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絶觀論 Jue guan lun

(Rōmaji:) Zekkanron
(English:) A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions / Treatise on the Transcendence of Cognition
(Magyar átírás:) Csüe-kuan lun / Jegyzetek a szemlélet elvágásáról

Dialogue between Master/teacher 入理 Ruli & his disciple/student 縁門 Yuanmen

(Wade-Giles:) Ju-li & Yüan-men
(Rōmaji:) Nyuri & Emmon
(English:) “Professor Enlightenment” & “Conditionality”; “Entrance into the Principle” & “Gate of Affinities”; "Attainment" & "Gateway"
(Magyar:) Zsu-li (Alapelvbe Lépett) & Jüan-men (Kapuhoz Viszonyuló)


Jegyzetek a szemlélet elvágásáról
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt

A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions
Translated by Myokyo-ni and Michelle Bromley
with selected comments by Soko Morinaga


Jue guan lun

Dunhuang manuscript
Paris. Bibliothèque nationale, Microfilm
Authorship uncertain; attributed to Bodhidharma

Juéguān lùn [Treatise on the Transcendence of Cognition]
(in: Suzuki Daisetzu zenshū)
絕觀論 vol.2: 188-209, ed. Suzuki Daisetzu T. 鈴木大拙 (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1968)

Originally on PELLIOT 2045. 2074. 2885. This text is attributed to Bodhidharma but actually contains materials of the early Chán School; the full title is: Sān-zāng fǎ-shī Pútídámó jué-guān lùn 三藏法師菩提達摩絕觀論; the text consists of a dialogue between 'Mister Entered-the- Principle' (rù-lǐ xiān-shēng 入理先生) and his disciple 'Conditioned Teaching' (Yuán-mén 緣門); the text is usually connected to the teaching of Niútóu 牛頭; on editions and studies of this text see ZENSEKI KAIDAI: 456

(Sekai koten bungaku zenshū; 36B) Yanagida Seizan 柳田聖山, 《禪籍解題》 in: Zenge goroku [The Recorded Sayings of Zen Monks] 禪家語錄 2, ed. Keiji 西谷啟治 and ed. Yanagida Seizan 柳田聖山 (Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1974), 445-514

A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions: an early Zen text from Tun-huang,
with a commentary by Soko Morinaga Roshi;
translated into German by Ursula Jarand; into English by Myokyo-ni and Michelle Bromley.
Zen Centre, London, 1988. 139 p.

The Ceasing of Notions: an early Zen text from the Dunhuang Caves
with selected comments by Soko Morinaga Roshi and an introduction by Martin Collcutt;
translated into German by Ursula Jarand, into English by Venerable Myokyo-ni and Michelle Bromley.
Wisdom Publications, Boston; in association with the Zen Centre and the Buddhist Society Trust, London, 2012, 121 p.

Soko Morinaga [盛永宗興 Morinaga Sōkō, 1925-1995]: After graduating from high school, he entered Zen practice. He was ordained as a monk by Zuigan Goto in 1948. From 1949 through 1963, he trained in the monastery of Daitokuji and received the seal of Dharma transmission from Sesso Oda Roshi. While actively working in the lay community, delivering talks and writing books and articles, he served as the head of Hanazono University, the primary training university of the Rinzai sect, in Kyoto. He had a longstanding connection with the Buddhist Society of London and traveled there every year to participate in the summer school jointly sponsored by various Buddhist sects. Morinaga Roshi is the author of Novice to Master. He died in 1995.

Myokyo-ni: Ven. Myokyo-ni, Irmgard Schloegl (1921–2007), was trained at Daitokuji monastery in Japan, where for twelve years she worked under two successive masters, Oda Sesso Roshi and Sojun Kannun Roshi. In 1977 she founded the Zen Centre in London. She was ordained in 1984 as the Ven. Myokyo-ni by Soko Morinaga Roshi and became abbess of the Zen Centre's two training temples, Shobo-an and Fairlight, over which she presided until her death in 2007. Ven. Myokyo-ni translated many important Zen classics from the Chinese and Japanese into English, as The Record of Rinzai and The Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School (with Yoko Okuda). She also wrote many instructive books on Zen training—among them, The Zen Way and Gentling the Bull .

Buddhist scholar, John McRae, attributes this text to the Ox-head School of early Chan. McRae explains that research of the Ox-head School (named after the mountain Mount Niu-t'ou, Ox-head Mountain), has, until recently, been almost entirely devoted to the study of this text, the Chüeh-kuan lun (Jue-guan lun) which was rediscovered through the publication in 1935 of D. T. Suzuki's Shōshitsu issho (Lost Works from Bodhidharma's Cave). In all, there are six extant Dunhuang manuscripts of this text, all of which were published by Suzuki in 1945 and then by the eminent Japanese scholar Yanagida Seizan in 1970. The authorship of the text is in dispute.  McRae notes that the text, which he dates as sometime after 750, has been variously attributed to Shen-hi, Bodhidharma, Niu-t'ou Fa-jung, the legendary figurehead of the Ox-head School or perhaps by someone else later in the Bodhidharma tradition. Regardless of the authorship, the text is an important component in understanding the development of early Chan and the subsequent development of Japanese Zen.

The text is an early example of the creativity of early Chan writing. It is structured as a dialogue between master and pupil but is obviously a fictional encounter. Highly structured as it is, it may be, as McRae notes in his essay, The Antecedents of Encounter Dialogue in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism , “intended to model ideal teacher/student interactions and may in fact have resembled to some degree actual exchanges that took place between living meditation masters and practitioners.”  McRae translates the title as Treatise on the Transcendence of Cognition and the two individuals, master (入理 Ju-li hsien-sheng; Ruli) and disciple (縁門 Yüan-men; Yuanmen), as ‘Professor Enlightenment' and ‘Conditionality'.  The current volume under review has the title The Ceasing of Notions and uses the Japanese names Emmon and Master Nyuri. This text is translated by Venerable Myokyo-ni (Irmgard Schloegl, 1921–2007) and Michelle Bromley from earlier versions in German, English and Japanese (but notably, not Chinese).

The master in the text tries to lead the student from his notions of delusions and clinging, seeing everything in a dual way, to a true understanding of Chan. Master Nyuri constantly points to the student's errors in seeing things as a duality and not recognizing the emptiness in all things, including his questions. Throughout the dialogue, the student fails to understand the master's teaching until the very end when he becomes ‘enlightened', “finally breaking through to the pure, non-discriminating illumination of śūnyatā”. (McRae: 217) This translation is liberally annotated by Soko Morinaga Roshi [盛永宗興 Morinaga Sōkō, 1925-1995], notes which are most useful in penetrating what can be obscure in the master's replies. Furthermore, there is a short selection from Morinaga's biography, Novice to Master: an ongoing lesson in the extent of my own stupidity. This entire volume is just 121 pages of which the main text is only 77 pages, the rest being excerpts from Morinaga's biography, two pages “About the Authors and Translators” and the Introduction.

The Antecedents of Encounter Dialogue in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism

by John R. McRae

One of the best-known texts of early Ch'an is the Treatise on the Transcendence of Cognition (Chüeh-kuan lun) of the Oxhead school faction, whose members were known for literary creativity. This text describes an imaginary dialogue between two hypothetical characters, Professor Enlightenment (ju-li hsien-sheng) and the student Conditionality (yüan-ch'i), of which the following is only the barest skeleton:

Professor Enlightenment was silent and said nothing. Conditionality then arose suddenly and asked Professor Enlightenment: "What is the mind? What is it to pacify the mind (anxin)?" [The master] answered: "You should not posit a mind, nor should you attempt to pacify it-this is called 'pacified.'"

Question: "If there is no mind, how can one cultivate enlightenment (tao)?" Answer: "Enlightenment is not a thought of the mind, so how could it occur in the mind?" Question: "If it is not thought of by the mind, how should it be thought of?" Answer: "If there are thoughts then there is mind, and for there to be mind is contrary to enlightenment. If there is no thought (wunian) then there is no mind (wuxin), and for there to be no mind is true enlightenment." ... Question: "What 'things' are there in no-mind?" Answer: "No-mind is without 'things.' The absence of things is the Naturally True. The Naturally True is the Great Enlightenment (ta-tao)."...

Question: "What should I do?" Answer: "You should do nothing." Question: "I understand this teaching now even less than before." Answer: "There truly is no understanding of the Dharma. Do not seek to understand it." ... Question: "Who teaches these words?" Answer: "It is as I have been asked." Question: "What does it mean to say that it is as you have been asked?" Answer: "If you contemplate [your own] questions, the answers will be understood [thereby] as well."

At this Conditionality was silent and he thought everything through once again. Professor Enlightenment asked: "Why do you not say anything?" Conditionality answered: "I do not perceive even the most minute bit of anything that can be explained." At this point Professor Enlightenment said to Conditionality: "You would appear to have now perceived the True Principle."

Conditionality asked: "Why [do you say] 'would appear to have perceived' and not that I 'correctly perceived' [the True Principle]?" Enlightenment answered: "What you have now perceived is the nonexistence of all dharmas. This is like the non-Buddhists who study how to make themselves invisible, but cannot destroy their shadow and footprints." Conditionality asked: "How can one destroy both form and shadow?" Enlightenment answered: "Being fundamentally without mind and its sensory realms, you must not willfully generate the ascriptive view (or, "perception") of impermanence."

[The following is from the end of the text.]

Question: "If one becomes [a Tathaagata] without transformation and in one's own body, how could it be called difficult?" Answer: Willfully activating (ch'i) the mind is easy; extinguishing the mind is difficult. It is easy to affirm the body, but difficult to negate it. It is easy to act, but difficult to be without action. Therefore, understand that the mysterious achievement is difficult to attain, it is difficult to gain union with the Wondrous Principle. Motionless is the True, which the three [lesser vehicles] only rarely attain."[?]

At this Conditionality gave a long sigh, his voice filling the ten directions. Suddenly, soundlessly, he experienced a great expansive enlightenment. The mysterious brilliance of his pure wisdom [revealed] no doubt in its counter illumination. For the first time he realized the extreme difficulty of spiritual training and that he had been uselessly beset with illusory worries. He then sighed aloud: "Excellent! Just as you have taught without teaching, so have I heard without hearing..."


Robert H. Sharf
On the Buddha-nature of Insentient Things

The Chüeh-kuan lun, or "Treatise on the Extinction of Contemplation," is a short text associated with the Ox-head lineage (Niu-t'ou tsung), six manuscript copies of which were recovered from Tun-huang. While the text has been attributed to Bodhidharma, Ho-tse Shen-hui (684-758), and Niu-t'ou Fa-jung (594-657), among others, it was likely composed by a later Ox-head teacher sometime during the third quarter of the eighth century, i.e., just around the time that Chan-jan was formulating his own position on BNI.

The text takes the form of a conversation between a teacher, named "Attainment" (ju-li), and his disciple "Gateway" (yüan-men). About a third of the way into the text we find the following exchange:

Gateway asks, "Is the Way found only in embodied spiritual entities, or does it reside in grass and trees as well?" Attainment says, "There is no place the Way does not pervade." [Gateway] asks, "If the Way is pervasive, why is it a crime to kill a man, whereas it is not a crime to kill grass and trees?" [Attainment] answered, "Talk of whether it is a crime or not is a matter related to sentience, and is thus not the true Way. It is only because worldly people have not attained the truth of the Way, and falsely believe in a personal self, that their murder entails mental [intent]. This intent bears karmic fruit, and thus we speak of it as a crime. Grass and trees have no sentience, and are thus originally in accord with the Way. As they are free of a self, there is no calculation involved in killing them, and thus we do not argue over whether it is a crime or not.

Now one who is free of a self and is in accord with the Way looks at his own body as he would at grass or at trees. He bears the cutting of his own body as do trees in a forest. Therefore, when Manjusri held a sword toward Gautama [Buddha], or when Angulimalya held out a knife at Sakyamuni, they were both in accord with the Way. Both realized non-origination, and completely comprehended the emptiness and nonexistence of illusory transformations. That is why we do not argue about whether it was a crime or not."

[Gateway] asks, "If grass and trees have long been in accord with the Way, why do the sutras not record instances of grass or trees becoming buddhas, but only of persons [becoming buddhas]?" [Attainment] answers, "They do not only record persons, but record grass and trees [becoming buddhas] as well. A sutra says, 'A single mote of dust contains all dharmas.' Another says, 'All dharmas are suchness; all sentient beings are also suchness.' Suchness is devoid of any duality or discrimination."



A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions
An Instructive Talk between Master Nyuri and Disciple Emmon
by Myokyo-ni
Irmgard Schloegl) and Michelle Bromley
with selected comments by Soko Morinaga Roshi

Emmon asks the questions,
and Master Nyuri’s answers are given
in order to resolve his doubts.


1a The Great Way is without limit, fathomless and subtle, beyond comprehension, beyond words.

Master Nyuri (whose name means “Entrance into the Principle”) and his disciple Emmon (“Gate of Affinities”) are discussing the truth.

THUS AT THE VERY OUTSET two statements are made about the Way that may be difficult to understand. It is said that the way is “fathomless and subtle.” What does that mean? In order to clarify this, the Japanese term innen needs to be explained. In means the direct inner cause, the reason why; en are the conditions of in.

This may seem abstruse, but it can be illustrated by the analogy of a bell. Its ability to make or emit a sound is in; what brings forth the sound, the clapper for example, is en. Only when bell and clapper, in and en, come together, do they give rise to sound; that is, a phenomenon comes to be, appears, or manifests. In this way all phenomena, without exception, come to be and cease to be. All are dependent on in and en for their formation, hence they are without a separate self.

Now, all in and all en exist in the Great Way, not as discrete, independent, continuous entities, but fathomless and subtle, constantly changing.

The two persons who are talking about the Way are Master Nyuri and his disciple Emmon. The name Nyuri is composed of two Chinese characters: nyu means going in, entering, or coming in, and ri is truth, principle, reason, or the fitness of things. Thus Master Nyuri is one who has entered truth, has awakened.

The disciple’s name, Emmon, also consists of two characters and is made up of em, which means affinity or connection, and mon, which is the character for gate. So Emmon is the one who in his search for enlightenment has arrived at the gate but has not yet entered.


1b The Master was silent and said nothing.

Emmon suddenly rose and asked, “What is called the heart? And how is the heart pacified?”

The Master answered, “You should not assume a heart, then there is no need to pacify it. That is called pacifying the heart.”

Bodhidharma (circa 470–543) is the twenty-eighth Indian patriarch in the line after Sakyamuni Buddha, and the first Chinese Zen patriarch. In the transmission of Zen Buddhism, the Dharma is handed on to disciples whose realization is of a depth equal to that of the master. Hence, Bodhidharma’s primary goal would have been finding one disciple able to receive the transmission of the Dharma, rather than spreading and popularizing Buddhism.

When Bodhidharma arrived in China from India, he found that Buddhism there was considered a subject for scholars only and that it was moreover extremely formal and ceremonious. In contrast, his way of teaching was unusual and fresh. This line or school, which began with Bodhidharma, is called the Dharma School, the Buddha Heart School, or the Zen School. It is best illustrated by the account of his meeting with the monk Taiso Eka (in Chinese, Dazu Huike, 487–593).

Though Eka was a scholar of both Confucianism and Buddhism, his heart was not really at peace and he was restless and worried. So he went to see Bodhidharma who was residing nearby and asked for his teaching. But Bodhidharma was sitting in meditation and did not even turn round. This continued for some time. Then on the eighth of December it began to snow. By the next morning Eka, who had been standing at the gate throughout the night, was knee-deep in snow. Bodhidharma, seeing him thus, addressed him for the first time. Eka, with tears in his eyes, said, “Please show compassion for me and teach me the Dharma that opens the gate of peace.” Bodhidharma responded, “For long eons, all the buddhas have for the sake of the Dharma endured what cannot be endured, completed what cannot be completed. How can you, of fickle heart and small purpose, of shallow insight and little virtue, expect to see the truth? Training with a conceited and lazy heart is indeed laboring in vain.”

Eka, as proof of his desperate determination, cut off his arm and presented it to Bodhidharma. (Do not mistake Eka’s deed for gruesome self-torture! Hacking off his arm was his gesture of separating himself from all his past insufficient experiences and limited understanding; it was to empty himself to be ready to receive Bodhidharma’s teaching.) He then asked Bodhidharma, “My heart is not at peace, please put my heart at rest.” Bodhidharma countered, “Put your heart before me and I shall bring it to rest.” At that, Eka tried to do so, but he had to admit, “My heart does not stop for one moment, it moves about freely and I cannot find nor get hold of it.” “There, I have put your heart at rest for you,” replied Bodhidharma, nodding. Eka, inheriting the transmission from Bodhidharma, became the second Chinese Zen patriarch.

The only way for truly putting the heart at rest is seeing into the nature of one’s own heart. This seeing into its nature, kensho in Japanese, is the sole purpose of Zen. In A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions, too, the first question is on the problem of putting the heart to rest. Bodhidharma merely pointed out to Eka what he should look for, and Eka obeyed. He did not waste his time with idle questions about the heart, but saw immediately. Zen training is just such a direct pointing, and consequently later generations in China called it a “direct pointing at the human heart, seeing into its nature, and becoming Buddha.”The pointing is done by the teacher, but the seeing is entirely the affair of the disciple. Emmon, however, tries for a long while to grasp the heart by means of Nyuri’s explanations without trying to see himself. So he puts question after question and keeps on asking. And yet from the first question it is already obvious that he is somehow trying to fit the heart into this world of discrimination and phenomena; the absolute, however, does not allow itself to be arranged into any system. What Emmon wants is to define and pin the heart down, hence the “peace” he aims for is in fact stopping and blocking the heart. Master Nyuri answers him with kindness and patience. The free activity of the heart is peace.


2 Emmon: “But if there is no heart, then how can we learn the Way?”

Nyuri: “The heart cannot conceive of the Way; so why should the Way depend on the heart?”

For an understanding of the text, and especially so for Master Nyuri’s answers, it is important to recognize the misconceptions and delusions out of which Emmon’s questions arise. It will often seem as though Master Nyuri’s answers do not respond to Emmon’s questions. But Master Nyuri seizes Emmon’s delusions right at the root. His answers are prompted from there. Emmon’s second question shows us that he already differentiates between heart and the Way. Master Nyuri’s response informs Emmon that the Way and the heart are not two separate things.


3 Emmon: “If the Way cannot be conceived of by the heart, how can it be conceived or thought of?”

Nyuri: “As soon as a thought arises, there is also heart. Heart is contrary to the Way. No-thought is no-heart. No-heart is the Way of the Truth, or True Awakening.”

Having a notion means that the heart is blocked and bound. And having no notions or thoughts is no-heart or empty heart (in Japanese, mushin): free, unrestricted functioning of the heart. No-heart, this free activity of the heart, is already the Way, and the Way is the truth.


4 Emmon: “Do all sentient beings have this heart or not?”

Nyuri: “That all sentient beings really have this heart is a mistaken view. To set up a heart within no-heart, in empty heart, only serves to create erroneous ideas.”

It is obvious that one of Emmon’s deep-rooted delusions is the notion of a heart as a constant, permanent, and unchanging entity. This is one of the four erroneous views of phenomena, or shitendo in Japanese:

1 The view that what is in constant change is lasting and permanent. This means to not realize that all phenomena are subject to constant change and rather to hold them as lasting and permanent.

2 The view that suffering is happiness. This is to assume one’s own notions to be self-evident and to understand happiness as the fulfillment of these. This, however, means not realizing that reality—our life from birth through sickness and old age to death— does not obey our own wishes and is not subject to our control, but rather is the activity of a power that is beyond all possible conceptions.

3 To take as “I” or “self” what in fact is No-I or no-self. This means not to see that all forms are devoid of a permanent, unchanging self and rather to assume an inherent and everlasting self in all forms.

4 To see as pure what is impure, to set up arbitrary distinctions between beautiful and ugly, and not to realize that what is called beautiful now (for instance a beautiful woman) with time changes into what is called ugly. This is actually two mistakes: the first is to differentiate what is beautiful and what is ugly; the second, consequent on the first, is to then become tied to beauty and thus be unaware of the ugly, which is already the other face of beauty. This results in clinging to beauty and ignoring or refusing the ugly.


5 Emmon: “What exists within no-heart?”

Nyuri: “No-heart equals no-thing. No-thing equals True Nature itself. And True Nature is the Great Way.”


6 Emmon: “How can delusions of sentient beings be eradicated?”

Nyuri: “As long as one sees delusions and their eradication, one cannot shed them.”

Originally there are no delusions. But if we arbitrarily assume them, that is take for real something that does not exist—and then want to eradicate it—that is delusion.


7 Emmon: “Is it possible to be at one with the Way without having eradicated the delusions?”

Nyuri: “As long as one thinks of being at one with and not being at one with, one is not free of delusions.”

Emmon asks whether it is possible to be at one with the Way while still harboring delusions—that is, he still takes the existence of delusions for granted.


8 Emmon: “What should one do then?”

Nyuri: “Not doing anything—that’s it!”

Not-doing does not mean doing nothing but rather means doing without the dualistic split into subject and object—that is, without a self that does the doing. This is then the intentionless doing that naturally and of itself responds (accurately and fittingly) to the situation.



1 Emmon asks, “What does a buddha eradicate and what does he attain in order to be called a buddha?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Without having eradicated anything, without attaining anything, he already is Buddha.”

EMMON HAS a whole array of standards with which he classifies and judges, such as profound and shallow, right and wrong, good and bad, etc. He now wants to know if these are correct.

Master Nyuri’s response is that there is nothing in the absolute or in phenomena to be eradicated and nothing to be attained. Without any value judgments, everything is complete as it is. But Emmon, caught up in his preconceptions, does not understand. He still believes that ordinary men are unawakened because they lack a correct standard. A buddha, so Emmon believes, has the ultimate and correct standard. Master Nyuri’s denial of this causes his next question.


2 Emmon: “If he neither eradicates anything nor attains anything, how then does he differ from an ordinary human being?”

Nyuri: “He is not like one, because ordinary human beings all erroneously believe they have something to eradicate and mistakenly think that they have something to attain.”

The use of a standard causes things to get divided into what one wants to attain and what one wants to get rid of. Only by evaluation according to a standard are things judged as right and wrong. The difference between ordinary men and buddhas is not the correctness of their standards but that buddhas have no standards.


3 Emmon: “Now you are saying that ordinary beings have something to attain but that buddhas do not. What then is the difference between attaining and not-attaining?”

Nyuri: “Delusion arises because ordinary beings want to attain something. Buddhas are free from delusions because they do not wish to attain anything. Within delusion arises at once division into same and not same. Without delusion there is neither difference nor nondifference.”

For Emmon, attaining or not-attaining is a problem, because he is caught up in the notion of a separate and individual self. This immediately establishes an inside and an outside, a self and what seems to be other than self. Thus deluded, there is then one who wants to attain and something that needs to be attained. He cannot realize that all appearances are but manifestations of the One Truth.


4 Emmon: “If there is no difference, why then coin the name ‘buddha’?”

Nyuri: “‘Ordinary men’ and ‘buddha’ are both just names. As names they are the same, without difference. It is as if one were speaking about the hair of a tortoise or about the horns of a hare.”

The Chinese proverb of the hairs of a tortoise and the horns of a hare is a metaphor for what is erroneously believed to exist but in reality does not.


5 Emmon: “If the Buddha is like the hairs of a tortoise or the horns of a hare, then it can be said that he does not exist at all. What are you trying to teach?”

Nyuri: “I say that there is no such thing as the hairs of a tortoise, but I do not state that there is no tortoise. Why do you reproach me?”

Be careful! You are now probably thinking that since there is nothing to be obtained from the outside, it must be got from the inside. But if you harbor such notions, the tortoise at once grows hairs again. Why? Because we do not train to attain something but in order to realize what has always been there.


6 Emmon: “What do you mean by saying there is no such thing as the hairs, and what then does the tortoise mean?”

Nyuri: “The tortoise is analogous to the Way, and the hairs point at the self. Buddha is without self and thus is the Way. Ordinary men are obsessed with names and the preconception of self—this is how they are different from the Buddha—and so are convinced that the tortoise has hairs and that the hare has horns.”

To be obsessed with names and notions—that is, to cling to a permanent and unchangeable self—means to not see the truth and instead to be possessed by arbitrary notions about it.


7 Emmon: “If that is so, then one could say that there is the Way but there is no self. When one says that something is, or that something is not, is one then not back at the view of either existence or nonexistence?”

Nyuri: “There is neither an existence of the Way nor is there a nonexistence of a self. Why? The tortoise is not something that did not exist in the past but exists now in the present, and so it cannot be referred to as existing. The hairs are not something that did exist in the past but do not in the present, and so one cannot refer to them as nonexisting. The same analogy holds good for the Way and the self.”

Emmon is taking up the preceding answer. By starting his query with “If that is so,” he shows that he does not recognize the truth when he hears it. All his questions come from his own categories into which he has classified his individual notions of truth. So he assumes that Master Nyuri, too, expresses only his own views and conceptions of truth. Emmon’s mistake is that he holds to a logic, assuming it to be correct. Using this logic as a standard for evaluating Master Nyuri’s answers, he is already distorting them. But Nyuri’s answers are not logical, they are true—originating from personal experience of the universal truth.

Together with the notion of an individual and unchanging self arises the view of coming to be and ceasing to be, of birth and death. However, the original life or principle that is inherent in everything is beyond coming to be and ceasing to be. It is therefore not something that did not exist before but is now, or that existed earlier but is now no longer. Accordingly, it is apart from (or other than) both being and nonbeing, existence or nonexistence.


8 Emmon: “As for the seekers of the Way, does one attain it or do many find it? Does each one individually attain it, or is its attainment common to all? Is it originally inherent in all human beings, or is it attained only by training?”

Nyuri: “All your assumptions are false. Why? If the Way were but the attainment of one person, it would not be universal. And if it were the attainment of many, it would become exhausted. Further, if its attainment were individual, it would be a question of numbers. And if it were common to all, there would be no use for practice. If all had it from the beginning, then the ten thousand practices would be futile. And if one could attain it after completion of the training, it would be artificial and would not be the truth.”

If the Way were not universal, it would not be the truth. If it were individual to each—that is, if everyone were to find their own distinct Way—then there would be a number of different Ways! And if the Way were common to all—that is, if everyone, however deluded, could attain it—then to practice it would have no meaning. If everyone already from the beginning had the Way, as conceived by Emmon as a definite Way with inherent values, then even endless practice and effort would be to no avail. And if one were to attain the Way by training as Emmon understands it—that is, by a practice encompassing the opposites of subject and object, of who practices and that which is practiced—it would constitute an artificial Way, for it would be contrived, thus arising out of separation between self and nature, and so subject to value judgments.


9 Emmon: “What then is it?”

Nyuri: “Free of all standards, discriminations, and desires.”



1 Emmon asks, “The ordinary person has a body; he sees, hears, feels, and knows. The Buddha also has a body and sees, hears, feels, and knows. How then do they differ?”

Master Nyuri answers, “The ordinary man sees with the eyes, hears with the ears, feels with the body, and knows with the heart. But this is not so with the Buddha. With him seeing is not seeing with the eyes and knowing is not knowing with the heart. Why? Because it is beyond all limitations.”

THE INHERENT FACULTY to see, hear, feel, and know originates from the true nature. But the ordinary person lives under the delusion that he sees with the eyes and hears with the ears. Not realizing it is an impermanent manifestation of the true nature, he believes this limited physical body of his to be his true nature and that seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing are the free functions of this nature.


2 Emmon: “Why then is it said in the scriptures that the Buddha neither sees, nor hears, nor feels, nor knows?”

Nyuri: “The seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing of a buddha is not that of the common man. But that does not mean that for him the world of perceptions does not exist; it only means that it is not limited by pairs of opposites such as being and not being, having and not having—and so is beyond all value judgments.”

The Enlightened One is not caught up in the view of a continuous self, nor in the view of nothing. He is neither attached nor deluded. He manifests the true nature that, though changing from moment to moment, is yet fully present and absolute in each moment.


3 Emmon: “Does the objective world that the common man perceives have a real existence?”

Nyuri: “Not in reality, but it exists in delusion. Originally all is calm and quiet, but if mistakenly things are picked up and clung to, it at once turns into delusory existence.”

An ordinary person exists as if in a dream. However, what he experiences while dreaming vanishes as soon as he awakens because the dream state is not real. Just as in a dream, one may plummet down endlessly into an abyss while actually lying safely in bed, so only on waking does one realize that one was always safe and never far away. Thus what seemed so real and concrete in the dream did not exist in reality.


4 Emmon: “I cannot understand that. Why is the seeing of the Buddha not seeing with the eyes and his knowing not knowing with the mind?”

Nyuri: “It is extremely difficult to see into the self-nature of the Dharma. An analogy may help. When the subtle black light reflects things, it seems as if both that which reflects and that which is reflected really exist. Just as the eye that sees cannot see itself, and also as yin and yang act on things, it seems as if both that which knows and that which is known exist separately. But there is no mind that can know—no thing that can do the knowing—hence the mind that knows cannot know itself.”

The term “black light” is used to indicate the light of truth, the buddha wisdom. It is the light that reflects all things in their suchness, as they are. Neither discriminating nor judging, it sees everything as equal and the same, and as that it is the wisdom of wonderful awareness, free of all the delusions of an individual, unchanging self.

With reference to the unity of that which is known and that which knows, of object and subject, the Platform Sutra of Eno (in Chinese, Huineng; 638–713), says that meditation and wisdom are “like a lamp and its light. If there is a lamp, there is also light. If the lamp is the body of the light, the light is the function of the lamp. Though these are two names, they are, in reality, the same.”



1 Emmon rises and asks, “Then what does the Way ultimately depend on?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Ultimately it does not depend on anything; like emptiness, it relies on nothing. If the Way did depend on anything there would be stopping and starting, lord and retainer.”

EMMON’S QUESTION arises from his conviction that a creator and the created exist separately. He still divides into subject and object. Our deep-rooted and ingrained habit is to make pictures, graven images, so as to render perceptible and set up what is imperceptible and ineffable. In order to root out and eradicate this habit, Zen Buddhism uses the concept of emptiness, or sunyata in Sanskrit. Thus emptiness is a name for something that cannot be designated because it does not exist relative to other things. Emptiness means that which has no permanent form and can thus manifest in any form. Or it could also be said that a thing is emptiness that has become form. Just that is the gist of the Heart Sutra: “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.”


2 Emmon: “Then where does the Way itself come from and what is the functioning of the Dharma?”

Nyuri: “The Way comes from emptiness, and all things are the functioning of the Dharma.”

3 Emmon: “And who makes it function?”

Nyuri: “Nobody makes it function—the Dharma-realm functions of itself, according to its own nature.”

Emmon assumes a creative agency, a doer.


4 Emmon: “Is the Dharma-realm not subject to the power of the karma of sentient beings?”

Nyuri: “Whoever is karmically motivated is subject to karma and can no longer function freely. How could one who is not free to function dig the ocean, pile up mountains, set heaven at ease, and create the earth?”

Now Emmon has in mind a subject patiently enduring the decrees of fate. But neither the notion of an active nor passive subject is correct. There is no individual object that is acted on by a predestined karma, nor is there an individual subject that causes activity, for both these notions erroneously posit a fixed and predetermined fate or destiny.

That karma exists is beyond doubt. One who is not bound by karma is one who perceives the unity of cause and effect. The action of No-I smoothly responds to the given situation, without thinking of gain or loss, good or bad, without wanting to cause specific results; this is also called the “samadhi of cause and effect.”


5 Emmon: “As I have heard, a bodhisattva can create his body by mental power. Does that not mean he uses supernormal powers?”

Nyuri: “The ordinary person’s deeds are activated by karmic outflows, but the Buddha’s actions are without leaks. Though there is a difference between them, neither case is the freely functioning Way. It is said in a sutra, ‘As to the various bodies produced by the power of thought, all are but mental formations.’”

Karmic outflows (in Sanskrit, asrava) from the actions of ordinary men manifest as their passions, wants, sufferings, and sorrows. They arise because the true nature has been lost sight of. But however free of these one may have become, if one now leans on one’s understanding, one has only replaced delusion with enlightenment— and that is not the Way. One genuinely enlightened is free of both delusion and enlightenment.


6 Emmon: “Earlier on you said that the Way comes from emptiness. Is emptiness then the same as Buddha?”

Nyuri: “Yes, the same.”

Emmon produces yet another measuring stick with which to classify emptiness. He is incapable of thinking without such limitations.

Let me ask you, what is Buddha? To destroy the moment of delusion is enlightenment, but to hold on to the moment of enlightenment is once more delusion. And to define enlightenment as this or that is opinion.


7 Emmon: “But if he is emptiness, then why did the Buddha not guide people toward emptiness rather than teaching them to repeat his name?”

Nyuri: “Ordinary people are taught to repeat the name of the Buddha. The teachings of insight into the true form of the self are for those who know the Way. This is insight into the Buddha, for it is said that true form is no-form or emptiness.”

Buddha-worship can help to eradicate the notion of a self as a distinct entity separate from the outside surroundings. Yet the Buddha who can be worshipped is but a conceptual buddha and needs to be gotten out of the way in order to be able to awaken to the true Buddha. Relevant to this is a dialogue between the Chinese Master Ummon Bunen (in Chinese, Yunmen Wenyan; 864–949) and a monk who asked him, “Having killed father and mother, one can go to the Buddha for repentance”—that is, clinging to one’s body as one’s possession and thus clinging to a permanent self, one can take refuge in the Buddha and thus create a new authority—“but having killed the Buddha and the patriarchs, where then could one turn for repentance?” Ummon answered, “It reveals itself.”

And Master Rinzai Gigen (in Chinese, Linji Yixuan; died in 866), founder of the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism, said, “When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. When you meet the patriarchs, kill the patriarchs.”



1 Emmon rises and asks, “I have heard that not only bodhisattvas but the followers of other Ways also attain the five supernormal powers. How do they differ?”

Master Nyuri answers, “They differ in that the followers of other Ways believe that there is someone who possesses something, whereas bodhisattvas do not think so. Why not? Because they have fully realized that there is no self.”

THE FIVE SUPERNORMAL POWERS of the other Ways, or other religions, are:

1 To see what is invisible to others;

2 To hear what is inaudible to others;

3 To see into the future and to know the past;

4 To know others’ thoughts;

5 To appear at will at any place.

But when a monk asked Master Rinzai what the supernormal powers and the Buddhist teachings on supernormal powers were, Rinzai answered:

1 In the realm of seeing not to be deceived by form;

2 In the realm of hearing not to be deceived by sound;

3 In the realm of smelling not to be deceived by odors;

4 In the realm of tasting not to be deceived by taste;

5 In the realm of thinking not to be deceived by notions. That is the truly independent man.

These two versions clearly illustrate the difference between what followers of other Ways consider to be the supernormal powers and the Buddhist teachings on the powers of a bodhisattva. The former assume a self that attains and possesses these powers, whereas the latter posits a not-self (or true nature) that does not need to be attained and is not bound by any notion of attainment.


2 Emmon: “From of old, the beginner’s realization of the Way is incomplete. Only dimly does he or she see the truth, and he or she understands only superficially the profound and subtle principle. What makes such a one superior to the followers of other Ways who have the five supernormal powers?”

Nyuri: “First of all, however hazily, grasp the principle yourself! Why make an issue out of the five supernormal powers of the other Ways?”

Emmon believes that someone is highly advanced if he or she has acquired much knowledge and learning. He has not yet realized the wondrously subtle functioning of the non-self and so is still caught up in the notion that training means the attainment of something that one did not have before.

Realization is not a gradual process but happens suddenly. A well-known saying expresses this: “In one leap directly becoming Buddha.” In the Chinese translation of a now-lost Sanskrit sutra collection, enlightenment is described as “Where there is light, there is no darkness.” Darkness does not fade away gradually while light gradually increases. Huineng, the sixth Patriarch, said, “The instant the Dharma-wisdom appears and blazes out, all false notions vanish at once.” Or again, “Just as a lamp undoes the darkness of a thousand years, so one ray of wisdom expels ten thousand years of ignorance.”

Realization as such is sudden, but the Way to it is fast or slow depending on the degree of delusion. Those who know that their own nature is one with the Way are fast. Those who look for the Way outside are bound to be slow. Hence Nyuri admonishes, “First of all, however hazily, grasp the principle yourself!”—thus employing skillful means to cut through Emmon’s speculative views.


3 Emmon: “One who has the five supernormal powers is highly esteemed by others, for he has preknowledge of future events, knows the past, and can guard himself against committing faults. Is this not a superior man?”

Nyuri: “No. Only worldlings are attached to form, are greedy to do business, are deceitful and confuse the truth. Even if one possessed the supernormal powers of the mendicant monk Shengyi, or the eloquence of Bhikkhu Shanxing, yet did not grasp the principle of true form, it is to be feared that he or she would share their misfortune, for the ground opened under their feet and they fell straight into hell.”

According to the Shohomugyo Sutra (Sutra on the Inactivity of All Things), the mendicant monk Shengyi, or Shoi in Japanese, fell straight into hell. The Nirvana Sutra tells of the Bhikkhu Shanxing, or Zensho in Japanese, who possessed demonic eloquence and because of it the ground opened under his feet and he plummeted into the nethermost hell.



1 Emmon asks, “Is the Way only in sentient beings or do grasses and trees also have it?”

Master Nyuri answers, “The Way pervades everything without exception.”

EMMON’S GREAT ERROR is his view that enlightenment produces truth and that for this to take place a producer or creator is needed—a distinct and individual self. This, his view of a self, causes his question about sentient beings. Enlightenment, however, does not mean to produce truth but is rather the discovery of truth.


2 Emmon: “If the Way pervades everything, why then is killing against the precepts whereas the cutting of grasses or felling of trees is no offense?”

Nyuri: “To talk about offense and precepts is setting up subjective value judgments—hence, it is biased and not the true Way. Because ordinary worldlings have no understanding of the Way, they take a self for granted and so killing becomes conscious intention; consequently the heart gets bound and karma results, and one speaks of faults. But grasses and trees have no such bias and so are inherently at one with the Way, and since truth is without a self, who kills them is free of intentional murder. Hence arguments about offense or no offense are beside the point.

Those who are without a self, and so are at one with the Way, regard their bodies as they would regard grasses and trees. Even though pierced by a sword they are just like a tree in the woods. Therefore, when Manjushri raised his sword against Gautama Buddha, or when Angulimala lifted a dagger against Shakyamuni, that too is in accordance with the Way. Both perceived the principle of the unborn, the unoriginated, and realized that all phenomena are empty and void. As to that, there is no argument about offense or no offense.”

Subjective value judgments are manmade and are concerned with moral standards. So the first part of the answer is an explanation in moral terms. The second part of the answer, however, beginning with “Those who are without a self, and so are at one with the Way” is an expression of the truth. Truth has its source in unending life as such, without birth and death, the Great Life. Individual forms or phenomena come and go; in their momentariness they reveal the Great Life, and thus each single one, while it lasts, is meaningful and precious.


3 Emmon: “If from the beginning trees and grasses are in accord with the Way, why do the sutras refer only to men and not also to trees and grasses?”

Nyuri: “But they do not refer to men only. The enlightenment of trees and grasses is also mentioned. One sutra says, ‘The smallest speck of dust contains all the dharmas.’ And again, ‘All the dharmas are Thusness and all sentient beings are also Thusness. There are no two Thusnesses; nor are there any differences in Thusness.’”

Thusness, tathata, means everything just as it is, the nature of truth, “just so.” Grasses, trees, men, all manifested forms reveal the truth or are the appearance of the truth. But men do not perceive truth as such, just as it is, and rather seek it elsewhere. Therefore, to become aware again that everything, just as it is, in its suchness, is the truth is called the attainment of buddhahood. This does not mean that bad men are converted to become good and then become Buddha. In the Bible, too, it is said, “Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened unto you.” Only if one seeks with all one’s heart, and knocks with all one’s might, is it possible to realize that the gate has always been open and that everything has always been just as it is. This realization is called enlightenment.



1 Emmon asks, “As for the principle of ultimate emptiness, how can it be proven and verified?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Seek it in all forms, confirm it in your own words.”

EMMON WOULD LIKE to have some proof of emptiness. But just as one can only know heat and cold if one has felt it oneself, so one can only know emptiness if one has experienced it oneself. This is then one’s own proof or authentication.


2 Emmon: “How does one seek it in all forms and confirm it in one’s own words?”

Nyuri: “Emptiness and forms are one. Words and confirmation are not two.”

In Zen Buddhism, the nonduality of the true nature is expressed either by “not two,” or funi in Japanese, or by “as one,” ichinyo in Japanese.


3 Emmon: “If all existing things are empty, why can only buddhas see this and not ordinary people?”

Nyuri: “It is obscured by the working of error but becomes clear in the stillness of truth.”

Value judgments give rise to arbitrary notions motivated by self-centeredness, and so they are contrary to the natural harmony.


4 Emmon: “If all forms are really empty, how can they get perfumed? Conversely, if they do get perfumed, how can they be empty? Or realize emptiness?”

Nyuri: “Speaking of what is false at once gives rise to the ordinary delusion and its workings. In true emptiness there is nothing that can attract perfumes.”

Forms that arise from moment to moment out of the true nature and again sink back into it, into No-I, are without any individual self. Attempts to grasp the true nature in the form gives rise to the false assumption of a permanent and unchanging self. If, for instance, one asks what form water has, the usual reply is that water has no form. And yet, from moment to moment, water manifests itself in some form. Having seen water in a bowl and so believing it to be round in form would be the error caused by not being aware of the true nature. What has thus arisen by error becomes delusion; consequent on delusion, it has seeming existence. However, such a seemingly existing form can yet take on and does take on odor, can hurt, or may get dirty, whereas the true nature of emptiness does not.


5 Emmon: “If all forms are really empty, then surely there is no need to train in the Way. Is this because sentient beings are already by nature empty?”

Nyuri: “Once the principle of emptiness is realized, there is indeed no need for training. Delusions about existence arise only because emptiness has not been penetrated completely.”

As a young monk, Master Dogen Kigen was plagued by the question of why, with true nature being inherently perfect and complete, it should be necessary to undergo any training. Since no one in Japan could answer that question for him, he traveled all the way to China to find out. After enlightenment he understood that “Even though one is originally Buddha, without training this cannot come into awareness for it does not reveal itself without enlightenment.” This “letting Buddha reveal himself” is the full realization of emptiness.


6 Emmon: “In that case, to drop all delusions is to unite with the Way. Do you mean that all have gone astray?”

Nyuri: “By no means. Delusions are not the Way, but neither is letting go of delusions the Way. Why? For example, one who is drunk is not sober. And, if sober, he is not drunk. Though the state of being drunk and being sober do not exist without each other, yet being drunk is not, at the same time, being sober.”

There are those who are asleep and others who are awake, drunk ones and sober ones. But these states are all within the Way. Still caught up in ephemeral appearances, Emmon does not know the true nature, is not aware of the root and origin; consequently, he distinguishes between “apart from” and “at one with” the Way.


7 Emmon: “Where is the drunkenness after one has become sober?”

Nyuri: “It is like turning over the palm of one’s hand. After having turned it over, why ask where it is?”



1 Emmon asks, “Can one who does not understand the principle preach the Dharma and instruct people?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Impossible! With his own eyes not yet clear, how can he make others see?”

BEFORE THE SIXTH PATRIARCH, Huineng, expounded the Platform Sutra, he entered into a state of deep enlightenment and remained silent for a long time. The Heart Sutra expresses the essence of all the Prajna Paramita teachings in only 272 Chinese characters, yet even thus concentrated it still begins when the Bodhisattva Kannon (or Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit) enters into deep meditation. This may seem incidental, yet the most important condition of all is to first find peace oneself and to become enlightened, before attempting to teach others.


2 Emmon: “But could he not use the power of his knowledge as a skillful means for teaching others?”

Nyuri: “In the case of someone who has realized the principle of the Way, one could call this the power of knowledge. But as to someone who has not yet realized the principle, it rather ought to be called the power of ignorance, for it merely furthers and encourages one’s own afflicting passions.”

3 Emmon: “Though it may not be possible for him to instruct people about the principle of the Way, could he not, however, make them acquainted with the Ten Virtuous Deeds and the Five Precepts? Would he not help them thus and so enable them to be reborn into the human or heavenly realms?”

Nyuri: “From the point of the ultimate principle, not only is this of no benefit at all, but furthermore it invites two more mistakes—deceiving oneself and deceiving others. To deceive oneself means to obstruct oneself from attaining the Way. To deceive others means leaving them to stray about in the cycle of birth and death in the six realms.”

The six realms are those of heavenly beings, fighting demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and the miserable realm of suffering hells. Emmon proceeds from the premise that these six realms exist and that it is propitious to be reborn in either the human or heavenly states. But since these six realms exist only within delusion, it is still possible to fall back into the miserable realm of suffering hells even from the heavenly realm. This latter, therefore, is not a true and permanent heaven, nor is its peace everlasting.


4 Emmon: “Did not the Buddha expound different teachings for each of the five vehicles?”

Nyuri: “The Buddha did most certainly not teach different truths. Such impressions only arise from people’s hopes and expectations and are but manifestations of them. Hence the Buddha says in a sutra, ‘When the heart has become clean and empty, there is no vehicle, and no one who rides in it. This is the One Vehicle that I teach.’”

The five vehicles may also be seen as the various teachings intended to lead human beings into an ideal world. Thus the human vehicle is for being reborn into the human world; the heavenly vehicle facilitates rebirth in the heavenly state. Then there are respectively the vehicles of the sravaka, or hearers; of the pratyekabuddhas, or “solitary awakened ones”; and of the bodhisattvas. Of these five vehicles the first two are worldly, and the other three are supposed to lead from the world of delusion to the world of enlightenment.



1 Emmon asks, “Why does a true man of the Way remain unknown; why is he not recognized by others?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Just as the pauper is unlikely to recognize a rare treasure, so the true man is beyond the understanding of the vulgar.”

THE COMMON MAN does not see things in their suchness, as they really are, because of his arbitrary, biased judgments. By means of these he endeavors to separate and distinguish things so as to grasp them—and just because of this he is unable to see the truth.


2 Emmon: “There are many impostors who do not care for the true Dharma; they assume an air of dignity and chiefly spend their time occupying themselves with refined matters. Many men and women seek their company. Why is that?”

Nyuri: “Just as a loose woman attracts a lot of men, or as flies swarm around rotting meat, so reputation and name are powerful attractions.”



1 Emmon asks, “How does a bodhisattva follow a roundabout way and yet complete the Way of the Buddha?”

Master Nyuri answers, “He does not discriminate between good and bad.”

EMMON’S QUESTION refers to the Vimalakirti Sutra, in which agatim-gacchan, or nontraditional, is used to refer to a roundabout path a bodhisattva might take for reasons of expediency, in order to reach all sentient beings.

Emmon believes there is a right way and a wrong one. But what he considers to be the right way is one-sided, limited, and hence within the realm of delusion. Only while deluded do we have notions of deviating from the Way. In truth not for a moment are we ever separated from the Way of the Buddha.


2 Emmon: “What is nondiscrimination?”

Nyuri: “The heart not giving rise to anything.”

3 Emmon: “And as to the nondoer?”

Nyuri: “A nondoer is neither denied nor asserted.”

There is no such thing as an unchanging, permanent form. But there is that which has no definite form and which is constantly changing. To put it succinctly, there is change but nothing permanent.


4 Emmon: “Is it then known without knowing?”

Nyuri: “Though knowing, there is no I who knows.”

Though there is awareness of things, it is not bound by things.


5 Emmon: “If not I, who then knows?”

Nyuri: “Knowing is without an I.”

6 Emmon: “What is the obstruction when speaking of I?”

Nyuri: “There is no obstruction in just using the name but I fear that the heart will get involved all too soon.”

7 Emmon: “What is the obstruction if the heart gets involved?”

Nyuri: “Nonengagement equals nonobstruction. For if there is no engagement, what obstruction could there be?”

If not caught and tied up by anything, the heart is empty. And when the heart is empty, questions such as Emmon’s could not arise.


8 Emmon: “If you eschew the phenomenal and hold to nothing, how can you speak of roundabout paths?”

Nyuri: “In truth there is nothing. You try hard to posit something. What for?”

A bodhisattva refuses nothing and shows no preferences. Without pondering or judging whether Way or roundabout path, he acts in accordance with what the situation demands because he knows that the Way and the roundabout path are one.


9 Emmon: “But if so, if there is affinity toward killing, might this not lead to the grave offense of killing?”

Nyuri: “A brush fire rages up the mountain slope, a gale uproots trees, a landslide buries animals, flood water drowns insects. If the heart is like this, killing a person is also possible. But when the heart is confused and sees life and death, then a single ant can hold your life in bondage.”

If the heart goes astray—that is, if it gets caught up in picking and choosing—it differentiates between life and death. So it perceives this as good and that as bad but does not know of the true life of the unborn. In that state of unawareness, the killing of a single ant may result in tragedy.


10 Emmon: “And as to affinity for stealing?”

Nyuri: “Bees drink from flowers by the pond; sparrows peck millet in the farmyard; cows feed on the beans in the wetlands; horses graze on the grain in the fields. After all, if another’s possession is not discriminated as such, even the summit of a mountain can be taken respectfully. Were this not so, a leaf as thin as needlepoint could make a rope round your neck and enslave you.”

Stealing does not begin at the moment one takes something, but as soon as one differentiates between oneself and others.


11 Emmon: “Are there also affinities that tend to sexual indulgence?”

Nyuri: “The sky vaults over the earth; yang and yin unite; piss flows into the latrine; spring water flows into the aqueduct. A heart like this is not obstructed by anything. But if selection brings about discrimination, then even one’s own wife makes one feel lecherous.”

12 Emmon: “And as to the affinities that can bring about lying?”

Nyuri: “Speaking, but there is no one who speaks; words uttered, yet they come from an empty heart. A voice like the sound of a bell, a breath like the sighing of the wind. If the heart is like this, then even what is named Buddha ceases. But if the heart is not like this, then even invoking the name of the Buddha is but a lie.”

Delusion splits into two: subject and object, self and other, inside and outside. To recognize this as delusion and become aware of the unity of all things—seeing the Buddha in all things—is called the heart of kindness and compassion. Whatever words arise from such an insight are all true—whereas words that do not issue from it are lies.



1 Emmon rises and asks, “If the body is viewed as nonexistent, then what about walking, standing, sitting, and lying down?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Just walk, stand, sit, lie down! Why set up any views with regard to the body?”

EMMON STILL has not realized that there is no doer.

2 Emmon: “Without keeping to the view of nonexistence, how can the right principle be pondered and maintained?”

Nyuri: “If one holds that the heart exists, it exists even though one does not think of anything. If the empty heart is realized, the heart remains empty even while thinking. How so? It is like a Zen master who sits undisturbed and quiet though thoughts arise or like the heart that remains undisturbed and empty amid a raging gale.”

While the previous question was concerned with physical activity, the issue now is spiritual functioning. For Emmon, caught up in the notion of a self as separate from others, there also exists the separation into part and whole, man and surrounding circumstances, subject and object. Based on that notion, Emmon reasons that the part must have a self and be able to control the whole. For him, the concept of doing wholeheartedly, or “the samadhi of doing,” is confusing and is further fraught with the danger of no longer knowing what is good and bad.

Contrary to that, Master Nyuri’s answer has its origin in the awareness of truth in which there is no separation whatever. The harmony of the natural order itself exercises a control, which is really no control, because there is neither a controller nor something to be controlled. There, the part and the whole are already “as one” or “not two.”



1 Emmon asks, “If an inexperienced beginner on the Way should suddenly encounter someone intent on killing him, what must he do to conform with the Way?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Nothing special needs to be done, because if he can escape, he will do so. If he cannot escape, he will have to endure it. If it is endurable, he will have to suffer it out. If it is not endurable, he will cry out.”

EMMON DOES NOT KNOW the Great Life that, though wounded, is not itself wounded; though in the midst of dirt, does not get dirty; and does not get extinguished in death. For him, living correctly in accordance with the Way should therefore result in one’s going through life unharmed and free from calamities. Hence he conceives of a buddha as someone no longer in danger of being killed; within Emmon’s concepts, violent death is not in accord with the Way. As Emmon sees it, there are thus but two answers possible: either there is a perfect way to react to the situation, or there is a perfect way to escape. But such thinking in extremes is one of the three great errors—the other two being perverted or upside-down notions, and fanciful imaginings.

Master Nyuri’s answer is that a response will arise quite naturally of itself from the Great Life. It needs no planning. And in this sense both being killed and surviving are in harmony with the Way. But for somebody whose actions are governed by his self-chosen values and judgments, consequent only upon his own shallow understanding and narrow experience, neither being killed nor surviving are in accord with the Way.


2 Emmon: “If he cries out, how then does he differ from one who still holds the view of I?”

Nyuri: “When a bell is struck with a mallet, the sound quite naturally comes out of itself. So why should one call it an I? But if, on being killed, you lay hold of the heart and constrain it, and endure silently with clenched teeth, this is sure to produce a superego!”

Emmon believes that an enlightened one is no longer moved by feelings of joy and sorrow, of like and dislike. He is not aware of the great and decisive difference between being moved by feelings and being stuck in attachments. To be moved by feelings is the free and unhindered flow of the heart in response to the things encountered, changing in response to things as they move. But attachment is the heart clinging to things or feelings and thus tying itself up. Still another cause for Emmon’s error is that he fails to consider time. The precondition for correctly seeing what changes from moment to moment is not to remain static oneself but to harmoniously go with the change and so let the true function of the heart act freely. Then both laughing and crying are natural responses to circumstances. A problem only arises when there is a hesitation at this or that and thus the reaction is continued though the circumstance that produced it no longer continues.

Once again Emmon here mistakes form for the absolute and does not recognize that the immobility of the absolute is the capacity for movement in forms. For more of this discussion, see the analogy of mirror and film in the comment to section XV, dialogue 6.


3 Emmon: “A man who cries out in pain or grief is surely swayed by his feelings; how can that be the same as the sound from the bell?”

Nyuri: “Talking about same and not same only shows how confused you are. Your question arises from your own fancies and speculations. For if the heart is empty and makes no distinctions, the Way functions according to its own nature.”

4 Emmon: “I have heard it said that the Buddha cannot be wounded by weapons, is not oppressed by suffering, cannot be compelled by forms, and that his heart does not get agitated. What does this mean?”

Nyuri: “If one fully realizes that all things are devoid of a self, then whether emitting a sound or not emitting a sound, whether agitated or not agitated, all accords with the principle of the Way, without let or hindrance.”

Emmon believes that the physical body of a buddha cannot be wounded and that a buddha cannot feel grief or pain. But it is the buddha nature, not the physical body, that cannot be wounded though blood spurts high. Once a monk came to Joshu Jushin (in Chinese, Zhaozhou Congshen; 778–897), who was one of the greatest Chinese Zen masters. The monk asked Joshu what was the hardest thing in the world. Joshu answered, “If you wish to slander me, do not restrain yourself. If your own mouth is insufficient, take on the beak of a bird. And if you really want to insult me, just spit at me as much as you like. Should your own spittle be insufficient, take a bucket of water and pour it over me.”

The above question and answer may not seem apposite, but what Joshu wants to demonstrate is this: that which is harder than any diamond is actually inherent in all of us. And that can neither be insulted nor dirtied, neither wounded nor shaken.



1 Emmon asks, “I have seen followers of the Way who are not fully dedicated; they do not carefully observe the precepts; their demeanor is not always correct and polite, nor is their behavior always dignified; and they do not always help sentient beings. They seem to just aimlessly waste their time. Why is this so?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Because they want to forget all discriminations that arise in the heart and want to destroy all the various views they have. So though from the outside it may look as if they are aimless, yet inwardly they are assiduously training and cultivating themselves.”

EMMON HAS IN MIND ways of training in which the keeping of precepts and observance of the rules have become of paramount importance. That makes for a very formal training that sharply distinguishes between monk and layman, good and bad, Way and not-Way. However, a truly dedicated practitioner does not exclusively go only by the rules. Rather, he lives naturally in accordance with the functioning of the No-I. What may seem aimless is, in fact, the change taking place from moment to moment in response to prevailing (yet changing) circumstances and situations.


2 Emmon: “But if a practitioner holds such childish opinions, how can he destroy false views?”

Nyuri: “You had better destroy your own opinions! Why do you get worked up about those others? Why should a fish that escapes into the depths care whether the angler hates him?”

3 Emmon: “But if such a one, though he benefits himself, does bring harm to others, how can he be called a follower of the Great Vehicle?”

Nyuri: “If you do not produce such views, neither will the other. It is you who are now overly concerned with another’s views—but these views have arisen in yourself, not in the other!”

In this question, Emmon differentiates between seeking enlightenment for oneself (jiri, in Japanese) and seeking enlightenment in order to help others (rita). He is not aware that these two are not different. In order to help others, one’s own realization is the first condition, the essential insight into one’s nature, and this at the same time also constitutes the realization of the supposed other.

A further misconception of Emmon’s is that he believes people have to be liberated. But in absolute truth, all sentient beings are already Buddha and so do not need to be liberated, only to be awakened from their dreams and delusions. Hence a master does not really lead a disciple to enlightenment but rather increases his sufferings that arise from delusion so that he may awaken from it. With his notion of liberation, Emmon merely piles one more delusion on top of his already existing ones.


4 Emmon: “One who inwardly is well versed in the principles of the Great Vehicle, yet presents outwardly the appearance of the Small Vehicle, can such a one harm the Dharma?”

Nyuri: “You are trying to force an old man to play the fool and indulge in childish games. Of what use is this to the principle?”

5 Emmon: “Who can recognize and know a bodhisattva who has destroyed all his notions?”

Nyuri: “Only one attained to the true Dharma can recognize him, only one trained can know him.”

6 Emmon: “Can such a man of the Great Vehicle also help others to awake?”

Nyuri: “How could it be possible for sun and moon not to shine, or a lamp, when lifted high, not to cast its light all round?”

7 Emmon: “What skillful means will he employ?”

Nyuri: “Spontaneously right, without any skillful means.”

Emmon is desperately looking for some technique he can cling to. He still cannot understand that instead he should let go of all techniques and hand himself over to the natural functioning of No-I.


8 Emmon: “But if he does not use any skillful means, how can he be of benefit to others?”

Nyuri: “Something emerges and is named; a matter arises and is responded to. The empty heart neither calculates nor compares, and so there is no occasion to plan ahead.”

9 Emmon: “I hear that the Tathagata spent seven days in meditation before he devised his skillful means. So how can it be asserted that there is no deliberation or planning in the heart?”

Nyuri: “As for the state of the Buddha, it cannot be grasped by thought, cannot be approached by understanding, cannot be measured or learned.”

Emmon still has the notion of a self. Accordingly his reflections are already mixed with convictions, notions, and expectations, all of which act as a screen to his seeing. But the pondering of a buddha is the functioning of No-I: unalloyed and pure like a clear mirror that directly reflects everything in its suchness, just as it is.

The state of No-I or empty heart does not mean that thought is inhibited, nor does it mean being unaware of and unreceptive to what is. On the contrary, it means the natural reaction in response to all that appears without any selective value judgments. But it is beyond Emmon to realize that it is impossible for an I to understand No-I.


10 Emmon: “But how can Buddha lie?”

Nyuri: “He speaks the truth; he does not deceive.”

Though the Buddha says he has no deliberation in the heart, yet the sutras assert that the Buddha devised skillful means. So Emmon cannot but assume this to be a lie.


11 Emmon: “Why do the sutras then state that he pondered for seven days before setting up skillful means, if now you state that he did not?”

Nyuri: “The skillful means were set up for teaching purposes.”

Master Nyuri ignores Emmon’s undiscerning question and clearly affirms once again that the object of the Buddha’s pondering was for the guidance of others.


12 Emmon: “From where do all the buddhas and their skillful means come?”

Nyuri: “The buddhas are unoriginated, unborn; they are creations of the heart. Though there are skillful means for assisting all beings, the Dharma is fundamentally without a name.”

Master Nyuri is not concerned with forms, only with the Great Life itself. This Great Life neither comes to be nor ceases to be; it is beyond our understanding, ineffable. It manifests dependent on and in response to causes and conditions, to innen, but is itself without name and form—indeed, without any characteristics at all.



1 Emmon asks, “I do not understand. What is called Buddha? What is called the Way? What is called change? What is called permanence?”

Master Nyuri answers, “Fully enlightened without anything further to do, that is called Buddha. Well-versed and full of insight into everything, that is called the Way. Transformation is the Dharma-realm manifesting as the changing forms. Final calm and extinction is the permanent.”

2 Emmon: “What does it mean that all things are the Buddhadharma?”

Nyuri: “Whether things or not things, all are the Buddhadharma.”

3 Emmon: “What is called ‘thing,’ what ‘no-thing,’ and what ‘neither thing nor no-thing’?”

Nyuri: “What ‘is’ is called ‘thing,’ what ‘is not’ is called ‘no-thing’; and what is not encompassed by either ‘is’ or ‘is not’ is called ‘neither thing nor no-thing.’”

EMMON SEEKS to grasp the truth by means of Master Nyuri’s words. Though he himself states that all things are the Buddhadharma, he does not try to see it himself. He attempts to grasp truth by means of words, rather than through direct and immediate perception of it.

The Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi (or Shu Toni in Japanese), wanting to gain insight, went to train with Zen Master Huanglong Huinan (in Japanese, Oryo Enan; 1002–1069). Master Huinan told him, “You are a Confucian scholar. In the writings of Master Confucius, it is said, ‘If one awakens to the truth in the morning, one can die happily at noon.’ Do you know this precious truth?” In spite of all his learning, Zhou Dunyi was lost for an answer. So he went to another Zen master, Jinshan Foyin (in Japanese, Kinsan Butsuin; 1032–1098), and asked what this ultimate truth was. Foyin replied, “You see those blue mountains over there; nobody prevents your seeing.” Zhou Dunyi did not quite understand and hesitated. Foyin burst out laughing. At that Zhou Dunyi attained insight.


4 Emmon: “Who verifies this statement?”

Nyuri: “This statement is without who; why should you ask for it to be verified?”

Truth is present, always and everywhere, and is distinct and clear. It needs no proof or verification. Nor is this truth a creation of the Buddha or of any enlightened ones; as such, it is the truth itself.


5 Emmon: “If there is no one, who then states what?”

Nyuri: “No who, no statement—that is the true statement.”

6 Emmon: “What, then, would be called a false statement?”

Nyuri: “The notion that there is something to state.”

Emmon thinks it possible to grasp and possess the unchanging, eternal words of truth. He believes the experience of enlightenment to be something that, once received, is from that moment on one’s inalienable property. But such thinking only indicates one’s being caught in notions of words and experiences. What truly can be called enlightenment is, however, not to be caught in any truth, any words, any experience. Zen texts, therefore, continuously stress the necessity of washing away even the mere odor of enlightenment together with the dirt of training.


7 Emmon: “If this is being caught in thought, what then is no-thought?”

Nyuri: “Thought is but a word. Since words themselves are without any substance, thought, too, is empty.”

In common with all other manifestations, words exist in dependence on causes and conditions. And since these causes and conditions undergo perpetual change, words, too, are subject to constant change. So they are void of any continuous entity—what remains of them is like the light of a star that has died long ago.


8 Emmon: “If this accords with the teachings, then all sentient beings are from the beginning already enlightened tathagatas.”

Nyuri: “Since there are no bonds, how can there be liberated beings?”

Doshin (in Chinese, Daoxin; 580–651), the fourth Chinese Zen patriarch, came to the third patriarch, Sosan (in Chinese, Sengcan; died 606), and asked to be liberated. Sosan responded, “Who put you under restraint?” Doshin replied, “No one.” Sosan asked, “Then why are you seeking to be liberated?” At that, Doshin had great satori. As the story illustrates, there are no bonds to be freed from, nothing is lacking, and there is nothing that has to be gained by training. As was said in the very first sentence of this text, “The Great Way is without limit, fathomless and subtle.”


9 Emmon: “What is the name of this Dharma?”

Nyuri: “There is no Dharma—even less a name.”

10 Emmon: “If this is the teaching, I fail to understand it.”

Nyuri: “Truly there is no teaching to be understood. Do not seek for understanding.”

Emmon wants to make understanding into an object, into something that he can hold on to and that will not change. This clinging to something and thus tying oneself up is an ingrained habit of each of us.


11 Emmon: “And in the end, what?”

Nyuri: “No beginning and no end.”

12 Emmon: “Then is there no cause and effect either?”

Nyuri: “Without beginning, there is no end.”

Though Emmon is constantly looking for something that is permanent, all his questions refer to impermanent things or matters. Thus he even interprets Master Nyuri’s answers as relating to conditioned forms; he fits them into his scheme of classification, when in fact these answers are given from the standpoint of the absolute. This is not done to make a fool of Emmon but in order to render truth perceptible, and to show that what we separate by means of words is in reality one.


13 Emmon: “How can this teaching then be verified?”

Nyuri: “Truth is not something that needs to be verified.”

There is no other way than one’s own experience. Truth cannot be taught or imparted by way of proof.


14 Emmon: “And how is it to be known and seen?”

Nyuri: “By knowing the suchness of all things—by seeing the equality of all things.”

15 Emmon: “What heart knows? What eye sees?”

Nyuri: “The knowing of not-knowing, the seeing of not-seeing.”

16 Emmon: “Who makes this statement?”

Nyuri: “This is what I ask myself, too.”

17 Emmon: “What do you mean by, ‘That is what I ask myself, too?’”

Nyuri: “If you ponder your own question, the answer will arise of itself.”

Invariably the answer is already contained in the question.


18 At this, Emmon fell silent and pondered deeply. Master Nyuri then asked him, “Have you nothing more to say?”

Emmon answered, “I do not see one single thing, not even the tiniest speck of dust. There is nothing more to be said.”

Thereupon Master Nyuri commented, “It seems that now you have glimpsed the principle of truth.”



1 Emmon asks, “Why do you say that I seem to have glimpsed rather than that I have correctly seen?”

Master Nyuri answers, “What you now have seen is the nonexistence of all things. That makes you like the followers of other Ways who study to become invisible, etc., and yet cannot lose their shadow nor hide their footprints.”

EMMON HAS simply transposed his ideas of being and nonbeing. He still has not realized that being and nonbeing are one.


2 Emmon: “How can both form and shadow be eradicated?”

Nyuri: “In the origin there is neither heart nor object; do not give rise to opinions of things coming to be and ceasing to be.”

3 Emmon: “The ordinary man asks questions; Buddha teaches, is that so?”

Nyuri: “Questions arise because of doubts; teaching is for the settling of doubts.”

4 Emmon: “I have heard it said that the Buddha teaches even without being asked. What does he have to clarify? Is there a Dharma that has to be taught, or does his penetrating insight perceive the doubts of others?”

Nyuri: “It is all but the dispensing of medicine to cure specific ailments. Just as when thunder rolls in heaven, the echo answers.”

5 Emmon: “Having no volitional intention to be born, why did the Great Holy Tathagata appear in the world?”

Nyuri: “In times of peace, sweet grass grows of itself.”

Huang Tingjian (in Japanese, Ko Teiken) went to see Zen Master Huitang Zuxin (in Japanese, Maido Soshin; 1025–1100) for instruction. Huitang asked him, “Do you know the one saying of Confucius that completely accords with the spirit of Zen?” Huang Tingjian said that he did not know. Just at that time of year, the mignonettes were in full bloom and their scent pervaded the temple. Master Huitang asked, “Can you smell the mignonettes?” Huang Tingjian said, “Yes, very much so.” “There, I am not hiding anything from you,” stated Master Huitang.

Generally, a disciple believes that the master possesses the truth and that he dishes it out little by little. Therefore he always suspects that there is still something he has not been shown so far, a hidden or concealed truth. Emmon, too, has this idea. But factually, enlightened masters do not possess anything at all—and just because of this they see that all things, just as they are, are the manifestations of truth. One who has truly realized that, and knows that truth reveals itself always and everywhere, may be called “sweet grass.”


6 Emmon: “Having no fixed lifespan that comes to an end, why then did the Tathagata reveal his nirvana and die?”

Nyuri: “In times of drought and famine, all crops perish.”

Emmon’s view of Buddha is as an unchanging being, not conditioned by anything and thus absolute. Therefore it seems contradictory to him that the Buddha who physically appeared should then also die again. He does not understand that it is the essence of what continuously changes that is unoriginated, unborn emptiness, that does not die.

For example, a mirror reflects everything just as it appears; consequently, the images thus reflected change constantly. What does not change is the mirror’s faculty or nature to reflect. Contrary to that, the picture on a photographic film is static and unchangeable and it is the film itself that has changed by the exposure. Emmon’s view of the absolute is analogous to that of the picture on a film. He does not realize that the body of the Buddha is like a reflection in a mirror, whereas impermanence itself is the real Buddha.


7 Emmon: “I have heard that because of the compassion in his heart the Buddha came out of samadhi, and out of pity helped many sentient beings toward awakening. How can such unobstructed great functioning be the same as sweet grass in favorable conditions?”

Nyuri: “Samadhi is called the dharmakaya, or Dharma body; the body made up of the four great elements is the sambhogakaya, or reward body; and what appears in response to circumstance is the nirmanakaya, or transformation body. The dharmakaya is not bound by anything; the transformation body is not subject to any karmic conditions but freely rises up and sinks again with nothing remaining—and so it is said to be unobstructed.”

Buddha is the manifestation of truth. Grasses and trees, too, are the manifestation of truth. Emmon cannot understand this, and so for him Buddha and grasses are worlds apart. To make Emmon realize his delusion, Master Nyuri answers in terms of the three bodies of the Buddha: dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. These three bodies are not three different entities but represent three aspects of truth: the essence or absolute, the form, and the function, respectively. That the transformation body is not subject to conditions means that it changes freely and of itself in response to the situation and that it leaves no traces. Not being fettered by conditions means changing with conditions.


8 Emmon: “What is called compassion?”

Nyuri: “The transformation body responds fully without thinking to the true voidness. Benevolence toward beings is free of any intention and springs from an empty heart. If forced to give it a name, it is called compassion.”

9 Emmon: “When will sentient beings who attain the Way become like the Tathagata?”

Nyuri: “If they have not yet completed it, though they may practice the Way for as many eons as there are grains of sand in the Ganges, they are yet far, far from arriving. But once completed, the very sentient being has become the Tathagata. Why should you worry whether they can become Tathagata or not?”

Emmon commits the same error again and again. He thinks that training is the means to effect buddhahood! He still cannot conceive that it is the realization of the truth that has always been there and from which we have never been separated.


10 Emmon: “If this is your teaching, then the state of a tathagata should be easy to attain. Why is it then said that it demands practicing for three great eons?”

Nyuri: “It is indeed most difficult.”

It is indeed the most difficult thing to realize that without doing anything one is already Buddha. However, without doing anything does not mean to let delusions persist just as they are, and to try to see Buddha in them. It rather means to realize truth without creating delusions and without eradicating them.


11 Emmon: “If this very body, without any further cultivation, already is Tathagata, why do you call it most difficult?”

Nyuri: “To arouse the heart is easy; to eradicate the heart is difficult indeed. To affirm the body, or oneself, is easy; to deny the body is difficult. It is easy to act, but difficult to refrain from doing anything. Know therefore that profound achievement is difficult to comprehend, and that it is hard indeed to come into union with the mysterious principle. The immovable is the truth. Even the three sages hardly match it.”

Nothing factual is known of who these three sages are. Though there are innumerable speculations as to their identity, these seem dubious.


12 At this, Emmon sighed deeply. That sound filled the ten directions. Suddenly the sound stopped and he had great satori. The mysterious light of clear wisdom radiated of itself and dispelled all doubt. Only now he knew how hard it is to follow the Way, and that as in a dream he had till now been agitated to no purpose. He exclaimed, “But how marvelous and splendid! Just as the Master has taught without teaching, so I have truly heard without hearing. When hearing and teaching become one, all is wide and vast, oneness without words. Might I respectfully ask you, Venerable Master, by what title you would wish this above dialogue to come to be known?”

On becoming enlightened, Emmon also became aware of his delusions. These, without his troubling himself in any way about them, had now vanished of themselves. Delusions and faults do not have to be eradicated. They cease to be the moment they are realized. And enlightenment is not gaining something that from that moment onward becomes one’s possession but is rather the shedding of all delusions, errors, and notions. As that, it is the voiding of everything that obscures truth and prevents it from revealing itself.


13 Master Nyuri just sat there for a while, without answering, and with shining eyes looked into the four directions. Then he chuckled and said to Emmon, “There are no words to express the profundity of the mysterious principle. It is ineffable. All your many questions were due to your speculative thinking and so were born in your heart. It is just like in a dream; though one may see all kinds of configurations, they all vanish on awakening.
So now you wish to make known these questions and answers to all and sundry and ask me to give them an expedient title. When even the last traces are vanished, call it A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions.”

“When even the last traces are gone” is when all the dirt of delusions has been washed off, together with the soap of the teaching, training, and enlightenment, and nothing at all remains—no smell of Zen, no ideology, no philosophy, no Buddha. Then the true nature functions freely and without any obstacles.



Jegyzetek a szemlélet elvágásáról
Niutou Farong[nak vagy Bódhidharmának tuladonított szöveg]
VII. századi zen szöveg a Niutou iskolából
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt (2009)


Ruli és Yuanmen, egy kötetben.


Először Yuanmen kérdez, Ruli pedig a kétségeket eloszlatva válaszol. E [szövegnek] a címe: Jegyzetek a szemlélet elvágásáról.


A nagy út határtalan, homályos, rejtett és csendes, felfoghatatlan, kifejezhetetlen. Most ketten fognak beszélgetni az igazságról: a tanító neve Ruli (Alapelvbe Lépett), a tanítványé pedig Yuanmen (Kapuhoz Viszonyuló).

[Első fejezet]


Ruli mester némán ült egy szó nélkül. Yuanmen hirtelen felállt és megkérdezte Ruli mestert:
- Mit neveznek tudatnak? Mi a békés tudat?
Ezt válaszolta:
- Ne feltételezz egy tudatot, akkor nincs mit megbékíteni. Ezt nevezik a békés tudatnak.


- Ha nincsen tudat, akkor mi az út tanulmányozása?
- Az út nem tudati gondolat, akkor miért függne [az út] a tudattól?


- Ha nem tudati gondolat, hogyan gondoljuk el?
- Ha van gondolat, akkor van tudat. Ha van tudat, akkor az az úttal ellenkező. Ha nincs gondolat, akkor nincs tudat. Ha nincs tudat, akkor az a valódi út.


- Minden érző lény valóban rendelkezik ezzel a tudattal, vagy nem?
- Hogy az érző lények rendelkeznek ezzel a tudattal, az egy téves nézet. Tudatot feltételezni a nincs-tudatban, ez csak hamis képzeteket szül.


- A nincs-tudat miféle dolog?
- A nincs-tudat nincs-dolog; a nincs-dolog az, ahogy eredendően van (bhūtatathatā); ahogy eredendően van, az a nagy út.


- Az érző lények hamis képzeteit hogyan lehet megszüntetni?
- Ha valaki hamis képzeteket lát megjelenni és megszűnni, az nem hagyta el a hamis képzeteket.


- Aki nem szünteti meg [a hamis képzeteket], az egyesülhet az úttal?
- Akár azt mondjuk egyesül, akár azt, hogy nem egyesül, akkor sem hagyja el a hamis képzeteket.


- Akkor mit tegyünk?
- Akkor ne tegyünk semmit.

[Második fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- A Buddha (megvilágosodott személy) mit semmisít meg és mit ér el, hogy Buddhának neveztessék?
Ruli így szólt:
- Nem semmisít meg semmit, nem ér el semmit, ez a Buddha.


- Ha nem semmisít meg és nem ér el [semmit], a hétköznapi [ember] (megvilágosulatlan személy) miben különbözik?
- Nem azonosak, mert minden hétköznapi ember (pṛthagjana) tévesen [azt hiszi,] van mit megsemmisíteni és van mit elérni.


- Most azt mondod, a hétköznapi [embernek] van mit elérni, a Buddhának nincs mit elérni. Mi a különbség az elérés és a nem elérés között?
- Mert a hétköznapi [ember] el akar érni valamit, ezért megjelenik a megtévesztettség. A Buddha nem akar elérni semmit, ezért nincs megtévesztettség. A megtévesztettség miatt megjelenik az azonos és nem azonos elkülönítése. Megtévesztettség nélkül nincs különböző és nem különböző.


- Ha nincs különbség, akkor minek a Buddha név?
- A „hétköznapi ember” és a „Buddha” egyformán nevek. Névként nem kettő [eltérő dolog], nem különböző. Olyan, mint teknőshajról és nyúlszarvról beszélni.


- Ha a Buddha olyan, mint a teknőshaj és nyúlszarv, akkor végső soron nem is létezik. Mit akarsz tanítani [ezzel]?
- Azt mondom, hogy nincs teknőshaj, nem azt, hogy teknős sincs. Miért szidalmazol engem?


- Mit jelent a hasonlat, hogy nincs haj, s mit a teknős?
- A teknős az út, a haj az én hasonlata. A Buddha én nélküli, s az út szintúgy. Azonban a hétköznapi emberek az ént és a nevet létezőnek [tartják], ami hasonló a teknőshaj és a nyúlszarv létezéséhez.

問曰、若如此者、道應是有、我應是無。若是有無、豈非有無之見。答曰、道非是有、我非是無。何以故、 , 龜非先無今有、故不言有。毛非先有今無、故不言無。道之與我、譬類可知。

- Ha ez így van, akkor az út létezik, az én nem létezik, így van lét és nemlét. Ez hogy nem a lét és nemlét nézete?
- Az út nem létező. Az én nem nem létező. A teknős nem régebben nem létezett, most pedig létezik, ezért nem mondják létezőnek. A haj nem régebben létezett, most pedig nem létezik, ezért nem mondják nem létezőnek. Az út és az én ezzel a hasonlattal megérthető.


- Az út keresője [esetében], egy ember éri el, vagy sokan? Mindenki maga éri el, vagy együttesen? Eredendően megvan, vagy a gyakorlás végeztével érhető el?
- Egyáltalán nem úgy van, ahogy mondod. Miért? Ha csak egy ember érné el, az út nem volna egyetemes. Ha sokan érnék el, az út elszegényedne. Ha mindenki maga érné el, az út megszámlálható volna. Ha együttesen érnék el, az ügyes eszközök hasztalanok volnának. Ha eredendően meglenne, a tízezer gyakorlat értelmetlen volna. Ha a gyakorlás végeztével lenne elérhető, akkor képzett [dolog] lenne és nem igazi.


- Akkor végül is micsoda [az út]?
- Hagyj el minden mértéket, megkülönböztetést és sóvárgást.

[Harmadik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- A hétköznapi embernek van teste, és lát, hall, érez és tud. A Buddhának van teste, és lát, hall, érez és tud. Miben különbözőek akkor?
- A hétköznapi ember a szemmel lát, füllel hall, testtel érez, elmével tud. A bölccsel nem így van. Lát, de nem a szemmel lát. Tud, de nem az elmével tud. Miért? Mert meghalad minden korlátot.


- Miért áll az akkor egy szútrában, hogy a Buddha nem lát, nem hall, nem érez és nem tud?
- A Buddha látása, hallása, érzése és tudása nem a hétköznapi emberé. Nem [arról van szó, hogy] a Buddhának nem létezik az észlelt világ, [csupán] nem a létezés és nemlétezés alapján van, mert felhagyott a megkülönböztetéssel.


- A köznapi ember észlelt világának van valódi létezése?
- Nem valódiként, de tévképzetként létezik. Eredendően [minden] csendes és nyugodt. De a téves elgondolás és ragaszkodás által megszületik a téves látásmód.


- Nem értem a Buddha miért lát, de nem a szemmel lát; tud, de nem az elmével tud?
- Nehéz látni a dolgok (dharma) öntermészetét (svabhāva). Egy hasonlat segíthet. Mikor a rejtett fény (Buddha bölcsessége) tükrözi a dolgokat, olyan, mintha lenne látó és látott. De a szem nem láthatja önmagát. Vagy mint a yin (sötét) és yang (világos) működése a dolgokban, olyan, mintha lenne tudó és tudott. De az elme nem ismerheti önmagát.

[Negyedik fejezet]


Yuanmen felállt és megkérdezte:
- Az út végső soron mitől függ?
- Végső soron nincs függésben, miként az üresség sem függ semmitől. Ha az út függne valamitől, akkor létezne vég és kezdet, létezne úr és szolga.


- Mi az út eredete, és mi a dharma működése?
- Az út eredete az üresség, minden dolog a dharma működése.


- És ki működteti?
- Nincs működtetője, a valóság természete (dharmadhātu) önműködő.


- Nem alávetett az érző lények karmikus erejének?
- A karmától indíttatott alávetettje a karmának, s nem tud magától cselekedni. Hogyan lenne arra ideje (szabadsága), hogy kiássa a tengereket, feltornyozza a hegyeket, elnyugtassa az eget és kiterítse a földet?


- Úgy hallottam, egy bódhiszattvának elme-alkotta teste (manomayakāya) van. Akkor nem a természetfeletti erejét (ṛddhi) használja?
- A hétköznapi embernek karmikus szennyeződése (āsrava) van, a Buddhának nincs. Bár különbség van felsőbbség és alsóbbrendűség tekintetében, egyik sem az önműködő út. Ahogyan mondja [egy szútra] (Lankávatára szútra, T16n0670_p0500b17; Szuzuki: 3.LXIV.31): „A különböző elme-alkotta testeket a megkülönböztető tudat termékeinek mondom.”


- Korábban azt mondtad, az üresség az út eredete. Az üresség azonos a buddhával, vagy nem?
- Azonos.


- Ha az üresség valóban ő, akkor miért nem tanítja az érző lényeknek az üresség-emlékezést a buddha-emlékezés (buddha-anusmṛti) helyett?
- Az ostoba lényeknek a buddha-emlékezést tanítja. Azon kiválóaknak, akik rendelkeznek az út-tudattal (bodhicitta), a dolgok valódi jellegének szemlélését tanítja, ami a Buddha szemlélése. Mert amit igaz jellegnek neveznek az az üresség, a nem-jelleg.

[Ötödik fejezet]


Yuanmen felállt és megkérdezte:
- Hallottam, hogy a külső út [követői] (nem-buddhisták) is elérik az öt természetfeletti [erőt], ahogyan a bódhiszattvák is. Mi köztük a különbség?
Ruli válaszolt:
- Nem azonosak. Miért? A külső út [követői] azt mondják, van, aki eléri. A bódhiszattvák nem [mondják] ezt, mert felismerték az éntelenséget.


- Régóta az alapelvbe lépés megértése a kezdőknél hiányos. Alig látják az olyanságot, tudásuk csekély a csodás alapelvről. Mitől jobbak a külső út [követőinél], akik az öt természetfeletti [erővel] rendelkeznek?
- Először szerezd meg az alapelvbe lépést, még ha alig látod is. Minek ügyet csinálni az öt természetfeletti [erőből]?


- Aki elérte az öt természetfeletti [erőt], azt mások tisztelik és nagyra becsülik, mert előre tudja a jövőt, ismeri a múltat, meg tudja védeni magát a hibák elkövetésétől. Az ilyen nem felsőbbrendű?
- Nem. Miért? Minden világi ragaszkodik a jellegekhez (lakṣaṇa; külső megnyilvánulás), kapzsi módon dolgozik és összekeveri az igazat a hamissal. Még ha Shengyi természetfeletti [erejét], vagy Shanxing ékesszólását is birtokolnák, amennyiben nem ismerik az alapelv valódi jellegét, ők sem kerülik el, hogy megnyíljon alattuk a föld és a pokolba zuhanjanak (mint Shengyi és Shanxing).

[Hatodik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Az út csak az érző lényekben van, vagy a füvekben és a fákban is?
Ruli így szólt:
- Az útnak nincs olyan hely, ahol ne lenne.

問曰、道若遍者、何故煞人有罪、煞草木無罪。答曰、夫言罪不罪、皆是就情約事、非正道也。但爲世人不達道理、妄立我身、煞即有心、心結於業、即云罪也。草 木無情、本來合道、理無我故、煞者不計、即不論罪與非罪。夫無我合道者、視形如草木、被斫如樹林。故文殊執劔於瞿曇、鴦掘持刀於釋氏。此皆合道、同證不 生、了知幻化虚無。故即不論罪與非罪。

- Ha az út mindenütt jelen van, akkor miért bűn az emberek ölése, míg a füvek és fák kivágása nem bűn?
- Bűnről és nem bűnről beszélni érzelmi véleményen alapul, nem a helyes úton. A világi emberek nem ismerik az alapelvet, ostoba módon ént feltételeznek és a gyilkolás szándékos lesz, a tudatot pedig megköti a karma, ezért beszélnek bűnről. A füveknek és fáknak nincsenek érzéseik, eredendően összhangban vannak az úttal Minthogy az alapelv éntelen, az ölésben nincs szándék. Ezért bűnről és nem bűnről nincs mit vitatkozni. Aki éntelen, az összhangban van az úttal, testét úgy látja, mint a füveket és a fákat. Ha megvágják is, olyan, mint egy fa az erdőben. Mikor Mañjuśrī kardot emelt Gautamára, vagy mikor Angulimāla tőrt fogott Sákjamunira, ez mind összhangban volt az úttal. Egyformán látták a nem-születettet, tökéletesen ismerték a káprázatot és az ürességet. Ezért bűnről és nem bűnről nincs mit vitatkozni.


- Ha a füvek és a fák kezdettől összhangban vannak az úttal, akkor miért van az, hogy a szútrák nem említik őket, mint akik elérték a buddhaságot, hanem csak az embereket?
- Nem csak az embereket, hanem a füveket és fákat is említik. Egy szútra mondja: „Egyetlen porszemben benne van minden dharma”. És másutt: „Minden dharma olyan, és minden érző lény olyan. Nincs kettő és nincs különböző olyan.”

[Hetedik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- A végső üresség alapelvéről hogyan lehet megbizonyosodni?
Ruli így szólt:
- Keresd minden formában, bizonyosodj meg a saját szavaidban.


- Hogyan keressem minden formában? Hogyan bizonyosodjak meg róla a saját szavaimban? Hogyan keressem a formában? Hogyan bizonyosodjak meg a szavakban?
- Üresség és forma egységben van, szavak és bizonyosság nem kettő.


- Ha minden dharma üres, miért a Buddha tudja [csak], a hétköznapi [embernek] meg homályos?
- A megtévesztettség[ből fakadó] tettek (karma) miatt homályos. A valódi csendje miatt rálát.


- Ha valóban üres valami, hogyan lesz illatos? Ha már illatos, hogyan lesz üres?
- Hamisról beszélve nyomban felkél a megvilágosulatlanság és annak munkálkodása. A valódi ürességben nincs semmi, ami illatos lesz.


- Ha valóban üres minden érző lény, akkor nem [kell] gyakorolni az úton. Azért, mert természetük magától ilyen?
- Ha minden érző lény megérti az üresség alapelvét, valóban nincs szükség gyakorolni az úton. A létezéssel kapcsolatos megtévesztettség csak azért jön létre, mert az ürességet nem üresnek [ismerik].


- Ebben az esetben elhagyni a megtévesztettséget az út. Azt mondod, mindenki félrement?
- Egyáltalán nem. A megtévesztettség nem az út, s a megtévesztettség elhagyása sem az út. Miért? Például aki részeg, az nem józan, és ha józan, akkor nem részeg. Bár nincs külön a részegség a józanságtól, mégis, részegnek lenni nem józanság.


- Amikor valaki józan, hová lett a részegség?
- Például ha valaki megfordítja a tenyerét, mikor a kezét megfordította, nem kell megkérdezni, hogy hol van a kéz.

[Nyolcadik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Ha valaki még nem értette meg az alapelvet, taníthatja a Dharmát és oktathatja az érző lényeket, vagy nem?
Ruli így szólt:
- Lehetetlen. Miért? Amíg a saját szeme nem tiszta, hogyan tehetne másokat látóvá?


- Bölcsességének erejét nem használhatná ügyes eszközként tanításra?
- Ha megértette az alapelvet, akkor nevezhetjük a bölcsesség erejének. Ha nem értette meg az alapelvet, akkor a tudatlanság erejének nevezzük. Miért? Mert saját szennyeződéseit (kleśa) növeli és erősíti vele.


- Bár nem képes az igazságra tanítani az embereket, de addig is a tíz erényes tett és az öt fogadalom gyakorlását megtaníthatja az érző lényeknek, hogy az emberi és mennyei [birodalmakban] maradjanak. Ez talán nem hasznos?
- A végső alapelv [szempontjából] haszontalan, és további két hibát idéz elő. Miért? Mert becsapja magát és másokat is. Becsapni önmagát annyi, mint akadályozni az út [elérését]. Becsapni másokat annyi, mint nem elkerülni a létforgatag hat birodalmát.


- A Buddha tán nem fejtette ki az öt jármű különböző [tanításait]?
- A Buddhának eszébe sem volt különböző tanításokat mondani. Ez csak az érző lények saját tudatának reménykedéséből fakad. Egy szútra mondja (Lankávatára szútra, T16n0670_p0497 b26-27; Szuzuki: 2.LVI.204-205): „Mikor a tudat megszűnt és kialudt, nincs jármű sem annak utasa. Nincs felállítható jármű, ezért beszélek egy járműről.”

[Kilencedik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Az út igaz embere miért marad ismeretlen és miért nem ismerik fel?
- A ritka kincset nem ismeri fel a nincstelen. Az igaz embert nem ismeri a közönséges ember.


- A világban vannak csalók, akik nem törődnek az igaz alapelvvel. Kívülről méltóságteljesek, különféle ügyekkel teljesen elfoglalják magukat. Az ilyeneknek sok férfi és nő keresi a társaságát. Miért?
- Ahogy a ledér nő sok férfit vonz, a rohadó hús pedig sok legyet, ezekhez hasonló a hírnév vonzereje is.


[Tizedik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Hogyan gyakorolhatja a bódhiszattva a rossz utat, hogy mégis eléri a Buddha útját? (lásd: Vimalakírti szútra, 8. fejezet, T14n0475_p0549 a01-2)
- Nem különbözteti meg a jót és a rosszat.


- Mit hívnak nem megkülönböztetésnek?
- A tudat nem hoz létre semmit.


- A nem cselekvővel mi van?
- Nem tagad[juk] és nem állít[juk] a nem cselekvőt.


- Megismerés nélkül megismerszik?
- Bár megismerszik, de nincs én [aki megismerne].


- Ha nincs én, akkor mi ismer meg?
- A megismerés én nélküli.


- Ha beszélünk az énről, abban mi az akadály?
- A név használatában nincs akadály. Csak attól tartok, a tudat könnyen bevonódik [a képzetekbe].


- Mi az akadály a bevonódásban?
- Bevonódás nélkül nincs akadály. Hisz ha nincs bevonódás, mi lehetne akadály?


- Ha elkerüljük a jelenségeket és semmihez sem ragaszkodunk (nincs belevonódás), akkor mit nevezünk a rossz út gyakorlásának?
- Valójában nincs semmi. Nagyon próbálsz felállítani valamit. Minek?


- Nem lehet, hogy amennyiben van oksági kapcsolat, akkor az öléshez vezet?
- Az erdőtűz leégeti a hegyet. A szélvihar kitépi a fákat. A földcsuszamlás betemeti az állatokat. Az árvízbe belefulladnak a rovarok. Ha a tudat ilyen, embert is ölhet. De amennyiben a tudat tervezget, akkor születést és ölést is lát, és ha ez a tudat nem szűnik meg, akkor végül hangyaként születsz és hozzákötődsz [ahhoz] az élethez.


- És ha van oksági kapcsolat, akkor az lopáshoz vezethet, nem?
- A méh virág[port] gyűjt a tónál, A veréb magvakat csipeget a kertben. A bivaly babot eszik a mocsárban. A ló gabonát eszik a mezőn. Végül is, ha nem különböztetjük meg más tulajdonát, akkor a hegy csúcsát is elvehetjük tiszteletteljesen. Ha ez nem így lenne, egy tűfej szélességű levél is kötélként a nyakad köré tekeredhetne és szolgaságba hajthatna.


- Van oksági kapcsolat, ami szexuális kicsapongáshoz vezet?
- Az ég befedi a földet. A yang egyesül a yinnel. A budiba felülről vizelnek. Tavaszi víz folyik a csatornában. Egy ilyen tudatot semmi sem akadályoz. De ha az érzések megkülönböztetést szülnek, még az ember saját felesége is tisztátalanná teszi a tudatát.


- És mi a helyzet az oksági kapcsolattal, ami hazugsághoz vezet?
- Van beszéd, de nincs aki mondja. Van szó, de nincs aki gondolja. A hang ugyanolyan, mint a harangé. A lélegzet a szél susogása. Ha a tudat ilyen, amit Buddhának mondanak sem létezik. Ha nem ilyen, akkor a Buddha szólítása (invokáció) is hazugság.

[Tizenegyedik fejezet]


Yuanmen felállt és megkérdezte:
- Ha a testet nem létezőnek tekintjük, akkor mi van a járással, állással, üléssel és fekvéssel?
- Csak járj, állj, ülj és feküdj le. Miért kéne egy nézetet felállítani a testről?


- A nem létezés [nézete] nélkül hogyan lehet a helyes alapelven gondolkodni?
- Ha úgy vélekedünk a tudat létezik, akkor gondolkodás hiányában is létezik. Ha belátjuk, a tudat nincs, gondolkodáskor sincsen. Miért van így? Például egy meditációs mester zavartalanul ül, még ha gondolatok is jelennek meg; vagy ahogy egy szélvihar lökéseinek közepette nincs tudat [ami mozogna].

[Tizenkettedik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Ha egy kezdő gyakorló valamilyen ok folytán olyannal találkozik, aki bántani akarja, mi lenne a megfelelő cselekvés, ami összhangban van az úttal?
- Nincs semmilyen helyes cselekvés. Miért? Ha el tudja kerülni, elkerüli. Ha nem tudja elkerülni, elfogadja. Ha elviselhető, elviseli. Ha nem elviselhető, ordít [a fájdalomtól].


- Ha ordít, miben különbözik attól, akinek van én-képzete?
- Ha megütik a harangot, magától adja ki a hangját. Miért lenne ettől énje? De ha halálodkor megragadod a tudatot, fogaid összeszorítva csendben tűrsz, akkor ez egy hatalmas én.


- Ha valaki fájdalmában ordít, akkor egy érzés okozta. Hogy lehetne ez azonos a harang zúgásával?
- Azonosságról és nem azonosságról beszélsz, ez a saját zavarod jele. Kérdésed megtévesztett gondolkodásodból fakad. Ha nincs tudat és megkülönböztetés, az út lényege magától működik.


- Úgy hallottam, a Buddhát fegyver nem sértheti, szenvedés nem nyomja el, forma nem hat rá, tudata nem mozdul. Ez mit jelent?
- Ha valaki belátja, hogy minden jelenség éntelen, hang és nem hang, mozgás és nem mozgás, mind összhangban van az út alapelvével, akadályok és gátak nélkül.

[Tizenharmadik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Láttam az út gyakorlóit, akik nem teljesen eltökéltek, nem tartják be szigorúan az előírásokat, nem tanítják az érző lényeket, céltalanul hagyják a dolgokat történni. Ennek mi a magyarázata?
- Teljesen meg akarják szüntetni a megkülönböztető tudatot, ki akarják oltani a különféle nézeteket. Úgy tűnhet, csak céltalanul hagyják a dolgokat történni, de belül szüntelenül gyakorolnak.


- Ha egy gyakorló ilyen gyerekes nézeteknek ad helyet, akkor hogyan tudja megsemmisíteni a nézeteket?
- Csak pusztítsd el a saját nézeteidet. Miért érdekelnének másoké? Például ha egy hal elmenekül a mélységbe, miért érdekelné az, hogy a halász haragszik rá?


- De ha egy ilyen [ember] csak magának használ és másnak árt, hogy hívhatnánk nagy embernek (mahāsattva)?
- Ha te nem hozol létre ilyen nézetet, más sem fog. Te vagy az, aki nagyon aggódik mások miatt. De ezt [a nézetet] te hozod létre, nem mások.


- Aki belülről a nagy [jármű] alapelvét tudja teljesen, de kívülről a kis [jármű] viselkedése látszik, az kárt tehet a Dharmában?
- Te egy öregembert (Ruli-t) akarsz arra kényszeríteni, hogy belemenjen egy gyerekes játékba. Mi haszna lenne az alapelv [tekintetében] ennek?


- Egy nézeteit megsemmisített nagy embert ki ismerhet fel, ki ismerheti meg?
- Aki bizonyságot nyert, az ismerheti meg. Aki képzett, az ismerheti fel.


- Az ilyen nagy ember képes másokat is tanítani?
- Mi az, amit a nap és a hold nem ragyog be, a felemelt lámpa nem világít meg?


- Milyen ügyes eszközt használ?
- Helyes és egyenes, ügyes eszközök nélkül.


- Ha nincsenek ügyes eszközei, hogyan válik hasznára [másoknak]?
- Egy dolog megjelenik és megnevezik. Egy eset felbukkan és válaszolnak rá. Tudat nélkül nincs tervezés és előre számítás.


- Hallottam, hogy a Tathágata hét napig elmélkedett, mielőtt használta volna az ügyes eszközöket. Hogyan mondhatod akkor azt, hogy a tudatban nincs tervezés?
- A buddha-tartományokat nem lehet elgondolni, értelmezni, vagy felfogni.


- Hogyan hazudhatna egy buddha?
- Az igazat [beszéli], nem hazudik.


- Miért mondják a szútrák, hogy tervezett, most meg azt mondod, hogy nem tervezett?
- Az ügyes eszközök a tanítás céljából vannak.


- A buddhák és az ügyes eszközök miből születtek?
- A buddhák nem születettek, csakis a tudatból származnak. A tízezer létező tanításáért van, de a Dharma eredendően névtelen.

[Tizennegyedik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Nem értem. Mit neveznek Buddhának? Mit neveznek az útnak? Mit neveznek változásnak? Mit neveznek örökkévalónak?
Ruli válaszolt:
- Teljesen felébredni [további] teendő nélkül, ezt hívják Buddhának. Teljesen tudni mindent, ezt hívják az útnak. A dharmadhátuból születnek a változó [dolgok]. A végső nirvána az örökkévaló.


- Miért mondják, hogy az összes dolog (dharma) a buddhadharma?
- Akár dolog, akár nem dolog, mind a buddhadharma.


- Mit neveznek dolognak? Mit neveznek nem dolognak? Mit neveznek nem dolognak és nem nem dolognak?
- A dolgot nevezik dolognak. A nem dolgot nevezik nem dolognak. Ami egyiket sem foglalja magában, azt nevezik nem dolognak és nem nem dolognak.


- Ki bizonyítja ezt az állítást?
- Ebben az állításban nincs ki. Miért akarsz bizonyítást?


- Ha nincs ki, ki állítja?
- Nincs ki, nincs állítás. Ez a helyes állítás.


- Akkor mit neveznek hamis állításnak?
- Azt gondolni, van állítás.


- Ez valaki gondolata. Mi a nem gondolat?
- A gondolat csak egy szó. A szóban nincs szó (lényegiség). Ezért gondolat sincs (üres).


- Ha ez a tanítás, akkor minden érző lény eredendően megszabadult.
- Minthogy nincsenek kötelékek, hogyan lehetnének megszabadult lények?


- Mi ennek a tanításnak (dharma) a neve?
- Minthogy nincs tanítás, még kevésbé van neve.


- Ha ez a tanítás, akkor képtelen vagyok megérteni.
- Igazából nincs megértendő tanítás. Ne keresd a megértést.


- Akkor végül mi van?
- Nincs kezdet se vég.


- Tehát nincs ok és okozat?
- Ha nincs kezdet, akkor nincs vég.


- Hogyan lehet ezt a tanítást bizonyítani?
- Az igazságot nem kell bizonyítani.


- Hogyan lehet megismerni és meglátni?
- Minden dolgot olyanként ismerve. Minden dolgot egyenlőnek látva.


- Miféle tudat ismer? Miféle szem lát?
- Az ismeret nem ismerete. A látás nem látása.


- Ezt ki állítja?
- Ezt kérdezem én is.


- Mit jelent az, hogy „ezt kérdezem én is”?
- Vizsgáld meg magad a kérdést és a választ is megtudhatod.


Erre Yuanmen csendben, szótlanul elmélkedett és vizsgálódott. Majd Ruli mester megkérdezte:
- Nincs több mondanivalód?
Yuanmen válaszolt:
- Semmit sem látok, egy porszemet sem. Nincs már mit mondani.
Erre Ruli mester így szólt Yuanmen-hez:
- Úgy tűnik [megpillantottad] az igazság alapelvét.

[Tizenötödik fejezet]


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Miért „úgy tűnik” és nem helyesen megláttam?
Ruli válaszolt:
- Amit megláttál, az a dolgok nemléte, ami a külső út [követőiéhez] hasonló, akik a láthatatlanná válást gyakorolják, és mégsem képesek eltüntetni az árnyékukat, sem pedig megszüntetni a [láb]nyomukat.


Yuanmen kérdezte:
- Hogyan lehet a formát és az árnyékot is eltüntetni?
Ruli válaszolt:
- Eredetileg nincs se tudat, se tárgy. Ne hozz létre nézeteket a keletkezésről és megszűnésről.


- A hétköznapi ember kérdez, a Buddha válaszol, [így van]?
- A kétely miatt van kérdés, a kétely elrendezése miatt van a tanítás.


- Hallottam, a Buddha kérdés nélkül, magától is tanít. Mit kell elrendeznie? Van olyan tanítás, amit el kell mondania? Vagy rejtetten (különleges képességgel) látja mások kételyeit?
- Mindez a betegség kezeléséért kiosztott gyógyszer. Mikor az égben mennydörgés morajlik, akkor kell legyen válasz (visszhang) is.


- Ha a Nagy Bölcs (mahāmuni) Tathágatának nincs szándéka, mitől jelent meg a világban?
- Egy békés világban a jó fű magától nő.


- Minthogy a Tathágata életének nincs meghatározott vége, miért jelenítette meg a kialvását?
- Éhínség és szárazság idején az ötféle termény (minden élelem; árpa, búza, rizs, lencse, len) eltűnik.


- Hallottam, a Buddha együttérzése miatt jött ki elmélyedéséből és könyörületből tanította a lényeket. Ez az akadálytalan nagy működés hogy lehet azonos a jó fűvel?
- Az elmélyedést dharmatestnek nevezik. A jutalomtest (saṃbhogakāya) a négy nagy elem [alkotta] hústest. És ami a különböző jelenségekre [válaszként] megjelenik, az az átváltozástest (nirmānakāya). A dharma[testet] nem köti semmi sem. A átváltozás[test] nem alárendeltje a kapcsolódó okoknak (karmikus feltételek), megjelenik és eltűnik szabadon, ezért mondják akadálytalannak.


- Mit neveznek együttérzésnek?
- Az átváltozástest válaszol [minden helyzetre] anélkül, hogy aggódna az igaz ürességgel való összhang miatt. Kedvessége mindenki iránt szándék nélküli. Ha meg kell nevezni, akkor ez az együttérzés.


- Az úton gyakorló érző lények mikor érik el azt, hogy olyanok legyenek, mint a Tathágata?
- Ha nem fejezték be, akkor annyi világkorszakon keresztül gyakorolhatnak az úton, mint ahány homokszem van a Gangeszben, még mindig nagyon messze vannak attól, hogy elérjék. De ha már befejezte, akkor az az érző lény maga a Tathágata. Miért aggódnál, hogy olyanok-e, vagy sem?


- Ha ez a tanítás, akkor a Tathágataság könnyen elérhető. Miért mondják akkor azt, hogy három nagy világkorszakon keresztüli gyakorlás kell hozzá?
- Valóban nagyon nehéz [elérni].


- Ha ez a test (átváltozás nélkül) már az (Tathágata), miért nevezed nehéznek?
- Felkelteni a tudatot könnyű. Megszüntetni a tudatot nehéz. Megerősíteni (igenelni) a testet (önmagad) könnyű. Elutasítani (tagadni) a testet nehéz. Cselekedni könnyű. Nem cselekedni nehéz. Ezért tudd, a mély megvalósítást nehéz elérni és nehéz összhangba kerülni a rejtett alapelvvel. A nem mozgó maga a valódi. Még a három bölcs sem igazán ér fel hozzá.


Erre Yuanmen mélyet sóhajtott. A hang betöltötte a tíz irányt. Hirtelen a hang nem volt és világosan megértette a nagy felébredést. A tiszta bölcsesség rejtett fénye magától ragyogott kételyek nélkül. Csak most tudta meg, milyen nehéz az utat tanulmányozni, tanítványi munkálkodása álombeli küszködés volt. Ekkor emelkedett hangon kijelentette:
- Csodálatos! Csodálatos! Ahogy a mester tanítás nélkül tanított, én valóban hallás nélkül hallottam. Mikor hallgatás és tanítás egyesül, akkor [minden] csendes és kimondhatatlan. Megkérdezhetem a tisztelendő mestert, mi legyen a neve ennek a tanításnak?


Ruli mester csak [ült] nyugodtan és mozdulatlanul. Sugárzó szemével, miközben egy szót sem szólt, a négy irányba tekintett. Ekkor kuncogott és így szólt Yuanmen-hez:
- A végső alapelv homályos és rejtett, nincsenek rá szavak. Az eddigi kérdéseid a megkülönböztető gondolkodásod miatt születtek a tudatodban. Az álomban sok dolog van, ébredéskor nem marad belőlük semmi. Tehát szeretnéd továbbadni e kérdéseket és válaszokat a világ sokaságának, s ezért kérsz, hogy adjak neki egy címet. Legyen a neve „Jegyzetek a szemlélet elvágásáról”.


Yuanmen jegyzetek, egy kötetben.