What is invisible to humans

If you have developed great capacity and cutting insight, you can undertake Zen right where you are. Without getting it from another, you understand it on your own.

The penetrating spiritual light and vast open tranquility have never been interrupted since beginningless time. The pure, uncontrived, ineffable, complete true mind does not act as a partner to objects of material sense, and is not a companion of myriad things.

When the mind is always as clear and bright as ten suns shining together, detached from views and beyond feelings, cutting through the ephemeral illusions of birth and death, this is what is meant by the saying “Mind itself is Buddha.”

You do not have to abandon worldly activities in order to attain effortless unconcern. You should know that worldly activities and effortless unconcern are not two different things, but if you keep thinking about rejection and grasping, you make them two.

~ Hui Neng

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Hui Neng

First, a shout-out to the website DailyZen, which supplied the above excerpt on their page today. I’ve long made DailyZen my homepage on multiple computers for just such a thing as encountering Hui Neng. He was, his Wikipedia entry informs, “a Chinese Chán (Zen) monastic who is one of the most important figures in the entire tradition, according to standard Zen hagiographies. Huineng has been traditionally viewed as the Sixth and Last Patriarch of Chán Buddhism.”

The entry goes on to note:

The Platform Sūtra of the Sixth Patriarch is attributed to Huineng. It was constructed over a longer period of time, and contains different layers of writing.[3] It is…

…a wonderful melange of early Chan teachings, a virtual repository of the entire tradition up to the second half of the eight century. At the heart of the sermon is the same understanding of the Buddha-nature that we have seen in texts attributed to Bodhidharma and Hongren, including the idea that the fundamental Buddha-nature is only made invisible to ordinary humans by their illusions”.[4]

That bears repeating, if only to spend a few more moments taking it all in:

“… the fundamental Buddha-nature is only made invisible to ordinary humans by their illusions.”


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