Monday, August 20, 2007

Teachings from Zen Patriarchs

On this morning's commute, I was reading The Mirror of Zen, and enjoyed these quotes from the 5th and 6th Patriarchs:

It is better to keep your true, original mind than to contemplate the Buddhas of the ten directions.

If you only contemplate other Buddhas, you will never break free from life and death. You should keep your buddha-mind as it is in order to arrive on the other shore.

Buddha originates in your own nature. There is no need to seek outside yourself.

Ignorant people chant in the hope of being born in the Pure Land, or Land of Utmost Bliss, but true practitioners only focus instead on clearing their own mind.

The Buddha does not save sentient beings. Rather, sentient beings save themselves the instant they awaken to their true mind.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't there some saying along the lines of "If you see the Buddha, kill him."

Stuart said...

Isn't there some saying along the lines of "If you see the Buddha, kill him."

Right. Everything is always changing, changing, appearing and disappearing like clouds in the sky. So if you've found someting (a possession, an understanding, a teacher) that you think is substantial and permanent, big mistake!

The point is to not make anything, not hold anything. That means throw it all into the garbage, or "kill" it. If you meet the Buddha, you kill the Buddha. If you meet an eminent teacher, you kill the eminent teacher.