Walking to ourselves


Once upon a time there was a 10 years old boy asking himself questions. The boy was quite happy and his hard working immigrant parents had done everything they could to assure him the most comfortable life they could afford. He was raised by a Jewish mother and a Catholic father and was sent to a good Catholic school… so everything was OK.

Of course, he had learned from his mother that she had cancer but that didn’t know what it really meant. His mother seemed to be fine to him, she was still smiling, playing with her kinds and just being the extraordinary mom they always had. One day however, he understood what cancer was. Cancer was the sickness that made mom loose her hair and cry when she thought she was alone. Of course, his world fell apart. Like the young Gautama getting out of his golden palace, he began to look around him and realize that there was life and death in this world and that things were impermanent. In his words « why we suffer ».

In his Catholic school he had the opportunity to get interested in religion and began to ask the priests and monks he encountered about it. At the age of twelve, he had been authorized to stay twice at an urban monastery for a whole week-end to partake the monks duties and liturgy. But being also from a Jewish background, he would also go to the local synagogue every Friday.

And soon the spiritual child would share his week-ends between boy scouts and diverse liturgical services. At that time being a 12 years old and going by oneself to church or school  was still quite normal… things have change a bit. His parents being very open and seeing his spiritual urge, just let him go to several services on weekends and soon he was familiar with not only his Catholic and Jewish background but also with Protestant and Orthodox Christianity.  Asking questions, studying the texts and coming back with more questions that child felt that there was something more than what his eyes could see, there was something more to life than its end… death. Being from an immigrant family the child became obsessed with History and Religion, with what could tell his story and the story of the societies he was living in. But still, something was missing and the little child had that same inner doubt that made him ask himself all the existential questions one could ask: Why? How? Who?

Of course, people knowing me know the little boy was me. So there I was urging for what I felt was a real lack. There had to be something more to the world than the differences. You are different from your brother, from your neighbor, from … something didn’t felt right, at a deeper level I knew that everyone was kind of the same when in love, when in pain, when hungry, angry, …

From my own eyes, all these priests and rabbis I had been asking for questions for years were talking the same truth. We are not only impermanent things determine to die but we had a soul, something permanent and holy that we shared with God… What a relief. But yet, how to live that truth?

So, in my early adolescence I was searching for the methods to « polish the soul » if I may say. Prayers, good deeds, prostrations, services, contemplation… And I gradually encountered what I may know call the « power of silence ». When I shut up, my mind would shut up and was not alone in that inner silence. Things have gone and come but there was a relief there, a raft, a shelter. After sometime, I realized that letting time to silence, the quality of silence itself deepened, I was more concentrated and simply joyful to be in the presence of silence.

Of course, I was also an adolescent with friends and parties to go to. And the adolescent mindset being what it is, I was all about taking my spiritual thirstiness into action too, but in a more systematize way.

At that time, between 14 and 15 probably, I was deeply in love with a Vietnamese girl. And the only thing I could see to spend some time with her, her parents being very attentive to her not going to parties and such, was at her local Buddhist pagoda. So, I enrolled in the school journal and said I would wrote a column on spirituality, as people knew I was into that kind of thing… they just accepted right away.

So, there I was at her local temple, I could see her and talk to her… with her parents always being on sight. That thing never really got anywhere. But I had committed to do a series of articles on Buddhism so I was kind of obliged to go to that temple several times. After the first six articles I had promised to the journal, I found myself returning to the pagoda every Sunday and not at church anymore.

Very naturally, I felt quite at home in the pagoda. An old lay Buddhist man took the time to explain me the whole liturgy, the purpose of the different parts of it and everything. And so I began to read about Buddhism and identify as a Buddhist but never in contradiction with my previous Judeo-Christian background. I felt more of a complementarity. Soon, I realized that Buddhism was a really huge community with a wide range of philosophy, psychology and what interested me the most meditation practices. And I began to see that all the Christian or Jewish practices existed in a way or another in the « Library of Buddhist Practices ». That could seem nothing, but to me it made the certitude that it was the right path to me. Yet, Buddhism is very diverse and I still had to find what branch of Buddhism was the best for me.

And than I made the error every convert may make… I became more catholic than the pope. Suddenly, I had some certitudes, I read Walpola Rahula’s basic Teachings of the Buddha book and thought I knew the real stuff. Thus, the very family oriented and devotional Vietnamese pagoda, with their devotion to Amitabha Buddha and Zhunti GuanYin all wrapped in colorful lights and fabrics… just felt below my great knowledge and aspirations. I didn’t knew it but I had become a little sectarian know it all… or more simply a Buddhist jerk.

So I did go to the most authentic Theravadha authorities I could find from the Burmese and Thai traditions and attended their classes. They were lovely communities but again I didn’t felt in the right spot. Partly because I was a self oriented jerk lacking compassion and partly because this idea that you had to be a monk to experience the real stuff just didn’t sound to my hears. Of course, everyone could be a monk for a limited period of time, which is very very common, but still… didn’t felt right.

One day I realized from a Buddhist friend that a small Tibetan center existed two blocks away from home… Big cities you know, sometimes you don’t even know your own neighbor. So I went. At that time, I was quite sure I knew all kind of practices available to a spiritual seeker but encountering the Vajrayana sure was something I didn’t expected. I knew it from books but being in the presence of the teachers and the ceremonies and all that was amazing to my adolescent mind. Yet, what caught me was that I knew that beyond the deity practices (yidam), that were by themselves a true source of compassion… including the self compassion I probably lacking at the time, were the Dzogchen or Mahamudra. The texts relating to Mahamudra and Dzochen that encountered in this path just blew my mind. No need to look for our true self in an infinite quest, just here, just this clear mind … a taste of freedom that I would never forget.

When I used to go to the Vietnamese pagoda I didn’t quite understood what Mahayana Buddhism was all about and, in a funny way, I had to encounter Vajrayana to understand the heart of Mahayana Buddhism. Because from a young age I knew that there was not only impermanence, death and suffering but now I knew that I had the same Nature than the Buddhas and that holy « soul » was not from a different essence. Nirvana could be find in this very life. The Tibetan tradition had masters in his lineage that were prostitute or butchers, just normal dudes and that felt right.

So I went to ceremonies and attended training sessions for some years. The Dzogchen and Mahamudra texts were profound and, again quite funnily, they lead me to meet some Zen guys who presented me Zen and Daoist text. I could find in these Zen texts, the same « taste of freedom » that I was still striving for. But the setting was very different. These guys Patriarchs were really normal men… maybe a bit too much. Look at it for yourself: a Blue eyed dark skinned stranger as a first Patriarch, a disabled arm missing guy for second, and a leper for third Patriarch, not mentioning my favorite one, the illiterate one for sixth Patriarch.

So, I tried to go to Zen groups or dojos. And I could see that each group had is very own way to adapt not only the teachings and practices to their reality but also the material aspect of it. That could seem stupid but until that time I was so spiritual I was very denying of the material side of life… So seeing these groups adapting so beautifully and simply to their houses, community centers or Zen centers, finding ways to express their Zen thing with what they could really touched me. It was not only a discource for the mind but also a praxis for the body. And in ways I had find these in all other traditions, Buddhist or not, but so complicated by rituals and formulas and gestures and … that in comparison the minimal (yet no so simple) form of most Zen groups seemed very open and humble in comparison. It was just right for me, every little thing just seem to be at his very place… and thus I had found mine. And their, quite astonishingly, I found an old friend who had been around all the time: inner silence. The possibility to just be, to fully be, with body and mind. To enter into unity with that Silence. What the old master call the silent part of Emptiness… that that place with no inner chit chat, a place of vastness and union with silence.

And my Zen life went on for years on that path. Of course, I found sectarian and ridiculous views and attitudes in Zen just as I did in other groups. But I had find something that felt true beyond the differences, words, traditions, beyond myself. That blissful encounter with Amitabha light. Zen is samadhi, Silence and Union, a direct and mystical encounter with our very own Buddha Nature. But Emptiness as several sides and experiencing merely the Empty side of emptiness is still being totally blind.

And after some years, being very serious about the matter of Zen, I entered kind of a dark zone, a zone of deadly emptiness, deadly stillness in meditation… something didn’t felt right anymore. I was part of a very friendly and precious Zen community at the time, which is still very active on the Internet, they do an amazing job.

But I didn’t find in the Zen world I knew the answers of what was in fact a Zen disease. And fortunately it is at that time that I encountered our Zen Order and my main teacher since, Ming Zhen Shakya. First trough her book « the Seventh World of Chan » which gave me the answers I needed and then personally. Trough her teachings and advices, I became to understand that I had to accept things fully, to embrace my whole existence. And after some turmoils too long to explain, I really found the beauty of Zen in an Orthodox Christian Retreat. I came to realize that « seeing Zen » or entering Samadhi wasn’t enough. All the Zen masters had given their advices but I hadn’t hears to listen. Entering Zen is crucial but it is only the beginning of the Zen path. One must enter the inner road of Self Transformation through the letting go of the small self the Big Self manifests. That Was the Zen of manifestation.

No matter what faith, Buddhist school or Christian school of thought, some of the mystical members of these school would have direct experience of what is beyond words, that is entering Zen, entering our Universal Nature. But What is very peculiar to each one of us is that we have to manifest that Universal truth in our own way, our own lives, our own acts. And that is a « never ending actualization of Zen ». So that it takes a whole life to manifest what a Zen life is. No shortcuts, no sectarian door on the side to enter the Truth quicker or express it louder than anyone else. We must experience and then manifest Zen in our very life in our own very way.

The little boy is now  way older, he has a wife, kids, house and all the joys of life. May he never forget that Life, Love, or as we say : Zen, is a life process to manifest.

May all being find the presence of inner Silence and unite with its Universal Truth.

My Buddha is better than yours


My Buddha is better than yours

Informal discussion on the practice of Huatou in our lineage


My Buddha is better than yours! My practice beats yours! No way your silly thing rides you to enlightenment before me… and we could go on and on. Of course, we never hear that per se. But that is what we can ‘read’ between the lines sometimes, both in others that we may interact with… and in us, lets be honest.

There is a natural tendency in each of us to think that our choices and references are better than the ones that people around us assume. That is a crucial part of our practice: doubting. Not staying on any position or thought. But its easy to say, not so easy to do… how to do that anyway?


Well, the great chance for a teacher are his student questions. Each question demands to deeply search and expound, to adapt an answer to his student needs and capacities. And I had a teacher who, through his questions, obliged me to go deeper and deeper in my own relation to our main practice: reflecting on the Huatou to shed light on the MindGround. That student was a serious practitionner of a Japanese School of Buddhism for 20 years. During these two decades he practiced and, above all, studied. In this school of Nichiren Buddhism he meet tremendous people, and especially an old and compassionate teacher. When his teacher had to come back to Japan, he left the school and continued practicing and studying for years on his own.


One day he came to know my own teachings and come to see me because he knew that Master Hsu Yun and his followers were, generally, sincere Buddhists who praised the Lotus Sutra. He also had in mind that Hsu Yun himself actually studied Huatou Meditation with a Tientai master. He then asked me to teach him our “Tientai Chan Meditation style”. 

“What a soup” I thought, he seemed to blend everything. 

He was sincere and dedicated to his practice but he had one big problem. He was a real connaisseur of Japanese Buddhism, knowing all his schools, teachings and practices and he tried to paste his understanding of Japanese Buddhism on Chinese Buddhism. 


And we could say they have lots in common, but they grew totally differently. Lots of Japanese schools existed previously in China but almost none was identified as a separate school per se. Take Pure Land tradition, in Japan it exists as a different school (we could say schools because of different splits), in China it is a feature of almost all Lineages and Schools (note that these years some are trying to create a distinctively Pure Land school based on Japanese Models). 

In his mind, we had a common ancestry, the historical Buddha of course, but more importantly in his eyes: Tientai Buddhism. Tientai Buddhism is the first True form of Chinese Buddhism, putting toguether the core of Mahayana principles of philosophy based on the Prajna, Nirvana and Lotus Scriptures; giving a skeleton to meditation practices based on the traditional Shamatha-Vipassana understood as Zhi-Guan/Stopping and Seeing; and becoming a symbol of Chinese Mahayana itself. And Chan Buddhism, wich is different from Tientai Buddhism per se, can be seen as a direct path of Mahayana Buddhism taking its roots in Tientai Buddhism as the core of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. 

So he wanted his practice to come closer to Chih-i and his Zhi-Guan thing (jp. Shikan). Thus, I introduced him to the practice of repeating the name of Amitabha, as I would with every student. Oh my, what did I do? He recited with the utmost sincerity, and almost rage, the sayings of Nichiren against Pure Land schools of his time. Giving me more and more evidences showing that one must certainly not repeat Amida’s name he noted that I wasn’t paying attention to him for a few seconds. ‘Did you understood?’ he asked. And yes, I was understanding that it would take time. Time to make him realise that all Buddhas share the same nature. Time to realise that the Buddha gaves to his disciples 84.000 skillful means to enlightenment and that repeating Buddhas names was one of them. It would take time for him to understand how different Chinese Buddhist monasteries are than Japanese ones. In a Chinese Chan monastery, you can find monks of PureLand or Tientai or any school of Chan. The Abbot himself may be a master from a different Lineage… time to break all the barriers that he built by his years of sincere, yet sectarian, study (or “reading with one eye only” as one of my old teachers used to say). 


But Nevertheless, through the years of relation and common practice we had he is a student that helped me understand more profoundly how deeply linked to Tientai Buddhism the teachings of master HsuYun on the practice of Huatou are. 

All his questions helped me to go back to one thing. The importance of Seeing our Own Nature as stated by the 6th Patriarch of Zen, master HuiNeng, is the same thing as Seeing the Empty MindGround trough the barrier of Huatou. Master Chih-i used to talk about Cessation to relate to the ending of normal thought and the entering into real concentration were one is able to look deeply into things without getting attached to things. 

But more importantly, master Hsu Yun added his own flavor to Huatou. It is often said that they are now mostly two active schools of Chan Buddhism active in China, LinJi (jp.Rinzai) and CaoDong (jp.Soto) (forgetting that Master HsuYun re-established both GuiYan and YunMen Lineages). One generally assumes, from the Japanese context, that Linji Chan is all about gongans (jp. koans) and that CaoDong Chan is all about MoChao (silent illumination). Well, Yes and No. Most monks in these schools practice Huatou, and as I said different lineages may be found at a single monastery under the same abbot and master. So this grid isn’t a good one. 

To teach my student I used to talk about Dahui’s use of Huatou, which is very near the use of great teacher of the 17th, Hanshan Dequing. Hanshan was a life model for master Hsu Yun, he rebuilt temples and spoke from the Heart of his practice, outside a specific school or lineage. In Dahui and Hanshan teachings, the Huatou is nothing more than another skillfill mean that Chan people use because they need “one poison to cast all poisons (of thought)”. a skillfull mean for the Direct and sudden practice that Chan is. But the purpose was only to realize one’s MindGround, once the True Nature realised there is no need to cultivate the skillfull mean anymore. It is very similar to the raft to the other shore that Shakyamuni Buddha used himself several times. That is totally in line with the old masters view that one must first realize is own mind, and only then cultivate (sudden enligthenment, gradual practice). 


But master Hsu Yun shared the Huatou practice as he received it from his Tientai teacher, old master Yung Ching. Also, master Hsu Yun wanted to root his practice on the practice of reciting Amitabha’s name, as this simple practice could be done by everyone, and that he was a friend and admirer of Pure Land master Yin Kuang and shared his understanding. Master Hsu Yun, taking care of the students of this Dharma Ending age, prepared us a practice that embodied the different key aspects of Chinese Chan Buddhism in a very direct and simple way. It is important to practice discipline and aquire concentration in order to look deeply in us to let our True Nature shine through the vieils of ignorance, these are the tenets of Tientai Buddhism and are the basis of Chan Buddhism. He deeply advocated to respect Amitabha and his Pure Land that could be viewed as our Own Nature, integrating thus the Pure Land view BUT he was very careful for the silly students of this ending dharma age. Master Hsu Yun never gave as an advice the fact of stopping the practice of Huatou after seeing the Mindground. And that can seem to be nothing but it is a huge gift. You see, some Zen schools have the view, at least today poor pracitionner, that once the True Nature is seen … that is it nothing as to be done anymore. But master Hsu Yun gave us the advice to just keep ‘maintaining the Huatou’. Once the Huatou is drilled to it’s bottom… well, just continue this simple practice. It is as simple as that. With the aknowledgment of this constant attention and practice, master Hsu Yun keeps us from stopping at any point thinking that “the job is done”. He also doesn’t try to represent only one Chan school, all his life he acted as a testimony that our acts could be the embodiement of the Heart of the Five schools of Chan. And wich school of Chan you are in doesn’t really matter when one practices Chan/Zen with an utmost effort and sincerity. Chan is a trap you see, a master can show you the path, as a friend on the way which is ahead of you on a mountain track. But once he gave you the method, you are the only one who can walk on the same path. Once the Huatou is given, no one can walk the path of “generating and keeping the Great Doubt” in your place.Simply continuing our practice with determination and compassion, we wave the Vajra-Sword of Huatou until the True Mind of every being shines in every place. 


Like that student, we all wave our views, likes and dislikes all day. May we simply wave the Vajra-Sword of Huatou, turn the light on the Mindground and humbly continue on the mountainous path to Enlightenment.  


Goodbye 2019


As 2019 comes to an end, let’s take some time to consider all the attachments we have nourished, all the ego-masks we have been wearing.

For many of us, this year has been a year of fighting against certitude and division, sometimes against our own friends or families.

Political, economic and social challenges are ahead of our societies forcing us to accept impermanence and embracing the changes. It implies more than ever Buddhist practitioners need to practice.

So, let’s hope that next year, 2020, will be the year of harmony. The year of taking the battle inward, fighting our own certitude and division.

Our Old Sun, Ming Zhen Shakya, used to say that her Zen was very simple and could be summarized as the Way of Action (Karma Yoga). When we take action, for the sake of all beings, there is no I-me-mine, no ego, not even an inch of something special called Zen. Beyond our own egos, through action, we can manifest our True Nature.

But True Action takes true honesty…. the kind of honesty needed to face what is in front of us and accept the reality of change and impermanence.

Our lives are always changing, yet they are always starting right here and now. In every situation, go forward and take action.

Let’s vow to talk less and act more in this coming year!

Saying Goodbye to 2019

Shakyamuni Buddha’s Enlightenment Night Meditation Retreat

IMG_20191207_234721.jpgDharma Winds Zen Sangha is happy to celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha’s Enlightenment during our traditional 12 hours night sitting and walking meditation retreat live from Dharma Winds Zen Hermitage in Namur, Belgium.

Unfortunately, this year a live recording isn’t available through Facebook or Hangout. Other live one day and half-day meditation retreats from Dharma Winds Zen Hermitage will be available online in the coming months.

May every being realize enlightenment!
Deep bows

YaoXin Shakya

Master Taego on Reciting Amitabha’s name


If you, sir, really are mindful of the Buddha, just be mindful that your own nature is Amitābha. In the twenty-four hours of the day and within the four awe-inspiring deportments, take the letters of the name Amitābha Buddha and hang them in front of your mind’s eye, and the mind’s eye and the Buddha’s name form one piece.

Mind after mind continues with this, and when thought after thought/moment it is not neglected, closely reflect on “Who is the person being mindful?” If you have perfected the study technique over a long time, then unexpectedly in a moment, the mind and its thoughts will be cut off and eliminated, and the true body of Amitābha Buddha will firmly appear in front of you.

At this very time you will believe the words “From of old the immovable is named buddha.”


Excerpt from Instructions to Layman Nag-am on the Essentials of Mindfulness of the Buddha, found in Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Vol 8-1, by Master Taego Bowou, Dharma Heir of Chan master Shiyu Qinggong from the Linji school.


November 2019 Special Annoucements

IMG_20191116_104924.jpgThe month of November is always a special time of the year for our Sangha.

First, this is the month of the year in which we celebrate our Original Order’s anniversary. The Zen Buddhist Order of HsuYun, was founded on November 8 1997 by Great Master WeiMiao JyDin Shakya and ChuanYuan MingZhen Shakya with ChuanZhi Shakya has its first Western Abbot. This was also the day of our Chan Order first ordination ceremony.

Secondly, this is the month were we celebrate the Ancestors and Ghosts Ceremony, some our our local groups perform the ceremony at Halloween. It is a special time to remember those who have left and to dedicate the merit of our practice to all beings, material and imaterial who need the Dharma.

Thirdly, it is during this month that we remember our dear teacher, ChuanYuan MingZhen Shakya (Emma Barrows) who passed into Nirvana on November 19 2016. We are grateful for her wonderful teachings and the light of loving presence still shines in our community.

Fourthly, November, is also the month of the year were we like to ordain new clerics and do great announcements.

This year, we are happy to share that brother QianMing Shakya (Daniel Scharpenburg) has been elected to the office of Sub-Prior of the Dharma Winds Zen Sangha to assist our Prior in his duties. He will be the second Sub-Prior of the Sangha, the first one being QianMen Shakya, leader of our French Sangha (who is preparing to become a Transmitted Head Priest in the coming months).

Brother QianMing Shakya is developing an unique Dharma turned on serving the lay Sangha in a practical way. We hope that he will continue to help our Prior in his office and serve the community in his own personal way.

Fifthly, we are happy to share that our Prior, YaoXin Shakya, in addition to his other Dharma activities, also has the pleasure to study Vietnamese and Korean Zen as a Formal Student of Venerable Wonji Dharma (Thich Duc Hien). Founder of the Five Mountain Zen Order, Venerable Wonji was ordained as a teacher and Bodhisattva Priest in the Korean Zen lineage of Master SeungSahn and as a teacher and Monk in the Vietnamese LamTe (ch.Linji, jp. Rinzai) Lineage of Master Thich Thien An. Today, Wonji is a close student of Great Master Thich An Giao and a dedicated Zen Teacher under his authority.

And as a natural following of this Teacher-Student relation, since November 2019 YaoXin’s Dharma Winds Zen Hermitage/group in Belgium is affiliated with the Five Mountain Zen Order founded by Wonji Dharma.

Nothing good, nothing bad … Just Taste It Fully!

May all beings realize enlightenment!

Amituofo !
Amituofo !
Amituofo !

DaShi ChuanSheng entered emptiness

We are very sad to share that one of our Chan Order leading figures just entered emptiness.

Da Shi ChuanSheng, Steven Baugh, was a wonderful master with several lives: kung-fu master, Buddhist teacher in several traditions, a family man… a wonderful man who was always available for answering our questions or take some time for a student or a friend, an example for all of us.


He was my main transmission master (Senior Dharma Teacher) in the Linji lineage, along master Chuan Yuan and master YinDin. And he was a close disciple of our two founders, master JyDin Shakya and Ming Zhen Shakya.

Deep bows DaShi!

Please recite hundreds or thousands of mantras of OM MANI PADME HUNG for Dashi, show him your love and compassion as he moves onto his next existence


Amituofo !
Amituofo !
Amituofo !

Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra on reciting a Buddha’s name

IMG_20190103_141129~2.jpgAn excerpt of a relatively unknown sutra, the Prayutpanna Samadhi Sutra, giving a particularly pragmatic waywof thinking and practicing the Recitation of a Buddha’s name. This sutra is sometimes counted as one of the « Amitabha Sutras ».

Source: http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra22.html

« The Buddha said, “Bodhisattvas in this land can see Amitābha Buddha by thinking intently only of Him. When they see Him, they can ask, ‘What Dharma should I uphold in order to be reborn in Your land?’ Amitābha Buddha will reply, ‘Those who wish to be reborn in my land should think of my name. If they can continue without rest, they will succeed in being reborn here.’”
The Buddha said, “Because of intent thinking, one will be reborn there. One should always think of Amitābha Buddha’s body with the thirty-two physical marks and the eighty excellent characteristics, unequaled in its majesty, radiating vast bright light to illuminate everywhere. He teaches, in the assembly of Bodhisattvas and bhikṣus, that dharmas [in true reality] are emptyand, therefore, indestructible. Why? Because indestructible are all dharmas, such as form, pain, itch, thinking, perception, birth, death, consciousness, spirit, earth, water, fire, wind, the human world, and the heaven world, including Great Brahma Heaven. By thinking of a Buddha, one attains the Samādhi of Emptiness.”
The Buddha told Bhadrapāla, “Who have attained this Bodhisattva samādhi? My disciple Mahākāśyapa, Indraguṇa Bodhisattva, the god-son Good Virtue, and those who already know this samādhi, have attained it through training. Hence, Bhadrapāla, those who wish to see present Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions should think of their lands single-mindedly, without other thoughts. Then they will be able to see them. As an analogy, one travels to a distant land and thinks of family and kin in one’s hometown. In a dream, one returns home, sees one’s family and relatives, and enjoys talking to them. After waking, one tells one’s dream to friends.”
The Buddha said, “If Bodhisattvas hear of a Buddha’s name and wish to see Him, they will be able to see Him by constantly thinking of Him and His land. For example, a bhikṣu visualizes before him the bones of a corpse, turning blue, white, red, or black. The colors are not brought by anyone, but are imagined by his mind. Likewise, by virtue of Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, Bodhisattvas who skillfully abide in this samādhi can see, as they wish, a Buddha of any land. Why? Because they are able to see Him by virtue of three powers: the power of Buddhas, the power of the samādhi, and the power of their own merit.
“As an analogy, a handsome young man dressed in fine clothes wants to see his own face. He can see his reflection by looking into a hand mirror, pure oil, clear water, or a crystal. Does his reflection come from the outside into the mirror, oil, water, or crystal?”
Bhadrapāla replied, “No, it does not. God of Gods, it is because of the clarity of the mirror, oil, water, or crystal, that the man can see his reflection. His reflection comes from neither the inside [of the medium] nor the outside.”
The Buddha said, “Very good, Bhadrapāla. Because the medium is clear, the reflection is clear. Likewise, if one wishes to see a Buddha, one with a pure mind will be able to see. When one sees Him, one can ask questions, and He will give a reply. Having heard the teachings, one will be exultant and think: ‘Where does this Buddha come from and where am I going? As I think of this Buddha, He comes from nowhere and I am going nowhere. As I think of the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm, these three realms are formed by my mind. I can see what I think of. The mind forms a Buddha for itself to see; the mind is the Buddha mind. As my mind forms a Buddha, my mind is the Buddha; my mind is the Tathāgata; my mind is my body.’
“Although the mind sees a Buddha, the mind neither knows itself nor sees itself. The mind with perceptions is saṁsāra; the mind without perceptions is nirvāṇa. Dharmas as perceived are not something pleasurable. They are empty thoughts, nothing real. This is what Bodhisattvas see as they abide in this samādhi.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

The mind does not know itself; the mind does not see itself.
The mind that fabricates perceptions is false; the mind without perceptions is nirvāṇa.
Dharmas are not firm, only founded upon thinking.
Those who see emptiness with this understanding are free from perceptions and expectations «