Huang Po

Q: “At this moment, while erroneous
thoughts are arising in my mind,
where is the Buddha?”

A: “At this moment, you are conscious
of those erroneous thoughts. Well, that
consciousness is the Buddha!”

. . .

Your true nature is something never
lost to you even in moments of
delusion, nor is it gained at the
moment of Enlightenment. It is the
Nature of the Bhutatathata. In it is
neither delusion nor right
understanding. It fills the Void
everywhere and is intrinsically of the
substance of the One Mind. How, then,
can your mind-created objects exist
outside of the Void?

. . .

Q: “What is the Buddha?”

A: “Mind is the Buddha, while the
cessation of conceptual thought is
the Way…The Sambhagakaya
is not a real Buddha, nor a real
teacher of the Dharma. Only come
to know the nature of your
own Mind, in which there is no self
and no other, and you will in fact
be a Buddha!”

. . .

Q: Allowing that the Enlightenment
person who achieves the cessation of
conceptual though is Buddha, would not
an ignorant person, on ceasing to think
conceptually, lose themselves in

A: There ARE no Enlightened people or
ignorant people, and there is no

Yet, though basically everything is without objective
existence, you must not come to think
in terms of anything non-existent; and
though things are not non-existent, you
must not form a concept of anything
existing. For ‘existence’ and ‘non-
existence’ are both empirical concepts
no better than illusions. Therefore it
is written:

‘Whatever the senses apprehend
resembles an illusion, including
everything ranging from mental concepts
to living beings’

Bodhidharma preached to his disciples
nothing but total abstraction leading
to elimination of sense-perception. In
this total absorption does the Way of
the Buddhas flourish; while from
discrimination between this and that a
host of demons blazes forth!

Q: If Mind and the Buddha are
intrinsically one, should we continue
to practice the six paramitas and the
other orthodox means of gaining

A: Enlightenment springs from Mind,
regardless of your practice of the six
paramitas and the rest. All such
practices are merely expedients for
handling ‘concrete’ matters when
dealing with the problems of daily
life. Even Enlightenment, the Absolute,
Reality, Sudden Attainment, the
Dharmakaya and all the others down to
the Ten Stages of Progress, the Four
Rewards of virtuous and wise living and
the State of Holiness and Wisdom are,
every one of them, mere concepts for
helping us through samsara; they have
nothing to do with the real Buddha-Mind.

Since Mind is the Buddha, the ideal
way of attainment is to cultivate that
Buddha-Mind. Only avoid conceptual
thoughts, which lead to becoming and
cessation, to the afflictions of the
sentient world and all the rest; then
you will have no need of methods of
Enlightenment and suchlike. Therefore
it is written:

All the Buddha’s teachings
Just had this single object:
To carry us beyond the
Stage of thought.
Now, if I accomplish cessation
Of my thinking,
What use to me are
The Dharmas Buddha taught?

From Gautama Buddha down through the
whole line of patriarchs to
Bodhidharma, none preached anything
more than the One Mind, otherwise known
as the Sole Vehicle of Liberation.
Hence, though you search throughout the
whole universe, you will never find
another vehicle. Nowhere has this
teaching leaves or branches; its one
quality is eternal truth. Hence it is a
teaching hard to accept.

This teaching is called the Great Way.
The very nature of the Great Way is
voidness of opposition. Bodhidharma
firmly believed in being one with the
real ‘substance’ of the universe in
this life! Mind and that ‘substance’ do
not differ one jot. That substance is
Mind. They cannot be possibly
separated. It was for this revelation
that he earned the title of Patriarch,
and therefore is it written:

The moment of realizing the unity of
Mind and the ‘substance’ which
constitutes reality may truly be said
to baffle description.

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