Bodhidharma     39 posts


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“Bodhidharma laughed for seven days when he became enlightened — nonstop. His friends became very worried; they thought he had gone insane. They asked him, “What is the matter? Why are you laughing?”
He said, “I am laughing because now I see the whole ridiculousness of my search. I have been searching for lives together for the truth, and it has always been within me. What I was searching for was in the seeker himself. I was looking everywhere and it was within me. I was running hither and thither and there was no need to run anywhere. I could have just calmed myself down, and it was mine. It has always been mine. From the very beginning it was within me. It is my innermost being, my very being.
“The seeker is the sought — that’s why I am laughing. I cannot believe how I could remain in such a deception for so long, how I managed to be such a fool. And I am also laughing because I see all around millions of people searching in the same way — searching for bliss, for God, for truth, for nirvana — and all that they are searching and seeking and looking for can be found within themselves. There is no need to go anywhere. There is no need to do anything. Just close your eyes and look within, and the kingdom of God is yours. Hence, I cannot stop laughing.”

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Mind is like the wood or stone from which a person carves an image. If he carves a dragon or a tiger, and seeing it fears it, he is like a stupid person creating a picture of hell and then afraid to face it. If he does not fear it, then his unnecessary thoughts will vanish.
Part of the mind produces sight, sound, taste, odor and sensibility, and from them raises greed, anger and ignorance with all their accompanying likes and dislikes.

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To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn't apparent because it's shrouded by sensation and delusion.

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If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.

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The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.

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But deluded people don't realize that their own mind is the Buddha.
They keep searching outside.

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Unless you see your nature, all this talk about cause & effect is nonsense.
Buddhas don't practice nonsense.

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~ From " Outline of Practice "


Fourth, practicing the Dharma.
The Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure. By this truth, all appearances are empty. Defilement and attachment, subject and object don't exist. The sutras say, " The Dharma includes no being because it's free from the impurity of being, and the Dharma includes no self because it's free from the impurity of self. " Those wise enough to believe and understand this truth are bound to practice the Dharma. And since that which is real includes nothing worth begrudging, they give their body, life, and property in charity, without regret, without the vanity of giver, gift, or recipient, and without bias or attachment. And to eliminate impurity they teach others, but without becoming attached to form. Thus, through their own practice they're able to help others and glorify the Way of Enlightenment. And as with charity, they also practice the other virtues. But while practicing the Six Virtues*** to eliminate delusion, they practice nothing at all. This is what's meant by practicing the Dharma.

***Six Virtues. The Paramitas, or "means to the other shore" : Charity, Morality, Patience, Devotion, Meditation , and Wisdom. All six must be practiced with detachment from the concepts of actor, action, and beneficiary .

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First, suffering injustice.
When those who search for the Path encounter adversity, they should think to themselves, " In countless ages gone by, I've turned from the essential to the trivial and wandered through all manner of existence, often angry without cause and guilty of numberless transgressions. Now, though I do no wrong, I'm punished by my past. Neither gods nor mean can foresee when an evil deed will bear it's fruit. I accept it with an open heart and without complaint of injustice." The sutras say, " When you meet with adversity don't be upset, because it makes sense." With such understanding you're in harmony with reason. And by suffering injustice you enter the Path.

~ From " Outline of Practice "

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~ From " Outline of Practice"

Many roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice. To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn't apparent because it's shrouded by sensation and delusion. Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who meditate on walls, the absence of self and other, the oneness of mortal and sage, and unspoken agreement with reason. Without moving, without effort, they enter, we say, by reason.
To enter by practice refers to four all-inclusive practices: suffering injustice, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and practicing the Dharma.

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~ From " Outline of Practice"

Third, seeking nothing.
People of this world are deluded. They are always longing for something - always, in a word, seeking. But the wise wake up. They choose reason over custom. They fix their minds on the sublime and let their bodies change with the seasons. All phenomena are empty. They contain nothing worth desiring. Calamity forever alternates with Prosperity. To dwell in the three realms is to dwell in a burning house. To have a body is to suffer. Does anyone with a body know peace ? Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and stop imagining or seeking anything. The sutras say, " To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss." When you seek nothing, you are on the Path.

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Second, adapting to conditions.
As mortals, we are ruled by conditions, not by ourselves. All the suffering and joy we experience depend on conditions. If we should be blessed by some great reward, such as fame or fortune, it's the fruit of a seed planted by us in the past. When conditions change, it ends. Why delight in it's existence ? But while success and failure depend on conditions, the mind neither waxes nor wanes. Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path.

~ From " Outline of Practice"

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But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.

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on Zen:

A special transmission outside the scriptures,
Not founded upon words and letters;
By pointing directly to mind
It lets one see into [one's own true] nature and attain Buddhahood.

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There was a man named Huike who wanted to learn from Bodhidharma. He went to the cave that Bodhidharma was living in and requested to become his student. Bodhidharma refused, telling him to go away.

Huike didn’t give up. He stood outside Bodhidharma’s cave in the middle of winter, waiting for Bodhidharma to change his mind. He stood until snow was up to his waist.

In the morning, Bodhidharma asked Huike what he wanted and Huike said, “I want a teacher to open the gate of the elixir of universal compassion to liberate all beings”.

Bodhidharma refused, saying, “How can you hope for true religion with little virtue, little wisdom, a shallow heart and an arrogant mind? It would just be a waste of effort.

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Huike said to Bodhidharma, “My mind is anxious. Please pacify it.”
Bodhidharma replied, “Bring me your mind, and I will pacify it.”
Huike said, “Although I’ve sought it, I cannot find it.”
“There,” Bodhidharma replied, “I have pacified your mind.”

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"When your mind doesn't stir inside, the world doesn't arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is true vision. And such understanding is true understanding."

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Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this - walking, sitting, or lying down - everything you do is Zen.

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Delusion means mortality. And awareness means Buddhahood.

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To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity.

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To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings

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Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path


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Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear its fruit.

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