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Sayings of Lin-chi

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  • Swami-G
    Namaste - For those who enjoy this offering it may be found at : http://www.dailyzen.com/journal.asp . it may be subscribed to at the above URL ...... they
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 21, 2003
      Namaste -

      For those who enjoy this offering it may be found at :


      . it may be subscribed to at the above URL ...... they always
      have delightful Zen thoughts.........


      Sayings of Lin-chi, Part I

      People who study Buddhism in the present day should for now
      seek truly accurate vision and understanding. Then life and
      death will not influence you, and you will be free to leave or to
      stay. You do not need to seek the extraordinary, for the
      extraordinary will come of itself.

      The worthies of old all had means of emancipating people. What
      I teach people just requires you not to take on the confusions of
      others. If you need to act, then act, without any further hesitation
      or doubt.

      When students today do not realize this, where is the problem?
      The problem is in not spontaneously trusting. If you do not trust
      yourself completely, you will then hurriedly go along with
      whatever happens in all situations; as you are caused to
      undergo changes by those myriad situations, you cannot be

      If you were able to put a stop to the mentality in which every
      thought is running after something, then you would be no
      different from a Zen master or a Buddha. Do you want to know
      what a Zen master or a Buddha is? Simply that which is
      immediately present, listening to the Teaching. It is just because
      students do not trust completely that they seek outwardly. Even if
      they get something by seeking, it is all literary excellence; they
      never attain the living meaning of the masters.

      Make no mistake about it; if you do not find it now, you will repeat
      the same routines for myriad eons, a thousand times over again,
      following and picking up on objects that attract you.

      We are no different from Shakyamuni Buddha. Today, in your
      various activities, what do you lack? The spiritual light coursing
      through your six senses has never been interrupted. If you can
      see in this way, you will simply be free of burdens all your life.

      The world is unstable, like a house on fire. This is not a place
      where you stay long. The haunt of impermanence comes upon
      you in a flash, no matter whether you are rich or poor, old or
      young. If you want to be no different from a Zen master or a
      Buddha, just do not seek outwardly.

      Do not allow any more interruptions at any time, and everything
      that you see is It. Just because feelings arise, knowledge is
      blocked. That is why you keep repeating the same routines in the
      world and suffer a variety of miseries.

      The reality of mind has no form but pervades the ten directions.
      In the eyes it is called seeing, in the ears it is called hearing, in
      the nose it smells, in the mouth it speaks, in the hand it grips, in
      the feet it steps. Basically it is a single spiritual light; seeing
      thus, you are liberated wherever you are.

      What do I mean when I say this? It is just because you are
      unable to stop the mentality of seeking that you get hooked on
      useless actions and states of other people who lived a long time
      ago. If you take my view, you will sit at the head of the
      embodiments of Buddha.

      You have these obstacles only because you have not realized
      the emptiness of the eons. Genuine Wayfarers are never like
      this; they just dissolve their history according to conditions,
      dressing according to circumstances, acting when they need to
      act, and sitting when they need to sit, without any idea of seeking
      the fruits of buddhahood.

      Time is to be valued! Don't stop with learning Zen or Tao on the
      surface as something outside yourself, learning to recognize
      terms and slogan, seeking "buddhahood," seeking "mastery,"
      seeking "teachers," considering them conceptually. Make no
      mistake about it; turn your attention back upon yourself and

      — from The Five Houses of Zen, Lin-chi (d. 867)
      Translated by Thomas Cleary (1997)

      It is our tendency as students to make exotic teachings more
      appealing; more difficult to understand teachers, profound; and
      our own confusion a sign that we are still far from it. And yet as
      Lin-chi states above, "in your various activities, what do you
      lack?" Practice, meditation allows us to enter fully into the
      Present. The ability to let the thoughts and feelings arise and
      then continue on gives us the experience of spaciousness, a
      time of not being pushed and pulled by ourselves or others, an
      opening where something new can arise.

      The kensei comes to see that his light and the vision of the
      sages is essentially one and the same. The way of action
      emerging from stillness is the non-action of the sages.

      — Light of the Kensei

      Yours along the Way,
      The Monkess
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