The Great Zen Master Ta Hui ~ 01

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event type discourse
date & time 15 Jul 1987 am
location Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Pune
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 47min. Quality: good.
Live music after the discourse.
online audio
video Available, duration 1h 47min. Quality: good.
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle TAHUI01
Reader of the sutras: Ma Prem Maneesha.
The sutras
Clear the mind (to Li Hsien-Ch'en)
Buddha said, if you want to know the realm of buddhahood, you must make your mind as clear as empty space, and leave false thinking and all grasping far behind, causing your mind to be unobstructed wherever it may turn. The realm of buddhahood is not some external world, where there is a formal "buddha": It's the realm of the wisdom of a self-awakened sage.
Once you are determined that you want to know this realm, you do not need adornment, cultivation, or realization to attain it. You must clear away the stains of afflictions from alien sensations that have been on your mind since beginningless time, so that your mind is as broad and open as empty space, detached from all the clinging of the discriminating intellect, and your false, unreal, vain thoughts too are like empty space. Then this wondrous, effortless mind will be unimpeded wherever it goes.
Mindlessness (to Hung Po-Ch'ong)
An ancient worthy had a saying: "To look for the ox, one must seek out its tracks. To study the path, seek out mindlessness. Where the tracks are, so must the ox be." The path of mindlessness is easy to seek out. So-called mindlessness is not being inert and unknowing like earth, wood, tile, or stone; it means that the mind is settled and imperturbable when in contact with situations and meeting circumstances; that it does not cling to anything, but is clear in all places, without hindrance or obstruction; without being stained, yet without dwelling in the stainlessness; viewing body and mind like dreams or illusions, yet without remaining in the perspective of dreams' and illusions' empty nothingness.
Only when one arrives at a realm like this, can it be called true mindlessness. No, it's not lip-service mindlessness: If you haven't attained true mindlessness and just go by the verbal kind, how is this different from the perverted Ch'an of "silent illumination"?
"Just get to the root, don't worry about the branches."
Emptying this mind is the root. Once you get the root, the fundamental, then all kinds of language and knowledge and all your daily activities as you respond to people and adapt to circumstances, through so many upsets and downfalls, whether joyous or angry, good or bad, favorable or adverse -- these are all trivial matters, the branches. If you can be spontaneously aware and knowing as you are going along with circumstances, then there is neither lack nor excess.


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