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Hui Neng
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People under delusion accumulate tainted merits but do not tread the Path.
They are under the impression that to accumulate merits and to tread the
Path are one and the same thing.
Though their merits for alms-giving and offerings are infinite
They do not realize that the ultimate source of sin lies in the three
poisons within their own mind.
They expect to expiate their sins by accumulating merit
Without knowing that felicities obtained in future lives have nothing to
do with the expiation of sins.
Why not get rid of the sin within our own mind,
For this is true repentance?



Quote n° 4392 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Sutra of Hui Neng 6 

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Since all Dharmas are immanent in our mind there is no reason why we
should not realize intuitively the real nature of Suchness. The
Bodhisattva Sila Sutra says, "Our Essence of Mind is intrinsically pure,
and if we knew our mind and realized what our nature is, all of us would
attain Buddhahood."



Quote n° 4296 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Sutra of Hui Neng 2 

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Within the Essence of Mind all things are intrinsically pure, like the azure of the sky and the radiance of the sun and the moon which, when obscured by passing clouds, may appear as if their brightness had been dimmed; but as soon as the clouds are blown away, brightness reappears and all objects are fully illuminated. Learned Audience, our evil habits may be likened unto the clouds; while Sagacity and Wisdom are like the sun and the moon respectively. When we attach ourselves to outer objects, our Essence of Mind is clouded by wanton thoughts which prevent our Sagacity and Wisdom from sending forth their light.



Quote n° 4271 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Sutra of Hui Neng 6 

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One day the Fifth Patriarch assembled all his disciples and said to them, "Go and seek for Wisdom in your own mind and then write me a stanza about it. He who understands what the Essence of Mind is will be given the Robe and the Dharma, and I shall make him the Sixth Patriarch. Go away quickly. Delay not in writing the stanza, as deliberation is quite unnecessary and of no use. The man who has realized the Essence of Mind can speak of it at once."

Having received this instruction, the disciples withdrew, but none dared to write a stanza, as they all deferred to the head instructor Shen Hsiu... At 12 o'clock that night Shen Hsiu went secretly with a lamp to write his stanza on the wall of the south corridor, so that the Patriarch might know what spiritual insight he had attained. The stanza read,

Our body is the Bodhi tree,
And our mind a mirror bright,
Carefully we wipe them hour by hour,
And let no dust alight.

...When the Patriarch saw the stanza the next morning, he instructed that it be read and recited by all the disciples, so that they might realize the Essence of Mind. At midnight he sent for Shen Hsiu to come to the hall, and asked him if the stanza was written by him or not. "It was, Sir," replied Shen Hsiu. "I dare not be so vain as to expect to get the Patriarchate, but I wish Your Holiness would kindly tell me whether my stanza shows the least grain of wisdom." "Your stanza," replied the Patriarch, "shows that you have not yet realized the Essence of Mind. So far you have reached the 'door of enlightenment,' but you have not yet entered it. To seek for supreme enlightenment with such an understanding as yours can hardly be successful... You had better go back to think it over again for a couple of days, and submit to me another stanza."

I [Hui Neng] was pounding rice when I heard a young boy reciting the stanza written by Shen Hsiu... I asked him to lead me to the hall and show me the stanza. A petty officer who happened to be there read it out to me. When he had finished reading, I told him that I had also composed a stanza, and asked him to write it on the wall. "Don't despise a beginner," I said. "You should know that the lowest class may have the sharpest wit, while the highest may be in want of intelligence. If you slight others, you commit a very great sin." I dictated my stanza, which read,

There is no Bodhi tree,
Nor stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is void,
Where can the dust alight?

When he had written this, the crowd of disciples was overwhelmed with amazement, but the Patriarch rubbed off the stanza with his shoe, lest jealous ones should do me injury. The next night he invited me secretly to his room, and expounded the Diamond Sutra to me. When he came to the sentence, "One should use one's mind in such a way that it will be free from any attachment," I at once became thoroughly enlightened, and realized that all things in the universe are the Essence of Mind itself. "Who would have thought," I said to the Patriarch, "that the Essence of Mind is intrinsically pure!..." Thus, to the knowledge of no one, the Dharma was transmitted to me at midnight, and I became the Sixth Patriarch.



Quote n° 4196 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Sutra of Hui Neng 1 

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For him who... knows his own mind and sees intuitively his own nature, he is a Hero, a Teacher of gods and men, a Buddha.



Quote n° 4190 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Sutra of Hui Neng 1 

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Good and learned friends, when I was at Priest Hung-jen's place, I understood immediately as soon as I heard him, and suddenly realized the original nature of True Thusness. For this reason I propagate this doctrine so that it will prevail among later generations and seekers of the Way will be able to achieve perfect wisdom through sudden enlightenment, each to see his own mind, and to become suddenly enlightened through his own original nature. If they are not able to enlighten themselves, they should seek good and learned friends of high standing to show them the way to see their nature.



Quote n° 2314 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 31 

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Why not seek in one's own mind the sudden realization of the original nature of True Thusness? The P'u-sa chieh ching says, 'We are originally pure in our self-nature. If we understand our minds and see our nature, we shall achieve Buddhahood ourselves. [And the Wei-mo-chieh (so-shua) ching says] 'Immediately we become completely clear and recover our original mind’.



Quote n° 2313 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 30 

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When there is no thought, one's nature is empty of differentiated characters and is tranquil, but when there is thought, that is self-transformation.



Quote n° 2312 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 

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What is meant by the Perfect Reward-body? One light can illuminate the darkness of a thousand years, and one bit of wisdom can destroy the ignorance of ten thousand years. Never mind looking back to the past; always consider the future, and always make future thoughts good. This is called the Reward-body. The reward of one evil thought will remove the good of a thousand years, and the reward of one good thought will destroy the evil of a thousand years. At all times make the next thought a good one. This is called the Reward-body.



Quote n° 2311 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 

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Self-nature is always pure, just as the sun and moon are always shining. It is only when they are obscured by clouds that there is brightness above but darkness below and the sun, the moon, and the stars cannot be seen. But when suddenly a gentle mind blows and scatters all clouds and fog, all phenomena are abundantly spread out before us, all appearing together. The purity of people’s nature is comparable to the clear sky, their wisdom comparable to the sun, and sagacity comparable to the moon. Their sagacity and wisdom are always shining. It is only because externally people are attached to spheres of objects (1) that erroneous thoughts, like floating clouds, cover the self-nature so that it is not clear. […] By taking refuge ourselves is meant to remove evil deeds. This is called taking refuge.



Quote n° 2310 : , (638-713), monks, Buddhism, Mahayana, Zen (Chan)
Source : Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 

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