Friday, October 25, 2019

Hui-neng on One Practice Samadhi

14. One Practice Samadhi means at all times, whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, always practicing with a straightforward mind. The Vimalakirti Sutra says, ‘A straightforward mind is the place of enlightenment,’ and ‘a straightforward mind is the pure land.’ Don’t practice hypocrisy with your mind, while you talk about being straightforward with your mouth. If you speak about One Practice Samadhi with your mouth, but you don’t practice with a straightforward mind, you’re no disciple of the Buddha. Simply practice with a straightforward mind and don’t become attached to any dharma. This is what is meant by One Practice Samadhi.

Deluded people who cling to the external attributes of a dharma get hold of One Practice Samadhi and just say that sitting motionless, eliminating delusions, and not thinking thoughts are One Practice Samadhi. But if that were true, a dharma like that would be the same as lifelessness and would constitute an obstruction of the Way instead. The Way has to flow freely. Why block it up? The Way flows freely when the mind doesn’t dwell on any dharma. Once it dwells on something, it becomes bound. If sitting motionless were right, Vimalakirti wouldn’t have criticized Shariputra for meditating in the forest.

Good friends, I know there are people who tell others to devote themselves to sitting and contemplating their minds or purity and not to move or to think. Deluded people are unaware, so they turn things upside down with their attachments. There are hundreds of such people who teach the Way like this. But they are, you should know, greatly mistaken.

The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng (tr-Red Pine)

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