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Hui Neng



Spiritual quotes of
Hui Neng

17  quote(s)  | Page 1 / 1




P eople 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?





Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 4392 | 
Sutra of Hui Neng 6 

   




S ince 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."





Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 4296 | 
Sutra of Hui Neng 2 

   




W ithin 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.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 4271 | 
Sutra of Hui Neng 6 

   




O ne 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.





Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 4196 | 
Sutra of Hui Neng 1 

   




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




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 4190 | 
Sutra of Hui Neng 1 

   




G ood 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.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2314 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 31 

   




W hy 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’.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2313 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 30 

   




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




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2312 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 

   




W hat 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.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2311 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 

   




S elf-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.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2310 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 

   




G ood and learned friends, you must all go through the experience yourselves and receive the discipline that frees you from the attachment to differentiated characters. Follow me at the same time and repeat my slogans. They will enable you, good and learned friends, to see that the Three Bodies (1) of the Buddha are within you: 'We take refuge in the pure Law-body of the Buddha with our own physical bodies. We take refuge in the Myriad Transformation-body with our own physical bodies. We take refuge in the Perfect Reward-body with our own physical bodies.' The physical body is like an inn and cannot be spoken of as a refuge. It has always been the case that the Three Bodies lie in one's own nature. Everyone has them, yet because they are deluded they do not see, and they seek the Three [Bodies] of the Tathagata (Thus-come Buddha) externally, without realizing that the Three Bodies are inherent in one's own physical body. Good and learned friends, listen to your good friend. If you, good and learned friends, now see in your own physical bodies the self-nature that involved the Three Bodies of the Buddha. These Three Bodies will arise from your nature.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2309 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 20 
The doctrine of "becoming a Buddha in this very body" is a far cry from the original Indian idea that the body is a hindrance to freedom. One cannot help recalling that the Confucianists have always regarded the body as a gift from parents and as such it is a sacred trust and therefore to be well taken care of, and that for centuries the Taoists religion had tried in many ways, including medicine, diets, exercise, sex technique, and breath control, to make the body suitable for everlasting life on earth. These are some of the roots that make Zen essentially Chinese.

   




T he Wei-mochieh [so-shuo] ching says, 'Immediately we become completely clear and recover our original mind. The P'u-sa chieh ching (Scripture of Disciplines for Bodhisattvahood) says, 'We are originally pure in our self-nature. (1) Good and learned friends, realize that your self-nature is naturally pure. Cultivate and achieve for yourselves the Law-body of your self-nature. Follow the Way of the Buddha yourselves. Act and achieve Buddhahood for yourselves.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2308 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 19 
(1) Buddhism conceives a Buddha to have a threefold body, namely, the Lawbody or spiritual body (Dharmakaya), the Reward-body or Enjoyment-body (Sambhogakaya), and the Transformation-body or body of incarnation (Nirmanakaya). The Law-body is the Buddha-body in its self-nature, the body of the Dharma or truth, the body of reality, the body of principle. This "body" has no body existence. It is identical with truth. In various schools it is identical with the Realm of Dharma (Dharmadhatu), Buddha-nature, or the Storehouse of the “Thus-come" (Tathagatagarbha). The Reward-body is the person embodied with real insight, enjoying his own enlightenment or that of others. The Transformation body is a body variously appearing to save people. The three bodies are three in one, are possessed of all Buddhas, and are potential to all men.

   




N ow, this being the case, in this method, what is meant by sitting in meditation? In this method, to sit means to be free from all obstacles, and externally not to allow thoughts to rise from the mind over any sphere of objects. To meditate means to realize the imperturbability of one's original nature. What is meant by meditation and calmness? Meditation means to be free from all characters externally; calmness means to be unperturbed internally. If there are characters outside and the inner mind is not disturbed, one's original nature is naturally pure and calm. It is only because of the spheres of objects that there is contact, and contact leads to perturbation. There is calmness when one is free from characters and is not perturbed. There is meditation when one is externally free from characters, and there is calmness when one is internally undisturbed. Meditation and calmness mean that external meditation is attained and internal calmness is achieved.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2307 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 19 

   




M an's nature is originally pure. It is by false thoughts that True Thusness is obscured. Our original nature is pure as long as it is free from false thoughts. If one does not realize that his own nature is originally pure and makes up his mind to look at purity, he is creating a false purity. Such purity has no objective existence. Hence we know that what is looked at is false. Purity has neither physical form nor character, but some people set up characters of purity and say that this is the object of our task. People who take this view hinder their own original nature and become bound by purity.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2306 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 18 

   




G ood and learned friends, in this method of mine, from the very beginning, whether in the sudden-enlightenment or gradual-enlightenment tradition, absence-of-thought has been instituted as the main doctrine, absence-of-characters as the substance, and nonattachment as the foundation. What is meant by absence-of-characters? Absence of characters means to be free from characters while in the midst of them. Absence-of-thought means not to be carried away by thought in the process of thought. Nonattachment is man's original nature. Thought after thought goes on without remaining. Past, present, and future thoughts continue without termination. But if we cut off andterminate thought one instant, the dharma-body (Law-body or spiritual body ) (1) is freed from the physical body. At no time should a single instant of thought be attached to any dharma. If one single instant of thought is attached to anything, then every thought will be attached. That is bondage. But if in regard to dharmas no thought is attached to anything, that is freedom. [This is] the meaning of having nonattachment as the foundation.




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2305 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 17. 

   




G ood and learned friends, in method there is no distinction between sudden enlightenment and gradual enlightenment. Among men however, some are intelligent and others are stupid. Those who are deluded understand gradually, while the enlightened achieve understand understanding suddenly. But when they know their own minds, then they see their own nature, and there is no difference in their enlightenment. Without enlightenment, they remain forever bound in transmigration."




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2304 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 16. 

   




M aster Hui-neng declared, "Good and learned friends, perfect wisdom is inherent in all people. It is only because they are deluded in their minds that they cannot attain enlightenment by themselves. They must seek the help of good and learned friends of high standing to show them the way to see [their own] nature. Good and learned friends, as soon as one is enlightened, he attains wisdom




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 2303 | 
Hui-neng, in the “Plateform scripture” (liu-tsu t’an-ching), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 26, 12 

   


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On other page(s):  Life et teaching of Hui Neng




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