Roaring of a Mud Cow |
All who practice meditation should be careful to realize these things!
First, that impermanence occurs too fast and the matter of birth and death is most important. Thus, an ancient saying says: "although my life is preserved today, it is difficult to preserve tomorrow. So your mind should always should be concentrated and always awakened, without idleness.
Second, you must reduce defilements inwardly and cut off causes and conditions outwardly. If your mind rubs together with sense objects like fire sticks, bursting into flame, this might not only hinder your ability to break through your Hwadu (koan, great lump of doubt), but it will also add heavily to your karma. If you are able to get along without indulging in the sensory pleasures of life and have no interest in preserving your life, then the wisdom of mind becomes clear and bright. As a consequence, mind will accomplish everything. If you engage in good conduct, then you might be reborn in Heaven, engage in bad conduct then you'll go to hell, atrocious behavior will lead to you becoming a tiger or wolf, possess a stupid mind and become an earthworm or an insect, have a light and busy mind and become a butterfly. Thus, an ancient master says, "one thought of wrong mind puts forth a hundred thousand forms." If your mind becomes pure and tranquil, thoroughly empty, where can you find your birth and death, where can you find good and evil, and where can you find any keeping or violating of the precepts?
Only when you reach the origin, will you not follow any birth, any destruction, you won't attain any Buddhahood, and won't accomplish any patriarchal transmission. On a grand scale, it encloses incalculable universes, on a small scale it enters subtle dust, and it can be both Buddha and sentient beings. Moreover, it is not large or small, not angular or circular, not bright or dark. Thus, it does not exist because it is an enforced truth, but because it is a free and circular truth.
Those who practice this deep and delicate path always reflect mind deliberately, awakened, precisely and continuously, practicing with extremely sincerity, and then arriving at the condition in which mind is exhausted. Suddenly the road of mind comes to an end and they arrive at the basic ground of mind. Because the basic state of mind is originally satisfied and transparent, there is no lack and no surplus.
When these conditions manifest, thousands of suns and moons shine brightly. When the wind strikes the ear, the oceanic wind-bell strikes Mt. Sumeru of its own accord.
This reason is always nearby, so there is no need to know spontaneously. Those who seek the deep truth can attain the method for reflection, finding the mind's exact shape. So don't use mind indifferently! As Master Taego said: "Let the arrow fly, it penetrates the rock." Master Cheongheo also said "As a mosquito penetrates the back of an iron ox, go desperately through the place where the beak cannot reach." The hwadu practitioner should take these teaching as a guideline.
A Dharma master once said: "the single dharma to see the mind includes all behavior." Nevertheless, you need only pay attention to cultivating the root and the body, don't worry about the branches and leaves not growing thick. Make efforts only to see the real mind and to attain enlightenment. Don't worry if there is no mysterious samadhi. People these days do not desperately study and practice the truth. I'm very sad because the mendicant hwadu practitioners don't discover the truth of Buddhist teaching. They don't have an eye of wisdom, but spend life uselessly, like a goat wandering drunk and lost at a fork in the road.
Master Dong-san said: "it is painful to lose a man's body under a monk's robe." If one's first step on a journey of a thousand miles is not right, it is useless to waste energy, so it does no benefit to go any further.
Thus Master Gyubong said: "Clearly cut off all doubt, awaken to the truth and practice!" Even were someone to build a humble grass house, this task could not be accomplished without without the effort of drawing guide lines and planing the wood; thus, how much more difficult is it to build a big temple of full enlightenment without following the truth? For fear of failure, even a small plan requires one to study in order to attain the truth. Those who can't do as such must ask questions to good teachers and then seek out a master with clear vision, and then they will finally accomplish their task without fail.
It's rare to find those who engage on the path without failing. It's hard to find those who throw themselves into their study, who can see clearly.
Oh, how sad! Why don't you search for the truth?
If people want to realize impermanence and attain enlightenment, why don't they seek a bright master? How else can they ever attain the right way in the future?