Friday, July 23, 2010

Still You Must Go Ahead and Enact It

Silently dwell in the self, in true suchness abandon conditioning. Open-minded and bright without defilement, simply penetrate and drop off everything. Today is not your first arrival here. Since the ancient home before the empty kalpa, clearly nothing has been obscured. Although you are inherently spirited and splendid, still you must go ahead and enact it. When doing so, immediately display every atom without hiding a speck of dirt. Dry and cool in deep repose, profoundly understand. If your rest is not satisfying and you yearn to go beyond birth and death, there can be no such place. Just burst through and you will discern without thought-dusts, pure without reasons for anxiety. Stepping back with open hands, giving up everything, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world. Merge together with all things. Everywhere is just right. Accordingly we are told that from ancient to modern times all dharmas are not concealed, always transparent and exposed.
~ Hongzhi, Cultivating the Empty Field

Completely resting, dropping the compulsive activity and sense of separation, everything is displayed. Still, we must choose our way and act. Self-expression may be seen as a virtue or a right, but trying to express and satisfy the patterned self leads to struggle and suffering -- barking up a tree that isn't there. Letting the true self which isn't a thing evolve and manifest, merging together with all things, brings freedom and harmony. Insight, knowing in the belly, discerns the difference. Kindness/compassion embraces everything, patterned and free, but chooses to cultivate what is skillful and helpful. Flinch and the moment is missed. Harden and the delicate web is broken. Wander in thought and the real is lost. Everything is right here; embrace it all with empty hands; touch it and go.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dragon's Jewels

The truth you search for cannot be grasped.
As night advances, a bright moon illuminates the whole ocean.
The dragon's jewels are found in every wave.
Looking for the moon, it is here is this wave, in the next.

~ a verse by Hsueh-tou Ch'ung-hsien (Setcho Juken, 982-1052),
one of the last great Ummon Ch'an masters, and compiler of the
Blue Cliff Record