Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Original Face

What is the Original Face? It is the face all of us have before our parents gave birth to us. Before we even have the 6 sense organs of eyes, ears, nose, tounge, body & brain to perceive the 6 sense objects of form, sound, smell, taste, feeling & thought. Before we even know good & evil, happiness & suffering, samsara & nirvana. Simply the pure awareness untainted by all 6 senses - that is the real YOU. That is also me, that is also all sentient beings & all Buddhas. This is the Dharma that the 6th Patriarch revealed to his pursuer Hui Ming on Da Yu mountain. By temporarily shutting down your 6 sense organs and blocking out the 6 sense objects, by abandoning duality, what is left at that instant is your true nature. Like the still lake without a single ripple, or like the clear blue sky without a single cloud; the original face is vast, limitless, formless & completely free. It is not dull nothingness like an unconscious person, but a living, unmoving awareness that pervades all things, yet remaining unaffected by all things. Besides this, there is no other esoteric teachings that the Buddha & the Patriarches can impart to us.
But alas, for all of us, after we have picked up a physical body in our mother's womb, we have totally forgotten our original face. We started to grasp on to our sense organs, believing that to be our Self, our Ego. This is where the ignorance without a beginning - Avijja takes over. When our sense organs contact the sense objects, we instinctively allow the objects to enslave the organs, such that craving & aversion developes without an end, engulfing the entire universe. From Avijja arises craving & aversion, & from craving & aversion arises endless suffering.
Thus realizing this, the Zen practitioner should, in a single thought understand his or her own mistake, & immediately detach oneself from one's senses & its objects from within. Throwing away all concepts, directly penetrate the veil of Avijja & recover your original face. This is the common hope of all Buddhas & Patriarches for all sentient beings. Let none of us dissappoint them, sadhu.

1 comment:

hoangkybactien said...


Buddhas and Patriarches do not hope, for they do know all of us will eventually be awakened! All sentient beings are just like lotus seeds, will eventually rise up above mud-water.

Let's have confidence in the teachings of Lord Buddha and the Patriarches.