Quotes and Reflections
Beneath the mountain
If one's Zen mind is like this
Our ways of thinking
We can, by right effort,
H. Emilie Cady (1848-1941)
Inscription on Hui-neng's tombstone
According to his doctrine,
He taught that human nature
Why do I talk here?
On the other hand,
You ask me why I stay
I smile but do not answer.
How different from
Li P'o (701-762)
The mind is the source of all virtues.
The eternal bliss of nirvana comes from the mind at rest.
The mind is the door to every world.
Bodhidharma (440 - 533)
The teaching of the mind ground
The mind ground is
Becoming a buddha is easy,
So many frosted moonlit nights
A student asked his master:
"What is the fundamental principle of Buddhism?"
Later, the master led his student to a bamboo grove where no one was around and whispered:
"Look how high these bamboos are! And how short those over there!"
We are born with empty hands, we die with empty hands: this is human.
Letting all delusions fall,
Tae Hye Sunim
Please practice diligently to clarify this matter of birth and death
It cannot be called ordinary nor is it sacred.
I have lived on the lip of insanity,
Colors of the mountains,
One in all, all in one,
Does one really have to fret
No matter what road I travel,
Investigate your mind
You will have wasted your
When you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes.
Everything is the original law;
In every place the pure wind
If you can understand in this way,
A monk asked:
Chao Chou answered:
The monk said:
Chao Chou said:
Meaning to get away from intellectualization
Went on pilgrimages till my sandals broke
Moonlit drops shaken
from the crane's bill.
Finding the universal in every particular,
Finding silence which contains thoughts,
It is not mind, not Buddha, not a thing.
What is it?
Deluded sentient beings do not know that their physical bodies,
along with the mountains and rivers and space
and the whole world outside them,
are all things within the wondrously
illuminated true mind.
The Buddha in the Shurangama Sutra
The myriad differences resolved by sitting,
In this still place I follow my nature, be what it may.
This is the Mind-seal of not one thing.
What is "not one thing?"
Mountains fresh and green,
water clear and flowing.
Yamaoka Tesshu (1830)
Who can say that the realm of Tao is far from us?
How tranquil it is - as at the beginning of Heaven and Earth.
Ni Tsan (1301-1374)
It depends on you.
If in your heart you make
Everything is Best
One day Banzan was walking through a market.
"Give me the best piece of meat you have."
At these words, Banzan was enlightened.
My hut settled among neighbors,
You ask how I get along:
My mind remains wide,
Tao Yuan Ming (365-427)
Go beyond this way or that way,
Beyond this shore and the farther shore,
Buddha in the Dhammapada
Sitting in the monastery,
no-minded, like the moon in water,
making ten thousand exercises,
traceless, like illusory flowers.
One minute of sitting, one inch of Buddha.
Like lightning all thoughts come and pass.
Just once look into your mind-depths:
nothing else has ever been.
In the ocean of the holy Dharma
The essence of the wave is like a mirror;
When there is nothing in the mind,
If you have not linked yourself
to true emptiness,
you will never understand.
After the mind is clarified, when one sits,
Sitting on exposed ground at the top of the mountain,
Dew and the moon, stars and streams, snow on pine trees,
clouds hovering on the mountain peaks.
From darkness, they all become glowingly bright;
From obscurity, they all turn to resplendent light.
Infinite wonder permeates this serenity;
In this Reflection all intentional efforts vanish.
Hung Chih (1091-1157)
The mountain; Buddha's body.
The torrent; his preaching.
Last night, eighty-four thousand poems.
How, how to make them understand?
Not twice this day
inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.
Original Face is the reality of realities:
stretch your hand to the winging bird.
Vertical nose, horizontal eyes - and then?
What if your mind is empty?
Tokugaku (15th Century)
Sixty-six times have these eyes
beheld the changing scene of autumn.
I have said enough about moonlight,
ask no more. Only listen to the voice
of pines and cedars when no wind stirs.
God is a pure no-thing
concealed in now and here:
the more you reach for Him,
the less He will appear.
There is a road to emptiness; everyone arrives.
Those who arrive then realize
the excellence of their aim.
The mind ground does not grow useless plants and trees;
naturally the body spontaneously radiates clear light.
Fa Yen's teacher
In spring, hundreds of flowers;
In autumn, a harvest moon;
In summer, a refreshing breeze;
In winter, snow will accompany you.
If useless things do not hang in your mind,
any season is a good season for you.
The great Path has no gates,
thousands of roads enter it.
When one passes through this gateless gate
he walks freely between heaven and earth.
The morning glory blooms but an hour.
Yet it differs not in heart
from a giant pine,
that lives for a thousand years.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
Now, what is the Word?
The birds have vanished into the sky,
and now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
The great Tao flows everywhere,
to the left and to the right.
All things depend upon it to exist,
and it does not abandon them.
To its accomplishments it lays no claim.
It loves and nourishes all things,
but does not lord it over them.
The body is the Bodhi tree,
The mind is like a clear mirror.
At all times we must strive to polish it,
And must not let the dust collect.
Shen-hsin (according to Hui Neng)
Bodhi originally has no tree
The mirror also has no stand.
Buddha nature is always clear and pure;
Where is there room for dust?
Hui Neng, the 6th Patriarch
Outwardly, all activities cease;
Inwardly, the mind stops its panting.
When one's mind has become a wall,
Then he may begin to enter the Tao.
You will see then that both your body and mind,
together with the mountains, rivers, space, and earth of the outward world,
are all within the wonderful, illumined, and true Mind.
When perfect stillness reigns, true Illumination is reached.
Since serene reflection includes all space
I can look back on the world again, which is filled with nothing but dreams!
Oh, today I really understand
How true and how faithful is the teaching of Buddha!
There is an adamantine Buddha Nature within the bodies of sentient beings.
Like the sun, it is essentially bright, perfect, and complete.
Although vast and limitless, it is merely covered
by the layered clouds of the five skandas.
Like a lamp inside a jar, its light cannot yet shine.
Sutra of the Ten Stages
If you work on your mind with your mind,
how canyou avoid a great confusion?
When the ten thousand things are seen as one,
we are back to the origin and stay where we have always been
A master was asked the question, "What is the Way?" by a curious monk.?".
"It is right before your eyes," said the master.
"Why do I not see it for myself?"
"Because you are thinking of yourself."
"What about you: do you see it?"
"So long as you see double, saying 'I don't,' and
'you do,' and so on, your eyes are clouded," said the master.
"When there is neither 'I' nor 'you,' can one see it?"
"When there is neither 'I' nor 'you,' who is the one that wants to see it?"
The chief monk at the monastery was looking for someone
to replace him. He called the monks together and placed in front
of them a water bottle. He said, "Without calling this a water bottle,
tell me what it is."
One monk said, "You couldn't call it a block of wood."
Another poured himself a drink.
Just then the cook walked into the room and kicked the waterbottle over.< /P>
The cook was made head of the monastery.
A monk said to Chao Chou, "Your stone bridge is widely renowned,
but coming here I find only a heap of rocks."
Chao Chou said, "You see only the stones and not the bridge."
The monk said, "What is the bridge?"
Chao Chou said, "What do you think we are walking on?"
A monk asked Nan Chuan,
"Is there any great spiritual teaching that has not been preached to the people?"
Nan Chuan said, "There is."
"What is the truth that has not been taught?"
"Nothing," Nan Chuan replied.
If in this lifetime
You do not open your mind,
You cannot digest
Even one drop of water.
In original nature
There is no this and that
The Great Round Mirror
Has no likes or dislikes.
There is no birth nor death to escape,
no supreme understanding
we need to strive for.
All living beings are Buddhas since the beginning.
It's like water and ice:
beyond water, no ice,
beyond living beings, no Buddha.
Hakuin (1685 - 1768)
Zen is like a cloud in the sky.
No screw can fix it,
no rope can keep it,
it moves the way it likes.
No abundant quantity of meditation
will keep zen in one place.
D. T. Suzuki
Let go what happened in the past,
stop craving what could be the future
is better than a ten years retreat.