The Sixth Patriarch's Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra

Chapter 4: Concentration and Wisdom

The Master instructed the assembly: "Good Knowing Advisors, this Dharma-door of mine has concentration and wisdom as its foundation. Great assembly, do not be confused and say that concentration and wisdom are different. Concentration and wisdom are one substance, not two. Concentration is the substance of wisdom, and wisdom is the function of concentration. Where there is wisdom, concentration is in the wisdom. Where there is concentration, wisdom is in the concentration. If you understand this principle, you understand the balanced study of concentration and wisdom.

"Students of the Way, do not say that first there is concentration, which produces wisdom, or that first there is wisdom, which produces concentration: do not say that the two are different. To hold this view implies a duality of dharma-If your speech is good, but your mind is not, then concentration and wisdom are useless because they are not equal. If mind and speech are both good, the inner and outer are alike, and concentration and wisdom are equal.

"Self-enlightenment, cultivation, and practice are not a matter for debate. If you debate which comes first, then you are like a confused man who does not cut off ideas of victory and defeat, but magnifies the notion of self and dharmas, and does not disassociate himself from the four mark."

"Good Knowing Advisors, what are concentration and wisdom like? They are like a lamp and its light. With the lamp, there is light. Without the lamp, there is darkness. The lamp is the substance of the light and the light is the function of the lamp. Although there are two names, there is one fundamental substance. The dharma of concentration and wisdom is also thus."

The Master instructed the assembly: "Good Knowing Advisors, the Single Conduct Samadhi is the constant practice of maintaining a direct, straightforward mind in all places, whether one is walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. As the Vimalakirti Sutra says, 'The straight mind is the Bodhimandala; the straight mind is the Pure Land.'

"Do not speak of straightness with the mouth only, while the mind and practice are crooked nor speak of the Single Conduct Samadhi without maintaining a straight mind. Simply practice keeping a straight mind and have no attachment to any dharma.

"The confused person is attached to the marks of dharmas, while holding to the Single Conduct Samadhi and saying, 'I sit unmoving and falseness does not arise in my mind. That is the Single Conduct Samadhi.' Such an interpretation serves to make him insensate and obstructs the causes and conditions for attaining the Way.

"Good bowing Advisors, the Way must penetrate and flow. How can it be impeded? If the mind does not dwell in dharmas, the Way will penetrate and flow. The mind that dwells in dharmas is in self-bondage. To say that sitting unmoving is correct is to be like Shariputra who sat quietly in the forest but was scolded by Vimalakirti."

"Good Knowing Advisors, there are those who teach people to sit looking at the mind and contemplating stillness, without moving or arising. They claim that it has merit. Confused men, not understanding, easily become attached and go insane. There are many such people. Therefore you should know that teaching of this kind is a great error.

The Master instructed the assembly: "Good knowing Advisors, the right teaching is basically without a division into 'sudden' and 'gradual.' People's natures themselves are sharp or dull. When the confused person who gradually cultivates and the enlightened person who suddenly connects each recognize the original mind and see the original nature, they are no different.

"Therefore, the terms sudden and gradual are shown to be false names.

"Good Knowing Advisors, this Dharma-door of mine, from the past onwards, has been established from the first with no-thought as its doctrine, no-mark as its substance, and no-dwelling as its basis. No-mark means to be apart from marks while in the midst of marks. No-thought means to be without thought while in the midst of thought. No-dwelling is the basic nature of human beings.

"In the world of good and evil, attractiveness and ugliness, friendliness and hostility, when faced with language which is offensive, critical, or argumentative, you should treat it all as empty and have no thought of revenge. In every thought, do not think of former states. If past, present, and future thoughts succeed one another without interruption, it is bondage. Not to dwell in dharmas from thought to thought is to be free from bondage. That is to take no-dwelling as the basis.

"Good Knowing Advisors, to be separate from all outward marks is called 'no-mark.' The ability to be separate from marks is the purity of the Dharma's substance. It is to take no-marks as the substance.

"Good Knowing Advisors, the non-defilement of the mind in all states is called 'no-thought.' In your thoughts you should always be separate from states; do not give rise to thought about them."

"If you merely do not think of the hundred things, and so completely rid yourself of thought, then as the last thought ceases, you die and undergo rebirth in another place. That is a great mistake, of which students of the Way should take heed.

"To misinterpret the Dharma and make a mistake yourself might be acceptable, but to exhort others to do the same is unacceptable. In your own confusion you do not see and, moreover you slander the Buddha's Sutras. Therefore no-thought is established as the doctrine.

"Good Knowing Advisors, why is no-thought established as the doctrine? Because there are confused people who speak of seeing their own nature, and yet they produce thought with regard to states. Their thoughts cause deviant views to arise, and from that all defilement and false thinking are created. Originally, not one single dharma can be obtained in the self-nature .If there is something to attain or false talk of misfortune and blessing, that is just defilement and deviant views. Therefore, this Dharma-door establishes no-thought as its doctrine.

"Good Knowing Advisors, 'No' means no what? 'Thought' means thought of what? 'No' means no two marks, no thought of defilement. 'Thought' means thought of the original nature of True Suchness. True Suchness is the substance of thought and thought is the function of True Suchness.

"The True Suchness self-nature gives rise to thought. It is not the eye, ear, nose, or tongue which can think. The True suchness possesses a nature and therefore gives rise to thought. Without True suchness, the eye, ear, forms, and sounds immediately go bad.

"Good Knowing Advisors, the True Suchness self-nature gives rise to thought, and the six faculties, although they see, hear, feel, and know, are not defiled by the ten thousand states. Your true nature is eternally independent. Therefore, the Vimalakirti Sutra says, 'If one is well able to discriminate all dharma marks, then, in the primary meaning, one does not move.'"

<< Prev   Table of Contents   Next >>