Discussion of Chinese Chán (禪) Buddhism.
As the translation stands now, I'd say:
Encompassing all, without will or aversion (no 'editing' by one's perception).
glad to see the discussion!
gregory, glad to see your post.
"not knowing" is only the method, the process, the path. it is not the true essence of every things. same with illumination.
also grammatically speaking, bu negates verbs, whereas wu negates nouns (of course there are exceptions to any grammatical rule).
actually when i ask what you all thought about the two lines, i wasn't asking about the translation. i was hoping you would explore what it means for you to know without encountering things and to illumine without opposing conditions. to be clear, it has nothing to do with magic or supernatural powers... or philosophical speculation.
joe, the point is not for me to comment on it. i was just hoping you all can discuss among yourselves... to explore these lines together and for each of you to come to an understanding. in time that understanding would evolve, too. i will post other teachings from hongzhi.
p.s. ani, the link you pointed to is not master sheng yen's explanation in 16 sections. rather those are 16 excepts from hongzhi's discourse records. he gives no explanations there. his book method of no method contains some of his comments on a few from the 16 excerpts.
Your transactions is very good and helpful Guo Gu!
Maybe understand these words a bit more...
To seek buddha, the hardware is already there before you add data to it.
Remove all data to see the hardware in its original reset.
Without data it doesn't know bits from bytes.
A clean drive awaits user to input data.
Remember your previous old computer?
When it was new? Before you added tons of programs to it.
How it used to run so smoothly.
Not only smoothly and errors free!
There was not need to add any programs to it.
The computers potential was boundless and not a
trace of spywares or bird droppings.
The words flow like the river, the downflow cannot happen without the upflow.
finding buddha, the buddha is already within you, without external interference
when you can ignore all the external noises, you can feel it's existance
in that subtle existence without substance, there are no discriminating thoughts
without items to compare, one is free from ideas or identification
then the mind becomes clear… delaying the thoughts (fish)
natural origins, the light has always been there, before black and white
the colors that can be created are unlimited, so naturally the light is innately wondrous.
the wondrous form is flawless
being flawless…the light needs no colors
by not limiting the lights…it can be free (birds) and shine everythere
Observe your inner buddha and discover the origin in its natural form before
it is filled with identifications, judgements and limitations.
Last edited by babybuddha on Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Knowing without encountering things; illuminating without opposing conditions." Master Hongzhi
"To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening." Genjokoan
Like floating down river in an inner tube: no wine, no smoke, no food, but perfectly present with wanting nothing.
Can't go deeper, don't want to, not now anyways.
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE
hi, Guo Gu,
Rather than any comment (but comments will always be welcome), what I am requesting is one or two other translations, by you, specifically, of the lines that you have put up for us to comment on. Please?
My reason is that I am not sure I understand your first translation. And the reason I ask for one or two more alternative translations by you -- specifically -- is that we cannot communicate with and ask questions of other translators who have their translations online or in books, who may have passed away, to ask for clarification of the translation. Also, you are a Chan master, and so your translation should (and will) carry more weight and understanding and precision than that of any other, and so would be most helpful in understanding Master Hongzhi.
Again, it's particularly in the second line where I am unsure of the wording. Alternative translations of that line would really help. Again, "please?"
"Knowing without encountering things; illuminating without opposing conditions."
Sounds a bit like dancing.
When we dance we embrace the experience fully, we become the experience. The music, your partner, yourself, the dance floor, the lights, the other people all dissapear leaving just the dance.
Usually its the other way round, there's always a naming, separation and judgement. Everything else is not me, and usually a potentiel problem; like when I'm out on a walk in the woods and come across a bunch of guys on dirt-bikes. Or when I'm trying to meditate and the neighbour really gets into a DIY project involving chainsaws
Guo Gu, I am sorry. While the five translations are coming from my personal collection, the issue you address is related to my blindly referring to our venerable Huifeng's post, that can be found here:
It reads exactly as:
I have nothing to say about knowing, but may I post a couple of words about blowing?
Unless the one who is learning flute playing has not mastered the art of blowing, he has an idea of "blowing", he "blows" intentionally, forcefully, as he is inflating a ball, or is dealing with something external. When he progresses along the way, however, the "blowing" is no more. How? No more, as there is just his natural breath. One sits in an erect posture, cross-legged, firmly grounded, and the out-breath is coming from the lower part of the abdomen. This natural breath, together with the lips naturally forming a narrow air stream, that is naturally falling at exactly the very edge of the embouchure hole, is then producing prolonged, clear, stable and natural sound. No "blowing" whatsoever.
Ed, I think that's a great connection to make, there.
Good info, thanks, Guo Gu.
I note that "bu hau" is a case of bu negating or modifying an adjective (relating to a noun).
And, what is the case of "kai wu"? There, wu seems to negate "having", so that kai wu comes to mean "having nothing", the Ch'an (and shihfu Sheng Yen's) expression for experiencing emptiness, and hence "entering the door of Ch'an". Wonderful!
Methinks it's all TAKING THE BACKWARD STEP, Joe, again and again and again....even when translations vary the gem stay bright in variations.
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE
Don't take it as gospel though. Dogen often appears to contradict himself. He clearly tunes his statement according to specific situations and the party he is addressing. I don't believe that we can begin to understand Dogen without taking into consideration the influence of time and change. I will post examples later
I'd say that when samadhi (not emptiness... ) breaks apart in an instant before your open eyes, you then suddenly have nothing, and this is the emptiness and freedom that reigns for as long as it reigns, and there is not a single movement of mind for weeks or months, but all our original human inheritances are fully alive and active and are used freely and spontaneously. There is no mind; or, when in this condition, the only mind is this no-mind. One does not sense it as a mind, nor as an "it", however, but as nothing at all, like great space, and great quiet. Yet, it works all the transformations and all the surprises and miracles of everyday life. Yet, these things are ordinary, just very (!) fresh, present, and without separation or cladding. And the source of all things is visible in every ...thing.
Just talking... .
I'd say again, as last week, that words do not "contain", nor even "convey". The best words can do is point, and perhaps encourage. Which, once again, too, is a lot.
the hao in buhao functions as a verb and an adjective, depending on the semantic context. the wu in kaiwu is not the same chinese character as the wu in negation form (as in the book, the gateless barrier, i.e., wumen guan)
thanks for clearing that up. i guess ven. huifeng didn't read that book by my teacher then... because my teacher's 16 excerpts on hongzhi do not include comments.
thanks for sharing! i like your rearrangement of hongzhi's lines and your computer metaphor.
as for me offering more translations on those two lines, here are two renderings:
the essence between buddhas and buddhas; the critical opportunity of each and every ancestor [of chan]:
aware without contacting [objects];
illuminate without opposing conditions.
here's a more freer rendering:
the secret of all buddhas; the entry point through which all the lineage masters have experienced:
knowing shouldn't involve contacting "things";
illumination occurs without conditions.
joe, essentially, this is the way things are. hongzhi is giving a hint on how to realize one's self-nature. ppl's knowing is typically dualistic, requiring subject and object, and dependent on the knowing and the known. but this is not the true nature of things. the subject (the self around which all decisions are made and around which all experiences evolve) is not real; it's just a deep-seated assumption. there's no reified self out there or in here, yet, the function of mind is knowing. in other words, we can live fine (e.g., think, experience, exercise our intelligence) without grasping onto a "subject" and our minds would still function. the point of practice is not to stop the functioning of mind. awakening is not an altered state of consciousness--it has nothing to do with motionlessness or motion. in awakening, knowing is no longer called knowing--it is just called illumination (which is hongzhi's typical way to describing wisdom), unconditioned by self or others. like the diamond sutra's line: "nonabiding, mind arising."
i've said too much....
i'll post something else by hongzhi next week for you all to enjoy.
Thanks for this one. In the first rendering it is not clear if it is an instruction or description of attainment. This one is more "go on, give it a go " as opposed to "the view from the mountain top."
The first two lines are pretty awesome. "don't bother 'unsubtlifying' this. This is just how you know." ok, thanks for the pointer. I can see where you want me to go with this.
Fourth line doesn't really do much for me. I'm like "ok, but so what?"
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice" --- Gandavyuha Sutra
here's another gem from hongzhi:
The field is vacant and wide open. It is something intrinsic from the very beginning. You must purify and grind away the various deluded conditioning and illusory habits. Naturally, you arrive at a place that is clear and pure, perfect and bright—totally empty, without any image, which is solitary and outstanding, not relying on anything. Only in vastness is the intrinsic reality illuminated and external objects relinquished. Therefore, it is said, “With perfect and pervasive clarity, there is not a single thing to be perceived.” This field is where birth and death do not reach; it is the deep source of pure luminosity; it is able to emit light and function responsively. Permeating through all [worlds as many as] motes of dust, transparent, without forming semblance, the wondrous [activity] of seeing and hearing leaps far beyond those everyday sounds and forms. Reaching everywhere, its function is without traces, its mirroring without obstruction. Naturally and spontaneously it impartially issues forth—flowing in response with thought after thought, object after object. An ancient said, “Having no-mind one attains the way of no-mind. Attaining no-mind in himself, the way as well ceases to be.” With clear awareness, one takes up the responsibility of helping [sentient beings] as if one is sitting in perfect silence. As for the wondrous activity of leisurely entering the world, it is something you must dig into and investigate in this fashion!
looking forward to reading your response to these words....
He may foam at the mouth quite as Nature would have him do. And, gratefully, no one can obstruct.
The key suggestion for all nonetheless is definitely to awaken, and to experience (by embodying) the reality of these things authentically and without doubt, and enliven and allow to be re-instated all our original Human inheritances. Strip off all old clothes. Even down to your socks, as my shih-fu said.
And, then, to help others, as true-Wisdom and true-Compassion arise naturally in ordinary circumstances of daily-life, and not by any force, artifice, or pretense (that's for sure... ).
In other words, remain true, faithful, to one's realization; and take good care of it. For all beings.
"....liberated from birth and death, enters the state of unconditioned existence."
No this no that, carrying the old bag, leaving no trace or reflection, maybe some ripples and waste....a lot of waste....us just don't care.
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE
As in what does it mean? Ok, I'll give it a go. Knowing without encountering things means that you know that originally there aren't any things to encounter to begin with. Like it says in the heart sutra, all 5 skandhas are empty. Illuminating without opposing conditions means that you don't make good and bad. And because no condition is bad, there is no reason to oppose any.
The problem with all that though is that it doesn't actually help any. It doesn't help any because it presents 2 additional questions about the meaning of that explanation. For example, what does it actually mean for all 5 skandhas to be empty? Or, how do you actually stop making good and bad? Then an explanation will be given to answer those 2 additional questions, which causes 2 more additional questions about that explanation, which necessitate additional explanations, which produce more questions! ad infinitum!
Kill a cat, with a dried shit stick, under a cypress tree in the courtyard, while eating three pounds of flax! Only a cow goes Moooo!
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