Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Requirement of Zen

Homage to Ven Yuexi (1879-1965), the Buddha from Kunming.

The Zen Patriach Linji once said:

"It is most urgent that you seek real, true perception and understanding, so you can be free in the world and not confused by ordinary spiritualists. It is best to have no obsessions. Just do not be contrived. Simply be normal. You impulsively seek elsewhere, looking to others for your own hands and feet. This is already mistaken.

What I point out to you is only that you shouldn't allow yourselves to be confused by others. Act when you need to, without further hesitation or doubt. People today can't do this - what is their affliction? Their affliction is in their lack of self-confidence. If you do not spontaneously trust yourself sufficiently, you will be in a frantic state, pursuing all sorts of objects and being changed by those objects, unable to be independent."

In the lineage of Zen, if the student cannot reach his master's level, or even if he just reach the same level as the master, he still cannot be considered a true successor. Only when he surpasses his master in achievement, such that even the Buddhas & Patriaches can't do anything to tame him, can he be considered a fitting Zen master! Such a person is a lion among men, destined to bear the yoke of the Buddha's heart transmission & give the lion's roar. Ven Yuexi is one such person who firmly believes in this. If you do not have that kind of absolute confidence in yourself, then Zen is not the path for you. Therefore crush all self-doubt & recognize your own Buddha-nature, for the infinite treasures of the Dhamma is always ready for anyone brave enough to grab them.

No comments: