ZEN IRODALOM ZEN LITERATURE
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宏智正覺 Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157), aka 天童正覺 Tiantong Zhengjue

宏智禪師廣錄 Hongzhi chanshi guanglu

(Rōmaji:) Wanshi Shōgaku, aka Tendō Shōgaku: Wanshi zenji kōroku
(English:) The Extensive Record of Zen Master Hongzhi
(Magyar átírás:) Hung-cse Cseng-csüe, avagy Tien-tung Cseng-csüe


Tartalom

Contents

Higgatag feljegyzések
Fordította: Terebess Gábor

A nyugalom könyve
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt

Hongzhi válogatás
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt

A Buddha lényegi működése
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt (2006)

A zazen tűje
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt (2008)

Mokusóka
A csendes megvilágosodás éneke

A Csendes Megvilágító
Fordította: Komár Lajos

Zeisler István: A csendes felébredés zenje
Fordította: Király Attila

從容録 Congrong lu [Shōyō-roku]

DOC: The Book of Serenity
Translated by Thomas Cleary

DOC: The Record of the Temple of Equanimity
Translated by Gregory Wonderwheel

DOC: Shōyō-roku (Book of Equanimity)
[Cases only]
Translated by the Sanbô Kyôdan Society

PDF: Shôyôroku (Book of Equanimity)
[Introductions, Cases, Verses]
Translated by the Sanbô Kyôdan Society

The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans
Translated by Gerry Shishin Wick,
Wisdom Publications, 2005, 320 pages
Versions of the koans based on Maezumi Taizan's translations, with commentaries by Gerry Shishin Wick

坐禪箴 Zuochan zhen [Zazenshin]

A Needle for Zazen

The Buddha's Essential Functioning
Translated by Taizan Maezumi & Neal Donner

Lancet of Seated Meditation
Translated by Carl Bielefeldt

Zazenshin by Hongzhi Zhengjue
Translated by Hakuun Barnhard

My Friendly Advice for Seated Meditation
Translated by Hubert Nearman

Admonition on Chan Practice
Translated by Guogu (Dr Jimmy Yu)

The Acupuncture Needle of Zazen
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton

Zazen-shin
Translated by Hoyu ISHIDA (Ishida Hōyū 石田 法雄)

默照銘 Mozhao ming [Mokushōmei; Mokushōka]

Mozhao ming / Silent Illumination
Translated by Hakuun Barnhard

Guidepost of Silent Illumination
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton with Yi Wu

Inscription on Silent Illumination
Translation by Guogu Zhengxue

Silent Illumination
by Sheng Yen (Shengyan)

宏智禪師廣錄 Hongzhi chanshi guanglu [Wanshi zenji kōroku]

Hung-chih
Translated by Thomas Cleary

Hongzhi Zhengjue, “Tiantong”
by Andy Ferguson

Dhyana Master Hong Zhi of Tiantong
by Hsuan Hua

Silent Illumination Chan by Hongzhi Zhengjue
Excerpts from The Extensive Records of Chan Master Hongzhi)

PDF: Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton with Yi Wu
Edited with Introduction by Taigen Dan Leighton
Revised Expanded Edition, Tuttle Publishing, 2000.

Practice Instructions
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton with Yi Wu

Guidepost for the Hall of Pure Bliss
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton with Yi Wu

 

PDF: The Record of Hongzhi and the Recorded Sayings Literature of Song-Dynasty Chan
by Morten Schlütter
In:
The Zen Canon: Understanding the Classic Texts. (Eds. S. Heine & D. S. Wright), 2004. pp. 181-205.

 

The Poetic Practices of Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157): Gong'an Commentarial Verses on Old Cases and Verses for Lay Literati
by Yu-Chen Tsui
2018
https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt8n07675j/qt8n07675j.pdf?t=p2vc9m

 

The Bright Field of Spirit: The Life and Teachings of Chan Master Hongzhi Zhengjue
by Matthew Gindin
2008
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/HistoricalZen/Bright_Field_of_Spirit_Hongzhi.html

 

宏智禪師廣錄 Hongzhi chanshi guanglu [Wanshi zenji kōroku]
The Extensive Record of Zen Master Hongzhi
http://www.cbeta.org/result/T48/T48n2001.htm (in Chinese)

 

PDF: Poetics of silence: Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157) and the practice of poetry in Song Dynasty Chan Yulu
by Byrne, Christopher
Department of East Asian Studies, McGill University, Montreal, 2015

This dissertation fulfills two aims: First, it provides the first comprehensive analysis of the poetic genres written by Chan Buddhist monks as part of their religious vocation and as collected within yulu (recorded sayings) during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Second, it demonstrates how Chan's claim to an ineffable insight “not dependent on words and letters” (buli wenzi) paradoxically informs the literary character of its monastic poetry. My research focuses on the poetry of master Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157), who, along with being one of the most prolific poets among Chan masters, is renowned for advocating the meditative practice of “silent illumination” (mozhao) that defines his Caodong sect. I argue that the principle of silence defines the nature of Hongzhi's poetics as the primary theme and image of his verse. By organizing my literary analysis of yulu according to genre, I demonstrate how each poetic genre adopts conventions particular to its own literary and religious functions, while engaging with the principle of “beyond words” that characterizes yulu collections as a whole. In Chapter One, I illustrate how poetry has remained an integral and significant component of Chan yulu collections since they began to be published as independent works during the early Song dynasty. I then argue that Hongzhi's doctrinal verses (Chapter Two) poetically express a philosophical paradigm, in which silent meditation and linguistic expression can be seen as complementary aspects of a single practice. In Chapter Three, I show how songgu—verses written in response to Chan gong'an (J. koan)—formed the literary focal point of Chan gong'an collections and how their composition was a central aspect of monastic training and pedagogy, as also reflected in the poetic character of the dialogical sermons that epitomize yulu. In Chapter Four, I examine how the social-occasional poetry of Chan masters like Hongzhi was collected as, and transformed into, Buddhist gatha (Ch. jisong) during the Song, expressing a non-dualistic doctrinal perspective within poetry (a.) exchanged with monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen, (b.) written in the reclusive mode, and (c.) composed for the ritual and economic activities of the monastery. Finally, in Chapter Five, I analyze a sample of the hundreds of portrait encomia (zhenzan) Hongzhi inscribed on his own portrait as a means of promoting the master as an embodiment of total silence in which the distinction between language and silence itself is ultimately dissolved. I conclude that Hongzhi's poetry represents a distinctively Chan poetics crafted to merge the non-discriminative wisdom of silence with literary expression.

 

PDF: The Poetic Practices of Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157): Gong'an Commentarial Verses on Old Cases and Verses for Lay Literati
by Tsui, Yu-Chen
UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2018
https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8n07675j

 

PDF: Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton with Yi Wu
Edited with Introduction by Taigen Dan Leighton
Revised Expanded Edition, Tuttle Publishing, 2000

Excerpts from
Practice Instructions:

Dharma Words of Monk Hongzhi Zhengjue of Mount Tiantong in Ming Province,
Compiled with a Preface by Monk Puqung
Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton with Yi Wu
http://www.upaya.org/uploads/pdfs/shikantazanreader.pdf

[Note: The following Excerpts do not include the endnotes in the book.

[Preface from the compiler of Hongzhi's teachings:]
Hongzhi made vast and empty the bright mirror and saw through it and reflected without neglect. He manifested the mysterious pivot of subtle change, then trusted his fortune and certainly found the core. Only one who had the true eye and deep flowing eloquence could have mastered this!
My teacher lived below Taipai Peak. Dragons and elephants tromped around. The hammer and chisel [of the teaching] chipped away. The meaning of his words spread widely but still conveyed the essence. Sometimes scholars and laypeople who trusted the Way asked for his directions; sometimes mendicant monks requested his instructions. They spread out paper and wrote down his responses. He spoke up and answered their questions, producing appropriate dharma talks. I have selected a few of these and arranged them in order.
Ah, the emptiness of the great blue sky, the flowing of the vast ocean.
I have not yet attained these utmost depths, so please excuse my attempt to record his talks. I must await the ones who mysteriously accord with spiritual awakening to pound out the rhythm of his words and appreciate their tones.

§ 1. The Bright, Boundless Field

The field of boundless emptiness is what exits from the very beginning. You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away al the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits. Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness. Utter emptiness has no image, upright independence does not rely on anything. Just expand and illuminate the original truth unconcerned by external conditions. Accordingly we are told to realize that not a single thing exists. In this field birth and death do not
appear. The deep source, transparent down to the bottom, can radiantly shine and can respond unencumbered to each speck of dust without becoming its partner. The subtlety of seeing and hearing transcends mere colors and sounds. The whole affair functions without leaving traces, and mirrors without obscurations. Very naturally mind and dharmas emerge and harmonize. An Ancient said that non-mind enacts and fulfills the way of non-mind. Enacting and fulfilling the way of non-mind, finally you can rest. Proceeding you are able to guide the assembly. With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the center of the circle of wonder.
This is how you must penetrate and study.

§ 2. The Practice Of True Reality

The practice of true reality is simply to sit serenely in silent introspection. When you have fathomed this you cannot be turned around by external causes and conditions. This empty, wide open mind is subtlety and correctly illuminating. Spacious and content, without confusion from inner thoughts or grasping, effectively overcome habitual behavior and realize the self that is not possessed by emotions. You must be broad-minded, whole without relying on others. Such upright independent spirit can begin not to pursue degrading situations. Here you can rest and become clean, pure, and lucid. Bright and penetrating, you can immediately return, accord, and respond to deal with events. Everything is unhindered; clouds gracefully floating up to the peaks, the moonlight glitteringly flowing down mountain streams. The entire place is brightly illumined and spiritually transformed, totally unobstructed and clearly manifesting responsive interaction like box and lid or arrow points [meeting]. Continuing, cultivate and nourish yourself to enact maturity and achieve stability. If you accord everywhere with thorough clarity and cut off sharp corners without dependence on doctrines, like the white bull or wildcat [helping to arouse wonder], you can be called a complete person. So we hear that this is how one of the way of non-mind acts, but before realizing non-mind we still have great hardship.

§ 3. Face Everything, Let Go, Attain Stability.

Vast and far-reaching without boundary, secluded and pure, manifesting light, this spirit is without obstruction. Its brightness does not shine out but can be called empty and inherently radiant. Its brightness, inherently purifying, transcends causal conditions beyond subject and object. Subtle but preserved, illumined and vast, also it cannot be spoken of as being or nonbeing, or discussed with images or calculations. Right in here the central pivot turns, the gateway opens. You accord and respond without laboring and accomplish without hindrance. Everywhere turn around freely, not following conditions, not falling into classifications. Facing everything, let go and attain stability. Stay with that just as that. Stay with this just as this. That and this are mixed together with no discriminations as to their places. So it is said that the earth lifts up the mountain without knowing the mountain's stark steepness. A rock contains jade without knowing the jade's flawlessness. This how truly to leave home, how home-leaving must be enacted.

§ 4. Contemplating The Ten Thousand Years

Patch-robed monks make their thinking dry and cool and rest from the remnants of conditioning. Persistently brush up and sharpen this bit of the field. Directly cut through al the overgrown grass. Reach the limit in all directions without defiling even one atom. Spiritual and bright, vast and lustrous, illuminating fully what is before you, directly attain the shining light and clarity that cannot attach to a single defilement. Immediately tug and pull back the ox's nose. Of course his horns are imposing and he stomps around like a beast, yet he never damages people's sprouts or grain. Wandering around, accept how it goes. Accepting how it goes, wander around. Do not be bounded by or settle into any place. Then the plough will break open the ground in the field of the empty kalpa. Proceeding in this manner, each event will be unobscured, each realm will appear complete. One contemplation of the ten thousand years is beginning not to dwell on appearances. Thus it is said that the mind-ground contains every seed and he universal rain makes them all sprout. When awakening blossoms, desires fade, and Bodhi's fruit is perfected self.

§ 5. Performing The Buddha Work

[The empty field] cannot be cultivated or proven. From the beginning it is altogether complete, undefiled and clear down to the bottom. Where everything is correct and totally sufficient, attain the pure eye that illuminates thoroughly, fulfilling liberation. Enlightenment involves enacting this; stability develops from practicing it. Birth and death originally have no root or stems, appearing and disappearing originally have no defiling signs or traces. The primal light, empty and effective, illumines the headtop. The primal wisdom, silent but also glorious, responds to conditions. When you reach the truth without middle or edge, cutting off before and after, then you realize one wholeness. Everywhere sense faculties and objects both just happen. The one who sticks out his broad, long tongue transmits the inexhaustible lamp, radiates the great light, and performs the great Buddha work, from the first not borrowing from others one atom from outside the Dharma. Clearly this affair occurs within your own house.

§ 6. Forgetting About Merit Is Fulfillment

Separate yourself from disturbance and face whatever appears before you. Not one iota seeps through from outside. The two forms (yin and yang) have the same root, and the ten thousand images have one substance. Following change and going along with transformation the whole is not clouded over by previous conditions. Then you reach the foundation of the great freedom. Wind blows and moon shines, and beings do not obstruct each other. Afterwards, settle back within and take responsibility. Wisdom returns and the principle is consummated. When you forget about merit your position is fulfilled. Do not fall for occupying honorable stations, but enter the current of the world and join with the delusion. Transcendent, solitary, and glorious, directly know that transmitting is merit, but having transmitted is not your own merit.

§ 7. The Ground That Sages Cannot Transmit

Cast off completely your head and skin. Thoroughly withdraw from distinctions of light and shadow. Where the ten thousand changes do no reach is the foundation that even a thousand sages cannot transmit. Simply by yourself illuminate and deeply experience it with intimate accord. The original light flashes through confusion. true illuminations reflects into the distance. Deliberations about being and nonbeing are entirely abandoned. The wonder appears before you, its benefit transferred out for kalpas. Immediately you follow conditions and accord with awakening without obstruction from any defilements. The mind does not attach to things, and your footsteps are not visible on the road. Then you are called to continue the family business. Even if you thoroughly understand, still please practice until it is familiar.

§ 8. With Total Trust, Roam and Play in Samadhi

Empty and desireless, cold and thin, simple and genuine, this is how to strike down and fold up the remaining habits of many lives. When the stains from old habits are exhausted, the original light appears, blazing through your skull, not admitting any other maters. Vast and spacious, like sky and water merging during autumn, like snow and moon having the same color, this field is without boundary, beyond direction, magnificently one entity without edge or seam. Further, when you turn within and drop off everything completely, realization occurs. Right at the time of entirely dropping off, deliberation and discussion are one thousand or ten thousand miles away. Still no principle is discernible, so what could there be to point to or explain? People with the bottom of the bucket fallen out immediately find total trust. So we are told simply to realize mutual response and explore mutual response, then turn around and enter the world. Roam and play in Samadhi. Every detail clearly appears before you. Sound and form, echo and shadow, happen instantly without leaving traces. The outside and myself do not dominate each other, only because no perceiving [of objects] comes between us. Only this non-perceiving encloses the empty space of the Dhama realm's majestic ten thousand forms. People with the original face should enact and fully investigate [the field] without neglecting a single fragment.

§ 9. The Valley Spirit and the Wind Matter

Patch-robed monks practice thoroughly without carrying a single thread. Open-mindedly sparkling and pure, they are like a mirror reflecting a mirror, with nothing regarded as outside, without capacity for accumulating dust. They illuminate everything fully, perceiving nothing [as an object]. This is called taking up the burden from inside and is how to shoulder responsibility. Wisdom illuminates the darkness without confusion. The Way integrates with he boy and does not get stuck. From this unstuck place engaging and transforming at the appropriate opportunity, he wisdom dos not leak out, Clearly the Way does not get stained. Unobstructed and free, beyond restraints, they do not depend on even subtle indicators and their essential spirit cannot be eclipsed. Fulfilled, wander around and arrive at such a field. the entire place secure, the entire place at leisure, the open field of the white ox is plain and simple, of one color. If you chase the ox, still he will not go away. You must intimately experience and arrive here.

§ 10. Simply Drop Off Everything

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

§ 11. The Ancient Ferryboat in the Bright Moonlight

A patch-robed monk's authentic task is to practice the essence, in each minute event carefully discerning the shining source, radiant without discrimination, one color unstained. You must keep turning inwards, then [the source] is apprehended. This is called being able of continue the family business. Do not wear the changing fashions, transcend the duality of light and shadow. Accordingly the ancestors' single trail is marvelously enacted. The residual debris of the world departs, its influence ended. This worldly knowledge does not compare to returning to the primary and obtaining confirmation. Observing beyond your skull, the core finally can be fulfilled and you can emerge from the transitory. The reeds blossom under the bright moon; the ancient ferryboat begins its passage; the jade thread fits into the golden needle. Then the opportunity arises to turn around, enter the world, and respond to conditions. All the dusts are entirely yours; all the dharmas are not someone else's. Follow the current and paddle along, naturally unobstructed!

§ 12. The Gates Sparkling at the Source

All Buddhas and every ancestor without exception testify that they all arrive at this refuge where the three times [past, present, and future] cease and the ten thousand changes are silenced. Straight ahead, unopposed by the smallest atom, the inherently illumined Buddha spirit subtly penetrates the original source. When recognized and realized exhaustively, [this spirit] shares itself and responds to situations. The gates sparkle and all bens behold the gleamings. Then they understand d that from within this place fulfilled self flows out. The hundreds of grass-tips all around never are imposed as my causes and conditioning. The whole body from head to foot proceeds smoothly.

§ 13. The Misunderstanding of Many Lifetimes

Emptiness is without characteristics. Illumination has no emotional afflictions. With piercing, quietly profound radiance, it mysteriously eliminates all disgrace. Thus one can know oneself; thus the self is completed. We all have the clear, wondrously bright field from the beginning. Many lifetimes of misunderstanding come only from distrust, hindrance, and screens of confusion that we create in a scenario of isolation. With boundless wisdom journey beyond this, forgetting accomplishments. Straightforwardly abandon stratagems and take on responsibility. Having turned yourself around, accepting your situation,
if you set foot on the path, spiritual energy will marvelously transport you. Contact phenomena with total sincerity, not a single atom of dust outside yourself.

§ 14. Self and Other the Same

All dharmas are innately amazing beyond description. Perfect vision has no gap. In mountain groves, grasslands, and woods the truth has always been exhibited. Discern and comprehend the broad long tongue [of Buddha's teaching], which cannot be muted anywhere. The spoken is instantly hard; what is heard is instantly spoken. Senses and objects merge; principle and wisdom are united. When self and other are the same, mind and dharmas are one. When you face what you have excluded and see how it appears, you must quickly gather it together and integrate with it. Make it work within your house, then establish stable sitting.

§ 15. Ten Billion Illuminating Spirits

The way wanders in the empty middle of the circle, reaching the vacancy where appearances are forgotten. The pure ultimate self blazes, brilliant simply from inherent illumination. Facing the boundary of the objective world without yet creating the sense gates, realize the subtlety of how to eliminate the effects of the swirling flow of arising and extinction! Rely only on the source of creation. If you feel a shadow of a hair's gap, nothing will be received. Just experience and respond appropriately. From this singular impact many thousands of roads open, and al things are preeminent. With this unification I radiantly speak the Dhama. The self divides into ten billion distinct illuminating spirits. Distinguish these without falling into names and classifications and accord fully without effort. The mirror is clear and magnanimous. The valley is empty, but echoes. From the beginning unbound by seeing or hearing, the genuine self romps and plays in samadhi without obstruction. When enacted like this, how could it not be beneficial?

* * *

How to Contemplate Buddha

Contemplating your own authentic form is how to contemplate Buddha. If you can experience yourself without distractions, simply surpass partiality and go beyond conceptualizing. All buddhas and all minds reach the essential without duality. Patch-robed monks silently wander and tranquilly dwell in the empty spirit, wondrously penetrating, just as the supreme emptiness permeates this dusty kalpa. Dignified without relying on others and radiant beyond doubt, maintaining this as primary, the energy turns around and transforms all estrangement. Passing through the world responding to situations, illumination is without striving and functions without leaving traces. From the beginning the clouds leisurely release their rain, drifting past obstacles. The direct teaching is very pure and steady. Nothing can budge it. Immediately, without allowing past conditions to turn you, genuinely embody it.


The Clouds' Fascination and the Moon's Cherishing

A person of the Way fundamentally does not dwell anywhere. The white clouds are fascinated with the green mountain's foundation. The bright moon cherishes being carried along with the flowing water. The clouds part and the mountain appears. The moon sets and the water is cool. Each bit of autumn contains vast interpenetration without bounds. Every dust is whole without reaching me; the ten thousand changes are stilled without shaking me. If you can sit here with stability, then you can freely step across and engage the world with energy. There is an excellent saying that the six sense doors are not veiled, the highways in all directions have no footprints. Always arriving everywhere without being confused, gentle without hesitation, the perfected person knows where to go.


Noninterference in the Matter of Oneness

The matter of oneness cannot be learned at all. The essence is to empty and open out body and mind, as expansive as the great emptiness of space. Naturally in the entire territory all is satisfied. This strong spirit cannot be deterred; in event after event it cannot be confused. The moon accompanies the flowing water, the rain pursues the drifting clouds. Settled, without a [grasping] mind, such intensity may be accomplished. Only do not let yourself interfere with things, and certainly nothing will interfere with you. Body and mind are one suchness; outside this body there is nothing else. The same substance and the same function, one nature and one form, all faculties and all object-dusts are instantly transcendent. So it is said, the sage is without self and yet nothing is not himself. Whatever appears is instantly understood, and you know how to gather it up or how to let it go. Be a white ox in the open field. Whatever happens, nothing can drive him away.


The Resting of the Streams and Tides

Just resting is like the great ocean accepting hundreds of streams, all absorbed into one flavor. Freely going ahead is like the great surging tides riding on the wind, all coming onto this shore together. How could they not reach into the genuine source? How could they not realize the great function that appears before us? A patch-robed monk follows movement and responds to changes in total harmony. Moreover, haven't you yourself established the mind that thinks up all the illusory conditions? This insight must be perfectly incorporated.


Graciously Share Yourself

In the great rest and great halting the lips become moldy and mountains of grass grow on your tongue. Moving straight ahead [beyond this state], totally let go, washed clean and ground to a fine polish. Respond with brilliant light to such unfathomable depths as the waters of autumn or the moon stamped in the sky. Then you must know there is a path on which to turn yourself around. When you do turn yourself around you have no different face that can be recognized. Even if you do not recognize [your face] still nothing can hide it. This is penetrating from the topmost all the way down to the bottom. When you have thoroughly investigated your roots back to their ultimate source, a thousand or ten thousand sages are no more than footprints on the trail. In wonder return to the journey, avail yourself of the path and walk ahead. In light there is darkness; where it operates no traces remain. With the hundred grass tips in the busy marketplace graciously share yourself. Wide open and accessible, walking along, casually mount the sounds and straddle the colors while you transcend listening and surpass watching. Perfectly unifying in this manner is simply a patch-robed monk's appropriate activity.


The Amazing Living Beings

Our house is a single field, clean, vast, and lustrous, clearly self-illuminated. When the spirit is vacant without conditions, when awareness is serene without cogitation, then buddhas and ancestors appear and disappear transforming the world. Amid living beings is the original place of nirvana. How amazing it is that all people have this but cannot polish it into bright clarity. In darkness unawakened, they make foolishness cover their wisdom.
One remembrance of illumination can break through and leap out of the dust of kalpas. Radiant and clear white, the single field cannot be diverted or altered. Solitary glory is deeply preserved, enduring throughout ancient and present times, as the merging of sameness and difference becomes the entire creation's mother.
This realm manifests the energy of the many thousands of beings, all appearances merely this field's shadows. Truly embody this reality.


The Conduct of the Moon and Clouds

The consistent conduct of people of the Way is like the flowing clouds with no grasping mind, like the full moon reflecting universally, not confined anywhere, glistening within each of the ten thousand forms.
Dignified and upright, emerge and make contact with the variety of phenomena, unstained and unconfused. Function the same toward all others since all have the same substance as you. Language cannot transmit this, speculation cannot reach it. Leaping beyond the infinite and cutting off the dependent, be obliging without looking for merit.
This marvel cannot be measured with consciousness or emotion. On the journey accept your function, in your house please sustain it. Comprehending birth and death, leaving causes and conditions, genuinely realize that from the outset your spirit is not halted. So we have been told that the mind that embraces all the ten directions does not stop anywhere.


Turning the Pearl

The original source empties out, without representation. When moved it can respond. Then you must peer right through it. Standing solitary like a steep cliff, wide open and accessible, spirited and independent, clear and bright, all this does not even slightly involve external conditions. Such activity is called the single bright occasion, which arrives right along with the ten thousand forms that emerge and are extinguished. The realm where the Samadhi of all dusts arises, [enterning all samadhis through one Samadhi], is clear like the ocean seal. Turn it around as if turning a pearl. Let everything entirely fall away, and put it all together without any extraneous conditions. This is referred to as the occasion of solitary, glorious unselfishness. At night the moon rises and the waters glisten, the spring wind blows and the flowers blossom. With no need for meritorious activity, all is naturally perfect. Causes, conditions, fruits, and retributions, none is discerned as external. Furthermore, you must know that both the light and the circumstances have altogether vanished. Again, what is it?


The Original Dwelling

A person practicing the Way subtly goes beyond words and thoughts. Instantly authentic, one is on the affirmed path and does not attach to reasoning. Extensively intermingled, the moon flows in all the waters, the wind blows through the supreme emptiness, naturally without touching or obstructing things. Transcedent illumination and function are only illuminating without stains and functioning without leaving traces. Then you can enter Samadhi in every sense-dust and gather the ten thousand forms in the single seal. Discontinue leaks and do not act upon them. This is called understanding the affaira of patch-robed monks. Moreover, you must remember and return to the homeward path. The clouds evaporate in the cold sky. The autumn has departed and the mountain is barren. This is where we originally dwell.

 

Guidepost for the Hall of Pure Bliss
{ the "Cultivating the Empty Field" version, trnsl. Dan Leighton / Yi Wu }
By Hongzhi Zhengjue (Wanshi Shogaku; 1091-1157)


By seeking appearances and sounds
One cannot truly find the Way.

The deep source of realization
comes with constancy, bliss, self, and purity.

Its purity is constant,
its bliss is myself.

The two are mutually dependent,
like firewood and fire.

The self's bliss is not exhausted,
constant purity has no end.

Deep existence is beyond forms.
Wisdom illuminates the inside of the circle.

Inside the circle the self vanishes,
neither existent nor nonexistent.

Intimately conveying spiritual energy,
it subtly turns the mysterious pivot.

When the mysterious pivot finds opportunity to turn,
the original light auspiciously appears.

When the mind's conditioning has not yet sprouted,
how can words and images be distinguished?

Who is it that can distinguish them?
Clearly understand and know by yourself.

Whole and inclusive with inherent insight,
it is not concerned with discriminative thought.

When discriminating thought is not involved,
it is like white reed flowers shining in the snow.

One beam of light's gleam
permeates the vastness.

The gleam permeates through all directions,
from the beginning not covered or concealed.

Catching the opportunity to emerge,
amid transformations it flourishes.

Following appropriately amid transformations,
the pure bliss is unchanged.

The sky encompasses it, the ocean seals it,
every moment without deficiency.

In the achievement without deficiency,
inside and outside are interfused.

All dharmas transcend their limits,
all gates are wide open.

Through the open gates
are the byways of playful wandering.

Dropping off senses and sense objects is like
the flowers of our gazing and listening falling away.

Gazing and listening are only distant conditions
of thousands of hands and eyes.

The others die from being too busy,
but I maintain continuity.

In the wonder of continuity
are no traces of subtle identifications.

Within purity is bliss,
within silence is illumination.

The house of silent illumination
is the hall of pure bliss.

Dwelling in peace and forgetting hardship,
let go of adornments and become genuine.

The motto for becoming genuine:
nothing is gained by speaking.

The goodness of Vimalakirti
enters the gate of nonduality.

 

 

 

 

Hung-chih
Translated by Thomas Cleary
In: The five houses of Zen, 1997

The Ts'ao-Tung school died out after the passing of the last of the sixth-generation masters but was revived by a seventh-generation master of the House of Lin-chi, who had been entrusted with the Ts'ao-Tung teaching methods by the last living master. A subsequent revival of the Ts'ao-Tung House of Zen ultimately climaxed in the teachings of Hung-chih (1091–1157), who turned out to be one of the greatest Zen writers of all time, in both poetry and prose. Selections from Hung-chih's remarkable writings cap this chapter on the Ts'ao-Tung House of Zen.

 

Sermons

EMPTY YET AWARE, the original light shines spontaneously; tranquil yet responsive, the great function manifests. A wooden horse neighing in the wind does not walk the steps of the present moment; a clay ox emerging from the sea plows the springtime of the eon of emptiness.

Understand?

Where a jade man beckons, even greater marvel is on the way back.

 

One continuous clear void, the night precisely midway; the moon, cool, spews frost. When light and dark are merged without division, who distinguishes relative and absolute herein?

Thus it is said, “Although the absolute is absolute, yet it is relative; although the relative is relative, yet it is complete.” At this precise moment, how do you discern?

How clear—twin shining eyes before any impulse!

How stately—the eternal body outside forms!

 

Every atom of every land is self; there is nowhere to hide. Everywhere you go, you encounter It; such a person has eyes. On the hundred grasses, at the gates of a bustling city, impossible to mix up, you do not go along with the flow; impossible to categorize, you do not leak at all.

 

When there is nowhere to place the mind, nothing to lean on, nothing to walk on, and nothing to say, this cannot be seen and described, cannot be grasped and manipulated. The totality of all forms is equal to its function; the whole of cosmic space is equal to its body. Ultimately free in action, it is the immortal being within species; skillfully responsive, it is in the midst of the material world, yet different.

This is why a master teacher said, “True nature is the Earth Treasury of the mind. With neither head nor tail, it develops beings according to conditions; it is provisionally referred to as knowledge.” Now what is the provisional knowledge that develops beings according to conditions? Understand? “Do not think it strange how I have offered you wine over and over since we sat down, for after we part we can hardly meet again.”

 

Standing alone and unchanging, acting comprehensively and inexhaustibly, do not disdain the phenomena filling your eyes. You must trust that in the world, which is only mental, the thousand peaks all point to the summit, and the hundred rivers all end in the sea.

If you understand in this way, you roll up the screens and remove the blinds. If you do not understand in this way, you shut the doors and create a barrier. Whether discussing understanding or nonunderstanding, ignoramuses are not quick.

 

Hidden illumination inside the circle—a hibernating dragon murmurs in the clouds enveloping withered trees. True clarity beyond measurement—the pattern on the moon puts a soulful face on the nocturnal orb.

The route before the shuttle can be discerned by a stone woman; the talisman under the elbow can be used by a wooden man. Thus all of space can be sealed with one stamp, omitting nothing in the entire cosmos.

Understand? When the six senses convey clear meaning, the whole world is clear of any dust.

 

When every particle of every land is the Self, there is no place to hide; when one encounters It everywhere, one is endowed with perception. Not mixed up by phenomena or swept away by events, not susceptible to categorization, totally free from leakage, know that the great function manifests in the action of Zen adepts.

One ancient master was half mad and half crazy. Another used to sing and dance by himself. Do you understand? When you use the wind to fan a fire, not much effort is needed. Inquire!

 

When the six senses return to their source, they are thoroughly effective and clear, without compare. When the physical elements return to their source, the whole body is pure, without a particle of dust. Thus you manage to cut off causation, interrupt its continuity, merge all time, and obliterate all differences.

Understand?

“The spiritual bird dreams on the branch that does not sprout;
The flower of awakening blossoms on the tree that casts no shadow.”

 

A single particle of matter involves infinite worlds; a single instant of thought transcends infinite eons. A single body manifests infinite beings; a single actuality includes infinite buddhas. This is why it is said, “Universal complete awareness is my sanctuary; body and mind live at peace in the knowlege of essential equality.”

This state cannot be limited spatially or temporally. Self and other combine, merging like water and milk; center and periphery interpenetrate, reflecting each other like images in mirrors.

How do you verbalize guarding your movements to avoid harming living beings?

When there is no fluctuation from one state of mind to the next, then there is no losing direction from one step to the next.

 

Coming from nowhere, going nowhere, arriving at the equality of the principle of unity, we see the empty appearances of all things. Where the morning clouds have dispersed, the sun is bright; when the night rain has passed, the valley streams are swollen. The body of perception, independent, perpetually dwells on one suchness, responding to reality autonomously, a welter of myriad forms. Then you don't need to think deliberately anymore; there is naturally someone providing support to all alike.

Those of you who have attained the Great Rest: if you do not accept food, that is the fall of nobility.

 

Extinct without passing away, you merge consciously with space; alive without being born, you function subtly in concert with all things. Traceless before time, you are at home after embodiment. The crane dreams in its nest, cold; faintly light, there's the moon in the dark green forest. When the dragon murmurs, the night lasts long; persistent are the clouds surrounding the withered tree.

At precisely such a time, there is no birth or death, no coming or going, but there subtly exists a way to act; do you get it?

Mist engulfs the blue-green reeds—
snow upon the sand.
Wind plays with the white water plants—
autumn on the river.

 

The Boatman said to Chia-shan, “There should be no traces where you conceal yourself, but do not conceal yourself in the traceless. In thirty years with my teacher, I understood only this.”

In the unusual grass on the cold cliff, you accomplish a task even while sitting; under the bright moon and white clouds, you emanate reflections with every step.

At just such a time, how do you act?
The recondite hollow has nothing to do
with the very idea of a lock;
What business have dualistic people
with transcendental involvement?

 

The clouds are naturally free, without intention; the sky is encompassing, without bounds. The Way responds universally, without image; the spirit is always at peace, without thinking. Follow this, and you do not see its tracks; go out to meet it, and you do not see it coming. The whole Buddhist canon only amounts to praises of it; the buddhas of all times can only watch from the side.

The lamp is bright, the hall is empty; as a weaving girl operates the loom, the path of the shuttle is fine. The water is luminous, the night quiet; a fisherman clutches his reed cloak around him, the moonlight in the boat cold.

Have you ever reached this state, this time? If not, don't bring it up in confusion.

 

Pressing sesame seeds to get oil and cooking grain into cereal are matters for graduates of Zen. In practice of the Way it is important to be even-minded; why should it be necessary to struggle to shift at a moment's notice?

Our livelihood is naturalness; our family way is the matter at hand. Following the current, going along with the wind, the homeward boat lands on the shore. Free people laugh aloud; their mood is conveyed to those who understand.

 

There is not so much to Buddhism. It just requires people to make body and mind empty all the time, not wearing so much as a thread, open, relaxed, and independent, the spiritual light of the original state not being dimmed at all.

If you practice in this way, such that you attain spontaneous harmony in all places and responsiveness at all times, without the slightest thing obstructing you, so you can put all the sages behind you, only then can you be called a Zen practitioner.

If you rely on others, accepting the judgments of others and allowing yourself to be confused by others, are you not a blind ass following a crowd?

This being the case, what is it all about, after all? It's just that you don't go back; if you return, you can. Who is there to contend with in the misty waves of the lakes?

 

Subtle presence, profoundly calm, is not actually nothing; true perception, marvelously effective, is not actually something. Go ahead and take a step back between them and look: where the white clouds end, the green mountains are thin. Investigate!

 

Open purity is boundless, yet knowledge accompanies it. Universal responsiveness has no conventional method, yet the spirit is coordinated with it. When knowledge is open, it perceives spontaneously, alert and awake; the function of the spirit is continuous, without deliberate effort. Then you can radiate great light all the time everywhere, doing enlightened work.

This is why it is said, “Mountains and rivers present no barrier; light penetrates everywhere.” And haven't you read the saying “If people want to enter the realm of buddhas, they should make their minds clear as space, detaching from all appearances and fixations, causing the mind to be unobstructed where it turns”?

How do you act so as to attain this union?
Water and moon, calm, face one another;
The breeze in the pines, clear, has never stopped.

 

Why is it that those who have swallowed the buddhas of all times cannot open their mouths? Why is it that those who have seen through the whole world cannot close their eyes?

I have removed many sicknesses for you all at once; but how can you get completely well? Understand? Breaking open the colors of Flower Mountain range soaring to the sky, releasing the sound of the Yellow River reaching the sea.

 

If the host does not know there is a guest, then there is no way to respond to the world; if the guest does not know there is a host, then there is no vision beyond material senses.

 

How is someone who has gone? Utterly silent, without a trace. How about someone who has come back? Perfectly clear; something is going on.

 

Dig the pond, don't wait for the moonlight; when the pond is complete, the moonlight will naturally be there.

 

In ephemeral objects, past, present, and future move from renewal to renewal. Within solid earth, initial positive energy subtly sprouts into movement. Sojourning without dwelling, one unobtrusively turns the wheel of potential; alive without birth, one ineffably transcends illusory phenomena.

This is how we borrow space for our body and use everything for our function, responding to the invitation of the whole world without stress, fully comprehending the void within the stamp of unity without exclusion.

But how do you experientially comprehend life without birth? Understand?

If you want to know what will happen in spring,
The winter plum blossoms simply do not know.

 

Every flame of the eonic fire is an ember of events; in the emptiness of the eonic void there is a pedestal of awareness. There is no more beauty and ugliness to make flaws; beauty and ugliness both come from here.

 

By the forms of combinations of objects and mind, puppets act out their parts on a stage. Breaking through the painted screen, come on back; the home fields are broad and clear.

 

Use the light of the origin to wash away the darkness of the long night of ignorance; use the knowledge of the cosmos to break through the doubts of countless eons. Birth and death go on in profusion, but they do not reach the house of true purity; entangling conditions are troublesome, but they do not reach the realm of complete clarity. Let them change outside, while you as an individual remain empty within. Walking into the circle of the Way, you comprehend and forget illusory phenomena.

This is why an ancient said, “There is something before the universe; formless, originally quiescent, it is the master of myriad forms, never withering through the four seasons.”

But tell me, what is this?
A whale drinks up the ocean water,
Exposing the coral branches.

 

White is colorless, but it is placed before all colors; water is flavorless, yet all flavors are best with it. The Way has no root, but it pervades the universe; the Teaching has no fixed form, and can be this or that. A valley is always empty, but the echo can answer a call; a mirror is itself clear, while the reflections correspond to forms.

If you really attain such a body and mind, your great function, completely free, cannot be exploited. But tell me, who is it that cannot be exploited?

Understand?

Subtly transcending at the incipience of thought, standing independent before myriad impulses.

 

The body is not a collection of atoms but a stately, wondrous being. The mind is not emotional and intellectual entanglements but an unknowable solitary awareness.

The substance is beyond all obstruction. The function is very independent. No going or coming, neither obvious nor occult, response to form and sound are void of opposition or dependence.

The saving grace in the cakes and cookies is up to us members of the guild doing our business.

 

When rich in myriad virtues, even if ephemeral things are very prominent, you are entirely clear of dust.

Deliberately stopping speech and thought to plunge absolutely into tranquil silence, your inner way of being spontaneously shines, and you roam independent in the realm of true eternity.

When you take it up, it is crystal clear; a thousand differences and ten thousand distinctions cannot mix it up. When you put it down, it is free of all attributes; no trace can be found in any place or any time.

This is why ancients spoke of being impossible to trap, impossible to call back, not categorized even by the ancient sages, having no fixed place even now.

But tell me, how does one behave in order to attain such a realization?

Do you comprehend?

“Walking to where the stream ends, sitting and watching when the clouds arise.”

 

When people are even, they do not speak; when water is level, it does not flow. When the wind is calm, flowers still fall; when birds sing, the mountains seem even deeper.

Thus natural reality has no lack or excess; don't interpolate anything at all.

 

In the realm of purity and coolness, the whole container of fresh air is steeped in autumn. When body and mind are clarified, the misty face of midnight embraces the moon. Spirituality spontaneous, open and always empty, you cut off the conditioning of birth and death and depart from subjective evaluations of what is and what is not.

Have you reached such a state, and are you capable of behaving in such a manner?

“When you have felled the cassia tree on the moon,
The pure light must be even more.”

 

Truly arrive at the emptiness of time, and you understand yourself; when you do not fall into being or nonbeing, you transcend birth and death.

The night boat, carrying the moon, fishes the river of freedom; the heritage of pure clarity is just like this.

 

Affection congeals to form the body; thoughts settle to form the world; henceforth you bob around in the sea of birth and death.

When you see through to the spiritual source, whose profound stillness is unmixed, then you will know that illusions and bubbles present no obstacle.

When the weather is autumn in the senses and the conditions of the gross elements disintegrate, one reality always remains, with perfect clarity.

Merged in the bright moonlight, the snow and reeds are confusing to the eye; sent by a pure breeze, the night boat's return is swift.

 

Color empties, thus taking up the seal of the lineage of buddhas and Zen masters; light dissolves darkness, perpetuating the lamp that illumines the world.

At this time you do not fall into thought; in this situation you can, however, turn freely.

This is why the Boatman said, “Let there be no traces where you hide, but do not hide where there are no traces. In thirty years with Yao-shan, I understood only this.”

Now tell me, what was understood? Do you comprehend?

The tortoise returns to its ocean palace; the evening tide recedes; as the moon passes the river of stars, the soul of the night is clear.

 

Intellect open and luminous, spirit calm and penetrating, clear cold transforms the night; a frosty moon traverses the sky.

This is how a Zen practitioner should behave, the four quarters and eight directions all crystal clear. Investigate!

 

Empty, empty, absolutely trackless, not dimmed by even a dot; when profoundly still, free from words, unified potential spontaneously goes into operation.

At this point even the past and future buddhas do not presume to claim teacherhood; at this point even the founders of Zen do not claim to be masters.

Understand?

The golden needle is under double lock;
The road of harmonization is subtly all-inclusive.

 

Magnificent, distinguished, it is revealed uniquely in myriad forms; clear, evident, it is encountered in all things. I do not see any external other; the other does not see any external me. Other is not outside of self, so objects of sense vanish; self is not outside of other, so feelings of perception are shed.

This is why it is said, “The world is thus, beings are thus; every particle is thus, and every thought is thus.”

But tell me, how does one act so as to attain such a realization? Understand?

Unified potential subtly operating, the hub of the Way is still;
Myriad images' reflections flowing, the mind mirror is empty.

 

 

HONGZHI ZHENGJUE, “TIANTONG”
In: Zen's Chinese heritage: the masters and their teachings
by Andy Ferguson
Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2000. pp. 454-458.

HONGZHI ZHENGJUE (1091–1157) was a disciple of Danxia Zichun. He came from ancient Xi Province (now the area of Xi County in Shanxi Province). A brilliant young scholar, he excelled at studying the Confucian classics. Throughout his adult life, Hongzhi lived and taught in ancient Mingzhou, the area around modern Ningbo city in Zhejiang Province. His nickname, Tiantong, is derived from a famous Buddhist mountain monastery of that place. Tiantong was one of the “Five Mountains,” five principal Zen monasteries that served as administrative centers for the Zen monastic system during the Song dynasty.

Hongzhi's father practiced Zen under a teacher named Fotuo Xun. One day the Zen master pointed at the young Hongzhi and said to his father, “This child's harmony with the Way is extraordinary. He's not a person of the dusty world. If he ‘leaves home' he will be a Dharma vessel.”

At age eleven, Hongzhi left home to enter a monastery. He was but fourteen when he received ordination at Ziyun (“Compassion Cloud”) Temple. At eighteen he departed to roam as a yunshui, taking a vow to his ancestors to not return until he had resolved the “great affair” of life and death.

Traveling to Xiangshan (“Fragrant Mountain”) in Ruzhou, Hongzhi studied with a Zen master and previous student of Danxia Zichun named Kumu Facheng (1071-1128). The name “Kumu” means “tree stump.” The term was earlier used to describe the students of Zen master Shishuang Qingzhu, who sat day and night in meditation like “tree stumps.” Facheng received this name by following in Shishuang Qingzhu's footsteps, maintaining devotion to zazen as central to Zen practice. This practice greatly influenced Hongzhi's personal outlook and practice. Later, Hongzhi became widely known as the proponent of “silent illumination Zen.” The phrase refers to the manifested buddhahood of sitting in silent meditation. This approach to practice attracted hundreds of monks to Tiantong Temple, which thus grew in size and stature. In this way, the practices of Zen master Qingzhu that occurred centuries before on Mt. Shishuang directly influenced and shaped the practice of the Caodong school of Zen.

 

One day as the monks on Mt. Xiang chanted the Lotus Sutra, Hongzhi was instantly enlightened upon hearing the phrase, “Your eye that existed before your parents' birth sees everything in three thousand realms.” He then went to the abbot [Facheng] to declare his awakening.

Facheng pointed to a box of incense and said, “What is the thing inside?”

Hongzhi said, “What do you mean?”

Facheng said, “What is in the place of your awakening?”

Hongzhi used his hand to draw a circle in the air and then made the gesture of throwing it behind him.

Facheng said, “What limit is there for old fellows making mud balls?”

Hongzhi said, “Wrong.”

Facheng said, “You've attained it when you don't see others.”

Hongzhi said, “Yes. Yes.”

Hongzhi then traveled on to practice with Danxia Zichun.

Danxia asked, “What is the self that exists before the empty kalpa?”

Hongzhi said, “A frog at the well bottom swallows the moon. Despite the night, three times the window blind was illuminated.”

Danxia said, “Don't say any more.”

Hongzhi started to speak, but Danxia hit him with his whisk and said, “Don't say it!”

Upon hearing these words Hongzhi was liberated. He then bowed.

Danxia said, “Can't you say something?”

Hongzhi said, “Today I've been robbed and lost my money.”

Danxia said, “Without rest I've hit you. Now it's finished.”

 

Hongzhi is remembered as the compiler and verse writer for the collection of one hundred kōans known as the Book of Serenity. That classic collection, which is a favorite text of the Caodong Zen school, was reedited and annotated by the monk Wansong in the thirteenth century.

 

Once, when Hongzhi's Dharma brother Zhenxie Qingliao assumed the abbacy of Changlu Monastery, Hongzhi made the long trip to the opening ceremonies on foot. As he approached the temple, Zhenxie's attendants noticed that his clothes and shoes were ragged and worn. Quickly they obtained a new pair of sandals for him, and when he arrived they welcomed him by presenting them to him as a gift.

Hongzhi said, “Did I come for shoes?”

The monks, impressed by Hongzhi's modesty and selfless sentiment, asked him to give a lecture on Dharma and take the most honored seat at the ceremony.

 

The following two passages are from The Extensive Record of Zen Master Hongzhi. [宏智禪師廣錄 Hongzhi chanshi guanglu]

Hongzhi Zhengjue addressed the monks, saying, “If on some distant embankment you see horns, then you know for sure there's an ox there. If on some distant mountain you see smoke, then you know for sure there's a fire there. But what is it that all of you here know for certain? Do you understand? When the bird calls from its roost, then morning comes. When you smell the plum blossoms, it means spring has arrived.”

 

Hongzhi addressed the monks, saying, “When the buddhas talk about Dharma, they're just using yellow leaves to stop babies from crying. When the ancestors transmit the teaching, they're just making empty-handed threats. When you reach this point, you must [attain] self-cessation, self-realization, and self-clarity. The Buddha is realized in each individual person, and the Dharma can't be passed to you by someone else. If you understand in this manner, then you are a great adept, a true patch-robed monk, and you have successfully completed the great affair.

“Brethren! How, after all, will you finally find peace? Just wait for the snow to melt and naturally spring will arrive.”

 

A monk asked Hongzhi, “What of the ones who have gone?”

Hongzhi said, “The white clouds rise to the top of the valleys, the blue peaks lean high into the void.”

The monk asked, “What of the ones who return?”

Hongzhi said, “Head covered in white hair, leaving the cliffs and valleys. In the dead of night descending through the clouds to the market stall.”

The monk asked, “What of the ones who neither come nor go?”

Hongzhi said, “The stone woman calls them back from the three realms dream. The wooden man sits upon and collapses the six gates. In these words the ancestors' way is clearly seen. Understanding the ancestors' way is difficult.”

After a long pause, Hongzhi said, “Do you understand? The frozen cock does not announce the house woods dawn. The hidden pilgrims traverse the snowy mountain.”

 

In the ninth month of [the year 1157], Hongzhi visited [various personages of the region] and bade them farewell. On the seventh day of the tenth month he returned to the mountain [Tiantong]. In the early hours of the next morning, the master bathed and changed his clothes. He then sat in an upright position and bade farewell to the monks. He asked his attendants for a brush, and then wrote a letter to [Zen master] Dahui of Ayuwang Temple, asking him to take care of his final affairs.

He then wrote a verse:

Empty flowers of an illusory dream,
Sixty-seven years,
A white bird disappears in the mist,
Autumn waters touch the sky.

He then threw down the brush and passed away. Enshrined for seven days, his complexion was still lifelike. His entire body was placed in a stupa in the eastern valley. He received the posthumous name “Vast Wisdom.” The stupa was named “Divine Light.”

 

 

 


Silent Illumination Chan by Hongzhi Zhengjue
Excerpts from 宏智禪師廣錄 Hongzhi chanshi guanglu
(Extensive Records of Chan Master Hongzhi)

I.
The field is vacant and wide open. It is something intrinsic from the very beginning. You must purify and correct it; clean it off, and get rid of various deluded conditioning and illusory habits. Naturally, you arrive at a place that is clear and pure, perfect and bright; totally empty, without any image; solitary and independent, not relying on anything. Only in this vastness one can illumine intrinsic reality and relinquish external objects. Therefore, it is said, "With perfect and pervasive clarity, there is not a single thing to be perceived." This field is where birth and death do not reach; it is the deep source of pure luminosity; it is able to emit light and function responsively. Permeating through all [worlds as many as] motes of dust, transparent, without forming semblance, the wondrous [activity] of seeing and hearing leaps far beyond those everyday sounds and forms. Reaching everywhere, its function is without traces, its mirroring without obstruction. Naturally and spontaneously it impartially issues forth—flowing in response with thought after thought, object after object. An ancient said, "Having no-mind one attains in himself the Dao of no-mind. Attaining no-mind in himself, the Dao as well ceases to be." With clear awareness, one takes up the responsibility of helping other sentient beings as if one were sitting in perfect silence. As for the subtle wondrous activity of leisurely entering the world, it is something you must dig into and investigate in this fashion!

II.
The correct way of practice is to simply sit in stillness, and silently investigate; deep down there is a state one reaches where externally one is no longer swirled about by causes and conditions. The mind being empty, it is allembracing; its luminosity being wondrous, it is precisely apt and impartial. Internally there are no thoughts of grasping after things; vast and removed, being just as it is—free from confusion. Alive and potent, all dependency and opposition are severed; one remains self-contained. This contentment has nothing to do with emotional feelings; one must not rely on anything at all. Being quite outstanding, [this state of suchness] is full of life and spirit, and does not fall into defiled appearance; one finds a resting-place. Pure and immaculate, it is bright; being bright, it is penetrating. It is able to respond smoothly in accordance with phenomena, where phenomena do not obstruct each other. Floating effortlessly, clouds appear on mountain peaks; shining boldly, the reflections of the moon flow along mountain streams. Everywhere—there are radiant luminosity and spiritual transformations; clearly, appearances are unobstructed! Mutually responding, like a cover to a container or the tip of a sword meeting a shooting arrow's point. With further training and nourishing, it ripens. Its essence becomes firm and stable; it penetrates every place freely. Cut off sharp corners; don't speak of theories [of right and wrong]. Like a white ox or a tamed ferret that naturally [and willingly] responds to any command—one can then be called a true person. Therefore it is said, "Having the Dao of no-mind, one can be like this; having not yet gained no-mind, it is extremely difficult!"

III.
Wide and far-reaching without limit; pure and clean, it emits light. Its spiritual potency is unobscured. Although it is bright, there are no objects of illumination. It can be said to be empty, yet this emptiness is [full of] luminosity. It illumines in self-purity, beyond the working of causes and conditions, apart from subject and object. Its wondrousness and subtleties are ever present; its luminosity is also vast and open. Moreover, this is not something that can be conceived of as existence or nonexistence. Nor can it be deliberated about with words and analogies. Right here—at this pivotal axle, opening the swinging gate and clearing the way, it is able to respond effortlessly to circumstances—the great function is free from hindrances. At all places, turning and turning about, it does not follow conditions nor can it be trapped in models. In the midst of everything, it settles securely. With "that," it is identical to what "that" is; with "this," it is identical to what "this" is. "This and that" inter-fuse and merge without distinction. Therefore it is said, "Like the earth that holds up a mountain, unaware of its steepness and loftiness; like the stone that contains jade, unaware of the flawlessness of the jade." If one can be thus, this is truly leaving home. People who have left home must get hold of the essence in this way.

IV.
Patch-robed monks should wither away and freeze the [deluded] thoughts of the mind, and rest from remnant conditioning. Single-mindedly restore and cultivate this field. Directly cut down all the overgrown grass throughout the boundary of the four directions. Do not allow a single speck of dust to defile [this field]. Spiritually potent, it is bright; vast and removed, it is transparent. Thoroughly illumine that which comes before the [principle] essence, until you reach a state where the light becomes naked and pure—where not a single speck of dust can be attached to. When you tug and pull back this ox[-mind] by the nose, it will naturally come alive and be imposing. Being quite unusual and outstanding, it mingles with others along the pathway without damaging people's sprout and grain. Thriving and dynamic, [the ox] effortlessly responds to circumstances; responding to circumstances without artificiality, it thrives and is free flowing. Not fixed to any set place, it is free from fetters—this is the place where the ox plows through the field of the empty kalpa. Proceeding in such a way, all things appear vividly without obscurity; everywhere, all things manifest as they are, [maintaining] one thought for ten thousand years. Fundamentally, this is non-abiding in appearances. It is said, "The mind-ground contains every seed. The rain will universally cause them to sprout. When the meaning of the blossoming flower of enlightenment is understood, the fruit of Bodhi will ripen of its own accord."

V.
It cannot be practiced nor actualized because it is something intrinsically full and replete. No other things can defile it; it is thoroughly pure to its depth. Precisely at the place where purity is full and complete is where you recognize the Eye. When illumination is thorough, [self] is relinquished completely; when the experience is bright, your steps are then solid and grounded. Birth and death originally have no root or stem; coming forth, sinking away fundamentally are without trace of the self. Intrinsic light illumines its peak thoroughly— empty in spiritual potency. Likewise, intrinsic wisdom responds to conditions—though quiescent, it is resplendent. Truly arriving at this place where there is no middle or extremes, before or after—it begins to become one pervasive totality. Sense faculties or sense objects, on each and every occasion, preach the Dharma through the broad and long tongue. The inexhaustible lamp is thus transmitted; everything emits great radiance—performing the great work of accomplishing Buddhahood. Originally one does not need a hair's breadth of an external object. Clearly, this is a matter to be found within one's own home.

VI.
Silent and still, abiding in itself; just like this—in suchness, it is apart from conditioning, where luminosity is vast and spacious, without any [emotional] dust—directly [the self] is thoroughly relinquished. Arriving at this fundamental place, one realizes that it is not something newly acquired today. From the ancient home before the great kalpa, there has been utter clarity without any obscurations; in its liveliness and readiness, it shines alone. Though it is like this, without enacting it there is no attainment. Precisely at the time of enacting it, simply keep it so that not a single thing arises; do not allow a speck of dust to cover it. In this Great Rest where [one's vexations are] dried up and frozen, there's vast and thorough, penetrating understanding. If this Rest cannot thoroughly exhaust [the self] and you wish to reach the realm beyond birth and death, there can be no such realm! Just directly penetrate through. You will then resolve [this matter] thoroughly without the dust of conceptual thinking and be purified, without conditioned speculations. Take a backward step and open your grasping hands. Thoroughly resolve this matter. Then, your ability to put forth light and respond to the world will be appropriate—merging with myriad objects—just right, on all occasions. It is said, "The Dharma within dharmas has never been concealed; from ancient times to the present—it is always manifest and exposed."

VII.
All Buddhas and patriarchs do not actualize something different; they all arrive at this resting place. The three times [of past, present, and future] are severed. The myriad conditions are silenced. Directly there is not a single hair's breadth of opposition, the spirited buddha illuminates itself. It's miraculous [illumination] thoroughly penetrates to the source. When realization is far-reaching and exhaustive, one's body diversifies to respond to situations. All [sense] doors issue forth light; every object manifests with silhouettes. Then one will realize that exhaustively [all things] flow out from oneself. The hundreds of tips of weeds everywhere are posed as causes or conditions in relation to oneself. Thorough and penetrating right through one's whole being—this is how one should proceed!

VIII.
Being empty, it leaves no trace; in illumination there are no dusts of emotion. When the light penetrates, stillness is profound; mysteriously it severs all defects and defilement. When you can thus understand your "self," you can thus resolve your "self." Clear and pure, wondrous and bright—this field is intrinsically yours. Many lifetimes of inability to resolve [this matter of self-grasping] only come from obscuring doubts and hovering delusions. All these are but self-created obstructions and blocks. Openly, wisdom freely roams; internally, one forgets merits and rewards. Just directly relinquish this burden [the self]. Turn around, and resume your position! Put your feet firmly on the Path. In this spontaneous responsiveness and wondrous function, all things encountered are Reality. Here, there is not a single thing from the tiniest hair to a speck of dust outside yourself!

IX.
The field of illumination in silence is likened to the clear autumn sky, where illumination is without effort and where [the duality of] light and shadow are severed—this is the time when the whole truth is transcended. The source is pure; the essence is potent. When the pivotal axis is open, its mobility is lively. Clear and brilliant, it is intrinsically radiant. When this center is discovered, one will be able to bring [its potency] forth and utilize it in manifold situations with full appropriateness. This is like the meeting of sky and earth, where the ten thousand appearances harmonize. Contented and composed, [one is] self-possessed and can roam about without any opposition. Responding to celestial beings in a heavenly appearance, delivering human beings in a human form, whatever the situation calls for one manifests the appropriate body and appearance to expound the Dharma. If you can effectively experience thus, you will be vast and open and defeat all obstacles.

X.
Profound and transparent, still and silent, illumination thoroughly penetrates everywhere. This place is vacant yet potent, vast and resplendent. Even though there is the appearance of self-luminosity, there are no echoing shadows. If at this time it is disclosed and pierced through, then even though there are merits for taking up this burden to distinguish it clearly, it is all the more necessary that you take the backward step and reach the middle of the circle. [Only at such time,] luminosity will issue forth from its center. Astonishing and amazing, it is solitary and independent. When such merit [of taking up this burden] is understood and utilized, then will you comprehend what is called birth. Such is the obscure and subtle reality of the emerging and sinking away [of sentient being]. You must carefully discern this. Then, you can emanate different bodies and steer various affairs.

XI.
The seal of ten thousand forms is a seal that leaves no impressions. Roaming the world responding to conditions, naturally one enjoys the function of being able to enter samadhis by way of every single dharma; such function is for one's own use, and one cannot be selfsatisfied. The empty valley receives clouds; the cold stream cleanses the moon. Not departing and not remaining, one is able to transcend ordinary circumstances and transform external conditions, and expound the doctrine without attainment or expectation. Present everywhere, yet always it remains at the same old field as if not a single hair had been moved. [Despite being] crippled and needing assistance, or being ugly and stupid, one will naturally thrive in perfect accordance. Zhaozhou's responses "Go wash your bowl" and "Drink your tea" are not premeditated acts. From the very beginning it is already present. When your insight can be like this, from one instant to the next thorough and complete, then your conduct can be considered that of a patched-robed monk.

XII.
Where the field is secure and concealed, when the activities are like a frozen pond, the empty kalpa is perceived. [In such a state,] there is not a single breadth of condition that can become a burden, no single mote that can be an obstacle. Utterly empty, it is bright. Perfectly pure, it is resplendent. Existing in utter clarity, the mind extends throughout ten thousand eras without ever being hazy. With regard to this matter, if you can be convinced with a nod of your head, you will neither conform to birth and death, nor will you abide in nihilism or permanence. In motion, you transform along with with the ten thousand, myriad [sentient beings]. In stillness, you are enduring like the way heaven covers and the way earth supports. Emerging and sinking away, rolling and unrolling, everything is up to you. You fellows of "original being!" You must learn to bring it forth and let it go like this.

XIII.
To contemplate the true characteristic of the body is to contemplate the Buddha. If you are able to directly experience the realm where nothing exists outside of your being, then all opposites will appropriately be extinguished, transcending all conceptions. Buddha and mind are refined to their non-dual [nature]. The patched-robed monk silently roams about and abides nowhere. Vacant and potent, miraculous and penetrating, [his realization is identical] to the great space that surpasses this dusty kalpa. Brilliant and profound, addictions cease; luminous and bright, it is non-conceptual. When the mechanism turns, it transforms and emanates, responding to situations while passing through the world. Illumination is without effort; its function is without traces. Clouds leisurely drift, streams flow—there have never been any residual obstacles since the beginning. This direct teaching is pure and secure—nothing can budge it. There is no need to follow favorable conditions. This is where you gain genuine experience.

XIV.
The path is not [something] transmittable by patriarchs. Before the arrival of patriarchs, the "imperial edict" had already pervaded and encompassed the whole [world]. Naturally empty without any traces, it is potent and spiritual—where opposites have terminated. Solitary and luminous, it transcends causes and conditions; eternally dynamic, it is separate from appearances. This is called becoming a Patriarch. Only through mutual authentication [can that which is transmitted be known]—the patriarch cannot hand it to you. All Buddhas arrive here and take this to be the ultimate, and utilize it to respond, transform, and disseminate their [emanation] bodies like [a multitude of] flowers and leaves. Sense faculties and objects are [employed] to enter the three times [of past, present and future]. The ten thousand opportunities do not disturb you; not a single mote of dust is outside your being. Its marvel is beyond the great thousands of scriptures. Where can [illusory] shadows be obtained?

XV.
In utter clarity, wonder exists. Potent and solitary, it illumines. Grasped, it cannot be In utter clarity, wonder exists. Potent and solitary, it illumines. Grasped, it cannot be obtained, so it cannot be called existence; grinded, it cannot be removed, so it cannot be called non-existence. It is utterly beyond the domain of the conceptual mind and it is separated from any traces of shadows and forms—wondrous, it is empty of its own being. This miraculous place can be experienced as spiritual potency; when potency is reached, it is evoked. Mind like moon, body like clouds, it is disclosed according to wherever one may be. Straightforward, it leaves no trace. Yet, it is able to issue forth light and luminosity. Responding to objects without refusal, it can enter the dusty [world] and not be mired. Breaking through all obstructing states; shining through all phenomena as devoid of selfhood. Why can it, through diverse conditions, enter the pure [realm of] wisdom and roam and play in samadhi? You should thus genuinely experience and investigate it!

XVI.
Vast—it is intrinsically potent; pure—it is intrinsically bright. It is universal and does not grasp the merit of its own illumination; it is able to discern without being burdened by conditioned thinking. It appears without form; it transcends emotions of thought and imagination. You can only accord with it through actualization. It is not something obtained from someone else. All Buddhas and patriarchs, [in multitudes] like leaves and flowers, continue this business. When responding, they do not grasp appearances; in illuminating, they are not ensnared by conditions. Dignified and impressive, nothing is concealed. This family style teaches that everywhere everything is already, of its own accord, replete. It is up to you to take charge of it.

 

 

Dhyana Master Hong Zhi of Tiantong
by Hsuan Hua
Vajra Bodhi Sea, No. 440, pp. 12-15, (January 2007) & No. 441. pp. 12-14. (February 2007)
http://www.drbachinese.org/vbs/publish/440/vbs440p012.pdf

宏智禪師廣錄 Hongzhi chan shi guanglu or Hongzhi guanglu, or simply Hongzhi lu (Japanese: Wanshi koroku), is also refered to as: Hungzhi yulu, Mingzhou Tiantongshan Jue heshang yulu (Recorded Sayings of the Venerable Jue of Mount Tiantong in Mingzhou), Tiantong Zhengjue Chanshi Yulu (Quotations from the Zen Priest Tiantong Zhengjue).

Lives of the Patriarchs
Patriarchs of the forty-seventh generation:
宣公上人講於一九八四年四月八日
Lectured by the VenerabLe Master Hsuan Hua on April 8, 1984
國際譯經學院記錄翻譯
translated by the International Translation Institute
修訂版 Revised Version

Essay:
The Master was the son of the Li family of Shizhou Prefecture.
He was ordained at Jingming (“Pure Brightness”)
Monastery. At fourteen he received the Complete Precepts,
and at eighteen he set out in search of good teachers. He
arrived at Xiangshan (“Fragrant Mountain”) Monastery in
Ruzhou, and in his investigation of Chan, he became like
a piece of dry wood. With further investigation, he gained
a certain insight. Afterwards he went to study with Dhyana
Master Dan Xia (“Red Cloud”), who asked him, “What was
your self before the cosmos began?” The Master answered,
“A frog at the bottom of the well swallows the moon; in the
middle of the night there’s no need to borrow a light.”
Master Dan Xia remarked, “You haven’t got it. Try
again.” The Master was in the process of figuring out
something else to say when Dan Xia hit him with the whisk
and cried out, “But you said you didn’t have to borrow
anything!” At those words the Master experienced a feeling
of great relief. He made obeisance. Dan Xia then said, “Why
don’t you try to say something else?”
The Master replied, “Today Hong Zhi missed the
opportunity and incurred blame.”
Master Dan Xia said, “I don’t have time to hit you. You
can go now.”
Afterwards the Master presided at monasteries such
as Changlu, Tiantong, and others. Monastics gathered at his
monasteries like clouds.
During the cyclical year ding chou of the Shaoxing reign
of the Southern Song Dynasty, on the eighth day of the tenth
mouth, the Master sat upright and bid goodbye to the assembly.
He wrote a verse and then left. His body was housed in a casket
for seven days, and the color of his complexion remained as if he
were still alive. His stupa was built in the valley east of Tiantong
Monastery.

Commentary:
This Master is the Forty-Seventh Patriarch of the Caodong School.
He lived in Tiantong Monastery in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The
Master was a son of the Li family of Shizhou Prefecture in Shanxi.
He was ordained at Jingming (“Pure Brightness”) Monastery. At
fourteen, he received the Complete Precepts, and at eighteen he
set out in search of good teachers. He went to the various monasteries
to observe their different styles of teaching and cultivation.
Then he arrived at Xiangshan (“Fragrant Mountain”) Monastery
in Ruzhou Prefecture, and in his investigation of Chan, he became
like a piece of dry wood. His mind reached a state in which
he resembled a piece of dry wood. With further investigation he
gained a certain insight. By looking into his meditation topic, he
had a bit of an awakening. Afterwards he went to study with and
draw near to Dhyana Master Dan Xia, who asked him, “What
was your self before the cosmos began?” That was the exam topic
that Master Dan Xia gave him.
The Master Hong Zhi answered, “A frog at the bottom of
the well swallows the moon.” Is this possible? Can a frog sitting at
the bottom of a well swallow the moon? No. Rather, it’s a case of the
frog being unable to see the moon as it moves out of his perspective.
That’s what is meant by “swallowing the moon.” In the middle of
the night, during the third watch, there’s no need to borrow a light.
What does this phrase mean anyway? It doesn’t carry any great meaning.
These words were spoken just so you wouldn’t understand. They
are designed to put an end to your discriminating, cognitive process.
If I explain incorrectly, all of you—my teachers—may correct me.
The basic idea is that your inherent nature is bright in and of itself.
There’s no need to borrow from an external source. The light of your
own nature shines throughout the day and night and there’s no need
to rely on any outer conditions.
After Master Hong Zhi came up with this verse as a reply, Master
Xia remarked, “You haven’t got it. Try again.” Say something else!
You haven’t quite got it. Master Hong Zhi thought he could get away
with this bit of Chan banter, that he could make it pass, but this time
he had run into a real Master who had exacting standards and who
demanded something more from him. At that point, Master Hong
Zhi felt he was in a pinch—maybe he could not manage without
borrowing some external light after all. The Master was in the
process of figuring out something else to say. In his mind
he was trying to come up with another reply—he really hadn’t yet
reached the mark. Right at that point Dan Xia hit him with the
whisk and cried out, “But you said you didn’t have to borrow
anything!” You claimed you didn’t have to borrow any external
light. Then what are you thinking about now?
At those words the Master experienced a feeling of great
relief. At Dan Xia’s yell, Hong Zhi felt a great relief. His arrogance,
his mad mind and wild thoughts, his pretensions to enlightenment—
all of these vanished in an instant. His crazed mind came
to a stop. Then he made obeisance to Master Dan Xia. Dan Xia
then said, “Why don’t you try to say something else?”
The Master, Hong Zhi, replied, “Today Hong Zhi missed
his opportunity and incurred blame.” I fell into the secondary,
peripheral meaning. I didn’t make it through the gate. I had been
working within the area of my discriminating consciousness.”
Master Dan Xia said, “I don’t have time to hit you. You
can go now.” This was a form of certification. Master Dan Xia
acknowledged that the activities of Master Hong Zhi’s intellect
and discriminating consciousness had come to a stop.
B ecause of the principles involved in the above interchange,
Great Master Yong Jia said in his Song of Enlightenment:
Dharma wealth is lost
And merit and virtue destroyed,
Due to nothing other than the conscious mind.
Through the door of Chan the mind comes to rest,
And one suddenly enters the powerful, unborn knowledge and vision.
It’s just the intellect and conscious mind that obstruct people in
their cultivation. Therefore, in Chan we seek to put an end to the
workings of the intellect and discriminating consciousness so that
we can enter the wisdom of the Unborn.
Afterwards the Master presided at monasteries such as
Changlu, Tiantong and others. He was abbot at those wellknown
monasteries in China. Monastics gathered at his monasteries
like clouds. They were as profuse as clouds as they came
together to draw near him.
During the cyclical year ding chou (1157 c.e.) of the Shaoxing
reign of the Southern Song Dynasty, on the eighth day
of the tenth mouth, the Master sat upright and bid goodbye
to the assembly. He said, “Today I’m going to leave. All of you
work hard. Don’t let the time pass in vain.” He wrote a verse and
then left. He entered the stillness. If he hadn’t achieved the state
of freedom where he could come and go as he wished and have
command over birth and death, then how could he have attained
such a state? His body was housed in a casket for seven days,
and the color of his complexion remained as if he were still
alive. There was no change in his complexion even seven days
after his death. He looked just as he did when he was alive. His
stupa was built in the valley east of Tiantong Monastery.
His flesh-body was housed in a stupa in the valley east of the
monastery.

http://www.drbachinese.org/vbs/publish/441/vbs441p012.pdf
A verse in praise says:

Dan Xia wielded his whisk,
And the Master gave up his practice of the “clay pill” technique.
He went beyond the beginning of the cosmos
And managed to feel his own nose.
At the third watch of the night, there was no need to borrow a light,
But he lost his money and incurred blame.
From the solitary summit of Taibai Mountain,
His Dharma spread over the great earth.

Commentary:
Dan Xia wielded his whisk and hit him lightly, this dhyana
Master became enlighted. And the Master gave up his practice
of the “clay pill” technique. this is the taoist technique of
sending out a little man from the top of one’s head. before, the
Master was attached to his “conscious spirit” and tried to gain
immortality. this is still the state of a “corpse-guarding ghost.”
however, after Master dan Xia struck him with the whisk, he
gave up his former pursuits, realizing that the technique was still
caught up within the realm of the conscious spirit.
He went beyond the beginning of the cosmos. What era
was that? There’s no way to date this period. This is the stage of the
kalpa of emptiness before anything came to be. And managed to
feel his own nose: he was able to recognize his “original face.” He
knew whether his nostrils pointed up or down. If you ask me, “Do
my nostrils point up or down?” I won’t be able to tell you. You have
to find out for yourself.
At the third watch of the night, at midnight, there was no
need to borrow a light. It’s not necessary to borrow a light from a
lamp or from the mind. One’s nature is inherently bright. But he lost
his money and incurred blame. He lost his opportunity—this is
like losing money. Here “incurring blame” does not mean creating an
offense. It means missing one’s opportunity. The potentials did not
mesh.
From the solitary summit of Taibai Mountain. Just as this
peak stands alone, unrivalled, so, too, after Dhyana Master Hong Zhi
became enlightened, he stood out unrivalled and surpassed his peers.
His Dharma spreads over the great earth. His lofty and highminded
integrity spread throughout the great earth. Many people were
influenced by his example to make the resolve for Bodhi.

Another verse says:
In his youth he renounced the mundane life and entered Jingming Monastery
Resolutely he cut off the bonds of love and looked lightly upon family ties.
A frog at the bottom of the well finds it hard to swallow the moon,
But the garuda bird soars freely in space.
Trying to figure out an answer is contrary to the foremost meaning.
Discrimination leads to contradictions, and the path becomes diversified a thousandfold.
The Dharma host of Tiantong transcends those of the present and past,
Under Dan Xia’s whisk, he enlightened to the True Sutra.

Commentary:
In his youth he renounced the mundane life and entered
Jingming Monastery. When he was still very young, he renounced
the householder’s life. He was ordained at age fourteen. Of course
he left home earlier than that time, probably at the age of twelve or
thereabouts. Resolutely he cut off the bonds of love and looked
lightly upon family ties. He looked lightly upon the affection
shared among the six kinds of close relatives. A frog at the bottom
of the well finds it hard to swallow the moon. Such a frog would
certainly not be able to swallow the moon. But the garuda bird
soars freely in space. Nobody can tell the garuda bird what to
do. It flies and roams freely in space. If you understand, you can
be as free as the garuda bird. The garuda bird eats dragons when it
is hungry and drinks water when it’s thirsty. It can fly up into the
sky to frolic as it pleases. Look how free and unconfined it is!
Trying to figure out an answer is contrary to the foremost
meaning. When asked a question, if you cannot come up with a
direct answer, but have to deliberate over a reply, then you have
missed the foremost meaning. You have fallen into the secondary
or third periphery meanings. Discrimination leads to contradiction,
and the path becomes diversified a thousandfold. Once
you start to make discriminations with your conscious mind, then
the more you discriminate, the further you will stray from the
truth.
The Dharma host of the Tiantong transcends those of
the present and past. Because of his great wisdom, most people
could not compare with him. Under Dan Xia’s whisk, having
undergone that kind of beating, he emerged, enlightened to the
True Sutra. He understood the meaning of the True Sutra.

 

 

 


Hongzhi válogatás

Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt
Forrás: Cultivating the Empty Field by Dan Leighton, North Point Press, 1991.

Szemlélődni a tízezer éven

A foltruhájú szerzetesek gondolkodásukat szárazzá és hűvössé teszik, s megpihennek a feltételekhez kötöttség maradványaitól függetlenül. Kitartóan sikáld és élesítsd ezt a darab mezőt. Közvetlenül vágj át a túlnőtt füvön. Érd el a határt minden irányban anélkül, hogy egy részecskét is beszennyeznél. Szellemi és ragyogó, tágas és csillogó, teljesen megvilágítja ami előtted van, közvetlenül érd el a sugárzó fényt és tisztaságot, ami nem tapadhat egy darab szennyhez sem. Azonnal rántsd meg és húzd vissza az ökör orrát. Persze, szarvai tiszteletet parancsolóak és toporzékolása egy vadállatéhoz hasonló, mégsem tesz kárt az emberek hajtásaiban és gabonájában. Vándorolva fogadd el, ahogy történik. Elfogadva ahogy történik vándorolj. Ne kössön meg egy hely, s ne is telepedj ott le. Ekkor az eke feltöri a talajt az üres kalpa mezején. Ezzel a hozzáállással haladva semmilyen esemény nem lesz homályos, minden birodalom teljesnek jelenik meg. Szemlélődni a tízezer éven annyi, mint elkezdeni a jelenségekben nem lakozást. Ezért mondják, hogy a tudattalaj minden magot tartalmaz, és az egyetemes eső mindet kicsíráztatja. Mikor a felébredés virágzik a vágyak elkopnak és a bódhi gyümölcse a kitökéletesedett én.

 

A buddha munka elvégzése

[Az üres mezőt] nem lehet művelni, vagy bebizonyítani. Kezdettől fogva teljes, szennyezetlen és a fenékig tiszta. Ahol minden helyes és tökéletesen elegendő, ott érd el a tiszta szemet, ami maradéktalanul megvilágít, kiteljesítve a megszabadulást. A megvilágosodás ennek megtestesítése, gyakorlással szilárdul meg fokozatosan. Születésnek és halálnak eredendően nincs se gyökere, se szára, megjelenésnek és eltűnésnek eredendően nincsenek meghatározó jegyei, vagy nyomai. Az elsődleges fény, üres és hatásos, megvilágítja a fejtetőt. Az elsődleges bölcsesség, csendes és egyben csodálatos, válaszol a feltételekre. Mikor eléred az igazságot középső és szélső nélkül, elvágva az előttit és utánit, akkor megvalósítod a teljességet. Mindenfele az érzékek és tárgyaik csak megtörténnek. Aki kinyújtja széles hosszú nyelvét, átadja a kimeríthetetlen lámpást, sugározza a nagy fényt és elvégzi a nagy buddha munkát, az elejétől fogva nem kölcsönöz másoktól egyetlen dharmán kívüli részecskét sem. Ez tisztán a saját házadban történik.

 

Sok életnyi félreértés

Az üresség jelleg nélküli. A megvilágosodásnak nincsenek érzelmi szenvei. Átható, csendesen mélységes sugárzással titokzatosan megsemmisít minden szégyent. Így ismerheti meg az ember magát, így kiteljesedett az én. Mind rendelkezünk a tiszta, csodásan ragyogó mezővel a kezdetek óta. Sok életnyi félreértés csak a bizalmatlanságból, akadályokból és a zavarodottság ernyőjéből származik, amiket az elkülönítettség díszlete közt gyártunk. Határtalan bölcsességgel utazz ezen túl, elfelejtve az elért sikereket. Őszintén hagyj fel a taktikázással és vállalj felelősséget. Ha az ösvényre lépsz, miután megfordultál és elfogadtad a helyzetedet, a szellemi erő csodásan magával visz. Teljes őszinteséggel lépj kapcsolatba a jelenségekkel, nincs egyetlen porszem sem rajtad kívül.

 

A csoda igazolt és beteljesedett

A dharma-birodalom a tíz irányban az egyedüli tudatból jelenik meg. Mikor az egyedüli tudat nyugodt, minden jelenség teljesen kimerült. Melyik van ott? Melyik önmagam? Csak amikor nem teszel különbséget a formák közt, akkor hirtelen egy porszem telepszik le, semmilyen éber figyelmet sem hoznak létre. Lásd a különbséget, hogy még a terhes méh előtt és a bőrzsákod után is, minden pillanat lenyűgöző ragyogás, teljes és kerek irányok és sarkak nélkül, elhajtva a jelentéktelen dolgokat. Ahol valóban semmi sem lehet elhomályosult, azt nevezik önismeretnek. Csak ha így ismerik meg az ént nevezik eredeti felismerésnek, még egy hajszálat sem kapni meg nem érdemelten. Nagyszerű, rejtetten fenntartja az egyediséget, az igazi hallás hang nélküli. Ezért mondják, hogy a szem vagy fül nélküli érzékelés a hely, ahol a csoda igazolt és beteljesedett. Fény árad innen és képek ezrei jelennek meg. Minden lény gyakorlatilag az, együtt a birodalomban ahol a foltruhájú szerzetesek maguktól hajtják végre működésüket. A lényeg csak az, hogy ne kölcsönözzünk mások otthonaiból. Hogy műveljük saját házunkat, tisztán és közvetlenül kell megtapasztalni saját magatoknak.

 

Eredendő lakhely

Az Utat gyakorló rejtetten a szavak és gondolatokon túlra jut. Azonnal hiteles, ott van az elfogadott ösvényen és nem ragaszkodik az érveléshez. Tág körűen összekeveredett, a hold folyik minden vízben, a szél átfúj a legfőbb ürességen, természetes módon a nélkül, hogy megérintene vagy akadályozna dolgokat. A felülemelkedő megvilágosodás és működése csak szenny nélkül világít meg és nyomok nélkül működik. Ekkor beléphetsz a szamádhiba minden érzék-poroban és összegyűjthetsz egyetlen pecsétben tízezer formát. Szakítsd meg a szivárgást és ne reagálj rájuk. Ezt nevezik úgy, hogy a foltruhájú szerzetesek ügyének megértése. Továbbá emlékezned kell a hazavezető ösvényre és visszatérned oda. A felhők elpárolognak a hideg égen. Az ősz elment és a hegyen kopárak. Ez az, ahol eredetileg lakunk.

 

A magányos jelzőfény és az egyedüli út

Az út emberei átutazzák a világot a körülményekre válaszolva, gondtalanul és kötöttségek nélkül. Mint az esőt adó felhők, az áramlatot követő holdfény, az árnyékban növő orchideák, a mindenben feltörő forrás, tudat nélkül cselekszenek, bizonyossággal válaszolnak. Így viselkednek a kitökéletesedett emberek. Majd vissza kell térniük utazásukhoz és követniük kell az ősöket, kitartóan elől járva és ártatlanul elengedve magukat. A magányos jelzőfény társak nélküli. Az átható, csodálatot keltő hang az egyedüli úton a túlpartra azonnal be tudja tölteni a közepet vagy a széleket, és a legfelsőtől a legalsóig áthat. Ölni, vagy életet adni, feltekerni, vagy kitekerni, ez a saját független döntésed.

 

 

 


VANSI SÓGAKU
Hung-cse Cseng-csüe (1091-1157)
A csendes felébredés zenje

In: Zeisler István [Mokushó Szenkú, 1946-1990]: A zen átadása Buddhától Buddháig,
Fordította: Király Attila, Farkas Lőrinc Imre kiadó, 1996, 91-97. oldal
[A fordítások az AZI lapjában a La Revue Zenben 1986-1989 között megjelent cikkek alapján készültek.]

Vansi Sógaku mester Tanka Sidzsun tanítványa
volt. Zazensin (A zazen helyes gyakorlásáért) című
műve tette ismertté a nevét. A korszakot, amelyben
élt, a gyakorlás eltorzulása és számos olyan iskola virágzása
jellemezte, amely eltávolodott az eredeti zentől.
Vansi egész életében a tanítás tisztaságának és
a zen hiteles gyakorlatának megőrzéséért harcolt, ő
tette népszerűvé a mokusó zen (a csendes felébredés
zenje) kifejezést, amely azóta is a szótó zen hagyomány
legmélyebb tartalommal bíró kifejezése. "Vansinak,
az átadás tiszteletreméltó mesterének műve
Buddha és a pátriárkák lényegiségét ragadja meg - írta
Dógen mester. - Ez az egyetlen olyan mű, amely a
valódi, tiszta zent valósítja meg itt és most."

Íme, néhány részlet írásaiból és tanításaiból.

A tudat az eredete minden dolognak. Ha a tudat
csendes, minden káprázat eloszlik. Ki az a másik, és
ki az az én? Még egy atom sem képzelhető el ott, ahol
már megszűnt minden megkülönböztetés. Amikor
nem születik egyetlen gondolat sem, ti az anyaméh
előtt és a bőrzsák után vagytok. Nem más ez, mint
egy, az elméddel felfoghatatlan, fényes kötél. Nincs
semmi se szétválasztva. Nincsenek se sarkok, se csúcsok,
se nyomok. El nem sötétülhet. Ami nem sötétülhet
el, az az eredendő bölcsesség. E velünk született
bölcsesség helyét "nélkülözhetetlen ajándék"-nak
nevezik, ezen ajándékon túl semmi sem kapható.
Üres, nyitott, finoman észlelhető, kép nélküli, visszhang
nélkül hallható. Ezért mondják: "nem érhető
el sem a szemmel, sem a füllel". Ez a végső pont, az
összhang megvalósulása. Itt születik meg a fény, ide
tükröződik mindenhonnan a világmindenség. Minden
ez, és e minden a keszát viselő szerzetes élete.
Az a fontos, hogy ne vegyétek kölcsön mások dolgait.
Mindenképpen saját magatok által kell megértenetek.
Így fest az én házam tanítása.

Ha felismeritek, hogy minden dolog üres, tudatotok
szabaddá lesz és túlléphet minden egyes porszemen.
Az első fénysugar mindenhová elhatol, és az
erőknek és körülményeknek megfelelően alakul át.
Mindaz, amivel találkozik, maga a kezdet, amely átvilágít
minden formát, üres és társtalan. A szél a fenyők
közt, a Hold a víz tükrén - egyensúly. A tudat, amely
nem bolyong, amely nem ragaszkodik a jelenségekhez.
A lényeg az: legyetek belül üresek, és kívül legyen
tiétek a szabad tér (az egész univerzum), anélkül,
hogy e kettőt összekevernétek - ahogy a tavasz elhozza
a virágokat, ahogy a tükör visszatükrözi a formákat -,
a viszály és a káosz közepette, derűsen és
nyugodtan, könnyedén lépjetek "túl"!

A teljes nyugalom elérésekor életetek üde és csöndes
lesz, felfedezitek a múló idők ürességét, azt, amit
semmi sem zavarhat meg, és ami köré semmi sem
vonhat gátakat. Üres, korlátlan, teljes, tiszta, fényes,
öröktől fogva létezik és nem homályosult el sosem.
Ha ezt megértitek, akkor - itt és most - egyetlen fejbólintással
lemondtok a születés és a halál követéséről,
nem lesztek sem a megsemmisülésben, sem az
örökkévalóságban. Ha meg akartok változni, a jelenségek
sokaságának miriádnyi formájával alakítjátok át
magatokat. Ha mozdulatlanul akartok maradni, akkor
beboríthattok és befedhettek mindent - ahogy azt az
ég és a föld teszi. Tőletek függ, mi az, ami megjelenik
vagy eltűnik, ami kitárul vagy bezárul.

Látni a Napot nappal és látni a Holdat éjjel - fellelni
azt a pillanatot, ahol többé már nincsenek csalások
és ámítások. Olyan ez, mint amikor egy keszát viselő
szerzetes nyugodt, biztos léptekkel halad előre.
Természetesen nincsenek se sarkok, se elvarrások. Ha
ilyenné szeretnétek lenni, hagyjatok fel a kérődzéssel,
és ne engedjetek a tudat zavarodott örvényeinek!
Felhagynátok végre az önsajnálattal? Döntenetek kell,
és abba kell hagynotokl Így majd átragyoghattok mindenen.
A fényről és a látványról megfeledkezve, a bőrt
és a húst ledobva, minden érzéket megtisztítva -
kitisztul a szemetek is. Képességeitek kiteljesednek,
nincs semmi, amihez kötődnétek, harmóniában vagytok
minden pillanatban. A fényben ott a sötétség, a
sötétségben ott a fény. Egy magányos bárka szállítja a
Holdat, és éjjelre a rózsák közé tér megpihenni. A
fénysugár mindössze ennyi.

Tiszta, tökéletesen tiszta; a szem ereje nem képes
elérni a saját határait. Csöndesen, üresen és korlátlanul
időzve a tudat nem érheti el önnön határát. Aki
őszinte szívvel keres, felleli lényegiségét; a démonok
és a buddhák nem háborgathatják, nem lepheti be por
és mocsok. Találkozzék a körrel vagy a négyszöggel,
cselekedeteiben alkalmazkodik hozzájuk. A gondolkodással
értelmezhetetlen tettek végtelen sora finoman
kiegészíti egymást. A tavasz e földből születik meg, és
e földben ér véget. Mindenki birtokában van ennek.

Valójában egyetlen út sincs a tanulmányozásához.
Lényege az üres és nyitott testben lakozik - oly hatalmas,
akár a tér, ezért hiba nélkül állhattok mindenütt.
E felébredés nem szorítható korlátok közé, e
tisztaságot nem lehet mással vegyíteni. A Hold a víz
folyását, az eső a felhők vonulását követi. Végeredményben
nincs is sok olyan tudat, amely mindezt létre
tudná hozni. Ne izgassátok magatokat a jelenségek
miatt, és anélkül, hogy ez tudatosulna, a jelenségek
sem fognak többé zavarni benneteket. A test és a tudat
egy, nincs semmi a testen kívül: ugyanaz a lényeg,
ugyanaz a működés, ugyanaz az anyag, egyetlen név.
Minden egyes érzék és érzet, minden érzék és minden
érzet azonnali és abszolút. Noha azt mondták, hogy
egy bölcsnek nincsen énje, valójában nincs semmi
olyasmi, ami ne az énje lenne. Mindez olyannyira
világos és nyilvánvaló, hogy könnyen megérthetitek:
hiába próbálnátok korlátok közé szorítani vagy felszabadítani,
mert olyan, mint a fehér bölény a pusztában,
amit még ha akartok sem tudtok elüldözni.

Az Út emberének tettei és nyugalma olyanok, mint
a tudat nélkül úszó felhők, mint a mindenhol visszatükröződő
telihold. Semmi sem állítja meg őket, tiszták
és békések a dolgok miriádjai közt is. A jelenségek
áramával érintkezve nem változnak meg, és nem is
keverednek el bennük. Ugyanazzal a lényeggel bírnak,
mivel ez a lényeg azonos velük magukkal. Szavakkal
leírhatatlan, a gondolkodás nem érhet el idáig; meghaladó,
határtalan, szabad, erőfeszítés nélküli, felfoghatatlan
módon valósul meg - az értelmen kívül és
izgatottság nélkül. A mindennapi életben jelenik meg
- és hazatér. A születés és a halál megértése, az okok
és a körülmények meghaladása - e helyes látásmód
képezi a tudat lényegét, és alapvetően nincs lakhelye.
Ezért mondják: "A tudat, mely életet önt minden dologba,
nem lakozik sehol."

Amikor megálltok, olyanok vagytok, mint az óceán,
amely magába fogadja a folyókat, és azok ismét
egy ízűvé lesznek. Amikor elindultok, olyanok vagytok,
akár a vad szelet meglovagló, örökkévaló idő. Egy
pontba tér vissza minden, és aztán együtt indul el.
Ugye, ez eléri az igazi forrást, a nagy működés megnyilvánulását?
A keszát viselő szerzetesek a körülményeknek
megfelelőerr változnak, mert ilyeneknek kell
lenniük. Megerősítettétek már a tudatotokat és gondolkodtatok
már az anyagi jelenségek mibenlétéről?
Mélységükben kell átlátnotok e dolgokat!

Haladni a térben, mindenről megfeledkezve, fénylőn,
a sötétségen át - a sugárzó, határtalan szellemiség
pillanata ez. A múlt, a jelen és a jövő tudata el van
metszve, az öt elem összekuszálódásai eltűnnek. Üres
és derűs, csillogó, egyes egyedül tündököl korokon át.
Ha a keszát viselő szerzetesek képesek ekként létezni,
már nincsenek hozzátapadva sem az élethez,
sem a halálhoz. Hagyják, hogy a dolgok túljussanak a
szirtfalakon, nem őriznek meg semmit sem, amibe
kapaszkodhatnának, elvágják a kötelet a lábuk alatt, és
egyetlen lépéssei felülkerekednek mindenen. A buddhák
és a pátriárkák nem tipornak rá sem önnön valóságunkra,
sem a csodálatosan fénylő földünkre. Ezt
nevezik a valódi Énnek - ez az a pillanat, amikor
megörököljük a család dolgait. Ha belebonyolódtok a
gondolataitokba, magával ragad a megszokások áradata.
Üres, mindenkor felébredett, kristálytiszta, szüntelenül
csillogó - a nádvirágok fehérsége tűnik elő.
Egy magányos csónakban evezve haladni előre, kötöttségek
nélkül - egy ilyen pillanat ez. De mondjátok
meg nekem: ki ez? Döntsetek azonnal!

A világban vándorló szerzetesnek üressé kell tennie
és meg kell nyitnia tudatát, úgy, hogy még egy
porszem se maradhasson benne. Csak ebben az esetben
tud ügyes válaszokat adni, így nem gabalyodik
bele a jelenségekbe, elvek nem szabnak korlátot neki;
szabadon jelenik meg bennük és tűnik el belőlük, részese
a szabadságnak. Ha belezavarodunk a bonyolult
gondolatokba, önmagunkat temetjük el.

Így könnyedén csaphat le a kard - a jelenségek sokasága
többé nem ütközik egymásba. A doboz és a fedele
tökéletesen összeillik. Aki képes a termést betakarítani
és betömni a repedéseket, képes a család ügyeinek
igazgatására is. Ez az ember innen származik; a
fehér felhők beúsznak a völgybe, és fénylő Hold
koszorúzza a hegyeket. Létezik egy olyan pillanat,
amikor egybeolvadunk az apával. Ezért mondták:
"Három ember egy botra támaszkodik, és egy ágyban
alszik." Egységben van minden dologgal, szabad mint
a köd és az esőt hordozó felhők; mély, akár az őszi vizek.
Jóravaló emberek, erre kell emlékeznetek, mielőtt
eléritek a megvalósítást.

Üres, megtapasztalható. áttetsző, nyugodt, hideg,
erős, tiszta és valóságos - e módon tisztítjuk meg magunkat
a számtalan életből visszamaradt megszokásoktól.
Amikor a megszokások szennyeződései kimerülnek,
felragyog az eredeti fény, és átsugárzik a koponyátokon.
Nem fogad el semmi mást; világos és nyílt, olyan,
akár az ég és az ősszel csörgedező vizek,
akár a hó vagy a Hold, amelyek ugyanolyan színűek.
Ennek a birodalomnak nincsenek határai, és minden
hely felett áll. Hatalmas és erős, végek és elvarrások
nélküli - szabaduljatok meg mindentől, és előbb ott
lesztek, mintsem gondolnátok. Ha már mindent elengedtetek,
a gondolat és a hely messzire kerül innen.
Nem tehető fogalmivá: hogyan lehetne akkor ott bármi is,
amivel körül lehetne írni. Csak az képes tökéletesen
hinni, akinél a vizesvödör alja már leszakadt.
Ezért mondták: "Egyszerűen csak valósítsátok meg az
egységet. Ha már az egység megvalósult, csapongóak
lehetnek cselekedeteitek, és beléphettek ebbe a világba."
Tetteitek szabadsága természetes lesz. A hang és
a forma, a kép és a visszhang azonnaliak és nyomtalanok.