Showing posts with label Zen Master Hong Wen Liang (洪文亮禅师). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zen Master Hong Wen Liang (洪文亮禅师). Show all posts



Hello, I have a lengthy Chinese text that I need translated into English. I'd like the translation to be done paragraph by paragraph, with each original Chinese paragraph followed by its English translation. Here's the text: 

[long text snipped]

Please start by translating the first one or two paragraphs, and then continue with the rest in subsequent messages. Thank you!


Sure, I'll start by translating the first paragraph of the provided text. Please note that translations may not capture the full nuance of the original text, but I'll aim for accuracy and clarity.

The original Chinese text of the first paragraph is:








後,他說: 「夜來明月上高峰,原來只是這個賊。」這個「賊」就是煩惱的根本。貪、瞋、昏






And its English translation is:

Just Sit in Meditation

/ Lecture by Dr. Hong Wenliang

/ Arranged by Liu Yingxiao

"Last night, the bright moon rose over the peak, but it was just this thief."

Currently, many people are caught up in the knowledge of Buddhism, which is unrelated to liberation. What the Buddha truly intended to point out is that the flaw in sentient beings lies in the persistent thought of "I am listening to the teachings," "I am alive," "I am practicing." This thought is the root of affliction.

Ordinarily, people believe that without this thought, there would be nothing left, fearing a void with nothing to grasp. A Zen master who had attained enlightenment said, "Last night, the bright moon rose over the peak, but it was just this thief." This "thief" is the fundamental root of affliction. Greed, anger, delusion, regret, and doubt - the five hindrances - are like five fingers covering the eyes, preventing the true beauty of your nature from being revealed. Many people strive in their practice, using all kinds of methods - reciting the Buddha's name, mantras, scriptures, observing fasts, keeping precepts - hoping to remove the five hindrances one by one to purify their practice.

However, these five hindrances are not substantial, akin to the void. Why then strive to remove them? Moreover, even if you could completely purify the five hindrances, there still lies the fundamental ignorance. Once this fundamental ignorance is shed, the five hindrances, like leaves without roots, cannot thrive and naturally wither away. The thought of wanting to eliminate the five hindrances and afflictions is itself fundamental ignorance. Fundamental ignorance is without cause.

I will continue with the translation of the next paragraphs in subsequent messages.




Certainly, I'll continue with the translation of the next paragraph.

The original Chinese text of the second paragraph is:


我們的心量本來是很廣大的,應用無窮。六根應眼見色,應耳聞聲 ,應鼻嗅香,應舌知





念,才會看到獨立存在的對象,那就是「眼前有一物」 。證入無我,一切都是法身。看到你、




And its English translation is:

The Distinctions of the Sages, All Inseparable from the Dharma Body

Our mental capacity is inherently vast and infinitely adaptable. The six senses - seeing with eyes, hearing with ears, smelling with nose, tasting with tongue, feeling with body, and thinking with mind - all activities and movements, are manifestations of the Dharma body. The six senses are naturally unobstructed, without attachment or aversion, equally arising and ceasing with conditions, thus naturally liberated. We perceive objects and existence because of the notion of "I." An enlightened Zen master said, "There is nothing before my eyes." He sees things, but he doesn't have the delusion of "I see them." This "I" is a delusion. Without this delusion, we would clearly understand what "There is nothing before my eyes" means. It is only with the delusion of "I" that we perceive independent objects, which is "There is something before my eyes." Realizing no-self, everything becomes the Dharma body. Seeing you, seeing flowers, hearing sounds, all are the Dharma body, appearing and disappearing with conditions, ever-changing without hindrance, thus empty. We regard the body and mind of the five aggregates as very real. Approaching Buddhism with this mindset, trying to transform the physical body and attain the Dharma body through the "I," leads to a misguided start, "The base being untrue, the result invites convolution."

I will proceed with the translation of the following paragraphs in the next messages.




Sure, I'll continue with the translation of the next paragraph.

The original Chinese text of the third paragraph is:











And its English translation is:

The Dignity of Buddha's Practice

Our body and mind are not as insignificant as we imagine; they are boundless and represent infinite potential. We mistakenly identify the flesh and bones as the self, striving to make this body as dignified as that of a Buddha. Japanese Zen Master Dogen wrote a piece, "The Dignity of Buddha's Practice," pointing out this mistake. To illustrate, here is an excerpt:

"All Buddhas certainly exhibit the dignity of practice. This is the practice of Buddha. This practice is not the Nirmanakaya (transformation body), not the Sambhogakaya (enjoyment body), not the Svabhavikakaya (nature body), not the body of others, not the initial awakening, not the fundamental awakening, neither having the nature of awakening nor being without awakening. Such Buddhas cannot equate to the practicing Buddha.

Therefore, the practicing path of all Buddhas does not depend on awakening. Only the practicing Buddha can truly walk the path towards the Buddha. Not even in dreams have the self-natured Buddhas seen such."

Now, when people see "dignity," they conceive an idea of what it should be. For example, they think a woman dressed provocatively lacks solemnity, or that tiredness, slouching, dozing off, leg pain, or complaining is not befitting the dignity of Buddha. Such judgments of good and bad are human discriminations.

I will continue with the translation of the subsequent paragraphs in the next messages.




Continuing with the translation:

The original Chinese text of the fourth paragraph is:







And its English translation is:

There was a Zen master in Japan, Sugimoto, who attained enlightenment through passing gas. Is this not also the dignity of Buddha's practice? All movements and stillness are manifestations of the Dharma body, neither increasing nor decreasing, all embodying the dignity of Buddha's practice. Cockroaches crawling, birds flying, fish swimming - all these are the dignity of Buddha's practice. Beings in hell are not saved by escaping hell, but by finding liberation within that very realm. Everything is Buddha. Zen Master Dogen said: The transformation body Buddha, the enjoyment body Buddha, the nature body Buddha, the body of others, initial awakening, fundamental awakening, nature awakening, no awakening – all cannot escape human interpretations. Buddhist terminologies are filled with such distinctions, all human discriminations. The notion of an "I" striving to become a Buddha or awaiting awakening is rooted in fundamental ignorance. Regarding the dignity of Buddha's practice and the true nature of all phenomena, it's like they have never even appeared in dreams.

I'll continue with the translation of the following paragraphs in the next messages.




Continuing with the translation:

The original Chinese text of the fifth paragraph is:




徑上方丈燒香禮拜。師云:「禮拜事作麼生?」予云: 「身心脫落來。」師云: 「身心脫

落,脫落身心!」予云:「這個是暫時伎倆,和尚莫亂印 」。師云:「我不亂印 」。予


道元禪師很小就出家,研究了很多經、律、論,他的結論只有一個: 「本來本法性,天然







And its English translation is:

Dropping Body and Mind, Just Sit in Meditation

The dignity of Buddha's practice is simply to sit in meditation. What does it mean to just sit? Let's look at a story of Zen Master Dogen's enlightenment:

Entering the hall, the master rebuked a monk for sleeping while sitting in meditation, saying, "If a practitioner of Zen has drop body and mind, why just sleep?" Hearing this, Dogen had a sudden enlightenment.

He went to the abbot's room to burn incense and pay respects. The master asked, "What is this respect?" Dogen replied, "It comes from having drop body and mind." The master said, "Body mind dropped off, dropped off body and mind!" Dogen responded, "This is a temporary trick, Master, don't be misled." The master said, "I am not misled." Dogen asked, "What then is not being misled?" The master replied, "Drop also the dropping." Dogen then rested.

Master Dogen, who became a monk at a young age, studied many sutras, vinayas, and treatises. His conclusion was singular: "Originally, the nature of the Dharma, the inherent nature of the body." Since everything is inherently enlightened, why do we need to practice? This question troubled Dogen until he met Master Rujing in China, who resolved this doubt. One day, while Dogen was meditating, he heard his neighbor being scolded by Rujing for dozing off, which led to Dogen's sudden enlightenment. He then reported to Rujing, "I have dropped body and mind!" Recognizing that Dogen still harbored a subtle attachment to the concept of dropping body and mind, Rujing said, "What dropping of body and mind? The body and mind are originally dropped!" With this, Dogen let go of his final attachment to the Dharma. Rujing further clarified, "Even the dropping should be dropped." Dogen then rested. This is the essence of just sitting in meditation.

I'll continue with the translation of the following paragraphs in the next messages.




Continuing with the translation:

The original Chinese text of the sixth paragraph is:


那只是佛的方便,不要緊抓著不放,以為那個就是佛法。如果執著「只管打坐」 ,起了「不要」





And its English translation is:

Just sitting in meditation does not mean sitting there and thinking about using impurity contemplation, compassion contemplation, or dependent origination contemplation to counteract greed, anger, and ignorance, aspiring to become a Buddha. That is merely a skillful means of the Buddha, not something to be clung to as the essence of the Dharma. If one becomes attached to the idea of "just sitting" and develops thoughts of "not reciting the Buddha's name, not chanting scriptures, not observing fasts, not keeping precepts," one is already "managing" so much, is that truly "just sitting"? Thus, just sitting in meditation means: there is no 'just managing', and there is no 'just sitting'. Seeing is just seeing, hearing is just hearing, smelling is just smelling, tasting is just tasting, touching is just touching, knowing is just knowing. If the false illusion of self does not fall away, and one listens to this Dharma and acts according to one's desires, then wouldn't this Dharma become a poison?

I will continue with the translation of the subsequent paragraphs in the next messages.




Continuing with the translation:

The original Chinese text of the seventh paragraph is:







And its English translation is:

All Phenomena Demonstrate No-Self

Zen Master Dogen once said: Studying Buddhism is just studying oneself, and studying oneself is forgetting oneself. Studying oneself means not seeking externally; our own precious body and mind are the practice ground. In forgetting oneself, one must not use the 'self' to forget the self. So, how should one practice? Do not initiate thoughts to practice some special method or seek validation of all phenomena through the self. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and knowing – these are all phenomena. Phenomena are constantly changing, leaving no trace, as if they are there yet not there, and the body and mind are not hindered in the slightest. Where is the need for an 'I' to direct and judge to see, hear, feel, and know? Using all phenomena to kill the 'I', to kill this 'thief', is indeed the great path of peace and happiness.

I will continue with the translation of the following paragraphs in the next messages.




Continuing with the translation:

The original Chinese text of the eighth paragraph is:


懷讓問法於慧能,慧能問他:「什麼處來?」懷讓回答: 「嵩山來。」慧能又問: 「是什麼

物,恁麼來?」懷讓回答不出來。經過了八年,懷讓證道了,才向慧能回答: 「說似一物即不









And its English translation is:

A Drop from Caoxi

Huairang asked Huineng about the Dharma. Huineng asked, "Where have you come from?" Huairang answered, "From Mount Song." Huineng then asked, "What is it that thus comes?" Huairang couldn't answer. After eight years, Huairang attained enlightenment and then replied to Huineng, "To speak of it as something is not to the point." Dogen mentioned this incident, saying:

The Buddha said: All beings are Buddha-nature. What is the essence of this teaching? It is the question, "What is it that thus comes?" This teaching, passed from Shakyamuni Buddha to Mahakasyapa, and then down to Huineng, Rujing, Dogen, and to Master Harada Sekkei of the Soto Zen school in Japan today, is about this. The only thing to be addressed is how to depart from human views. This most fundamental thought of 'I exist' is not easy to discern. Ordinary people live and practice according to this thought. Sentient beings are reluctant and afraid to let go of this delusional thought, fearing that without it, nothing remains. The Zen master said, "Last night the bright moon rose over the peak." Through the practice of 'just sitting,' letting the six senses be, entering the self-forgetful state of neither knowing nor being known, one day, when a certain condition arises, suddenly the old habits and delusions surface, and one sees! Ah! "It was just this thief."

I will continue with the translation of the subsequent paragraphs in the next messages.




Continuing with the translation:

The original Chinese text of the ninth paragraph is:






And its English translation is:

Dr. Hong Wenliang

Education: Graduated from the College of Medicine, National Taiwan University

Experience: Chief Surgeon at Kaohsiung City Datong Hospital

Forensic Doctor at the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office

Director of Kaohsiung Hong Surgical Hospital

This concludes the translation of the text you provided. If you have any more texts to translate or any other requests, feel free to ask!


Keeping in mind my translation suggestions above, pls do a translation for the following: [Chinese original text moved to bottom]
Here's the translation of the text you provided, incorporating your suggestions:
Shikantaza - A Talk by Teacher Hong Wenliang
(Reposted from Zhengfayan Zang Forum:
Teacher sitting down, a monk asked: "What are you contemplating so deeply?"
The teacher replied, "I'm contemplating that which is beyond contemplation."
The monk asked, "How can you contemplate the un-contemplatable?"
The teacher said, "It's non-thinking."
From the Record of the Five Lantern Meeting - Master Yao Shan Wei Yan
Someone asked Master Yao Shan Wei Yan how to practice zazen (just sitting).
Yao Shan said to contemplate the un-contemplatable.

Thinking about the unthinkable?! The questioner was baffled. How do you think about the unthinkable?
Once you think, you've already activated thought. Using thought to contemplate the unthinkable, how is that possible?

Master Yao Shan answered in three words: non-thinking.

Zazen is about being in this state of non-thinking. Achieving this is true zazen.

What then is the state of non-thinking?

non-thinking is a state of true and uncontrived reality, not a fabricated, imaginary, or conceptual state. It is the mind of no-thought, the state before the arising of discriminatory consciousness. What is the state before the arising of discriminatory consciousness? We have all forgotten it from our infancy, before thoughts began to differentiate; we do not know when this consciousness started to function, beginning to know this and that. We have forgotten all this. If we can return to this state, we can see our true face. Don’t think this state can be reached through inference; what is the state before thought stirs? Pursuing it with thought is a mistake again.

So, what to do? You can consult your ears and eyes, learn from them. I ask you all, when the ears hear a sound, do they discriminate whether it's good or bad before hearing? No! The eyes see whatever they encounter; do they choose what they like or dislike, what to see and what not to see? No! Therefore, the state before the six senses' discriminatory consciousness moves is the state of non-thinking. non-thinking doesn't mean nothingness. How do you know there’s nothingness? When you know there's nothing, isn't that your consciousness moving?

Buddha said in the Agama Sutras (Soh: Referring to Bahiya Sutta): "In the seen is just the seen, in the heard is just the heard." Our six senses are naturally free and unobstructed. So, in sitting meditation, just sit like that, letting the six senses function naturally and freely. Don't interfere with them, not even non-interfering interference. In essence, there isn’t an "I" watching or listening there. Thus, zazen is about allowing all phenomena to prove there's no you, not about you proving there's no you. The key is here; don't get it wrong. When you try to prove there's no you, an "I" is already there proving it. Is that forgetting the self? No!

So, how do all phenomena prove there's no you? What exactly are these phenomena?

The seen forms, heard sounds, smelled scents, tasted flavors, felt sensations of cold and heat, the arising and passing thoughts. All these phenomena are constantly telling you, there's no me! There's no me!
For example, your feet might go numb when sitting for a long time. Of course, they do, because you don't usually meditate, it's natural. If you think, 'I am practicing now, I must sit well, not let it numb, I must endure,' then you're already playing the game of "I." You don't usually practice zazen, so it's natural to feel numb when you sit; it's the law of dependent origination. Practice is about forgetting this 'self' – the false self. Don't indulge in this "I" in your practice.

I keep reiterating this key point, hoping you don't use me to forget me. Many think they must have no thoughts during zazen, so when many thoughts arise, they feel it's wrong and want to remove them. Is this correct? You think, 'I am diligent, why so many thoughts today, no! No!' If you sit and think like this, you are fooling around, showing off yourself. Reflect carefully: do you know when a thought will arise? When it leaves, does it ask your permission to go? Thoughts don't belong to you; they arise due to conditions. You don't know when a thought will come or go. When a thought arises, then you realize, "Ah, a thought," that's your discriminative consciousness knowing afterward. If you still think there's a 'you' knowing, that's your delusion. This is fundamental ignorance; practice aims to resolve this root issue.

When thoughts come and go during zazen, don't think there's an unchanging 'you' knowing their coming and going, thinking this is right. Thinking there's an unchanging 'you' against the changing thoughts, as if there are two separate thoughts, is incorrect. In fact, the arising thought itself is the function of your Dharma Body. Many don't understand this, mistakenly thinking there's an "I" knowing thoughts coming and going. If you know brightness, you know darkness; if the unchanging knows the changing, then it's real - No! That's wrong! That's an externalist view. You have an unchanging concept in your mind, treasuring it as the truth. Isn't that your imagination? If there's no you, what do you need the unchanging for?

Our six functions of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind operate freely and unobstructedly within the true and selfless reality. We misunderstand, taking the ability to discriminate and contemplate as 'me.' In fact, it's just the function of the Dharma Body. Discriminative thought is so sharp that when it operates, we automatically take the ability to discriminate as 'me.' Actually, the mind is like the eye or ear; whatever condition it encounters, it exists, all are true reality. When you encounter a stone, it's a stone; a bun, it's a bun. You don't name 'stone' or 'bun' before recognizing them. Language differentiation is the discriminative consciousness activity after the fact. Before that, the stone, the bun, the object exists, clearly distinguished before discriminative consciousness moves. Non-discriminative discrimination means this. If you don't add 'I,' our minds are inherently clear and distinct.

When our eyes encounter a form, the form and perception are one function. Similarly, the arising of a thought and the selfless knowing are one function. So, the coming thought is the function of your mind root, actually your true reality. It's good if practice can understand this. Understanding this, oh, you've progressed; during zazen, you won't fear thoughts coming and going because thoughts themselves are your true reality. Do you think there's another thought to let you know? Impossible! Because at every moment, ability and object, root and dust, mind and environment, thought and you, are inseparably one, always functioning, arising, and ceasing together, inherently one. We forcefully split one thing into two for explanation, which is after-the-fact cleverness, post-event consciousness differentiation.

Snap! (Sound of slapping the table). Delusion is due to it, thinking, "Ah, I heard him slap the table"; enlightenment is also due to this, "Oh, oh, oh, it's not you knocking there, and I'm listening here; sound and the ability to hear are one thing." Snap! (Sound of slapping). Enlightenment and delusion are the same. The same sound, one deluded, one enlightened. It's not that upon enlightenment, you hear the sound differently, or as some think, enlightenment means entering samadhi and hearing nothing; then you might as well be a stone. That's not enlightenment. It's not seeing a bun as a diamond, a thatched hut as a palace, a restroom as a restaurant. That's insanity!
Let me tell you, where's the delusion? If you take a relative form as truly existing there, and here, truly an 'I' seeing that form, that's delusion. Enlightenment is the absence of the false self's misrecognition. There isn't a truly existing relative form over there; it's formless, manifesting that way. Manifesting from nothingness to somethingness. And here, it's the existence born of conditions, not a true existence called 'me.' The ability to see and the seen form are both selfless, interacting in dependent origination and cessation. This is the so-called dependent origination, inherently selfless. Understand this, and seeing, hearing, all is the Dharma Body, encountering conditions it manifests, arising and ceasing, changing unobstructedly.
For those who haven't seen their nature, it's always 'I heard that sound'. I and the sound are separate, 'I' (root) and the outside existence (dust) are always relative and isolated. This way, you can never become a Buddha or a good student of the Buddha. If there's an 'I' seeking the Dharma, 'I' pray for blessings, 'I' want to become a Buddha, 'I' want enlightenment. Practicing this way, you're always cultivating the false self. The result will only increase and amplify your self-view, moving further away from the path.
The proper practice of zazen is so important, letting you discover your true self. How to discover? Not by 'I' knowing, discovering this is not me. If so,
you're using a false self to discover the true self.
What to do then? — Just let the six senses be, simply sitting.
The six senses are truly just present, operating naturally within the true and unobstructed reality. This is the so-called natural, unobstructed functioning of the six senses. It's so natural, a matter of course. Only in the genuine practice of zazen, at that very moment, do you realize our mind is incredibly vast, its applications infinite. The six senses function naturally: eyes seeing forms, ears hearing sounds, nose smelling scents, tongue tasting flavors, body feeling touches, mind perceiving phenomena. All actions and movements are the Dharma Body. The six senses are unimpeded, free from attachment or aversion, equally interacting with arising and ceasing conditions, naturally liberated.
Siddhartha Gautama Buddha himself said, if you can genuinely let all phenomena prove there's no you, sitting zazen honestly in this way, just the time it takes for an ant to crawl from your nose to your forehead is more beneficial than sitting for ten, a hundred years with an 'I'. If you seek the Dharma with yourself for a hundred billion years, it's impossible, forever impossible. Because there's an "I" wanting to become a Buddha!
"Shikantaza," this method, is the authentic practice of zazen. Sitting in that moment is performing the Buddha's dignified conduct, Buddha's actions. The moment without delusion is Buddha's dignified conduct, hence this is called the method of great ease.
Recorded at the Seven-Day Zen Festival at He Ming Temple, Kuala Lumpur, 1999
Lecture by Teacher Hong Wenliang
Arranged by Dr. Luo
That completes the translation of the text, incorporating your suggestions for a more nuanced understanding of terms and concepts. If you have any further texts for translation or other queries, feel free to ask!
只管打坐-洪文亮老师开示 (2009-11-09 10:11:33)
标签: 洪文亮 坐禅 禅 道信 文化 曹洞 佛法 正法 只管打坐 打坐 分类: 洪文亮老师


ChatGPT (Paid/GPT4) translation of Zen Master Hong Wen Liang's teachings on anatta and total exertion.

Hello, I have a lengthy Chinese text that I need translated into English. I'd like the translation to be done paragraph by paragraph, with each original Chinese paragraph followed by its English translation. Here's the text: [snipped] Please start by translating the first one or two paragraphs, and then continue with the rest in subsequent messages. Thank you!
Sure, I'll start with the translation of the first paragraph:
Original Text: 开佛知见
2005年5月马六甲禅修  洪文亮老师开示
Translation: Unveiling the Buddha’s view/insight
In May 2005, during the Malacca Meditation Session, teacher Hong Wenliang gave a talk.
Shitou Xiqian said something that caused doubts and disagreement among many. He said: "In practice, it's not about meditation, but only about unveiling the Buddha’s view/insight." I do not discuss diligent meditation. I don't talk about the need for meditation or diligence; I don't waste words on these. It's all about unveiling your Buddha’s view/insight.
I'll continue with the next paragraph in a following message.
Now, here's the translation for the second paragraph:
Original Text: 佛知见是什么?我们时常看到的那个佛知见,佛的知见。知道的知,意见的见,佛的知见。他说要开佛的知见,其它那些打坐是怎么打的,怎么用功,怎么精进,我不讲这些,只看你有没有开了佛的知见。
Translation: What is the Buddha’s view/insight? We often talk about the Buddha’s view/insight, the knowledge and viewpoints of Buddha. The 'know' of knowledge, the 'view' of viewpoint, that's the Buddha’s view/insight. He talked about unveiling the Buddha’s view/insight. As for how to meditate, how to exert effort, how to be diligent, I don't discuss these; I only look at whether you have unveiled the Buddha’s view/insight.
Let's move on to the next paragraphs.
Continuing with the translation for the next paragraph:
Original Text: 那请问各位,你认为他指的佛知见是什么?如果你看到石头希迁这一句话,他说开佛的知见?你认为石头说的佛知见是指什么?佛的那种意见,佛的想法,或者是佛对这个宇宙生命的了解、正见?佛的那个正确的看法、意见,是不是这样?如果这样,那就变成佛也跟我们一样了!他对人生、生命的奥妙,宇宙的神秘,他也有看法,跟我们的看法一样,只不过是他高明,他是佛嘛!他还有知见吗?
Translation: Now, I ask you all, what do you think he means by the Buddha’s view/insight? When you see this phrase by Shitou Xiqian, saying to unveil the Buddha’s view/insight, what do you think he refers to? Does it mean the Buddha's opinions, his thoughts, or his understanding and right views of the universe and life? The Buddha's correct perspectives and opinions, is it so? If that's the case, then the Buddha becomes just like us! His views on the mysteries of life and the universe would be just like ours, albeit more enlightened because he is the Buddha! But does he still have insights?
I'll proceed with the next paragraph in the following message.
Here's the translation for the following paragraph:
Original Text: 他讲开佛知见,并不是说你要跟佛一样,有正确的见解,不是的。现在我跟各位说明一下,佛知见是一个事实,不是佛有什么高明的见解,不是。他指佛的知见就是一个到处都可以看到的真实的事实。
Translation: When he speaks of unveiling the Buddha’s view/insight, it does not mean that you have to have the same correct understanding as the Buddha. Let me explain to you all, the Buddha’s view/insight is a fact, not some profound interpretation by the Buddha. It refers to a truth that can be seen everywhere.
I'll continue with the translation of the next paragraph in the subsequent message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 什么样的事实?大家在底下听到我开口说话了吗?我说“阿弥陀佛”,你那里就“阿弥陀佛”这样动。我这里讲“阿”,你那里有没有“阿”?有啊!那么你听到的这个“阿”的声音。我请问你,你从哪里把这个声音制造出来的?有没有地方,有没有工厂?耳朵是工厂吗?那脑子就不要了?空气就不要了?那我的嘴皮不要了?到底工厂是哪个?我是问你听到的“阿”的声音。
Translation: What kind of fact? Have you all heard me speaking? When I say "Amitabha," you hear "Amitabha" on your end. When I say "Ah," do you hear "Ah" over there? Yes, you do! So, where did this "Ah" sound you heard come from? Is there a place, a factory for it? Is the ear the factory? What about the brain, is it not involved? Or the air? What about my lips? Which one is the factory? I am asking about the "Ah" sound you heard.
I'll move on to the next paragraph in the following message.
Here's the translation for the next paragraph:
Original Text: 这些事看起来好像很无聊,但是非常重要的就在这里。平常我们不把它当作问题,释迦牟尼佛是头一位把我们平常不当作问题的,他“哎?这是问题嘛!”我们平常生下来看、听、闻到味道、尝到这个咸的、辣的。或者身体接触,舒服的、痛的,我们就自以为这个是自然的。没有什么可以讨论的,是不是?这里哪有问题?我抬头看天上的星星,抬头看到了,看到了就看到了。风吹过来,感觉凉爽,就这样而已,从来没有人在这个问题上,这个上头,这个事实上去想很多。人们不把它当作问题,他是头一位把它当作问题。然后在这个上头用功,变成他的现成公案,时常注意这个。后来才发现,原来我们迷在什么地方,迷的根本原因在哪里。他是这样下手的。所以佛的知见就是什么?不是他有看法,他有见解,不是这样。
Translation: These matters may seem trivial, but their importance lies right here. Normally, we don't see them as issues, but Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) was the first to view these common experiences as problems, pondering, "Hey? This is a problem! " From birth, we see, hear, smell scents, taste the salty and spicy, or feel physical touches, both pleasant and painful, and we take these as natural. Nothing to discuss, right? Where's the issue in that? I look up and see the stars, just see them. The wind blows, feels cool, and that's it. No one has thought much about this reality. People don't see it as a problem, but he was the first to do so. Then, he worked on this, making it his practical case study, always paying attention to it. Later, he discovered where we are truly lost, the fundamental reason for our delusion. This is how he started. So, what is the Buddha’s view/insight? It's not about having opinions or interpretations; it's not like that.
I'll continue with the translation in the next message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 佛知见是说,我这里讲“阿”,每一位那边都有一个“阿”,那这个“阿”,找不到工厂。没有工厂有没有员工?有没有老板?有没有机器制造你的“阿”呢?你一定要制造“阿”出来你才听到“阿”嘛!难道这个“阿”是我们嘴唇制造的吗?那你把耳朵闭掉,听神经拿掉,还有“阿”吗?你的耳朵参与这个“阿”的制造,但不全都是它!对不对?从这里下手。工厂找不到,工厂没有的话,员工也没有,制造的机器也找不到,老板也不知道。资本呢?也没有,也不要资本。制造了“阿”过去了,这个东西要丢掉啊,你刚刚制造的这个声音,现在我讲过了,你又要再听别的,放在那里就重迭了!混了嘛!一下子就消失了,你丢到哪里去?制造源,工厂也找不到,资本,员工,技术,老板什么都找不到。那不用的时候,过去的时候,你也不要动它,它就清除掉了,没有了,你丢到哪里去?那个声音你丢到哪里去?你也不知道。消失在何方?不知道。把这个事实说成什么?我们一直以为你那边讲一个“阿”,“我”听到了!这个是自以为是的想法,跟事实不符合。他发现这个,这个不是事实。因为要是“我”听到的话,一定是“我”去制造这个声音,我才听到啊!光凭你的嘴唇这样动一下,两片嘴皮动一下,不一定有声音在我这里响。所以这个问题是谁制造了这个声音?找不到。也不是我制造,也不是你制造,也不是虚空制造,也不是神制造,也不是佛制造,但是就有。这个叫做找不到工厂,找不到资本,找不到工程师,找不到员工,无中“砰”生有。缘有了就有,来源不知道,这个叫做无所从来,佛经里讲的无所从来。没有了,消失了,你不用去找那个垃圾场,它自己清除掉了,亦无所去,亦无所至。来无所从来,去亦无所至。到哪里丢掉了?垃圾场在哪里?怎么把它火化了呢?用什么药把它除掉了呢?都不用,就没有了。这个是声音。
Translation: The Buddha’s view/insight means this: when I say "Ah," everyone there hears an "Ah," but this "Ah" doesn't have a factory. If there's no factory, are there workers? A boss? Machines to produce your "Ah"? You must manufacture an "Ah" to hear an "Ah," right? Is this "Ah" created by our lips? If you close your ears, remove the auditory nerves, is there still an "Ah"? Your ears participate in the making of this "Ah," but not solely. Right? Let's start there. No factory can be found, so no workers, no machines, no bosses, no capital. After the "Ah" is made and passed, it needs to be discarded; the sound you just created, now that I've spoken, you listen to something
else, and it's gone, cluttered and mixed! It disappears instantly; where do you discard it? No source or factory to be found, no capital, workers, technology, bosses - nothing. When it's not used, when it's past, you don't have to do anything, it just clears away, gone. Where do you discard that sound? You don't know. Where does it disappear? Unknown. How to articulate this fact? We always think, "You say 'Ah,' and I hear it!" This is a self-righteous thought, not matching reality. He discovered this; it's not the truth. Because if it's "I" who hears, it must be "I" who creates the sound to hear it! Merely your lips moving doesn't guarantee I hear the sound. So, who creates this sound? It's untraceable. Not me, not you, not the void, not a deity, not the Buddha, but still, it exists. This is what's known as not finding the factory, capital, engineers, or workers, something from nothing. Existence arises from conditions, origins unknown, what the Buddhist scriptures call "coming from nowhere." It disappears; you don't have to find a dump; it clears itself, also going nowhere, arriving nowhere. Where is it discarded? Where's the dump? How is it incinerated? What chemical dissolves it? None needed; it's just gone. This is about sound.
I'll proceed with the next part of the translation in the following message.
Here's the translation for the next paragraph:
Original Text: 你抓抓你的手,你碰碰你的手背,这个触感,碰的时候有,这个触感哪里制造的?皮肤制造的吗?皮肤不能制造啊,皮肤能制造的话,我就不用去碰它了,它也可以“哎,你造出来”,它就可以造了。那我的右手制造的话,我就不必用左手背让我摸到触到,右手去制造就行了。这等于讲来讲去,色声香味触法,通通是无所从来,找不到生处;去也找不到它跑到哪里去。这是一个事实嘛!这个,先知道这个事。
Translation: Grab your hand, touch the back of your hand, this tactile sensation that exists upon touching, where is it manufactured? Is it made by the skin? The skin cannot create it; if it could, I wouldn't need to touch it, it could just "hey, make it," and it would be made. If my right hand could create it, I wouldn't need my left hand's back to feel it; the right hand alone would suffice. This means, all things - form, sound, scent, taste, touch, and thought - are from nowhere, their origin is unfindable; their disappearance, too, cannot be traced. This is a fact! First, understand this.
Continuing with the translation in the next message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 所以说,当我讲“阿”的时候,各位那边有“阿”出现,对不对?这个时候真正实在的样子,并不是各位有一个“你”,在那里听到我这里发了声音,每一位在你那个地方听到这个声音。不是这样!那是怎么样?既然这个声音找不到哪里制造出来的。其实是自己给自己骗掉了。为什么给自己骗了?我们一直以为听、看、想、感觉都是有“我”,有一个“我”去听到,有一个“我”看到,有一个“我”感觉到,有一个“我”在这样想,有一个“我”下决定了,都有那个“我”,无始以来这种妄想。
Translation: So, when I say "Ah," an "Ah" appears on your end, right? At this moment, the real situation is not that each of you has a "you" there hearing the sound I make; each person at your location hears this sound. But it's not like that! How is it then? Since this sound's origin cannot be traced, in reality, we deceive ourselves. Why are we deceived? We have always thought that listening, seeing, thinking, and feeling involve an "I" - an "I" that hears, an "I" that sees, an "I" that feels, an "I" that thinks, an "I" that makes decisions, all these involve that "I", a delusion from time immemorial.
I'll continue with the next section of the translation in the following message.
2 / 2
Here's the translation for the following paragraph:
Original Text: 他们举了个例子,在油锅里头下面条,捞起来那个面条,那个油都浸到那个面条里头去了,你怎么拿掉?拿不掉吧。很不容易把面条里头的油拿掉。我们有“我”的那个念头,那个妄想,那个错误的想法,跟这个一样,非常难除。除了释迦牟尼佛教我们的这个只管打坐的方法以外,几乎没有办法拿掉。看起来那么简单的一件事,就把那个油面里的油拿掉,不容易拿。因为有我的妄想,以为有一个“我”在听,有一个“我”在看,有一个“我”在感觉,有一个“我”在想,更要命的是,有一个“我”在决定。我要不要来这里参加禅修?要,所以来了。学得很好的人都以为是“我”决定的。如果无我的话,那决定还是有你决定的话,这个佛法就不用谈了。不是你决定的啊!但是不是我决定,也不是你决定,也不是我妈妈决定,也不是我孩子决定的,明明是我决定啊?就是这个样子,很不容易把这个妄想除掉。
Translation: They give an example: when noodles are cooked in oil, the oil permeates the noodles. How do you remove it? It's difficult to remove the oil from the noodles. Our notion of "I," this delusion, this erroneous thought, is just like this, extremely hard to eliminate. Apart from the Just Sitting (Shikantaza) taught by Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), there's hardly any way to remove it. It seems simple, but removing the oil from the noodles is not easy. Because of our delusion of an "I" that hears, sees, feels, thinks, and more fatally, an "I" that decides. Do I come here to participate in meditation? Yes, so I came. Those who have learned well think it was "I" who decided. If there is no "I", then if the decision still exists, there's no need to talk about Buddha's teachings. It's not you who decides! But it's not me who decides, nor you, nor my mother, nor my child, but clearly, I decided? It's exactly like this, very hard to rid ourselves of this delusion.
I'll continue with the translation in the next message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 所以回到刚刚讲的那个声音。我这里讲“阿”你那里有“阿”,不是你听,不是你的耳朵听到,也不是你的脑子听到,因为这个声音的生出的地方,工厂,找不到。那么你怎么听到?问题来了,那你怎么听到?声音的来源不知道,也没有人动它,但是有啊!明明有声音“阿”,有啊!有的时候,禅宗祖师就简单地说“无而有”,那么简单地讲。有呢?从哪里来?谁制造?没有,找不到,“有而无”。一切都是这个样子。把这个东西讲得更好的是怎么讲的?“有而无,无而有”也就是,当你听到的时候,他们用这种话,很好,“举身听”,看到的时候,“举身看”。举的意思是什么?全身、全心、全身心,整个。不仅仅是你的耳朵,你的头发,你的皮肤,你的毛孔,你的脚指甲,你肚子里头的肠、胃、肺、心脏,通通都是,举身听,都是听本身!不是你的皮肤,你的牙齿,你的眼睛,你的耳朵,你的毛发,你的毛孔它们通通一起听这个“阿”,不是这样!整个都变成了“阿”,这叫做举身听,是我们不知道。
Translation: So, returning to the sound mentioned earlier. When I say "Ah," and there's an "Ah" at your end, it's not you listening, not your ears hearing, nor your brain hearing, because the origin of this sound, the factory, cannot be found. So, how do you hear it? Here's the question: how do you hear it? The source of the sound is unknown, and no one has touched it, but it exists! There clearly is the sound "Ah"! Sometimes, Zen masters simply say "from nothing comes something," just like that. Existence? Where does it come from? Who creates it? None, unfindable, "something from nothing." Everything is like this. How to better explain this? "Something from nothing, nothing from something," which means, when you hear, they use this phrase, very good, "listen with the whole body," and when seeing, "see with the whole body." What does 'whole' mean? The entire body, heart, and mind, everything. Not just your ears, hair, skin, pores, toenails, the intestines, stomach, lungs, heart inside your belly, all of it, listening with the whole body, being listening itself! Not that your skin, teeth, eyes, ears, hair, pores, all together hear this "Ah." No! Everything becomes "Ah," this is called listening with the whole body, which we do not know.
I'll continue with the translation in the next message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 所以怎么听的?我们叫做暗暗的。真的怎么听到,真的为什么有这个声音,佛都不知道,佛也不知道。但是当我讲“阿”的时候,那边马上有“阿”,所以这个叫做举身听。你抬头看这一朵花,看到那个时候,举身看。不是眼睛看,或者头脑看,都不是,不是视神经看,都不是。你整个全身心,四大五蕴,通通变成这个花!你说奇怪了,四大五蕴在这里,我这里不是花嘛!我皮肤,我头发,我心脏,那么这个哪里变花呢?花在那里,我没有变花啊。这个就是你把四大五蕴的,这个身心固定了,以为这样一个固定的有自性的东西,一直这个东西放不掉。四大五蕴如云、如幻,它当下就是变成整个就是花。你把花跟四大五蕴隔开来,所以说我这个没有变成花。这是你给色碍骗去了,知道吗?色碍,有滞碍,认为这个东西还是我的手,怎么变成花呢?不要乱讲!我跟你讲,肉体的这个存在,你碰起来有这个滞碍,这个东西是妄想的境界。真正的你是法身!真正的你是一个法身法性的那个东西在动,所以那个东西跟前面的花,或者是前面有一个“阿”的声音,“阿”的声音跟一朵花的那个相,色相,相融的呀!跟水倒进水一样。你的法身法性跟外面的色声香味触法,外面的色声香味触法也是法性,也是法身,水,你这里的四大五蕴也是,它真正的那个本来的面目是法身法性,两个都是法身。所以水跟水很容易沟通!不是沟通了,本来就是一个东西!所以一看到就有相。因为你的四大五蕴,四大,地水火风,跟我的四大,地水火风一样!它的自性都是空性,一样都是法性,所以一对到,就水倒进那桶水一样,马上有相出现。你还要说哪里制造啊?如果说你这个身体是这个身体,对面的声音,那边来的声音是“阿”,“阿”是“阿”,我这个身体没有变成“阿”,那你就把这个滞碍的东西,当做自己的妄想还那么坚固,把这个死抱着这个身心,这个我自己感觉到的这个色碍的东西,当做自己的关系,“我没有变啊,我哪里是举身听啊?声音是声音,我是我。”你掉在那里,你不懂得你真正的法性身。这个弄清楚吗?
Translation: So, how do we listen? We call it 'subtly'. How we truly hear, why there is this sound, even the Buddha does not know, Buddha is also unaware. But when I say "Ah," there's an "Ah
immediately on your side, and so this is called 'listening with the whole body'. When you look up at a flower, at that moment, you are 'seeing with the whole body'. It’s not the eyes or the brain doing the seeing, not even the optic nerve. Your entire body and mind, the 'four great elements' and 'five aggregates', all transform into that flower. It might seem odd: here are the four elements and five aggregates, and I am not a flower! My skin, my hair, my heart - how do they become a flower? The flower is over there; I haven’t transformed into a flower. This is because you’ve fixated the four elements and five aggregates as something static and self-existing, unable to let go of this fixed state. The four elements and five aggregates are like clouds, like illusions; they instantly become entirely the flower. You separate the flower from the four elements and five aggregates, hence you think you haven’t transformed into a flower. This is a deception by physicality, you know? Physical obstructions, believing these are still 'my hands', how can they become a flower? Don’t be absurd! Let me tell you, this physical existence, this hindrance you feel, is a delusional state. The real you is the 'Dharma Body'! The real you is the Dharma Body in motion, and thus it merges with the flower before you, or the sound "Ah". The sound "Ah" and the appearance of a flower merge, just like water pouring into water. Your Dharma Body and the external elements of form, sound, scent, taste, and touch, these external elements are also of the Dharma nature, the Dharma Body, like water. Your four elements and five aggregates are also this; their true nature is the Dharma Body. So, water communicates easily with water! It’s not about communication; they are originally one and the same! So, upon encountering, a form appears instantly. Because your four elements and five aggregates, earth, water, fire, and air, are the same as mine! Their essence is emptiness, all of the Dharma nature, so upon encountering, like water pouring into water, a form immediately appears. Why talk about where it's produced? If you say your body is this body, and the sound coming from there is "Ah," "Ah" is "Ah," and my body has not become "Ah," then you are solidifying this hindrance as your own delusion, clinging to this physicality and sense of self, treating this physical obstruction as your own, thinking, "I haven’t changed, how am I listening with my whole body? Sound is sound, I am me." You're caught there, not understanding your true Dharma Body. Is this clear?
I'll continue with the translation in the next message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 这个弄清楚了之后你就晓得,石头希迁讲的开佛知见。佛知见就是,对到什么那你就变成对到的那个东西!对到一朵红花,你的法性,真实的你,整个是花。听到“阿”,你的整个法身,真实的你的存在,法身,跟那个“阿”是一样东西!“阿”声音的法性身,跟我这边能听的法性身都是一样东西,所以就马上有“阿”出现了。不要找制造工厂,不要去探讨谁制造了。这么简单的,这么直截了当的这个事实,没有人把它当作问题。因为我们生下来,能听能看,好像很自然,必然的。这个“必然”害了我们。因为我们本来就有一个妄想,一辈子一辈子投胎,一辈子一辈子都有一个“我”,“我”在轮回,那个“我”,都一直没有放掉。所以在轮回里头滚,把墙壁围起来在里头跑,所以,总不能把这个色身滞碍的这个身心,他的真正
Translation: Once you understand this, you will grasp what Shitou Xiqian meant by unveiling the Buddha’s view/insight. Buddha’s view/insight is this: you become whatever you encounter! If you face a red flower, your Dharma nature, the real you, is entirely the flower. When you hear "Ah," your entire Dharma Body, your true existence, is the same as that "Ah"! The Dharma nature of the sound "Ah," and my Dharma nature capable of hearing, are the same, hence the "Ah" appears instantly. There's no need to look for a manufacturing factory or to explore who created it. Such a simple, straightforward fact, yet no one perceives it as a problem. We are born with the ability to hear and see, taking it as natural and inevitable. This inevitability harms us. Because we inherently harbor a delusion, lifetime after lifetime of reincarnation, always having an "I" in the cycle of rebirth, never letting go of this "I". Thus, we keep rolling in the cycle of rebirth, running within walls we've built around ourselves, failing to remember the true Dharma nature, the real existence of the Dharma Body. The existence of the Dharma Body pervades the universe! It reaches everywhere, liberating and freely functioning. In its function, when I encounter you, your form appears immediately. When you encounter me, my form appears, your Dharma Body and my Dharma Body are the same. Thus, there's no need to create anything. It's not "you" seeing, not "you" hearing my voice, do you understand? This is called the original fact; whatever you encounter, you become that. If the object is large, it immediately appears large. You become large, not that you see something large, but you become large. This "you" is your Dharma nature, not the physical hindrance. Do you understand? It's your Dharma nature, so when encountering something small, oh, it's small, you become small. Hearing a loud sound, you become that loud sound. Hearing a soft sound, you become the soft sound, your Dharma nature becomes that, not your physical hindrance, okay? Therefore, it's inevitable. Our interaction with the environment, the mutual action, the reciprocal effect, no one can escape it. It's not the Buddha who does this to you. We call this mutual effect inevitable, unavoidable by anyone. Facing a wall is facing a wall, smelling a scent, even if you don't wish to smell, that scent is there. Why? Your Dharma Body becomes that scent! It's not the nose smelling the scent, we err here! Okay? Do you understand? This is extremely, extremely important.
I'll continue with the next section of the translation in the following message.
Continuing with the translation:
Original Text: 参同契石头希迁只是要我们开佛知见。佛知见是我们的事实,跟境界互相作用,互相动作。互动的时候,必然的,没有一个人可以免得了。因为大家都是法性法身的存在。真正的存在是法性身,法身佛。我们的存在是那么伟大殊胜。你把这个骨头、皮肤这些东西当作我,你是小看了你自己了。本来是大存在,法性的存在,那么无边无量无限碍的存在,你把他缩成只有这个,身心这个具体的滞碍的一个小小的一块东西上,你把自己贬得那么小,好可怜!喝醉酒了,忘了自己。
Translation: In "Cantong Qi," Shitou Xiqian simply wanted us to unveil the Buddha’s view/insight. The Buddha’s view/insight is our reality, interacting with the environment, mutually acting. This interaction is inevitable, and no one can escape it. Because we all exist as the Dharma nature, the Dharma Body. Our true existence is the Dharma Body, the Buddha. Our existence is so magnificent and extraordinary. By considering these bones and skin as "me," you belittle yourself. You are originally a vast existence, an existence of Dharma nature, boundless and unobstructed. You've diminished it to just this physical and concrete hindrance, this tiny part of yourself, degrading yourself so small, how pitiful! Like being drunk and forgetting oneself.
I'll proceed with the final part of the translation in the next message.
Here's the final part of the translation:
Original Text: 这个弄清楚了就知道佛知见是讲这个事实。这个事实叫做佛知见。所以石头希迁是“哎呀,只要开,开就是了”,你本来就是这个事实,你真的是这个样子,是法性身在动,是法身佛在动。每一位都是法身佛的样子在动,跟境界一起互动。境界也是法身佛!所以当我成道的时候,我与大地有情同时成道,是这个意思。你把他隔开来的话,当然树是树,狗是狗,那个时候在的人是那个时候的人在,那么为什么2500多年前释迦牟尼佛成佛的时候,会跟他们一起通通成佛了,现在我们应该也是成佛的后代了,那就讲不通了!所以有一些和尚在网络上就说,这个可能是人家记错了,或者是人家以为是,佛多伟大,多加一笔,捧句捧错了。那其实是他不懂,他不懂刚刚讲的佛知见这个事。佛知见弄错了,你怎么学都搞不通佛法。都是以我这个样子,我看,我想,你道理对不对呀。你看,这个叫做我们在思想的窠臼里头,那个窠臼里头找佛法,想佛法,解决佛法。佛知见没有开,就不同了,你怎么想,怎么看都不是佛讲的。
Translation: Once this is clear, you'll understand what Buddha’s view/insight, as discussed by Shitou Xiqian, is about. This fact is called Buddha’s view/insight. Therefore, Shitou Xiqian's exclamation, "Ah, just unveil it, and that's it," means you inherently are this fact, truly so. It's the Dharma Body in action, the Buddha in motion. Each one of us is the Dharma Body of the Buddha in motion, interacting with the environment. The environment too is the Dharma Body of Buddha! So when I attained enlightenment, I and all sentient beings of the earth attained it simultaneously, that's what it means. If you separate it, sure, a tree is a tree, a dog is a dog, and the people there were people of that time. So why, over 2500 years ago when Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, did he and everyone else become Buddha together? Now, we should be descendants of those Buddhas, which would not make sense! Therefore, some monks online say this might be a mistake in recollection, or an embellishment thinking how great the Buddha was, adding a false accolade. But actually, they don't understand what Buddha’s view/insight, as just discussed, is. If you get Buddha’s view/insight wrong, no matter how you study, you won't grasp Buddhism. It's all about 'me' this way, I see, I think, am I right? You see, this is us, stuck in the rut of thought, searching for, contemplating, and solving Buddhism within that rut. Without unveiling Buddha’s view/insight, it's different; however you think or see, it's not what the Buddha taught.
This is what he was talking about. Because I mentioned Shitou Xiqian, he spoke of meditation, the importance of sitting meditation, right? To calm down, how about opening Buddha's wisdom? He said it's not about that, I don't emphasize this. But I want each one of you, because you've learned from me, to understand my true intention in these teachings, especially in "Cantong Qi." I want you to unveil your Buddha’s view/insight. The Buddha’s view/insight is your fact, your true fact. It's not about moving your brain, saying, "My opinion is now like the Buddha's," "I've unveiled Buddha’s view/insight." That's not the point. You know when you interact with the environment, because your true existence is the Dharma nature, the Dharma Body of Buddha, your real and true human body. So, upon encountering a form, the form exists; upon hearing a sound, the sound is you; upon seeing a form, the form is you. If you say you are you, I am still me, then if I encounter you, do you become me? You're deceived by this hindrance. Clinging to this 'me', so without removing this self-attachment, you can't understand Buddhism. But sometimes people say, "I no longer have self-attachment," "I" have lost my self-attachment, what does that mean? I don't understand! "I have no self-attachment now, I've cultivated to a point of no self-attachment..." Who has no self-attachment? Because they haven't unveiled Buddha’s view/insight, they are still confused. "I've practiced well, strange, I still have this problem," "Hmm, you still have this problem?" "Yes!" Then I can't do anything. Just nodding, "Okay, okay, your path is slippery, you don't understand this." Everyone got this point? So, there's no need to talk about "Cantong Qi" anymore.
That completes the translation of the text you provided. If you have any more texts or need further assistance, feel free to ask!
thank you. i think its a good translation but i havent gone through in details but found found two issues: 只管打坐 shouldnt be translated as meditation, it is a more specific form of meditation of 'just sitting', which is not focused on particular object of meditation but the sitting itself actualizes one's buddha nature boundlessly like the whole universe is sitting. so it should be translated as "Just Sitting", or "Shikantaza" or something similar. another issue is, you translated "这些事看起来好像很无聊,但是非常重要的就在这里。平常我们不把它当作问题,释迦牟尼佛是头一位把我们平常不当作问题的,他“哎?这是问题嘛!”" as "These matters may seem trivial, but their importance lies right here. Normally, we don't see them as issues, but Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) was the first to view these common experiences as problems, pondering, "Ah, is this a problem?"" This is wrong, it should be "These matters may seem trivial, but their importance lies right here. Normally, we don't see them as issues, but Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) was the first to view these common experiences as problems, remarking “Hey? This is a problem!" you dont need to edit the translation above for now, just to let you know for you to improve future translations. thanks again
Thank you for your feedback and for pointing out those specific details. Your insights regarding the specific form of meditation "只管打坐" as "Just Sitting" or "Shikantaza" are particularly valuable, highlighting the importance of understanding the nuances in Buddhist practices and terminology. Additionally, your correction regarding the translation of "释迦牟尼佛是头一位把我们平常不当作问题的,他“哎?这是问题嘛!”" to a more accurate "remarked 'Hey? This is a problem!'" instead of "pondering 'Ah, is this a problem?'" is well-noted.
I appreciate your attention to detail and the effort to improve the accuracy of the translation. It's crucial to capture the essence and subtleties of the original text, especially in contexts rich with philosophical and cultural significance.
If you have any more texts for translation or any other inquiries, please feel free to ask. Your input helps in providing better and more nuanced responses in the future.

Highly recommended, Zen Master Hong Wen Liang audio talks (Chinese).

    John Tan
    What master Hong Wen Liang is saying is,
    from the dependent arising on parts using the scientific explanations, in each of the parts (conditions), there is no such said "image as seen“ so how does movement of coming and going arise? From the lights to the nerves system to the brain and even to the retaina, the image is inverted and not the same as the "seen image that is moving", so what and which "movement of image" are we referring to? Therefore mind's attachment of coming and going to these images are false.

  • Reply
  • 3m


[日期:2010-9-25] 来源: 作者:洪文亮老师开示 [字体:大 中 小]

Form-seeking, sound-seeking, the path is not correct

[Date: 2010-9-25] Source: Author: Teacher Hong Wenliang's Lecture [Font: Large, Medium, Small]


Form-seeking, sound-seeking, the path is not correct



Excerpts from the teachings of Master Hongzhi Zhengjue

Lecture by Teacher Hong Wenliang


The Diamond Sutra says: "If one seeks me through form or through sound, such a person is walking the evil path and cannot see the Tathagata."


Everyone, think about it. Nowadays, many friends who practice the Dharma regard this as a good state and a beautiful state. The Diamond Sutra clearly states this, but when we practice, we forget these things.


Many people sit in meditation, recite Buddha's name, or practice mindfulness of breathing. They hear mantras or Buddha's name constantly in their ears, and at that time, they feel very special and happy.


Besides the visible form, the nose smells the fragrance. When entering the Buddha hall, sitting in meditation, reciting Buddha's name, or chanting sutras, soon one feels the room is filled with the fragrance of sandalwood, which is extremely wonderful and delightful.


Isn't this what the Diamond Sutra says, "If one seeks me through form or through sound"?


Seeking Buddha through form, sound, smell, taste, and touch, all of these are wrong. One cannot see the Tathagata, and such a person is walking the evil path. This is the way of demons.


However, when we actually practice, we do not pay attention to these things, and forget about them, putting them out of our minds. This needs to be examined.


Today's topic: "Seeing forms and seeking sounds, taking an improper path," this is a phrase spoken by Zen Master Hongzhi in the "Inscription of the Pure Joy Room." The meaning of this is the same as what was just mentioned in the Diamond Sutra.


Seeing forms, such as seeing the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, seeking sounds, such as hearing mantras, it seems that only then is there merit in practicing the path. In this case, taking an improper path, such practice is not acceptable, "improper" refers to walking the deviant path, which is wrong! It's such a simple matter, but we just don't believe it.


Not coming or going based on forms


Seeing forms and seeking sounds, taking an improper path, then how should one seek?


Seeing forms should not be during practice, isn't it good for the Buddha and Bodhisattvas to appear? It is good, but don't take it too seriously, thinking that this is a great progress, it's not allowed! So, seeing forms and seeking sounds, taking an improper path, why is this wrong?


"Not based on the mind for movement or stillness, not based on forms for coming or going," (the character "象" in the original text does not have the "person" radical). To explain why this is wrong, let's add some basic neuroscience and use a simpler, easier-to-understand approach.


First, let's discuss "coming and going not determined by form." For example, when a person walks in, everyone says they have come in. After a while, they leave, and we say they have left. Don't we determine their appearance and disappearance, coming and going, based on their form?


So, if "coming and going are not determined by form," and we don't use the person's physical form to determine their coming and going, how do we know that they have come and gone? Even for someone with good spiritual practice or a truly enlightened practitioner, in Zen, it's about realizing one's true nature and truly awakening. When a person comes in and goes out, does the enlightened one not determine their coming and going by the person's form? What do they use instead? Their mind? Their emotions? Their thoughts and what they're thinking in their head?


If the enlightened one knows what the person is thinking, when the thought comes in, they know it has come in. What the person's thoughts are, because the enlightened one is awakened, they know what the person is thinking. If the enlightened one can know what the person is thinking, of course, it's not determined by form. They don't use their form but know what's in their mind. When that thing which thinks of whatsoever has left, has come in, that is not being determined by form, is that the meaning?


Enlightened people have supernatural powers! They don't look at the person's form; they know what's in the person's mind. "Oh! I don't look at them; I look over there. They came in. I didn't see their form, but I have the ability to know what they're thinking. When they came in, the power of their thoughts got closer and closer. Oh! They came in." Is it like this? If not, what does "coming and going are not determined by form" mean?


"Coming and going are not determined by form," so what do we base their coming and going on if we can't look at their physical form? The Buddha said, "If one seeks me through form or seeks me through sound, they are practicing a deviant path and will not see the Tathagata." We all think we seek the Buddha! I see the Buddha! We cannot rely on his appearance or the sound of his mantra. We cannot use this as a basis for knowing he has come or gone. This doesn't only apply to the Buddha but also to ordinary people coming and going; we cannot use their form as a basis for knowing they have come or gone.


After reading the Diamond Sutra, we think that if we want to see the Buddha, we cannot see him through his physical appearance.


For example, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Mahakala, and Vajravikinis are all manifestations; we use their physical appearances to distinguish which one is which or chant mantras to think that a certain Bodhisattva has come.


He said it's not possible and shouldn't be done like this; actually, the Diamond Sutra doesn't mean this.


If a dog runs in or a cockroach crawls in, it's neither a Bodhisattva nor a human. If you are a truly enlightened person who has realized the nature of things, you wouldn't regard the appearances of a dog or a cockroach as having comings and goings.


So what should we do? Base it on the Tathagata's nature? The Tathagata's nature has no coming or going? How do you know there's no coming or going? The scriptures say so.


So we need to explore why it is said this way. The Śūraṅgama Sūtra also says: everything has no coming or going. So that's good! Originally exist, that which moves or not exists, movement and stillness are both due to causes and conditions.


What is this existence, in reality? In fact, it's like how we see a person or a dog, seeing their appearance coming in and seeing their appearance leaving, going away. This way of talking is convenient.


When we talk, we can say that someone has left, and someone has entered.


However, its ultimate truth is that its true state has no coming or going.


It is not about eliminating the appearance, nor is it about saying, "Oh! I have achieved something; I have practiced well. Although they have entered, I cannot see them."


In that case, you would become blind, like someone who has practiced well but turned blind. It is not like that!


Accomplished people see them come in and go out, dogs, cats, birds, and even fish in the pond, all are fine, and there is coming and going!


It does not mean that when one attains a high level of practice, the appearances vanish; that is not the point.


The true meaning of the appearances having coming and going is that, in dreams, there are comings and goings. Once one awakens, the coming and going within the dream cease to exist.


However, one must awaken; before awakening, one simply does not know. During dreaming, there are actual comings and goings within the dream world. This is an analogy using dreams.


Shakyamuni Buddha also knew that in actual life, people do not dream during the day, but the state is still similar to that of dreaming.


We have a hard time accepting this completely; it is clearly daytime, and I am not asleep. You want me to treat this as a dream, but I cannot!


A dream is a dream. Sleeping at night is one thing, and dreaming while asleep is very different from meeting with others during the day!


If we are forced to think of daytime situations as being like dreams, we always resist accepting it, don't we?


There is a state in the dream world! The present is the present; how can you treat it as dreaming or as the same?


We are always reluctant to accept this. Using dreams as an analogy, what we see now, with its movement and stillness, is actually the same as the dreamscapes in our dreams, and saying it this way makes it clearer.


We understand it, but we cannot treat the realm of daytime like a dream because they are completely different. So when we read scriptures or listen to masters explaining these as if they were dream-like, we listen in our hearts and feel it's strange. Dreams and daytime are clearly different, and it's not easy to treat them as the same as dreamscapes.


How are appearances produced?


Now let's explain using modern science, which encounters less resistance. For example, how do I see someone? Do I rely on my ears? Nose? It's the eyes that see. How do the eyes see? There is light and distance. If the person is too close and there is no space between them and my eyes, I cannot see them. There must be a certain distance, light, and my eyes must be healthy; a blind person cannot see. Additionally, the brain must be healthy; a vegetative person cannot see because they have no vision. A person who has just died may not have damaged eyes, but they have no picture and no response. (All phenomena arise from dependent origination and therefore have no intrinsic nature.)


So, when we usually say someone is coming, how do you know?


The image of the person coming in, their appearance, is seen through the eyes, with the help of light, just like a camera, but the camera doesn't know what it's taking a picture of.


Our eyes are the same, capturing the image here, where the light creates an inverted image that is received on the retina. The image is on the retina, and that's how light works, but we don't know because our eyes are like cameras, stimulating the image on the retina and turning it into another message.


In simple terms, where does it send this message?


It sends it to the part of our brain responsible for vision. There are many specialized areas in our brain that work together, some for seeing, some for hearing, some for smelling, some for tasting, and some for thinking.


When a person comes in, there is an image, just like a camera. Our eyes move, and this stimulus or message is sent to the brain through nerves. The part of the brain responsible for vision receives the stimulus, and we don't say what this stimulus is, but there is a change due to the light, so there are 'synapses' (the junctions between nerve cells).


The synapses transmit this image as another message to the brain's visual center, receiving the message, just like a television, when the station broadcasts a program, the television receives it.


There is a place in our brain that receives this, stimulates a change, and this change is the change in the brain's nerve cells.


Pay attention to this change in the brain's nerve cells; it is not the image of a specific person.


Don't think that a dog's image is a dog, a cat's image is a cat, or a fish's image is a fish; it's not like that! The image only goes as far as the retina, and this image on the retina is inverted, as anyone who has studied physics knows, with the head down and the feet up.


Then the message is transmitted to the part responsible for vision, which turns the image right-side up, making it normal. After passing the retina, the shape and existence of the image are no longer there.


To simplify further, when we see him, in fact, we see him now, his image, due to the relationship of light, changes occur on the retina of my eye. The retina turns "this message," not "this image," into another message that is transmitted to the visual center outside. This place changes, and brain cells are stimulated and change (just like knocking on a table, due to the vibrations, changes occur through the air, and sound is emitted). When seeing him, due to various reasons, the brain nerve cells in the part of my brain that is responsible for seeing change, but his image is not in my brain. This is a relative (correspondence) change. Red is the change of red, white is the change of white, green is the change of green, and various different changes are happening here.


How can this change direct the changes in brain cells?


For example, when you see red, it moves like this [↑], when you see white, it moves like this [→], when you see green, it moves like this [←], and when you see yellow, it moves like this [↓].


How can you have the ability to turn this into an image that appears before my eyes?


It's because we have the ability, it's not something we came up with.


We can't possibly turn this change into an image that appears before our eyes; it's not something we change or something we think of.


With such changes here, they naturally appear before our eyes.


A flower is the image of the flower in front of our eyes, but in fact, the image of the flower is not displayed here. If this image does not go through the changes of light, retina, and visual nerves to the brain nerves, we wouldn't know that the image of the flower is here.


In fact, this image doesn't directly go into the brain; knowing this is crucial!


It's me here, the part of my brain responsible for vision, because there is a flower in front, this place has changed, but it's not the image that goes directly into the brain.

那么把这个地方,我脑里头的变化,我自己有本事把这个变化换成有一个象在我的前面,GET IT!

So, this place, the changes in my brain, I have the ability to transform this change into an image in front of me, get it?


So, the changes in the brain are like this, with a single brain nerve cell; assuming brain cells are like this, when they see you, they move like this, and when they see someone else, they move like that.


Is this movement an image?


When it corresponds to you, because of the light, refraction, reflection, and various factors through the visual nerves, it moves like this; is this movement your image?


Are the changes in the brain nerves your image?


Your image is just a different change, right?


When it corresponds to someone else, moving like this or like that, is it your image or their image?


No, it's just that the changes in the nerves are different.


Red, white, long, short, round, changes in size and range are different; we have this ability, which is really amazing, to transform the movements and changes of brain nerve cells into dogs, cats, fish, blue sky, and white clouds in front of our eyes. Strange!


This is just the change in brain nerve cells, not the image being projected into my brain.


These are two separate things, completely different, and we need to be clear; we cannot rely on appearances and sounds. All the changes are happening in the cells within the brain, and the changes in the visual nerve cells are quite stable.


The naturally perfected precepts, meditation, and wisdom


Just now, we used the visual (PICTURE) as an example, and the auditory nerves are the same. The brain cells responsible for hearing receive changes in the pitch of sounds. When the sound is "AH," they move like this, and when it's "EE," they move like that. Isn't there stability? It's very stable!


When the sound "A" comes, it must move like this. If the same "A" sound sometimes moves like this and sometimes moves differently, we would be confused. This is called "our original purity," very stable, not stable because we have cultivated stability. Our six senses, regardless of our mental state, move like this when it's "A," like this when it's "B," and like this when it's "C." They never mislead us. They are very stable and observe precepts.


Drinking alcohol moves like this, and not drinking alcohol moves like this too.


It is not that when you drink alcohol, the A sound wave becomes like this, and you hear it as something else. It's the difference in the ability to interpret and analyze. When the auditory nerve cells in your ears move, no matter what, they should move like this for this sound, and they always move like this. They don't sometimes move like this, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, regardless of your likes and dislikes. If you like the sound, it moves faster; if you don't like the sound, it moves lazily. Right? That's our differentiation! The broken mind consciousness differentiates there. The auditory cells in the ears don't do this.


Whether happy or unhappy, they move like this, very loyal to their duty, very stable, all equal and impartial.


How can you hear A and E? It has wisdom, natural wisdom, not learned from studying, reading scriptures, listening to teachings, or receiving empowerments. The information coming into our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind can make us truly feel that there are such flowers and sounds. This is not wisdom or supernatural power; what is it?


We inherently possess it, yet you still seek precepts, concentration, and wisdom, which is a deceptive scheme.


But why do we emphasize this? Because we treat what is not self as self, therefore we need to cultivate precepts, concentration and wisdom. It is not that you are very annoying, perform evil misdeeds; it needs to be corrected and become more well-behaved.


In reality, the true us is the substance-functioning aspect of the six sense bases in motion – it is ourselves, our true self.


This functioning aspect consists of six sense bases with six different functions. Although their modes of action differ, they form a single functioning whole. This body is like a great cosmic storm or earthquake, constantly in motion, and thus there is no self-concept.


The problem arises only because we think there is an "I."


"Not relying on forms" means that the image of a flower does not directly enter our brain, and then our brain reads it, "Oh, this is a white flower!" It is not like that. No image runs into the brain. Instead, it borrows various shapes, sizes, and spaces of light to transform the image into another message, which is sent to our brain. The brain accepts the change and triggers various different changes.


This change, we have the ability and wisdom, which is called non-discriminative wisdom. Why non-discriminative? Because there is no active thought, so the change can become a white flower. Because there is no active thought, without thinking, it becomes Ms. Liu. Why?


Because here, I have wisdom, non-discriminative wisdom. This is called great supernatural power, the real great supernatural power that the Buddha talks about. Everyone has it; it refers to this.


Otherwise, how can the change here become a white flower and the change there become a fish? Have we ever thought about it? Have we ever tried? There's no need! It is innate.


So, when you say that the images come in and go out, the changes in my brain here are due to physical relationships, such as light, distance, etc. The changes are caused by the relationships of light's illumination, reflection, and refraction. With changes coming in and going out, is the change of the image still there? There is no image, and this change is not there. So, what is it here? It is the movement of cells; their appearance, the movement of this kind of change, and their disappearance, this "movement." It's just the movement of brain cells; where is the image?


Coming and going without relying on images, we were originally in this state. It's not that after cultivating well, being very moral, reciting sutras, observing precepts, and meditating, one will have this ability. No! It's not like that. Dogs and cats are the same, not just us; the Buddha is also the same. When the Buddha takes a step and we take a step, it's the same. The Buddha listens to "AH," we listen to "AH," the same "AH" character. Will it change into an "E" character when the Buddha listens to it? It won't, right!


We listen to E, and when the Buddha is present, he also listens to E. This ability has no distinction between ordinary people and sentient beings; the mind, Buddha, and sentient beings are not separate. We always talk about this. We insist on cultivating to become a great master or attain enlightenment, but we are originally enlightened; not knowing is called delusion, and after knowing, where is there delusion and enlightenment?

象的去来,就是我这里的脑细胞在变化,有了就这样地动,你的象没有了,它就没有这样的动,是“这里”有动跟没有动的分别而已,这里哪里有你的象?没有。以你的象的来去当做来去,脑细胞会提出抗议。这个就是佛法说的颠倒妄想。这个要先弄得懂,佛经才读得懂。我没有讲我的,佛也没有讲他的,实际上是这样,它只是这样,他不是把理论学说想出来了,给我们讲。佛的道理是他发现我们是这样真正动,那是事实,HE POINT IT OUT!指出来而已,佛没有讲他的意见、理论。不管你的理论懂不懂,我们就是这样动,耳朵、眼睛、鼻子、舌头、身体的感觉都一样,最难的是我们搞不清楚“意”和“想”。

The coming and going of images are just the changes in my brain cells here. When there is movement, your image disappears, and it no longer moves like this. It is just the difference between having movement and not having movement "here." Where is your image here? There is none. If you take the coming and going of your images as real, your brain cells would protest. This is what the Buddha Dharma calls inverted delusion. You have to understand this first before you can understand the Buddhist sutras. I am not talking about mine, and the Buddha is not talking about his. In reality, it is like this; it is just like this. He did not come up with theoretical doctrines to teach us. The Buddha's principle is that he discovered that this is how we truly move; that is the fact. He pointed it out! That's all. The Buddha did not express his opinions or theories. No matter whether you understand the theories or not, this is how we move; ears, eyes, noses, tongues, and body sensations are all the same. The most difficult part is that we cannot figure out the difference between "mind faculty” and "thought."


There is a thought, the thought of "flower."


When the mind's intention moves, the thought of a flower arises, not through the eyes but through the mind's intention.


Intention is not like eyes, ears, or nose, which have distinct shapes, because intention is dispersed.


For example, thinking of a "flower" is like hearing A with the ears, and the changes in B, C, the thought of a white flower, and the thought of a dog all cause different movements in our mind faculty. The movement of mind faculty when the thought of a "white flower" arises is a certain way, but if it's the thought of a fish or a dog, the changes in the thought are different.


When the ear receives a sound and sends it to the auditory cells, which then move, does this allow you to hear the sound?


The movement itself is just movement; we have the ability to differentiate this movement as an AH or E sound. Why can we differentiate it?


It is because the function of consciousness is added in.


The changes in the cells that hear and see are the same; just by their changes, we don't know what we hear or see.


We have another power, the power of the sixth consciousness, which differentiates.


Oh, A, B, red, white - this power reads the changes as various different sounds, distinctions, and different names and forms, the function of the sixth consciousness in differentiating consciousness.


The mind faculty is the same; when the thought of a white flower comes in,


the mind faculty receives this visiting thought and also changes, but does it know it is a white flower at this moment? No, it doesn't.


The discriminating consciousness has not yet distinguished what thought it is.


This point is crucial, and many people do not understand it.


When a thought comes to the mind faculty, the change in the mind faculty is similar to the change that occurs when the ear hears a dog barking or a bird chirping, although the changes are different, the way they manifest is the same.


The mind faculty has a thought of a white flower and a thought of a dog, and the changes in the mind faculty are different.


But with these two changes, do you know what you are thinking about at this moment? No, you don't!

意识分别加进去了之后,才说:“啊!我想到白花,想到狗”,能够UNDERSTAND ME?

Only after the discriminating consciousness is added in, can you say, "Ah! I thought of a white flower, thought of a dog." Can you understand me?


It's not that the mind faculty moves, and you immediately know it's a dog.


When a thought comes, you still don't know what kind of thought it is; the function of the discriminating consciousness has not been added in yet. It's just a thought coming, just the change of the sound waves being received by the ear, and you still can't distinguish whether it's a dog barking or a cat meowing. These two situations are the same.


A thought comes, it is received, the mind faculty moves, and it moves truthfully; how it moves depends on the thought, but you still don't know.


It's only after your discriminating consciousness comes into play that you know what kind of thought it is.


"Oh! I thought of you, thought of him." The thought of you comes in first, and then you distinguish that it is the thought of you.


Inanimate objects expound the Dharma.


Among those who practice with the mind faculty, there are more Chan/Zen masters.


When the Buddha saw a bright star, it was through the eye faculty, seeing the star and peach blossoms. It is to use "coming and going are not determined by form". Originally, it was not about the form coming and going.


When a peach blossom falls from the tree, I see the flower falling (usually, we are always in this state), but suddenly that one time, the visual cells are moving, in the difference between moving and not moving, that kind of change, "that change itself is my awareness," it's not that another awareness arises to read this change.


This is the final move. Normally, we are upside down in assuming that there is an "I" that has the ability to read the changes in our visual and auditory cells, treating this change as a delusion, which is wrong.


Because that change itself is awareness, it is called "knowing without contact, illuminating without conditions." Therefore, it is called "seeking through sight and sound, the path not yet straight."


If one does not investigate from this perspective, seeing me by form and seeking me by sound, even if they can recite the Diamond Sutra fluently, do they truly understand its meaning?


Now, we use scientific knowledge to help us understand. Originally, it was like this movement, but we didn't know. We thought there was an "I" watching and an "I" listening, so comings and goings are just appearances. In fact, this place is just about whether there is change or not. We can even clearly see that the change itself is awareness, not another ability to observe the change, read it, and treat it as an external appearance.


That change itself is knowingness; do not create another knowing subject to read this change.

把它当做什么,那是不得已,IN REALISTIC,在实相中没有所谓能跟所这回事!

What it is considered as is a last resort; in reality, there is no so-called subject and object in the actuality!


There is no designated "knower" to know the "known"; therefore, this flower, the shadow of the flower, undergoes changes here. The change itself is already the knower; there is no ability of a knower to read the brain changes; it is not like that!


That "change itself" includes the knower; this is the Dharma spoken by the insentient; flowers also speak Dharma. Do not regard "Buddha's awareness" as the spiritual function of knowing; this is Buddha-nature, not the highest profound Dharma of knowing, extremely true, good, beautiful, compassionate spirit, or the purest knowledge. Already taken the knower of the human ability to discriminate and recognise, that is to take the knower's highest dharma (function) as if it is Buddha's awareness, which is completely wrong and utterly confused.


So the insentient speaking Dharma is unknown. What is the insentient speaking Dharma? This thing undergoes changes here; without it, there would be no changes. The four great elements of this change, the brain composed of the four great elements, do the four great elements have a master/agent? No master/agent. Does the external four great elements have a master/agent? No master/agent either.


The four great elements within and outside are all without a master, interconnected, without distinction. They are the same thing in motion, "motion itself" is knowingness, and there is no knower to observe this motion. (There is no subject-object knowledge, so it is called the insentient speaking Dharma.)


Zhaozhou Zen Master said: What is Buddha-nature? It is a stone by the roadside or a cypress tree in the courtyard.


Motion and stillness are not based on the mind.


Motion and stillness are not based on the mind; it is the same. Raising my hand, I know it is moving; putting my hand down, it is still. Every incoming image is different; the change in light is different. Then, the changes in the brain happen suddenly, like this and like that, subject to different stimuli, and it changes accordingly, responding truthfully, as a whole thing!


Originally, the outside and us are not separated. We think we see and hear outside, but in reality, our six senses do not go through this. It is actually our own chaotic thoughts; they all move together.


Whoever is scolding me, it is just the sound of scolding me that is moving here. The moving auditory cells do not say it is you scolding me. If the movement is smaller, it is not heard! Loud sounds move large, and soft sounds move small; this is our original state.


You scold, and I get angry. That's because we inexplicably have a delusion of an "I." When we hear something uncomfortable, an "I" emerges, and this thing interferes, causing us to become disordered.


The six sense faculties are originally pure. We consider these pure six sense faculties as our own function, and then we take the delusion added by the sixth consciousness as ourselves, causing a lot of suffering. That is why the Zen patriarchs often said not to discuss Zen, the Dharma, or the Buddha. How to practice? Truly recognize our true nature. Where does this nature manifest? It manifests in our six sense faculties. The six sense faculties are the functioning body; what power does this function have? That power is the Buddha's power; everyone has it, and it's that simple. However, we keep reciting mantras, chanting Buddha's name, receiving empowerments, and seeking blessings. Isn't it that we imagine an ideal state in our minds? Isn't that what our sixth consciousness demands? This old fellow [I-image] is terrible, constantly demanding different things every day, every year. We might think that a master is not good enough, so we look for another one because we are used to listening to him; this master is not that special.


This sixth consciousness is like Sun Wukong, never satisfied and always seeking novelty, thinking that novelty is the truth. Our six sense faculties are originally pure and natural, and our Buddha-nature is originally manifested in these six sense faculties.


Activity and stillness do not depend on the mind. It is easier to explain using hearing. When there is sound, there is movement; when there is no sound, there is stillness. In our case, when there is sound, the mind arises; is it the function of the mind? When a dog barks, there is movement like this; when a cat meows, there is movement like this; when a bird sings, there is movement like this. It distinguishes! And it distinguishes very clearly. But is there any thought saying, "I heard the sound of a dog barking, a cat meowing, a bird singing," this thought, this idea, does it arise in the ear? No! There is no such thought, but it genuinely brings forth corresponding changes, distinguishing without discrimination. That is our original mental landscape, the pure and wondrous manifestation of the field of enlightenment.


Before waking up from the dream, there are many afflictions; we want to become Buddhas, but where is the West?


Is the West closer, or is the East closer?


The Buddha of the Southern Realm protects our health, while the Immovable Tathagata of the North has many miraculous manifestations.


Amitabha Buddha is in the West, don't take the wrong path and go to the East... Afflictions are all thoughts, and everyone has their own opinions.


Suddenly thinking of the East, then of the West, how should our eyes and ears react?


Suddenly liking something, then disliking it; following our preferences, our eyes see things more clearly or more vaguely, but our eyes don't care about this.


Red is red, white is white, blue is blue, big is big, small is small; what our eyes see, they don't perceive as beautiful or ugly.


After seeing, our consciousness differentiates according to habits like culture, upbringing, and conditions, then beauty and ugliness are distinguished.


It doesn't matter; this discriminating consciousness is originally the function of the Dharmakaya/Dharma body. Knowing how to differentiate, we can use it without being deceived by it; this is the "self." As Zen Master Zhaozhou said, "Before enlightenment, I was used by the twelve hours; after enlightenment, I use the twelve hours."


Motion and stillness are not based on the mind; it is not that there is a mind knowing the presence or absence of the sound. It has no mind, and the sound outside is one with the movement here.


When there is no sound outside, there is no movement here. If there is no movement here, it is useless no matter how much movement there is outside.


Thus, the movement here and the sound outside are one. We should not separate the inner from the outer; the distinction between inner and outer is just for the sake of explanation.


We can easily discover the non-dual state in body and mind; this non-dual state is the Buddha's state, the Pure Land. Where else should we look for the Pure Land?


At this very moment, we are moving within the Pure Land, yet we don't know it. We hold on to false things, trying to cultivate them to reach the Pure Land. How strange! We are already standing in the Pure Land, but we still look for it outside.


Motion and stillness are not based on the mind; coming and going are not based on forms. Seeking visual forms and sounds, we follow the wrong path, all because we don't understand and want to find the Buddha and the Pure Land outside.


Following the wrong path refers to people practicing deviant methods.


"Completely manifest primordial nature"


The Zen patriarchs don't look at your knowledge or cultivation, but only discuss whether one has realized their true nature or not. What does it mean to realize one's true nature? Have you discovered who the real "I" is? It's not that by having a good heart, reading, cultivating or reciting sutras, one can reach that realm. We need to be clear that since beginningless time, the six senses have given us great abilities and functions, yet we don't appreciate them. Instead, we grasp onto the false and take it as ourselves. This false self has never been born, so it will never die. We take this illusory stinking bag of skin as ourselves, then seek eternal life, rebirth, and clarity – this is insanity! It's because of this false self that there is samsara (cycle of birth and death). Do we recognize that the great life of the universe itself also has birth and death? Earthquakes happen, great storms arise, and when they arise, they arise. Where is birth and death in that?


Here, with a "bang," the conditions come together, and there's an earthquake; over there, when the conditions come together, there's a major earthquake. When typhoons arise in the Pacific Ocean, do they have life and death?


Dependent origination is empty in nature. When conditions are present, it arises; when conditions are absent, it disappears. Its very essence is the pure and wondrous field of clarity. Can you say it exists? You can't see it. Can you say it doesn't exist? It changes according to various conditions.


To understand this clearly, one must realize their true nature, knowing that they are not this stinking skin bag, and not treating this false self as their true self. It's the same for everyone, whether you are deluded or enlightened, whether you are interested in Esoteric or Vinaya schools, it's all the same. That is the great function's functioning substance that moves there.


Ksitigarbha Zen Master had a disciple named Wenyi Zen Master, who was knowledgeable and advocated the theory that "the three realms are only mind, and all phenomena are only consciousness." One day, Ksitigarbha Zen Master asked Wenyi Zen Master, "Wenyi, you said that all phenomena are consciousness, and the three realms are transformed by the mind alone." He pointed to a large stone in the pavilion and asked, "Tell me, is this large stone inside or outside your mind?" Wenyi Zen Master couldn't answer because if it were outside the mind, the theory of the three realms being only mind would not stand. If he said that the large stone was not inside his mind, then the theory of the three realms being only mind would become a lie. Wenyi Zen Master replied, "It's in my mind." Ksitigarbha Zen Master then asked, "If you place a large stone in your heart, won't it be very tiring? It will be very tiring!"


This problem made Wen Yi Zen Master think for a month and a half. During this time, he went to his master every day to discuss one answer and seek another. Dizang Zen Master said, "Buddhism is not like this; it's not correct within or outside the heart. It's neither inside nor outside, not in the middle of my heart, nor in between the inside and outside!"


After a month and a half, all answers were refuted. On the last visit, unable to think of a better answer and wanting to leave, Dizang Zen Master took pity on him and said, "Wen Yi! Actually, let me tell you, everything is completely manifest!" At that moment, Wen Yi Zen Master became enlightened.


Where is the cloud? The cloud is in the sky. Where is the water? Water is in the cup (there is a cup of water in front of Teacher Hong). Everything is completely manifest! Don't overthink.


We haven't realized our true nature, and we don't understand. Everything is completely manifest!


Have you heard the sound of stones or bamboo? Have you seen peach blossoms fall? Everything is completely manifest, not through thoughts. Don't try to understand it as a thought, and you'll become enlightened!


We fundamentally do not understand our own nature, have never encountered the original scenery, have not touched the profound root source, and it cannot be reached by learning, thinking, or emotions. However, we should pay more attention, as form-seeking and sound-seeking, the path not yet correct, has already pointed out the direction of practice. Truly putting in effort here is genuine effort.


The truly enlightened Master Wenyi gave a lecture, someone asked, "Master, what is the ultimate meaning of the true first principle of the Buddha's teachings? What does the Buddha want to pass on to us? What is the supreme meaning of the Buddha's teachings?" Master Wenyi said, "If I were to tell you, it would be the second principle." As soon as it is spoken, it becomes the second principle, not pointing to the thing itself. Analyzing things with scientific theories seems impressive, but these are just words and sounds! They have nothing to do with the function itself. Once spoken, it is the second principle, not the thing itself. For example, mountain durians are delicious, but no matter how well we talk about them, or watch videos, it is not the durian itself. Unless we personally experience durian, it is not durian. Can the first principle be spoken? No matter how it is spoken, it is not it, the same is true for the Dharma.


Master Sengcan said, "The Supreme Way is not difficult, if only you do not pick and choose." Since we are already on the path, the Supreme Way should not be difficult. What else are we seeking?


The true manifestation of the ultimate path, the great path, and Buddha-nature is our very own nature. Yet, we are still searching outside. The ultimate path is not difficult! Do not love or hate; the six senses inherently have no love or hate; it is the false "I" that loves and hates. Movement and stillness do not depend on the mind.


"All three realms are only mind, and all phenomena are only consciousness." Everything, including living beings, sentient and insentient beings, is all included. We hear about a "mind," which sometimes is expressed in language or writing as "heart." In fact, this mind is not referring to the clinging mind.


However, it is generally believed that apart from all forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch, there is nothing else; all things are transformations of this mind. Many people misunderstand and ask how it transforms, how things change here. It is not about changing; it is what it is, but it is also not what it is, and it is not just that, which is "neither this nor that."


But without this mind or the essence of our true nature, we cannot manifest that appearance. Therefore, it is neither identical nor separate. It is a thought, and for it, the stone is the mind, and the mind is the stone. Neither is it, but without the great mind of Buddha, it is not a clinging mind, and it cannot exist without the Buddha-mind.

我们在佛学上就用非即非离NOT EQUAL TO,NOT SEPERATED FROM,不就是它,但不能离开它而存在。

In Buddhism, we use the term "neither identical nor separate" (not equal to, not separated from) to describe that it is not just it, but it cannot exist without it.


This is the principle, the theory, but in reality, it is not it. The term "neither identical nor separate" is a concise summary of the theory, where neither is neither, nor is nor is not. In Buddhism, this is the simplest way to describe the state of realizing the Buddha's path, and when explaining it in theory, we often use the term "neither identical nor separate."


Is this stone it? It is not, but it is neither identical nor separate. Without it, can there be a stone? No, there cannot be a stone, so it is not separate.


Therefore, it is difficult to manifest this appearance in this place. It is not something that can be deduced through theories. It is not about asking the Buddha to tell you so that you can enter the same state as the Buddha. There is no way, even the Buddha cannot do it!


Therefore, this place is called "wondrous," penetrating deeply, penetrating here, penetrating the source: the source of the stone, the source of the earth, the source of space and emptiness. We need to penetrate this source, and the original source is what we call the innate wondrous brightness.

执事原是迷 契理亦非悟

Grasping at matters is originally confusion; understanding the principle is not enlightenment.


Using this principle, how does it manifest the stone? Does it originally exist? The more we try to depict it, the further away we get.


So, Dizang Zen Master taught Wenyi Zen Master, "Everything is already complete." We should not add more thoughts to discuss it. If we treat it as an object of study and talk about this and that, we are already playing with it in the realm of theory.


Hence, "grasping at matters is originally confusion." Being attached to things, like preferring white flowers and disliking red ones, removing them – this is grasping at matters, being attached to fame and position, which is originally confusion.


After hearing the Buddha's teachings, everything is empty, without self-nature, and dependent origination; everything is a manifestation of Buddha-nature.


So how does the stone transform? It is explained thoroughly to you, convincing your heart and mouth, "understanding the principle is not enlightenment." It is very reasonable, and there is no way to refute it theoretically. You agree, but this is understanding the principle, which is not enlightenment and not awakening. Pay attention to this.


Being attached to affairs is originally confusion; ordinary people in society are attached to fame and position, constantly caught up in the pursuit of fame and gain.


Yet they tell others that they practice Buddhism, know that everything is empty in nature, and it seems nobler to listen to the Buddha's teachings in theory, talking all day about the emptiness of the three realms, reincarnation, and the six realms, all the theories are correct, not a single one is wrong, but understanding the principles is not the same as enlightenment, it is not enlightenment, and one must not go down this path.


This knowledge should be used with the hope that one day we can see our own true nature and help us use it in this way, but if we are used by it, we might as well become scholars and Buddhologists!


The inexplicable "I"


Meditation, chanting, visualization, and various practices are all the same, it's not that the methods are wrong, but if we fundamentally do not understand, we treat the means as an end. These methods are meant to help us quickly find our true selves, just like climbing tools to help us climb a mountain. Climbing tools are not the mountain top, but we cannot simply deny the tools after hearing about the mountain top, that would be a misunderstanding. However, when using them, we must know that we want to reach the summit.


Our inherent nature is Buddha-nature; we are the manifestations of Buddha-nature, as are stones. But are stones Buddha-nature themselves? No, but can they exist apart from Buddha-nature? No, they cannot!


You say that the stones in the pavilion are like the stones in the courtyard, and I am here looking at the stones. This is not the correct state of mind; it is because we do not know our true selves.


Therefore, we think that the stones are in front of us, in the courtyard, but in fact, the stones and I cannot be separated. Why? Because without assuming the existence of "I," how can they be separated?


If I think there is an "I," then I will discuss the stones in the pavilion, whether they are transformed by Buddha-nature or not, and how they are transformed. "I" have not even been accounted for, "I" already separated stones from "I" over there.


The stones we see are one with us, the manifestation of the entire Dharma realm. But before we have realized our true nature, we always think there is an "I." So when we see the stones in the courtyard, we want to apply the great theories of Buddhism to say that this is the manifestation of Buddha-nature, spinning around there, turning into stones. We always treat stones as external things, as objects of observation, and constantly use theories.


Buddha tells us that stones and us are fundamentally one, why are we one?


If there is no false "I", "I" think that this "I" is gone, and it becomes one, is there anything else?


I talk about you because there is an "I"; without "I", how can I talk about you?


It is not mine, so it is called you!


This one is considered me, so I can say this is not me, so it's called you; how do I talk about you?


It's not you, nor me, but them; the third party appears, where does it fundamentally come from?


First, there must be me; without me, how can I talk about you?

你就是NOT ME,不是我,我才能讲你啊!

You are NOT ME, not me; only then can I talk about you!


So when I talk about you, there must be an "I" first, then I can distinguish what is not mine and call it you; after you, the third, fourth, and fifth appear; first, I must believe there is an "I" to establish you.


If I don't admit my existence, I can't acknowledge you; if there is no "I" concept, without me, how can I define you?


When I look at you now, it's not that there is a Hong Wenliang here seeing Miss Liu; this is us discussing and practicing Buddhism at this level since time immemorial without seeing our true nature.


You are desperately cultivating the false "I"; until when do you want to cultivate? No matter how the false "I" is cultivated, it will be eliminated.


I am looking at you because this is me, whatever I think, I am looking at you, you are you, I am me, you are here, I am in Taiwan, only with me can I speak this, I talk about you, because I admit me, what am I?


Buddha asks you to look carefully, is there the "I" that you admit? Don't talk about practice or discuss theories, don't do that. First, look at yourself who is practicing, or the one opposing Chan Buddhism. Since you oppose Chan, do you oppose Buddhism?


What is the thing that opposes? Have you ever thought about it? You are just opposing, that's just talking nonsense, who is advocating this? "I". What is "I"? Messy responses, this is the most important point.


No matter whether you practice this, agree or disagree, it is always the one who thinks there is a false "I" advocating. What is the thing that advocates? Isn't it someone? What is it? Go find it.


When you see a flower, is the flower outside? Can you know the flower without you? Without you, whether the flower exists or not is irrelevant to me, but without the flower, how can I say I see the flower?


It's the very act of seeing itself; can it separate me and the flower? Seeing is just an action, and me seeing the flower is just my own chaotic speech and thoughts. Buddhism asks you to directly experience this well (it means you cannot seek the Dharma outside your own mind).


In everyday life, it's like this everywhere, but we always confuse ourselves, not others. Our function is so subtle that we can't grasp it! I see it, but how can I see it without myself?

修证一如 果上妙修

Cultivation and realization are one and the same, wonderful cultivation at the level of fruition.


The "subject" and "object" move together, they cannot be separated; separating them would be meaningless. Originally, there was no "subject-object." In our Buddhist studies, the fundamental ignorance is actually not fundamental ignorance, but our natural confusion. Everyone is confused there, but "that subject-object" originally did not exist. The double extinction does not mean you extinguish them, but realize that the subject-object originally did not exist, so it is called the double extinction of subject and object.


Don't think that cultivation is the result of my efforts, there is a distance between cultivation and the result of cultivation. What the Buddha really transmitted to Kasyapa was that cultivation starts at the level of fruition; the one who cultivates and the one who attains are one, not the first ground, the second ground, or the third ground. Whether the Avatamsaka Sutra has the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds or not, it is an expedient way for us to start like this. What the Buddha really gave to Kasyapa was the realization of this point, that cultivation and realization are one and the same.


It is not that after practicing for several years, months, or countless eons, we will attain the fruit position of the Buddha. No! From the beginning of practice, we are already Buddhas. There is a saying that our original nature is originally the Buddha, so our nature cannot be defiled. In the hell realms, the beings in the animal realm, they may appear as beings in the realms of evil spirits, animals, or hells, but their nature cannot be defiled. They are all the same Dharma nature and Buddha nature. Don't think that the Buddha nature will not go to hell to become sentient beings. The beings in hell are all formed by the Buddha nature. Therefore, it is called "self-nature cannot be defiled." Even the beings in hell have Buddha nature, and Buddha nature cannot be changed. But when one follows evil habits, the Buddha nature manifests as your evil karma, and its nature remains unchanged, extremely wonderful. It manifests the appearance of an evil spirit, but its nature does not change; it is still the Buddha nature, which is extremely wonderful. Because the Buddha nature has no fixed form, when it creates old evil karma, it manifests the appearance of the six realms of existence, but it is all the manifestation of the Buddha nature, so the nature cannot be defiled.


Are we already at the fruition stage, so we don't need to practice anymore?


Japanese Zen Master Dogen traveled far to China to find Zen Master Ru Jing to solve this difficulty, asking him, "Since our true nature is the manifestation of Buddha nature and Dharma nature, why do I still need to practice, meditate, and recite the Buddha's name?"


Zen Master Ru Jing replied, "True nature cannot be tainted! Everything is Dharma nature, but practicing is not absent. There is indeed practice!"


You cannot say there is no practice; you still need to practice. It is originally like this: sleeping, eating, and dressing are all following conditions and going with the flow. Here, following conditions means following Dharma nature, not the false self. It means following the loudness when it is loud and the quietness when it is quiet, dogs are dogs, and cats are cats, appearing according to conditions.


It is not about imposing something on top of this and following how I answer or how I steal; that is the false self following conditions.


Knowing that our true nature is the manifestation of Dharma nature, why can't we be without practice?


For example, recognizing the mistaken self, I have many karmic offenses, afflictions, doubts, and delusions. I need to do good deeds and recite mantras to gradually eliminate my karmic offenses and slowly walk the path to Buddhahood.


We often embrace a false self as our true self, so we clean it every day with a very clean cloth, diligently wiping and polishing the shadow, and dressing it up.


Bodhidharma said, "No! This is not right. The Buddha only says that the shadow is not you; you need to discover that this thing is originally pure."


But it is not easy to discover this; one must use many methods to one day attain enlightenment, and that is the result of practice.


The true self is not achieved by slowly reciting mantras and sitting in meditation. The true self dares not acknowledge itself, cannot affirm itself, and there is nothing more pitiful than this.


If you realize something is wrong, you must practice, which is even more difficult than wiping and dressing up the shadow. Do not think that because it is originally like this, you do not need to practice. That would be a huge mistake.


Because when the false "I" sits in meditation, recites mantras, and contemplates, the mind is calm, and good conditions will come in, the shadow will change, conditions arise and cease, and the shadow is the same.


So, by doing good deeds, not getting angry, and not being greedy, the physical and mental conditions will gradually improve, step by step.


However, the Zen patriarchs do not have such a narrow and suspicious view, turning quickly and slowly. The narrow view refers to having such a small capacity for understanding that even the shadow's view must be small. Using the shadow to bring out the true self, which is a vast life as large as the universe, can the true self truly know that it is me?


The true self cannot play a cognitive role, seeing itself as "me." How can I see myself? It is necessary to use the subtle and penetrating root source, which is what this is talking about.


We cannot use a dualistic cognitive function; when I use cognition in the vast universe, I am the universe itself. The vast universe becomes the object of your observation, and you stand outside of the vast universe.


The essence cannot see itself, the essence cannot know itself. To understand this point is to practice meditation, and when conditions are added, the realm of concentration changes.


As soon as our thoughts move, they are in the subject-object dualistic realm. Therefore, after Zen Master Wen Yi's enlightenment, he said, "What you are talking about is the first principle, where all phenomena return to one. What is one? Where does one return to? Is what you can know a part of one, or not a part of one? To know one, you must jump out of one's exterior, right? But is that one? It's already two!"


Thus, we cannot use language, writing, thoughts, or theories to explain this. "One" needs to recognize that it is "one" and needs subtle penetration.


Subtly penetrating and subtle, turning around is difficult all the way! When you realize emptiness, you are emptiness itself, and Dharma nature itself.


How can the Dharma nature itself recognize that it is the Dharma nature? It cannot be recognized, so turning around is difficult! It is difficult to turn around even in the emptiness eon.


A Touzi Zen Master instructed his students, "You must get it done for me, no night travel allowed, you must arrive by tomorrow morning!" No night travel is allowed, and you must arrive early the next day.


This is about cultivating and realizing unity; from the very beginning of practice, you are already in the fruit land. The six sense organs are originally liberated and at ease.


(End of the full text)


Date: December 31, 2000


Location: Singapore, Main Hall of Enpo Buddhist Charity Association