To come to retreat expecting to get enlightened, to experience buddha-mind, is self-deception. Indeed, since there is no such thing as mind, there is also no such thing as buddha-mind.
    The self-nature realized after eliminating illusion is also illusory, so it is a mistake to practice with the idea of replacing illusory mind with buddha-mind.
    Does this mean you will spend the rest of your life replacing one illusion with another? The Heart Sutra says:
    Form is not other than emptiness,
    And emptiness is not other than form.
    Form is precisely emptiness,
    And emptiness is precisely form.
    When form disappears, there is no emptiness to speak of. When the illusory mind disappears, true nature disappears as well. When the illusory mind does not move, true mind is not there.
    Aspiring to enlightenment makes us diligent, but we should not have that idea in mind when we practice. Even if we become enlightened, we should not think that we have attained anything.
    Before practice, people are not aware of their illusory mind; they think that everything they experience is real. After they begin to practice they learn that the mind is illusory. When they finally experience enlightenment, they may think they have replaced illusory mind with true mind.
    The "Song of Mind" negates this idea: if the nature of mind is non-arising, then neither illusory mind nor
    true mind exists.


    Soh Wei Yu
    “Thus Bodhidharma’s style was to turn the attention of the disciple inward to the mind, and into its empty nature. The Master leads the disciple into realizing that one’s mind by its very nature is equal to that of a fully awakened Buddha. Yet, when one recognizes the nature of one’s own mind, nothing is found there to cling to as ‘this is mind’. Discovering one’s own Buddhahood in the empty-mind is the essence and the way of Mahayana Buddhism.
    Bodhidharma said,
    You should realize that the cultivation of the Way does not exist apart from your mind. If your mind is pure, everything is pure as buddha-fields. As sutras states, “If the minds of beings are impure, beings are impure. If the minds of beings are pure, beings are pure,” and “To reach a buddha-field, purify your mind. As your mind becomes pure, everything becomes pure as buddha-fields.” (from the Breakthrough Discourse)
    Dissolving the Mind
    Dissolving the mind
    Though purifying mind is the essence of practicing the Way, it is not done by clinging at the mind as a glorified and absolute entity. It is not that one simply goes inward by rejecting the external world. It is not that the mind is pure and the world is impure. When mind is clear, the world is a pure-field. When mind is deluded, the world is Samsara. Bodhidharma said,
    Seeing with insight, form is not simply form, because form depends on mind. And, mind is not simply mind, because mind depends on form. Mind and form create and negate each other. … Mind and the world are opposites, appearances arise where they meet. When your mind does not stir inside, the world does not arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is the true insight.” (from the Wakeup Discourse)
    Just like the masters of Madhyamaka, Bodhidharma too pointed out that mind and form are interdependently arising. Mind and form create each other. Yet, when you cling to form, you negate mind. And, when you cling to mind, you negate form. Only when such dualistic notions are dissolved, and only when both mind and the world are transparent (not turning to obstructing concepts) the true insight arises.
    In this regard, Bodhidharma said,
    Using the mind to look for reality is delusion.
    Not using the mind to look for reality is awareness.
    (from the Wakeup Discourse)
    So, to effectively enter the Way, one has to go beyond the dualities (conceptual constructs) of mind and form. As far as one looks for reality as an object of mind, one is still trapped in the net of delusion (of seeing mind and form as independent realities), never breaking free from it. In that way, one holds reality as something other than oneself, and even worse, one holds oneself as a spectator to a separate reality!
    When the mind does not stir anymore and settles into its pristine clarity, the world does not stir outside. The reality is revealed beyond the divisions of Self and others, and mind and form. Thus, as you learn not to use the mind to look for reality and simply rests in the natural state of mind as it is, there is the dawn of pristine awareness – knowing reality as it is, non-dually and non-conceptually.
    When the mind does not dissolve in this way to its original clarity, whatever one sees is merely the stirring of conceptuality. Even if we try to construct a Buddha’s mind, it only stirs and does not see reality. Because, the Buddha’s mind is simply the uncompounded clarity of Bodhi (awakening), free from stirring and constructions. So, Bodhidharma said,
    That which ordinary knowledge understands is also said to be within the boundaries of the norms. When you do not produce the mind of a common man, or the mind of a sravaka or a bodhisattva, and when you do not even produce a Buddha-mind or any mind at all, then for the first time you can be said to have gone outside the boundaries of the norms. If no mind at all arises, and if you do not produce understanding nor give rise to delusion, then, for the first time, you can be said to have gone outside of everything. (From the Record #1, of the Collection of Bodhidharma’s Works3 retrieved from Dunhuang Caves)
    Way of Bodhi
    Way of Bodhi
    Way of Bodhi

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  • The Doctrine of No Mind by Bodhidharma (无心论)
    The Doctrine of No Mind by Bodhidharma (无心论)
    The Doctrine of No Mind by Bodhidharma (无心论)

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