Saturday, December 19, 2009

Timeless Spring

Shitou said:

Our teaching has been handed down by the ancient buddhas; we do not speak of meditation as spiritual progress, only the arrival at the knowledge and vision of buddhahood. Mind itself is buddha; mind, buddha, sentient beings, enlightenment, affliction, are all different names for the same thing. You should know that your mind's aware essence is neither finite nor eternal, by nature neither defiled nor pure. It is still and complete; it is the same in ordinary people and saints, responding effectively without patterns, apart from mind, desire, matter, and immaterial---six states of being---animals, hell beings, hungry ghosts, titans, human beings, gods---are only manifestations of your own mind; the moon in the water, images in a mirror---how can there be any birth or death? If you can realize this you will be complete in every way.

Once Yaoshan was sitting, Shitou saw him and asked, "what are you doing here?"
Yaoshan said, "I'm not doing anything."
Shitou said, "Then you are just sitting idly?"
Youshan said, "If I were idly sitting, that would be doing something.

Shitou said, "You said you are not doing; what aren't you doing?"

Yaoshan said, "Even the saints don't know.

Timeless Spring
"Classics of Buddhism and Zen"
Thomas Cleary


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