... Huang Po Speaks ...
Q: At this moment, while erroneous thoughts are arising in my mind, where is the Buddha?
A: At this moment, you are conscious of those erroneous thoughts.
Well, that consciousness is the Buddha!
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Your true nature is something never lost to you even in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of Enlightenment. It is the Nature of the Bhutatathata. In it is neither delusion nor right understanding.
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Our original Buddha-Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any trace of objectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy - and that is all. Enter deeply in it by awakening to it yourself. That which is before you is it, in all its fullness, utterly complete.
There is naught besides. Even if you go through all the stages of a Bodhisattva's progress toward Buddhahood, one by one, when at last, in a single flash, you attain to full realization, you will only be realizing the Buddha-Nature that has been with you all the time; and by all the foregoing stages you will have added to it nothing at all. You will come to look upon those aeons of work and achievement as no better than unreal actions performed in a dream. That is why the Tathagata [the Buddha] said: I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled Enlightenment.
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Only awake to the One Mind and there is nothing whatever to be attained. This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind.... If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like a sun....
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In the teaching of the Three Vehicles it is clearly explained that the ordinary and Enlightened minds are illusions. You don't understand. All this clinging to the idea of things existing is to mistake vacuity for the truth. How can such conceptions not be illusory? Being illusory, they hide Mind from you.
If you would only rid yourselves of the concepts of ordinary and Enlightened, you would find that there is no other Buddha than the Buddha in your own Mind. When Bodhidharma came from the West, he just pointed out that the substance of which all men are composed is the Buddha. You people go on misunderstanding; you hold to concepts such as "ordinary" and "Enlightened," directing your thoughts outwards where they gallop about like horses! All this amounts to beclouding your own minds!
So I tell you Mind is the Buddha. As soon as thought or sensation arises, you fall into dualism. Beginningless time and the present moment are the same. There is no this and no that. To understand this truth is called complete and unexcelled Enlightenment.
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Q: Illusion can hide from us our own mind, but up to now you have not taught us how to get rid of illusion.
A: The arising and the elimination of illusion are both illusory. Illusion is not something rooted in Reality; it exists because of your dualistic thinking. If you will only cease to indulge in opposed concepts such as "ordinary" and "Enlightened," illusion will cease of itself. And then if you still want to destroy it wherever it may be, you will find that there is not a hairsbreadth left of anything on which to lay hold. This is the meaning of: "I will let go with both hands, for then I shall certainly discover the Buddha in my mind."
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To awaken suddenly to the fact that your own Mind is the Buddha, that there is nothing to be attained or a single action to be performed - this is the Supreme Way; this really is to be a Buddha. It is only to be feared that you students of the Way, by the coming into existence of a single thought, may raise a barrier between yourselves and the Way. From thought-instant to thought-instant, no form; from thought-instant to thought-instant, no activity - that is to be a Buddha!
If you students of the Way wish to become Buddhas, you need study no doctrines whatever, but learn only how to avoid seeking for and attaching yourselves to anything. Where nothing is sought, this implies Mind unborn; where no attachment exists, this implies Mind not destroyed; and that which is neither born nor destroyed is the Buddha.
The eighty-four thousand methods for countering the eighty-four thousand forms of delusion are merely figures of speech for drawing people towards the Gate. In fact, none of them have real existence. Relinquishment of everything is the Dharma, and he who understands this is a Buddha, but the relinquishment of ALL delusions leaves no Dharma in which to lay hold.
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