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SHAM BHALA POCKET LIBRARY Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 1 8/16/19 9:36 AM Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 2 8/16/19 9:36 AM THE ZEN READER c om p i l e d a n d t r a n s l at e d…
SHAM BHALA POCKET LIBRARY Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 1 8/16/19 9:36 AM Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 2 8/16/19 9:36 AM THE ZEN READER c om p i l e d a n d t r a n s l at e d b y Thomas Cleary SHAMBHALA · Boulder · 2019 Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 3 8/16/19 9:36 AM Shambhala Publications, Inc. 4720 Walnut Street Boulder, Colorado 80301 © 1999 by Thomas Cleary This book was previously published as The Pocket Zen Reader. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. 987654321 Printed in the United States of America o This edition is printed on acid-free paper that meets the American National Standards Institute z39.48 Standard. k This book is printed on 30% postconsumer recycled paper. For more information please visit Shambhala Publications is distributed worldwide by Penguin Random House, Inc., and its subsidiaries. The Library of Congress catalogues the previous edition of this book as follows: The Zen reader / compiled and translated by Thomas Cleary. p. cm. isbn 978-1-59030-946-9 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-1-61180-703-5 (Shambhala Pocket Library) I. Zen Buddhism—Quotations, maxims, etc. I. Cleary, Thomas F., 1949– II. Title. bq9267.p63 2011 294.3'927—dc23 2011028690 Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 4 8/16/19 9:36 AM INTRODUCTION Zen is traditionally called the School of the Awakened Mind, or the Gate to the Source. The premise of Zen is that our personality, culture, and beliefs are not in- herent parts of our souls, but “guests” of a recondite “host,” the Buddha-nature or real self hidden within us. We are not limited, in our essence or mode of being, to what we happen to believe we are, or what we happen to believe the world is, based on the acci- dental conditions of our birth and upbringing. This realization may not seem to have positive sig- nificance at first, until it is remembered how much anger, antagonism, and grief arises from the ideas of “them” and “us” based on historically conditioned fac- tors like culture, customs, and habits of thought. Any reasonable person knows these things are not absolute, and yet the force of conditioning creates seemingly insurmountable barriers of communication. By actively awakening a level of consciousness deeper than those occupied by conditioned habits of perception, the realization of Zen removes the stric- tures of absolutism and intolerance from the thinking and feeling of the individual. In doing so, Zen realiza- tion also opens the door to impartial compassion and v Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 5 8/16/19 9:36 AM social conscience, not in response to political opportu- nity, but as a spontaneous expression of intuitive and empathic capacities. This book is a collection of quotations from the great Eastern masters of Zen. It has no beginning, middle, or end. The masters talk about the practicali- ties of Zen realization in many different ways, speaking as they did to different audiences in different times, but all of them are talking about waking up, seeing for yourself, and standing on your own two feet. Start anywhere; eventually you’ll come full circle. v i  I N T R O D U C T I O N Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 6 8/16/19 9:36 AM THE ZEN READER Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 1 8/16/19 9:36 AM Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 2 8/16/19 9:36 AM E N T RY I N T O T H E WAY by the Founder of Zen There are many avenues of entry into the Way, but they are essentially of just two types, referred to as principle and conduct. Entry by principle is when you realize the source by way of the teachings and deeply believe that all liv- ing beings have the same real essential nature, but it is veiled by outside elements and false ideas and cannot manifest completely. If you abandon falsehood and re- turn to reality, abiding stably in impassive observation, with no self and no other, regarding ordinary and holy as equal, persisting firmly, immovable, not following other persuasions, then you deeply harmonize with the principle. Having no false notions, being serene and not striving, is called entry by way of principle. Entry by conduct refers to four practices in which all other practices are included. What are the four? First is compensation for opposition. Second is adapt- ing to conditions. Third is not seeking anything. Fourth is acting in accord with truth. The practice of compensation for opposition means that when people cultivating the Way are beset by 3 Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 3 8/16/19 9:36 AM suffering, they should think how in past times they themselves neglected the fundamental and pursued the trivial over countless ages, flowing in waves of exis- tences, arousing much enmity and hatred, with no end of offense and injury. Although they may be innocent right now, they think of their suffering as the results of their own past evil deeds, not something inflicted upon them by gods or humans. Thus they accept con- tentedly, without enmity or complaint. Scripture says, “There is no anxiety when experiencing suffering, be- cause of perfect knowledge.” When this attitude is developed, you are in harmony with the Way. Because we make progress on the Way by comprehending op- position, this is called the practice of compensating for opposition. Second is the practice of adapting to conditions. Living beings have no absolute self; they are all influ- enced by conditions and actions. Their experiences of pain and pleasure both come from conditions. Even if they attain excellent rewards, things like prosperity and fame, these are effects of past causes only now being realized. When the conditions wear out, they return to nothing, so what is there to rejoice about? Gain and loss come from conditions; there is no in- crease or decrease in the mind. When the influence of joy does not stir you, there is profound harmony with the Way; therefore, this is called the practice of adapting to conditions. 4  THE ZEN READER Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 4 8/16/19 9:36 AM Third is the practice of not seeking anything. Worldly people wander forever, becoming attached by greed here and there. This is called seeking. The wise realize that the principle of absolute truth is contrary to the mundane. Mentally at ease in nonstriving, physi- cally they adapt to the turns of fate. All existents are empty; there is nothing to hope for. Blessings and curses always follow each other. Liv- ing in the world is like a house on fire, all corporeal existence involves pain—who can be at peace? Be- cause of understanding this point, we let go of all ex- istences, stop thinking, and seek nothing. Scripture says, “Seeking is all painful; not seeking anything is bliss.” Not seeking anything is clearly the conduct of the Way, so it is called the practice of not seeking any- thing. Fourth is the practice of acting in accord with truth. The principle of purity of essential nature is called truth. In terms of this principle, all appearances are empty; so there is no infection, no attachment, no this, no that. Scripture says, “In truth there are no be- ings, because it is free from the defilement of beings. In truth there is no self, because it is free from the defilement of self.” Therefore, if the wise can believe in this principle, they should act in accord with truth. The substance of truth has no stinginess: practicing charity with one’s person, life, and goods, the mind has no regret. THE ZEN READER  5 Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 5 8/16/19 9:36 AM Liberated from empty personality and things, inde- pendent and unattached, with the sole purpose of getting rid of defilement, edifying people informally, this constitutes your own practice, and can also help others. It can also adorn the path of enlightenment. As this is true of charity, it is also thus with the other five perfections, or ways of transcendence. Prac- ticing the six ways of transcendence in order to get rid of false ideas, without objectivizing practices, is called practice in accord with truth. Bodhidharma 6  THE ZEN READER Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 6 8/16/19 9:36 AM FORM AND SHADOW Shadows arise from forms, echoes come from sounds. If we fiddle with shadows and ignore the forms, we do not recognize that the forms are the roots of the shadows. If we raise our voices to stop echoes, we are not cognizant of the fact that sounds are the roots of the echoes. To try to head for nirvana by getting rid of afflictions is like removing forms to look for shadows. To seek Buddhahood apart from living beings is like seeking echoes by silencing sounds. So we know that illusion and enlightenment are one road. Ignorance and knowledge are not separate. We make names for what has no name. Because we go by the names, judgments of right and wrong arise. We make rationalizations for what has no reason. Because we rely on the rationalizations, argument and dis- cussion arise. Illusion is not real: who is right, who is wrong? The unreal is not actual: what is empty, what exists? Thus I realize that attainment gains nothing, and loss loses nothing. Layman Hsiang THE ZEN READER  7 Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 7 8/16/19 9:36 AM NONDUALITY When the illusory body faces a mirror and its form is reflected, the reflected form is not different from the illusory body. If you only want to get rid of the reflec- tion but leave the body, you do not realize the body is fundamentally the same as space. The body is basically not different from the reflec- tion. You cannot have one without the other: If you try to keep one and get rid of the other, you’ll be forever estranged from the truth. Even more, if you love the holy and hate the ordinary, you’ll bob in the ocean of birth and death. Afflictions have reasons based on mind; when mind- less, where can afflictions abide? If you do not bother to discriminate and grasp appearances, you will attain the Way naturally in an instant. While dreaming, you act in dreams; when you awaken, dreamland doesn’t exist. If you think back to waking and dreaming, they are not different from deluded dualism. If you seek to gain by reforming illusion and grasp- ing awakening, how is that different from involvement in commerce? When movement and stillness are both forgotten, and you are ever serene, then you spontane- ously merge with reality as it is. 8  THE ZEN READER Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 8 8/16/19 9:36 AM If you say that sentient beings are different from Buddha, then you are forever alienated from Buddha. Buddha and sentient beings are not two; this naturally comprehends all. Pao-chih THE ZEN READER  9 Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 9 8/16/19 9:36 AM THE NONDUALITY OF GOOD AND EVIL My own mind and body are blissful and happy, calm and serene, without good or evil. The body of reality is independent, without location; whatever strikes the eye is none other than true awakening. The objects of sense are originally empty and null; ordinary people arbitrarily create attachments and fixations. Nirvana and samsara are equal; who in the world gets differential treatment? The uncontrived Great Way is natural and spontaneous; you don’t need to use your mind to figure it out. Enlightening beings are untrammeled, spiritually effective. Whatever they do is always imbued with sub- lime awareness. Seekers clinging to method sitting in meditation are like silkworms spitting out thread binding themselves. The essence of reality is originally completely clear; when the sickness is healed, what is the need to cling to the medicine? When you know all things are equal, you are serenely clear and open, bliss- fully happy. Pao-chih 10  THE ZEN READER Zen Reader 8-16-19.indd 10 8/16/19 9:36 AM
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