and transports a number back to France.

1983. One of the documents, coded S-468, revealing Moheyan’s teaching, is translated by Luis Gomez and published in Studies in Ch'an and Hua-Yen, along with other Dunhuang texts, which, Gomez speculates, partially comprise a work entitled Gate of Immediate Access to Meditation.

2013: merely copying a portion of the first section of said work here:

from Gate of Immediate Access to Meditation
(Stein 468:1 "The Sudden Path.")

1.1. The cause of transmigration.

The root of the wheel of birth and death in the world is the discriminating mind. Why is this? The discriminating mind arises from habitual tendencies [that have grown since] beginningless time. Because of this, one perceives [everything] in accordance with the [conceptualizations] that arise [in the mind], and one acts in accordance with that perception, producing fruits that agree with such actions. Therefore, from the highest Buddha down to the lowest hell, one perceives only what is magically generated by one's own discriminating mind. [On the other hand], if the [discriminating] mind does not arise, one cannot find even an atom of a dharma [on which to settle].

1.2. Sitting in meditation.

A person who understands that this is so should give up other activities, sit alone in a place that is isolated and free from noise, cross his legs and keep his back straight, without sleeping morning or evening.

1.3. No-mind.

When he enters a state of deep contemplation he looks into his own mind. There being no-mind he does not engage in thought. If thoughts of discrimination arise, he should become aware of them.

1.4. Practice of no-mind: no-examination.

How should one practice this awareness? Whatever thoughts arise, one does not examine [to see] whether they have arisen or not, whether they exist or not, whether they are good or bad, afflicted or purified. He does not examine any dharma whatsoever.

1.5. The "path of dharma.”

If he becomes aware in this way of the arising [of thoughts, he perceives] the absence of self-existence.This is called "The Conduct of the Path of Dharma."

1.6. Erroneous meditation.

If one fails to have this awareness of the arising of thoughts, or if the awareness is incorrect, one will act accordingly, cultivate meditation in vain (or, cultivate an inexistent object!), and remain as a common man.

1.7. Conceptualizations.

When a person who cultivates meditation for the first time looks into the mind, there arise conceptualizations. To this one should apply the same principles as above.

1.8. Awareness.

After sitting [in this manner] for a long time, the mind will become tame, and one will realize that his awareness is also discriminating mind. How does this occur? It is comparable to becoming blemished by bodily actions, it is only on account of the blemish that one knows that one is blemished. In the same way, one has an awareness due to the blemished of the arising of thoughts. It is on account of this [arising] that we know that we have an awareness.

1.9. Awareness is to be abandoned too.

Awareness itself is without name or form, one cannot see the place whence it originally came, nor can one discern whither it will finally go. The awareness and place where it occurs cannot be obtained by any search. There is no way of reflecting on the inconceivable. Not to cling even to this absence of thought is [the immediate access of] the Tathagatas.

Monday, December 9, 2013

More Dunhuang Yuan, the Lost Chan Master

I have previously offered selections of Yuan from Record II of the Bodhidharma Anthology (a Dunhuang text) there (where I also included extensive quotations from the translator, Jeremy Broughton) and there, but I would like to include three additional dialogues here.

The first dialogue describes seeing transgression and transcending seeing. The second concerns the view of no view. And the third describes the critical failure of all words. All three speak to seeing through all the subtle deceptions of conditionality.

Note the directness of Yuan’s language. In fact, the one Master who sermonizes is not Yuan but Chih. And Yuan blows him off accordingly. When Yuan finally speaks at length in the third dialogue, it is only to thoroughly disavow “terms and written words.” And when questioned again, Yuan simply refuses to respond, a silent ‘keep quiet.’

Dharma Master Chih saw Dharma Master Yuan on the street of butchers and asked: "Do you see the butchers slaughtering the sheep?" Dharma master Yuan said: "My eyes are not blind. How could I not see them?" Dharma Master Chih said: "Master Yuan, you are saying you see it!" Master Yuan said: "You're seeing it on top of seeing it!"

Master Chih again asked: "If you hold a view with characteristics, it is the view of a common man. If you hold a view of voidness of essence, it is the view of the two vehicles. If you hold a view of neither existence nor nonexistence, it is the view of a solitary Buddha. If you hold a view of pity and sympathy, it is the view of compassion with love. If you use mind to view, then it is the view of the followers of the non-Buddhist paths. If you make use of the consciousnesses to view, it is the view of the Heavenly Evil One. If you do not see forms and formlessness, you will no longer have views. How should one view in order to be free of all these errors?" Master Yuan said: "I have nothing whatsoever to do with these sorts of views at all, and that is what is properly called taking a view. Because you create various false thoughts such as these, you are deluding and confusing yourself."

A certain person asked Master Yuan: "Why do you not teach me the Dharma?" Answer: "If I were to set up a Dharma to teach you, it would not be leading you. If I were to set up a Dharma, it would be deceiving you; it would be failing you. If I had a Dharma, how could I explain it to someone else? How could I speak of it to you? It comes down to this: If there are terms and written words, all of it will deceive you. How could I tell you even a mustard seed's worth of the meaning of the great path? If I could speak of it, what purpose would that serve?" When asked again, [Master Yuan] did not reply.

Friday, December 6, 2013

profisee 36 - heart sonnet

some not encountering
unconditional love
confusing its truth
thought romantic love
rebel against love
and throw it away—

most mothers fathom
unconditional love
wild sharp and tough

no remembering the past
no thinking the present
no forgetting this practice

gone beyond words

Sunday, December 1, 2013

profisee 35 - song ray

visualization meditation is not
a trick of illusion
but a means to convince
what's thought reality is actually

a trick of illusion

one never knows why
but always is—
without question
rest in that declaration

earth is
and space is
and the light
of the sun
is the ray
to follow

Thursday, November 28, 2013

profisee 34 - the space of mind

bare woods
in which the open space is

and every tree
an eye
that sees itself

like black-capped chickadees
zip by

completely unimpeded
in this still and

of natural immaculate

where breath is the wind
and always the one
and only way

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

profisee 33 - born in the unborn

in the phenomenon
of a body

to realize
all phenomena
lies nonsubstantially

within the infinite
space of one's self

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

profisee 32 - thesis of meditational relativity

forget the world
and love the one lost in it

there's no personalizing

all's the same although
your words may differ

a suddenness that gradually

Monday, November 25, 2013

profisee 31 - super efficaciously and expialidocious

let drop the veil
and be the light—
the only effort is
the honest effort
ceasing effort

& rest and watch
the light one is
subdue the world
that efficaciously
thinks you are

Saturday, November 23, 2013

profisee 30 - tekknaware

a finely-tuned device of body-
mind is born to carefully detect
its fundamental birthlessness

awareness so highly aware
as to be one-pointedly aware
of only itself, pure awareness

beneath the clouds you think
you are is the sun one really is
rest in what one is and see

the clouds for what they are—

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

profisee 29 - illumination meditation

ten thousand megaton
…awareness bright

the world is extraordinary
…but i am simply not

abiding within
…the flash of insight

nothing is lost
…so nothing is sought

Monday, November 18, 2013

profisee 28 - the cross stitch of nothing

the silence of all
is as it is

the peace of waking
from a dream

the heart of dawn
in the light of darkness

the clarity of seeing
through the seem

Friday, November 15, 2013

profisee 27 - third eye duet

how can i surrender
to what i am

my eyes see
only myself

one eye is my mother
one eye is my father

one eye doesn't know itself
one eye’s in utter fear
of what it thinks
it knows

learn yourself through one eye
love yourself with the other

as you knowingly
unthink yourself

you view your self
as third eye

nondual and viewless

Thursday, November 14, 2013

profisee 26 - remembering genesis

the personal is a product of memory
but i am not

the world lives
but i am

in the moment without thought
there's only

the genesis godness
zing of total awareness

but the me prefers
an impossible future

made out of an ideal
nonexistent past

the thing about memory is
you forget what you really are

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

profisee 25 - stir real, resting lightning

missing the lightning
i am

in the thunder of what
i'm not

love is not
the bond between

the personal
but the personal

the cruel coagulant
in love

stir your real
self up

follow ultraviolet
listen infrared

stop pumping
a world of irony

and rest in the surge
of the heart

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

profisee 24 - visions of awareness

being completely
aware of being
aware is

is not an end
in itself but merely
direction towards

anything less
than viewless
is evermore

Monday, November 11, 2013

profisee 23 - processing samadhi

there’s now
called love
and the memory of now
called thought

mistaking devices
of memory as consciousness
processing now is
a world of error

dropping out of the error
into the processing
is samadhi
of that i am

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Catalogue of Early Chan Dunhuang Texts and Selections from those of Daoxin and Hongren

Listed here are the earliest texts of Ch’an, using quoted material from Broughton, McRae, and Chappell (see color coding below). Especially of note are the three Records of the Bodhidharma Anthology (1.), “the beginnings of the recorded­ sayings genre of Ch'an literature,” as well as Essentials of Cultivating Mind (4.) and the Tao-hsin section (...Pacifying [or Calming] the Mind) of the Record of the Lanka Masters and Disciples (8.) which contain the wisdom of East Mountain Ch’an (arguably the actual beginnings of Zen) in later compilations of Hongren and Daoxin teachings respectively (i.e. not written by Hongren and Daoxin, but compiled by students later).

Available English translations are underlined. Selections of the Daoxin (Tao-hsin) and Hongren (Hung-jen) texts are included at the end of the post (brief excerpts of the Records of the Bodhidharma Anthology are available from a previous post here).

Blue = Broughton (Bodhidharma Anthology)
Brown = McRae (Seeing Through Zen)
Green = McRae (The Northern School and the Formation of Early Chan Buddhism)
Purple = Chappell (The Teachings of the Fourth Ch'an Patriarch Tao-hsin)
Black = minor aumdada notes

The discovery in the early part of this century of a small, walled-up cave within the Mo-kao Grottoes located outside the oasis town of Tun-huang in Northwest China has led to the retrieval of a lost early Ch’an literature of T’ang Dynasty times (618—907)…

About three hundred Chinese manuscripts relating to Ch’an have so far been discovered in the Tun-huang collections. Many are fragments of scrolls, and we have a number of scrolls bearing the same works. The total number of separate works included in these manuscripts is roughly one hundred, and it is from these one hundred titles that a list of the earliest works must be extracted…

Codicological work by a Japanese scholar outside the field of Zen studies distributes Ch'an manuscripts into three chronological strata:

1. 750-780, a period during which Chinese cultural influence still held sway at the remote oasis center

2. 780s to c. 860, the period of Tibetan occupation of Tun-huang and its aftermath, during which Tun-huang's cultural fabric was severed from that of China

3. the 900s, when Tun-huang was brought once again under Chinese rule by a powerful local Chinese family; sometimes referred to as the Return-to-Righteousness Army period in reference to the victorious local Chinese army; in spite of Tun­huang's being in Chinese hands once again, the cultural link to China proper was not fully restored. 

Here is a list of texts that are found on manuscripts classified as early stratum. With some confidence we can say that these are among the oldest Ch'an books. For each of these texts, with the exception of the Records, I will give a brief description of contents, an edition if available, and an English translation if available. 

1. The three Records of the Bodhidharma Anthology
Of the nine manuscripts containing material from the Bodhidharma Anthology, Ueyama…classifies…portions of Record I and Record II and…a small fragment of Record III as early stratum. He classifies all the others with the exception of Stein Ch. 7159 as middle stratum. Thus, of the seven texts in the anthology, only the Records are to be found on early-stratum manuscripts. This reinforces any claim that the Records are among our earliest Ch' an documents.
See Bodhidharma Anthology translated by Jeremy L. Broughton
Record I contains quite a few colloquial elements… These colloquial forms should alert us. They are the beginnings of a tendency that culminates in Sung Dynasty Ch'an literature, the most conspicuous characteristic of which is the use of colloquial language. Of course, in that literature the colloquial once again solidifies into a literary language… Record I takes the first big step toward breaking into the colloquial range of the recorded-sayings (yu-lu) genre of Ch'an literature; Record II is on the verge of breaking into that range. The vibrancy, the resonance with the spoken word, tells us more about original Ch'an than Tan-lin's elegant, balanced Two Entrances. These texts tell us of the deepening Sinification of Buddhism, in the sense of a move toward a spoken Chinese form of expression and away from the venerable, but artificial, style of the translation and commentarial traditions…”
Record II truly constitutes the beginnings of the recorded­sayings genre of Ch'an literature. There is a direct line from this work to the vast literature of Ch'an recorded sayings, and neglect of Record II has led us to place the beginnings of the recorded-sayings genre much too late in the history of Ch'an literature-usually in the ninth century.

2. Former Worthies Gather at the Mount Shuang-feng Stupa and Each Talks of the Dark Principle (Hsien-te chi yu shuang-feng shan t'a ko t’an hsuan-li)
The successor of these two Records is a rather strange, small text…, a collection of sayings (each with the same introductory verb, yiueh, as Record III) for twelve figures at an imaginary memorial gathering for the “fifth patriarch” Hung-jen at his stupa on Mount Shuang-feng just north of the Yangtze River in Hupeh. It is a very brief recorded-sayings text but lacks any colloquial forms and is designed to provide a particular slant on the genealogy of the embryonic tradition… 
See Bodhidharma Anthology - Appendix B translated by Jeremy L. Broughton

3. Treatise on Perfect Enlightenment (Yuan-ming lun)
NO· 3 was compiled by someone who relied on dhyana practice grounded in the Ta-ch'eng ch'i-hsin lun to realize the perfect teaching (yuan-chiao), as opposed to the gradual and sudden teachings. The perfect teaching is a meditative concentration in which one realizes that everything is equal to space. The opening reflects the opening of the Two Entrances. In place of principle and practice we find the categories of the Ch'i-hsin lun, the two gates of sentient-being mind: Thusness and arising-extinguishing. 
For an edition and translation, see McRae, The Northern School, 18-44 (from the back) and 149-71.
…probably taken from a lecture or lectures by Shen-hsiu or another Northern School figure, perhaps given to introduce a written treatise or commentary…this text is the most comprehensive statement of the teachings of the Northern School.

4. Essentials of Cultivating Mind (Hsiu-hsin yao lun)
NO· 4 is a.recorded-sayings work for Hung-jen of East Mountain. It is composed of two parts, the former consisting of the master's answers to disciples' questions and the latter a collection of the master's statements interspersed with occasional questions and answers. The main motifs are: the metaphor of the sun obscured by clouds; guarding mind (shou-hsin); and two types of meditation practice, one involving the visualization of the sun at an appropriate distance and the other a slow and peaceful ripening of gazing (shu-k'an) until the movements of consciousness disappear. 
For an edition and translation, see McRae, The Northern School, 1-16 (from the back) and 121-32. 
When Hongren's students moved from the provincial community at Huangmei to the imperial center, one of their first steps was to compile a written record of their master's teachings. This was the Treatise on the Essentials of Cultivating the Mind, which includes the straightforward admission that it was compiled not by Hongren himself but by his students, presumably after his demise. Actually, this is the earliest example within the Chan tradition of the composition of texts representing a given master's teachings, that is, of texts that were compiled and edited shortly after the master's death. The Treatise on the Essentials of Cultivating the Mind may have been prepared for use by Faru, who taught at Mount Song for a few years prior to his death in 689; the text was almost certainly known to Shenxiu by about the same time, and it was quoted in other texts during the second decade of the eighth century. 
Although Daoxin is treated in Chan hagiography as Hongren's predecessor, the written teachings attributed to Daoxin only appeared after the text attributed retrospectively to Hongren

5. On Examining Mind (Kuan-hsin lun)
NO· 5 is a work of Hung-jen's disciple Shen-hsiu. It came to be attributed to Bodhidharma and presented as a dialogue between Bodhidharma and Hui-k'o. It opens with a statement on examining mind (kuan-hsin) and the twofold function of mind-pure mind and defiled mind. It gives many metaphorical equivalents: the six bandits are the six consciousnesses; the three realms of Buddhist cosmology are the three poisons of greed, hostility, and stupidity; the three eons of the bodhisattva course are the mind of the three poisons, and so forth. The thrust isthat mere external seeking without internal cultivation is useless. 
For a translated edition, see Zen Dawn by J.C. Cleary

6. Three short treatises attributed to the fifth- to sixth-century figure Seng-ch'ou: Dhyana Master Ch'ou's Idea (Ch'ou ch'an-shih I); Dhyana Master Ch'ou's Medicinal Prescription for Curing the Outflows (Ch'ou ch'an-shih yao-fang liao yu-lou); and Treatise on the Mahayana Mind-Range (Ta-ch'eng hsin-hsing lun)
The first of no. 6 discusses quieting mind (an-hsin) in dialogue format. It seems to echo much in the Records. The second discusses eight medicines, such as one-third ounce of faithfully receiving the Dharma, two-thirds ounce of pure zeal, and so forth. One is to "grind up the above eight flavors with the kindness cutter and pulverize them in the samadhi mortar before processing them with a nonduality silk strainer." The third sets up two types of exertion-the gate of entering principle and the gate of producing function, clearly echoing the Two Entrances. In the functional mode the practitioner behaves and speaks in a manner that does not contravene the ways of the world. This approximates the first two of the four practices. This piece also contains the same sort of Records vocabulary. 
It appears no English translations are available as of yet.

7. Record of the Transmission of the Dharma Treasure (Ch'uanfa-pao chi; datable to sometime after 713)
NO. 7 was compiled by the layman Tu Fei, who had a close relationship with disciples of Shen-hsiu. It records the transmission of Dharma down from Bodhidharma, providing biographical entries for Bodhidharma, Hui-k'o, Seng-ts'an, Tao-hsin, Hung-jen, Fa-ju, and Shen-hsiu. Thus it accords Fa-ju the preeminent position as Hung-jen's successor and makes Shen-hsiu the successor of Fa-ju. It criticizes wall-examining and the four practices as "provisional, one-comer formulations." 
For a…translation, see McRae, The Northern School, 255-69. 
written around the year 712 on behalf of the members of the Northern School. As the earliest extant “transmission of the lamp” text…

8. Record of the Lanka Masters and Disciples (Leng-chia shih-tzu chi; datable to 719-20)
No. 8 was compiled by Ching-chueh, whose main master was Hsuan-tse. It records the transmission of the "lamp of dhyana," which illumines in silence, providing entries for Gunabhadra, Bodhidharma, Hui-k'o, Seng-ts' an, Tao-hsin, Hung-jen, and Shen-hsiu. At the eighth generation it gives the names of four of Shen-hsiu's disciples. Fa-ju is deleted. The most striking innovation here is the inclusion of Gunabhadra, the translator of the four-roll Lankavatara Sutra, as the first patriarch, with Bodhidharma as his successor. It is not just a string of biographical entries, but a virtual compendium of proto-Ch'an lore. It contains say­ings for certain patriarchs, quotes the whole of the Biography and Two Entrances, provides the earliest extant exposition of cross-legged sitting, and so forth. It emphasizes the concrete practice of "pure sitting" (ching-tso). 
For an edition see Zen Dawn translated by J.C. Cleary 
Also see The Teachings of the Fourth Ch'an Patriarch Tao-hsin by David Chappell in Early Chan in China and Tibet 
That is, the genealogical presentation of the Chan transmission was first recorded on paper in the early years of metropolitan Chan activity. The earliest recorded instance of this was in the epitaph for a certain Faru, a student of Hongren's who died in 689 (see p. 35), and by the second decade of the eighth century, the later followers of Hongren had produced two separate texts describing the transmission from Bodhidharma to Shenxiu. These two texts, which I do not discuss individually here, are known to contemporary scholarship as early “transmission of the lamp” histories after the title of the defining text in the genre written several centuries later, the Record of the Transmission of the Lamp [compiled in] the Jingde [period], or Jingde chuandeng lu.8 There are differences of content and emphasis between the two “Northern school” texts, but they both express essentially the same doctrine: that the central teaching of Buddhism was transmitted through a sequence of patriarchs reaching Shenxiu and his disciples. 
[T]he discovery by Hu Shih in 1926 of two Tun-huang manuscripts (one in Paris and the other in London) of the Leng chia shih tz'u chi ["Record of the Masters and Disciples of the Lankavatara," cited hereafter as LCSTC] gave us a reasonably authentic version of Tao-hsin's Ju-tao an-hsin yao fang pien fa men…(cited hereafter as JTFM)…However, the best source for our study of Tao-hsin appears in…the LCSTC complied by Ching-chüeh (683-750?) that Tao-hsin achieves his highest position. Although this text is generally placed in the K'ai-yüan period (712_741), Yanagida and Hu Shih feel it was written by 716 whereas Yin-shun dates it about 720… 
The -LCSTC lists two works written by Tao-hsin: the P'u sa chieh fa and the Ju-tao an-hsin yao fang pien fa men ("The Fundamental Expedient Teachings for Calming the Mind Which Attains Enlightenment," cited as JTFM). Although the P'u sa chieh fa no longer survives, it is the consensus of modern scholars that the lengthy description of Tao-hsin's ideas in the LCSTC is, in fact, the text of Tao-hsin's JTFM.


from Hongren's ...Cultivating Mind
Throughout the canon, the Tathagata preaches extensively about all types of transgression and good fortune, causes and conditions, and rewards and retributions. He also draws upon all the various things of this world, mountains, rivers, the earth, plants, trees, etc. to make innumerable metaphors. He also manifests innumerable supernormal powers and various kinds of transformations. All these are just the Buddha’s way of teaching foolish sentient beings. Since they have various kinds of desires and a myriad of psychological differences, the Tathagata draws them into permanent bliss according to their mental tendencies.

Understand clearly that the Buddha Nature embodied within sentient beings is inherently pure, like a sun underlaid by clouds. By just distinctly maintaining awareness of the True Mind, the clouds of false thoughts will go away, and the sun of wisdom will appear. Why make any further study of knowledge based on the senses, which only leads to the suffering of samsara?

All concepts, as well as affairs of the three periods of time, should be understood according to the metaphor of polishing a mirror: When the dust is gone the Nature naturally becomes manifest. That which is learned by the ignorant mind is completely useless. True learning is that which is learned by the inactive or unconditioned, wu wei mind, which never ceases correct mindfulness. Although this is called “true learning,” ultimately there is nothing to be learned. Why is this?

Because the self and nirvana are both nonsubstantial, they are neither different nor the same. Therefore, the essential principle of the words “nothing to be learned” is true.

One must maintain clear awareness of the True Mind without generating false thoughts or the illusion of personal possession. Therefore, the Nirvana Sutra says: “To understand that the Buddha does not actually preach the Dharma is called having sufficiently listened to the Buddha’s preaching.” Therefore, maintaining awareness of the True Mind is the basic principle of the entire canon…

All the Buddhas of the past, present, and future are generated within one’s own consciousness. When you do not generate false thoughts, the Buddhas are generated within your consciousness. When your illusions of personal possession have been extinguished, the Buddhas are generated within your consciousness. You will only achieve buddhahood by maintaining awareness of the True Mind. Therefore, maintaining awarenss of the mind is the patriarch of the all the Buddhas of  past, present, and future.

If one were to expand upon the four previous topics, how could one ever explain them completely? My only desire is that you discern the fundamental mind for yourselves. Therefore, I sincerely tell you: Make effort! Make effort!

I base my teaching on the Lotus Sutra in which the Buddha says: “I have presented you with a great cart and a treasure of valuables, including bright jewels and wondrous medicines. Even so, you do not take them. What extreme suffering! Alas, alas!” If you can cease generating false thoughts and the illusion of personal possessions, then all the various types of merit will become perfect and complete. Do not try to search outside yourself, which only leads to the suffering of samsara.

Maintain the same state of mind in every moment of thought, in every phase of mental activity. Do not enjoy the present while planting seeds of future suffering; by doing so you only deceive yourself and others and cannot escape from the realm of birth and death.

Make effort! Make effort! Although it may seem futile now, your present efforts constitute the causes for your future enlightenment. Do not let time pass in vain while only wasting energy. The sutra says: “Foolish sentient beings will reside forever in hell as if pleasantly relaxing in a garden. There are no modes of existence worse than their present state.” We sentient beings fit this description. Having no idea how horribly terrifying this world really is, we never have the least intention of leaving! How awful! 
translated by John R. McRae in The Northern School and the Formation of Early Ch’an Buddhism 

from Daoxin's ...Pacifying the Mind
The fundamental teachings of mine are [1] the mind of all the Buddhas is the First Principle, based on the Lankavatara Sutra; and [2] hsing san mei means that the mind which is aware of the Buddha is the Buddha, whereas [the mind which] does false thinking is the ordinary person, based on the Wen shu shuo po jo ching

Every aspect of the mind and body, [even] lifting your foot and putting it down, always is the place of enlightenment. All of your behavior and actions are enlightenment.

The P'u hsien kuan ching says: "The sea of all karmic hindrances totally arises from false thinking (wang hsiang). Those who desire to repent should sit upright and contemplate true reality (shih- hsiang)." This is called Repentence according to the First Principle, which eradicates the mind of the three poisons, the grasping mind, and the conceptualizing mind. If one continuously meditates on Buddha thought after thought, suddenly there will be clarity and serenity, and still further not even an object of thought. The Ta p'in ching says: "No object of thought (wu-suo-nien ) means to be thinking on Buddha (nienfo).

Why is it called wu-suo-nien? It means the mind which is "thinking on Buddha" is called thinking on no object (wu-suo-nien). Apart from mind there is no Buddha at all. Apart from Buddha there is no mind at all. Thinking on Buddha is identical to the thinking mind. To seek the mind means to seek for the Buddha.

Why is this? Consciousness is without form. The Buddha lacks any outer appearance. When you understand this truth, it is identical to calming the mind (an-hsin). If you always are thinking on Buddha, grasping [onto externals] does not arise, [and everything] disappears and is without form, and thinking is impartial without [false] discrimination. To enter into this state, the mind which is thinking on Buddha disappears, and further it is not even necessary to indicate [the mind as Buddha]. When you see this, your mind is none other than the body of the real and true nature of the Tathägata. It is also called the True Dharma; it is also called Buddha Nature; it is also called the Real Nature or Real Ultimate of the various dharmas; it is also called the Pure Land; it is also called enlightenment, the Diamond Samadhi, and original enlightenment; it is also called the realm of nirväna and widsom (prajña). Although the names are innumerable they are all the same One Essence, and do not mean a subject of contemplation nor an object of contemplation.

When the mind is impartial like this, without fail it is made clear and pure and always appears in front of you so that the various conditions are not able to become obstructive. Why is this? Because all these phenomena are the body of the One Dharma of the Tathägata. When one stays in this unified mind, all bondage and illusion spontaneously disappear. Within a single speck of dust are all innumerable realms. Innumerable realms are collected on the tip of a single hair.

Because their original nature is suchness (emptiness), there is not any mutual interference. The Hua yen ching says: "There is one volume of scripture [explaining that] in a single speck of dust one can see the phenomena of 3000 chiliocosms'. As briefly pointed out, it is impossible to exhaust everything when it comes to [describing the methods for] calming the mind (an-hsin). In this, skillfulness comes from the heart…

Neither by [trying to] meditate on the Buddha, nor by [trying to] grab hold of the mind, nor by seeing the mind, nor by analyzing the mind, nor by reflections, nor by discernment, nor by dispersing confusion, but by thorough identification with the natural rhythms of things. Don’t force anything to do. Don’t force anything to stay. Finally abiding in the one sole purity, the mind spontaneously becomes lucid and pure. 
translated by David Chappell in The Teachings of the Fourth Ch'an Patriarch Tao-hsin 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

profisee 22 - the catch_

it is through the body-mind
one comes to know
there is no body-mind

to absolutely know god
is to be god and to be god
is absolutely godless

without a world of thought
love moves
within a world of thought

Friday, November 8, 2013

profisee 21 - love at the starlight lounge

the universe loves that
i am the universe and

the universe only does
what it loves

sentimental love is
to unconditional love

as a spotlight is
to starlight

one angry backhoe is digging
up an empty dream

as ten thousand birds
of paradise are singing

clearly in a single voice
love love


Thursday, November 7, 2013

profisee 20 - do the looking glass

wisdom appears in the world
so the false may be the truth that knows
wisdom never appeared in the world

feel the one
orgasmic big 
bang i-am within

listen to the bliss you are
for only consciousness
really knows

the mirror cleans 
itself as one
is gazing through it

seeing there is no doer—
the means toward realization are
the functioning of realization

that which is aware
of That is
actually That

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

profisee 19 - this person will self-destruct_

never underestimate
the suction of samsara

even the silence of space
gets personal

in the blink of an i

the world is what
one makes of it

mission indivisible:
project love

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

profisee 18 - i.0

hate likes hate and
like likes like

hate hates like and
like hates hate

but love
loves them all—

the world is only
the memory of love

love is now

the new me is
i point oh—

what is thought
to be me is

the curtain behind which is
the reality i am

but in truth there's never a curtain
and nothing behind to be

Monday, November 4, 2013

profisee 17 - wake up reel

it is advisable
that before you die
(at any given moment)

you take this most opportune
limited lifespan
to realize

you are


rather than fiddle
while rome is burning
see that you imagine

yourself as confines
of this world
and that is why

you burn


watch your light
that makes this loud
and epic picture

and know

you are its
dark and silent

Friday, November 1, 2013

Concerning the Treatise on the Transcendence of Cognition or the Ceasing of Notions [Jueguan lun]

"Buddhist scholar, John McRae, attributes this text to the Ox-head School of early Chan. McRae explains that research of the Ox-head School (named after the mountain Mount Niu-t'ou, Ox-head Mountain), has, until recently, been almost entirely devoted to the study of this text, the Chüeh-kuan lun (Jue-guan lun) which was rediscovered through the publication in 1935 of D. T. Suzuki's Shōshitsu issho (Lost Works from Bodhidharma's Cave). In all, there are six extant Dunhuang manuscripts of this text, all of which were published by Suzuki in 1945 and then by the eminent Japanese scholar Yanagida Seizan in 1970. The authorship of the text is in dispute.  McRae notes that the text, which he dates as sometime after 750, has been variously attributed to Shen-hi, Bodhidharma, Niu-t'ou Fa-jung, the legendary figurehead of the Ox-head School or perhaps by someone else later in the Bodhidharma tradition…

The text is an early example of the creativity of early Chan writing. It is structured as a dialogue between master and pupil but is obviously a fictional encounter. Highly structured as it is, it may be, as McRae notes in his essay, The Antecedents of Encounter Dialogue in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism , “intended to model ideal teacher/student interactions and may in fact have resembled to some degree actual exchanges that took place between living meditation masters and practitioners.”  McRae translates the title as Treatise on the Transcendence of Cognition and the two individuals...as ‘Professor Enlightenment' and ‘Conditionality'…The Ceasing of Notions…is [the title] translated by Venerable Myokyo-ni (Irmgard Schloegl, 1921–2007) and Michelle Bromley from earlier versions in German, English and Japanese (but notably, not Chinese).

The master in the text tries to lead the student from his notions of delusions and clinging, seeing everything in a dual way, to a true understanding of Chan. Master Nyuri constantly points to the student's errors in seeing things as a duality and not recognizing the emptiness in all things, including his questions. Throughout the dialogue, the student fails to understand the master's teaching until the very end when he becomes ‘enlightened', “finally breaking through to the pure, non-discriminating illumination of śūnyatā”."


Professor Enlightenment was silent and said nothing. Conditionality then arose suddenly and asked Professor Enlightenment: "What is the mind? What is it to pacify the mind (anxin)?"

[The master] answered: "You should not posit a mind, nor should you attempt to pacify it-this is called 'pacified.'"

Question: "If there is no mind, how can one cultivate enlightenment (tao)?"

Answer: "Enlightenment is not a thought of the mind, so how could it occur in the mind?"

Question: "If it is not thought of by the mind, how should it be thought of?"

Answer: "If there are thoughts then there is mind, and for there to be mind is contrary to enlightenment. If there is no thought (wunian) then there is no mind(wuxin), and for there to be no mind is true enlightenment." ...

Question: "What 'things' are there in no-mind?"

Answer: "No-mind is without 'things.' The absence of things is the Naturally True. The Naturally True is the Great Enlightenment (ta-tao)."...

Question: "What should I do?"

Answer: "You should do nothing."

Question: "I understand this teaching now even less than before."

Answer: "There truly is no understanding of the Dharma. Do not seek to understand it." ...

Question: "Who teaches these words?"

Answer: "It is as I have been asked."

Question: "What does it mean to say that it is as you have been asked?"

Answer: "If you contemplate [your own] questions, the answers will be understood [thereby] as well."

At this Conditionality was silent and he thought everything through once again.

Professor Enlightenment asked: "Why do you not say anything?"

Conditionality answered: "I do not perceive even the most minute bit of anything that can be explained."

At this point Professor Enlightenment said to Conditionality: "You would appear to have now perceived the True Principle."

Conditionality asked: "Why [do you say] 'would appear to have perceived' and not that I 'correctly perceived' [the True Principle]?"

Enlightenment answered: "What you have now perceived is the nonexistence of all dharmas. This is like the non-Buddhists who study how to make themselves invisible, but cannot destroy their shadow and footprints."

Conditionality asked: "How can one destroy both form and shadow?"

Enlightenment answered: "Being fundamentally without mind and its sensory realms, you must not willfully generate the ascriptive view (or, "perception") of impermanence."

[The following is from the end of the text.]

Question: "If one becomes [a Tathaagata] without transformation and in one's own body, how could it be called difficult?"

Answer: Willfully activating (ch'i ÑÃ) the mind is easy; extinguishing the mind is difficult. It is easy to affirm the body, but difficult to negate it. It is easy to act, but difficult to be without action. Therefore, understand that the mysterious achievement is difficult to attain, it is difficult to gain union with the Wondrous Principle. Motionless is the True, which the three [lesser vehicles] only rarely attain."

At this Conditionality gave a long sigh, his voice filling the ten directions. Suddenly, soundlessly, he experienced a great expansive enlightenment. The mysterious brilliance of his pure wisdom [revealed] no doubt in its counter illumination. For the first time he realized the extreme difficulty of spiritual training and that he had been uselessly beset with illusory worries.

He then sighed aloud: "Excellent! Just as you have taught without teaching, so have I heard without hearing...


"Here there is a threefold pattern of beginning questions, intermediate hesitation, and final achievement…which resembles Zhiyi's scheme of the three truths of absolute, relative, and middle. It is also structurally similar to Hegel's thesis-antithesis-synthesis pattern, but in this case the second element achieves its impact by the application of the fundamental Mahāyāna concept of Sūnyatā, or emptiness. Indeed, the same tripartite structure is apparent in the thought of at least one important Indian Mādhyamika philosopher. That is, an expression of Buddhism is made in the first element, the terms of this expression are erased in the second element, and the understanding of Buddhism is thereby elevated to a new level of profundity in the third element."



[1] Jue guan lun [Zen Irodalom Zen Literature]

[2] The Antecedents of Encounter Dialogue in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism by John R. McRae

[3] Seeing through Zen Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism by John R. McRae [University of California Press]

Thursday, October 31, 2013

profisee 16 - the diamond contra

they say there’s a diamond in your pocket—

the affluence of consciousness
the wealth of pure awareness
the flourishing power of now

it’s not that material wealth is something wicked—

it’s just superfluous and
possibly an encumbrance to
seeing that being is all and everything

now is the power and the wisdom and the wealth—

there's no knowledge of
the now in the now for the now
itself is the only actual knowledge

and there’s not even a diamond in your pocket

when you see the now, you're not in the now
when you're in the now, you don't see the now
when you are the now, there's not a you or now

for you aren’t even you but actually the diamond