A Direct Explanation of the Prajna paramita Heart Sutra by Hanshan Deqing

IMG_20180522_215604A Direct Explanation of the Praj~naa-paaramitaa Heart Sutra

By Ming Dynasty Master Han-shan De-ching

Translated into English by Dharmamitra.

Source: http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/C%20-%20Zen/Ancestors/Han%20Shan/A%20Direct%20Explanation%20of%20the%20Heart%20Sutra/A%20Direct%20Explanation%20of%20the%20Praj~naa-paaramitaa%20Heart%20Sutra.htm

A different translation than the Charles Luk one

Amituofo !


A Direct Explanation of the Praj~naa-paaramitaa Heart Sutra

By Ming Dynasty « Oceanic Imprint » Shrama.na, the Shaakyan [Han-shan] De-ching of Naaraaya.na Mountain.(1)

Translated into English by Dharmamitra.

Why does the title of this scripture refer to « praj~naa »? It is Sanskrit. This means « wisdom. » Why does it say « paaramitaa »? It too is Sanskrit. This means « arrived at the other shore ». This refers to the fact that the paths of suffering in the realm of birth and death are like a vast sea and thus the emotional ideations of living beings are boundless. They are ignorant and unenlightened and the waves of consciousness bound forward and soar upward. They give rise to delusions, engage in karmic activity and so flow along and turn about in the realm of birth and death. The bitter fruits of this are endless. They are unable to succeed in crossing beyond it. Therefore we speak of « this shore. »

It is our Buddha alone who has employed the brilliance of great wisdom to illuminate and see through the dust of emotions. He has eternally severed the afflictions and has put an end to all forms of suffering. He has caused the two kinds of death to perish forever.(2) He has leapt directly over the sea of suffering and has realized the lofty attainment of nirvana. Therefore we speak of « the other shore. »

As for the so-called « heart, »(3) it properly refers to the mind of great wisdom which has arrived at the other shore. I am afraid it is not that clump of flesh, the erroneously-thinking mind of worldly people. It is especially because worldly people are unaware of their originally-existent wise and brilliant mind that they recognize only the reflections of discursive thinking and the manipulation of conditions. And so consequently they rely upon and adhere to that clump of blood and flesh as constituting their true mind. Hence they attach to this body of blood and flesh as « mine. » Therefore they rely upon it to engage in all manner of negative karmic activity. In thought-moment after thought-moment this process flows along in waves without their ever having even a single thought wherein they illuminate reflectively and awaken themselves. Days accumulate and months pile up. From birth until death, from death until birth, there is nothing they do which does not accumulate karmic activity and there is nothing they do which does not accumulate suffering. How then would one be able to succeed in crossing beyond it?

Only our Buddha, the Superior,(4) has been able to awaken himself to the original true wisdom, illuminating and breaking through the body and mind consisting of the five aggregates. Originally, it does not exist. Its very substance is entirely empty. Therefore, he suddenly leapt over to the other shore and straightaway crossed beyond the sea of suffering. Because he pitied those who are confused, he additionally employed this Dharma entryway of self realization to instruct and lead them. He desired that every person awaken themselves and understand that wisdom is fundamentally existent, discursive thinking is originally void, the body and mind are both empty, and the world is like a transformation. He desired that they would not create the manifold bad [karmic actions], but would instead separate themselves far from birth and death and would all leave behind the sea of suffering and reach the bliss of nirvana. Therefore he spoke this sutra. A sutra is the spoken teaching of the holy one. It is the so-called constant dharma of earliest antiquity.

When the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was coursing in the deep praj~naapaaramitaa, he illuminated and saw that the five aggregates were all empty, thus crossing beyond all suffering and adversity.

The bodhisattva is the person who is able to cultivate. The extremely deep praj~naa is simply the dharma which is cultivated. Illuminated and saw that the five aggregates were all empty then is the method for cultivating it. Crossing beyond all suffering and adversity then is the genuine result which is achieved through spiritual cultivation. Because this bodhisattva heard this extremely deep praj~naa from the Buddha, he then thought about and cultivated it. He contemplated with wisdom, and reflectively illuminated the five aggregates(5) as internally and externally of a single emptiness, and the body, mind, and world as clearly devoid of any thing whatsoever. He suddenly leapt over and transcended both the worldly and supra mundane, eternally separated from all suffering, and attained great sovereign independence. Looked at from this standpoint, since the bodhisattva was able by this means to be successful in crossing over to liberation, this is sufficient for us to know that any person would be able to rely upon it as a means of cultivation. Therefore the World Honored One made a special point of informing the Venerable One(6) and proceeded thereby to explain the wondrous practice of Avalokitesvara, wishing to make it clear to everyone.

If we people were only able to carry out a contemplation like this one, if we in a single thought suddenly awoke to the fundamentally-existent light of wisdom inhering in our own minds, if we experienced a vast, great, and numinous penetrating understanding like this, utterly illuminating the original emptiness of the five aggregates and the nonexistence of the four great elements,(7) what suffering would we not thereby transcend? Moreover, what further dragging along and tying up by accumulated karmic activity could there be? What forceful argumentation over others and self, right and wrong could there be? What comparative scheming over misfortune and fortune, success and failure could there be? How could there be anything in the realm of wealth and poverty, nobility and humble station which could bother our minds? The aforementioned is the genuine result of the bodhisattva’s studying of praj~naa. When it speaks of « the five aggregates », it is just referring to form, feeling, perceptions, compositional factors, and consciousness. « Illuminated » refers to the wisdom which is able to perform the contemplation. The five aggregates are precisely that state which is the object of contemplation. « Were all empty » then refers to the genuine result which is achieved.


This is the name of a disciple of the Buddha. « Shaari- » is Sanskrit. This means « egret. » The eyes of this bird are the most clear and sharp. His mother’s eyes were like that. And so it was taken as the name. This venerable one then was the son of the « egret. » Hence it says « son of Shaari ». Among the disciples of the Buddha, he was first in wisdom. And so this praj~naa Dharma entryway is the most extremely deep. If one is not a person possessed of great wisdom, then he is unable to gain a comprehension of it. Therefore, he made a special point of informing him. This is one of those classic instances of being able to speak of it only to one who is wise.

Form is no different from emptiness. Emptiness is no different from form. Form is just emptiness. Emptiness is just form. The same is true of feeling, perception, compositional factors and consciousness.

This is an explanation directed specifically to the « Son of Egret » which explains the meaning of the previous statement that the five aggregates are all empty. As for bringing up and speaking about the form aggregate first among the five aggregates, form constitutes a person’s physical characteristics. Based upon the tendency of everyone to attach to this body as something possessed by the self, persistent erroneous thinking makes [this misconception even more] solidly established. It is the root of the so-called attachment to self. It is that which is the most difficult to shatter.

Now, when initially entering the contemplation, one first contemplates this body as being a false unity of the four great elements, as being originally nonexistent, as being entirely empty in its very substance, and as being seen through utterly both within and without. If one is thus not cooped up by this body, then in coming and going through birth and death, one is not the least bit hung up or obstructed. The « aggregate » of « name and form » is shattered. If the aggregate of name and form were shattered then one would be able to gradually and sequentially deepen one’s contemplation of the other four aggregates and push through them in this manner.

When it says that « form is not different from emptiness », this sentence shatters the common person’s view of [form’s] permanence. It is especially on account of the common person’s recognizing only his form body and clinging to it as genuine and actual that he develops the opinion that it is permanent, and thus makes plans for a thousand autumns and a hundred years. Indeed he is not aware that this body is void, false and not substantial, that it is moved along by the four marks of birth, old age, sickness and death. This process moves along in every instant and does not cease proceeding thereby to old age and death. It is ultimately impermanent and finally returns to emptiness. This still is a concept which belongs to the emptiness of being subject to production and extinction. This still does not get to the end of the principle [which is intended]. It means specifically that the illusory form of the four great elements is originally no different from true emptiness, period. The common person is not aware of this and therefore he instructs them, saying, « Form is not different from emptiness. » This is to say that the form body is fundamentally not different from true emptiness.

As for « Emptiness is not different from form, » this sentence serves to shatter the annihilationist view of the non-buddhists and of the cultivators of the Two Vehicles.(8) Because in his cultivation the externalist is not aware that the body is produced from karmic activity, and that karmic activity arises from the mind, he goes through cycles [of rebirths] throughout the three periods of time, turning about without cease. Because they do not succeed in understanding the principle of the retributional interaction of cause and effect throughout the three periods of time, they then say that after a person dies, his pure energy returns to heaven, his turbid energy returns to earth, and his singular numinous true nature returns to the great emptiness.

If it were really just as they say here, then there would certainly be no principle of retribution and thus one who does good would be laboring in vain whereas one who does bad would get his way. If one’s nature returned to the great emptiness then there would be no basis for determining what is good and what is bad for one would be poised on the brink of extinction. Wouldn’t that be great fortune?! Confucius said, « Wandering souls bring about change. One knows thereby the character and appearance of the ghosts and spirits. » This refers directly to those who have died and yet not perished and clearly illustrates the principle of retribution which is operative in cyclic existence. And yet people of the world do not investigate [this matter]. [The theory that] one’s existence is precipitously cut off and extinguished is an extreme fallacy.

Now, although the people of the Two Vehicles rely upon the teachings of the Buddha in their cultivation, because they have not yet reached the understanding that the three realms(9) are only mind and the myriad dharmas are only consciousness, they do not understand that birth and death are like an illusion or like a transformation. Hence they develop the opinion that the characteristic features of the three realms are actually existent. Thus they look upon the three realms as being like a prison. They abhor the four types of rebirth as if they were manacles or fetters. They do not generate a single thought devoted to liberating beings. The emmerse themselves in emptiness, stagnate in stillness, and sink down into still extinction. Therefore he makes it clear to them, saying, « Emptiness is not different from form. »

This is to say that true emptiness is fundamentally not different from illusory form. It is not this space which is apart from form and which is subject to being cut off and extinguished. That which truly manifests praj~naa is the true emptiness of the reality mark, that’s all. How so? Because the true emptiness of praj~naa is like a great round mirror. All illusory forms are like images in the mirror. If one is merely aware that images are not separate from the mirror, then one would know that emptiness is not different from form. This directly shatters the emptiness of the [cultivators of] the Two Vehicles which is apart from form as well as the expansive emptiness of non-Buddhists.

Additionally fearing that the people of the World would take « form » and « emptiness », these two words, speak about them as if they were two [different] hitching posts, and would not be able to look upon them as being equivalent and of a single suchness, he again proclaimed their identity, saying, « Form is just emptiness. Emptiness is just form, » that’s all.

If one is merely able to contemplate like this and become aware that form is not different from emptiness, then there are no sounds, forms, material objects, or benefits which might be coveted, nor is there any laboring among the objects of the five desires upon which one might dote. If one does this, then one suddenly passes beyond the suffering of the common person. If one is merely aware that emptiness is not different from form, then without even arising from the extinction samadhi one nonetheless manifests every aspect of the awesome comportment and without moving from the point of origin one nonetheless carries on the work of bringing beings across to liberation. One resides in emptiness and yet the myriad practices(10) bubble up and spring forth. One is involved in existence and yet the way of unity remains pure. If one does this then one suddenly steps beyond the attachments of the non-buddhists and the practitioners of the Two Vehicles.

If one is merely aware that form and emptiness are equivalent and of a single suchness, then at every moment one brings beings across to liberation and yet does not maintain any view of a being which may be liberated. And with every every thought one seeks buddhahood and yet does not maintain a view of any result of buddhahood which may be sought. This is the so-called perfect realization of the singularity of mind in which there is no wisdom and no attainment. If one accomplishes this then one steps beyond the bodhisattva and suddenly ascends to the ground of buddhahood, to the other shore. If one is able to carry out a contemplation like this of just this one dharma of the form « aggregate, » then in the case of the other four aggregates they are understood perfectly whenever the mind encounters them. It is precisely the same as when one traces a single one of the sense faculties back to the source, then all six faculties realize liberation. Hence it says, « The same is true of feeling, perception, compositional factors and consciousness. » If one is truly able (to succeed in a contemplation) like this, then all suffering is suddenly cut off, the result of buddhahood can be reached, and the other shore is not far away. It is achieved solely in the given person’s single-minded contemplative thought, that’s all. How could a dharma such as this be anything but extremely profound?

***Shaariputra, these dharmas are all characterized by emptiness. They are neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor pure, and are neither increased nor decreased.

In this passage, he again fears that people of the world will employ the mind which is subject to production and destruction to carry out a mistaken identification of the dharma of true emptiness, the reality mark, and praj~naa and thus will develop an understanding based on production, extinction, defilement, purity, increase and decrease. Therefore he commands the Venerable One and makes it clear to him, stating: « The so-called reality mark of true emptiness is not a dharma characterized by production or extinction, defilement or purity, increase or decrease. Furthermore, whatsoever is produced or destroyed, defiled or pure, increased or decreased is just a dharma belonging to the sentimental perceptions of living beings, whereas the substance of the reality mark of the true emptiness of this praj~naa of mine is clear and pure and like empty space. It is a dharma which transcends sentiment. » How could he approve of any of those [designations]? Therefore, he employs the words « neither » and « nor » to negate them. This is to say that all of the dharmas of the five aggregates are identical with the reality mark of true emptiness. Each and every one of them transcends all of these faults.

Therefore, in emptiness there are no forms. There are no feelings, perceptions, compositional factors, or consciousnesses. There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind. There are no [visual] forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or dharmas [as objects of mind]. There is no eye realm and so forth until we come to no mind consciousness realm. There is no ignorance nor is there any end of ignorance and so forth until we come to no old age and death nor any end to old age and death. There is no suffering, accumulation, extinction, or Way. There is no wisdom nor is there any attainment.

This then is a general explanation of the meaning of how praj~naa transcends faults. When one says that the true emptiness of praj~naa eternally transcends all faults it is because within it it is pure and devoid of phenomena. Therefore there are no traces of the five aggregates. Not only are there no five aggregates, there are none of the six sense faculties either. Not only are there none of the six sense faculties, but there are none of the six sense objects either. Not only are there none of the six sense objects, but there are none of the six consciousnesses either. This being the case, then the [eighteen sense] realms consisting of the sense faculties, sense objects, and consciousnesses , being dharmas associated with the common person, are completely transcended by the true emptiness of praj~naa. Therefore it says of them all that they are « nonexistent. »

Since this is the case, it transcends the dharmas of the common person. Thus, within praj~naa, not only are there no dharmas of the common person, there are also no dharmas of the Superior either. This is because the four truths, the twelve causes and conditions, the six perfections,(11) and so forth are all [simply] dharmas employed by those Superiors of the Three Vehicles(12) who go forth beyond the world. In the case of the four truths consisting of suffering, accumulation, extinction, and the Way, it is on account of disgust with suffering that one cuts off accumulation and it is on account of longing for extinction that one cultivates the Way. These constitute dharmas associated with the Hearers.

« Ignorance » conditions compositional factors. Compositional factors condition consciousness. Consciousness conditions name-and-form. Name-and-form condition the six [sense] entrances. The six [sense] entrances condition contact. Contact conditions feeling. Feeling conditions craving. Craving conditions grasping. Grasping conditions existence. Existence conditions birth. Birth conditions old age and death. This constitutes « the delineation of the twelve causes and conditions describing flowing along and turning about [in samsaric existence]. » This corresponds to the two truths of suffering and accumulation. [Where the Sutra refers to] « extinction of ignorance » on up to [where it refers to] « extinction of old age and death, » this constitutes « the delineation describing the return to extinction. » It corresponds to the two truths of extinction and the Way. This is the dharma contemplated by the « condition-enlightened » practitioner (pratyekabuddha). In every case they are found to be fundamentally nonexistent within the substance of praj~naa.

If one extends this to the ultimate point, then not only are there no dharmas associated with the [above-mentioned] two vehicles,.there are no bodhisattva dharmas either. How is this? « Wisdom » here is just contemplative wisdom It is that mind [which is operative] within the wisdom of the six perfections and which is capable of seeking. « Attainment » here is just the result of buddhahood. It is that realm which is sought after. Thus , in the cultivation of the bodhisattva, he takes wisdom as constituting that which is foremost. His transforming beings below is solely for the sake of seeking the result of buddhahood above. Most especially because the realm of buddhahood is like space and has nothing upon which it relies, in any case where one were one to seek after it with a mind holding on to [the concept of] something attainable, this would not be genuine. It is on account of this phenomenon being fundamentally nonexistent within the substance of the true emptiness ofpraj~naa it says, « There is no wisdom nor is there any attainment. » It is non-attainment itself which constitutes genuine attainment. It is then that one’s attainment succeeds in reaching the ultimate.

Since nothing whatsoever is attainable, because the bodhisattva relies upon the praj~naa-paaramitaa, his mind is not hung up or obstructed. Because he is not hung up or obstructed he has no fearfulness and leaves far behind upside-down dream thinking and ultimately reaches nirvana.

It is especially because there is nothing which is gained and yet the result of buddhahood is gained that the bodhisattva relies in his cultivation on praj~naa and so carries on his contemplations in that manner. Thus [he perceives] that absolutely all dharmas are fundamentally empty and still. If one were to rely upon emotions, thinking and discriminations and go about one’s contemplations in such a manner then one’s mental state would become so bound up and enmeshed that one would be unable to gain liberation. One becomes attached through one’s desires in place after place and in every case this brings about hangups and obstructions.

If one relies upon the true wisdom of praj~naa as he carries on his contemplations then both the mind and the objective sphere are [understood to be] empty. At every point of one’s experience everything is utterly clear and there is nothing which is not liberation. Hence it states that because one relies upon this praj~naa one’s mind is free of hangups and obstructions. On account of the mind’s being free of hangups and obstructions there is then no birth and death which could be feared. Hence it states that one has no fearfulness.

Since it is the case that there is no birth and death of which one can be afraid, then there is no result of buddhahood which can be sought after either. This is because the fearing of birth and death and the seeking after nirvana are all just manifestations of dream thinking and inverted [views]. The Perfect Enlightenment Sutra states that birth and death and nirvana are just like yesterday’s dream. Thus, in the absence of praj~naa’s perfect contemplation one is certainly unable to leave behind the marks of these inverted views and dream thinking. Since one is unable to leave behind inverted views and dream thinking one is certainly then unable to ultimately arrive at nirvana.

Now « nirvana » is a Sanskrit term. Here it is termed « still extinction » and also as « perfect stillness. » This refers to perfectly ridding oneself of [the delusions corresponding to] the five dwelling stations and to achieving the eternal peace of still extinction. It is just the ultimate result to which the Buddhas return. The intent here is that one who is able to leave behind the sentiment [which clings to distinctions corresponding to] the Superior and the common person is then able to achieve realization of and entry into nirvana, that’s all. If in the cultivation undertaken by the bodhisattva, he fails to pay heed to this point, it definitely does not constitute genuine cultivation.

Because the buddhas of the three periods of time rely upon the Praj~na-paaramitaa they gain anuttara-samyak-sa.mbodhi. Therefore one knows that the praj~na-paaramitaa is the great spirit mantra, it is the great bright mantra, it is the unsurpassed mantra, and it is the unequaled mantra which is able to get rid of all suffering and which is genuine and not false.

This is to say that it is not only the bodhisattvas who, relying upon this praj~naa, undertake their cultivation, but it is the buddhas of the three periods of time. There are none who do not rely upon this praj~naa in gaining perfect realization of the result of the unsurpassed, right, equal, and correct enlightenment. Hence [the Sutra] states, « Because the buddhas of the three periods of time rely upon the praj~naa-paaramitaa they gain anuttara-samyak-sa.mbodhi. » This is a Sanskrit term. The « an- » means « not. » « Uttara » means « surpassed. » « Sam- » means « right. » « Yak » means « equal. » « Bodhi » means « enlightenment. » This is the ultimate term for the result of buddhahood. Looking at it based on this one knows therefore that the Praj~naa-paaramitaa is able to drive away the demons of birth, death and the afflictions. Therefore [the Sutra] states that this is the great spirit mantra. It is able to break up the darkness of ignorance which has endured throughout the long night of birth and death. Therefore [the Sutra] states that it is the great bright mantra. Both within the world and beyond the world there is not one single dharma which is able to surpass praj~naa. Therefore [the Sutra] states that it is the unsurpassed mantra. Because praj~naa is the mother of all buddhas which gives birth to every one of the immeasurable number of meritorious qualities there is nothing within the world or beyond the world which equals it. It is only this which is able to equal every other. Hence [the Sutra] states that it is the unequaled mantra.

As for what is referred to as a « mantra, » it is not the case that [aside from this] there is some other mantra. It is just this praj~naa which [itself] is it. Why is it then that it says « praj~naa » and then additionally refers to it as a « mantra »? It is on account of the speed of the spiritual efficacy associated with [these] ultimate words. They are like the secret orders used in the military. Among those who are able to silently carry out the actions there are none who are not decisively victorious. Praj~naa is able to demolish the demon armies of birth and death such that one is able to be decisively victorious in this same manner. So too, it is like a sweet dew [elixir]. One who drinks it is able to avoid death. And so if there is someone who possesses the flavor of praj~naa he is then able to suddenly get rid of the great calamity of birth and death. Hence it states that it is able to get rid of all suffering. That it then states that it is true, genuine and not false is in order to show that the speech of the Buddha is not erroneous. This is out of a desire that people will truly believe and not have doubts about it. [This is because] decisiveness in cultivation constitutes something which is essential.

Therefore he spoke the praj~napaaramitaa mantra. He then uttered the mantra, saying:

On account of praj~naa’s truly possessing the quality of being able to get rid of suffering and bring about the achievement of bliss he therefore then spoke the secret mantra in order to cause people to silently hold it [in mind] so as to seize its rapid efficacy.

Gate Gate Paaragate Paarasa.mgate Bodhi Svaahaa.

This is Sanskrit. The text which comes prior to this constitutes the openly manifest declaration of praj~naa. This mantra constitutes the secret declaration of praj~naa. It is not such as admits of an intellectual understanding. One simply recites it silently. The speed of experiencing its efficacy resides specifically in the inconceivable and ineffable power which comes from forgetting one’s emotions and cutting off [the pursuit of] understanding. Thus the reason for the speed of experiencing its beneficial effects lies in the originally existing light of the mind which is possessed by everyone. The buddhas achieve realization of it and employ it as the marvelous function of spiritual superknowledges. Beings remain confused with regard to it and employ it as the basis for engaging in erroneous thinking and [sense]-object weariness. The reason that one employs it every day and yet is unaware of it is due to one’s own obscuration of the fundamental truth. Thus one undergoes bitter suffering unjustly. How could this not be lamentable?

One need only be able to awaken to that which originally exists and, right on the spot, reverse the illumination and reflect back [inwardly]. If one single-mindedly emmerses oneself in cultivation then the barrier of sentiments associated with birth and death will suddenly come crashing down. This is just like the case of a room which has remained dark for a thousand years. A single lamp is able to dispel [the darkness]. One need not seek elsewhere for any other skillful means. Where we possess the determination to go forth from birth and death, if we abandon this [method], it is not the case that there would be some ferry or raft [which we might avail ourselves of]. As has been said, when one is being tossed about on the waves in the middle of the sea of suffering, praj~naa is a ship. In the deep darkness of the long night, praj~naa is a lantern.

The fellows of today run off down dangerous roads. They drift about helplessly on the sea of suffering. Where there is someone possessed of his own free will and yet who fails to seek this out, I have no idea where he might [otherwise be able to] find a refuge. Even though this is the way it is, still, praj~naa is like [the magical sword known as] Syau-lyan which cut cleanly through anything it so much as contacted. Even though things were cut completely through by it, still, [the wielder] wouldn’t even sense it. If one is not a spiritual sage then one is unable to put it to use, how much the more so would this be the case with a lesser fellow!

End Notes

1. I’m using the Yale romanization system for the pronunciation of Chinese characters here because it’s the only system that when pronounced by the non-specialist guarantees at least a reasonably close approximation of the correct sounds of the characters. Both Pin Yin and Wade-Giles systems are perversely and absurdly misleading to anyone not already well versed in their bizarre idiosyncracies. So if you see something that looks like a romanization of a Chinese character, pronounce it like it looks and you’ll be close enough. The Sanskrit terms are rendered with the current ASCII standard system with the exception of palatal « s » which is rendered as « sh ». (text)

2. The two kinds of birth and death refer to: a) gross physical birth and death; and b) the production and extinction which occurs at the subtlest level of existence. (text)

3. The Chinese translation of the Heart Sutra renders the word « heart » with « syin » which means both « mind » and « heart. » It is for this reason that Han-shan embarks on this reference to the concept of « mind. » (text)

4. « Superior » corresponds to the Sanskrit « aarya. » It is actually a technical term referring to anyone who has realized the « path of seeing. » (text)

5. The five aggregates are the five fundamental components of being which the typical worldling seizes upon as constituting a « self »: forms, feeling, perception, compositional factors, and consciousness. (text)

6. « Venerable One » here refers to Shaariputra. (text)

7. The four great elements are earth, water, fire, and air. In contexts where literal interpretation seems forced it is sometimes helpful to think in terms of solidity, liquidity, heat and whatever adjectives you might choose to describe « airiness » such as perhaps « mobility, » « insubstantiality, » etc. (text)

8. The « Two Vehicles » refers to: a) the « hearers » or « disciples » who gain arhatship through hearing the teachings of the Buddha; and b) the pratyekabuddhas who are born when no buddha is in the world but nonetheless gain a relatively exalted level of liberation through meditation on causality. (text)

9. The « three realms » are the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. (text)

10. « The myriad practices » refers to the practices undertaken by the bodhisattva in his aeons-long journey to buddhahood. (text)

11. The « six perfections » are: giving, moral conduct, patience, vigor, meditative absorption, and wisdom. (text)

12. The « Three Vehicles » are the practice modes of: the hearers, the pratyekabuddhas, and the bodhisattvas. (text)

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Pourquoi le titre de cette Écriture fait-il référence à « praj ~ naa »? C’est le sanscrit. Cela signifie « sagesse ». Pourquoi dit-on « paaramitaa »? C’est aussi le sanscrit. Cela signifie « arrivé à l’autre rive ». Cela renvoie au fait que les chemins de la souffrance dans le domaine de la naissance et de la mort sont comme une vaste mer et que, par conséquent, les idées émotionnelles des êtres vivants sont illimitées. Ils sont ignorants et non éclairés et les vagues de conscience liées et ascendantes. Ils provoquent des perturbations mentales, s’engagent dans l’activité karmique et ainsi coulent et tournent dans le domaine de la naissance et de la mort. Les fruits amers de ceci sont sans fin. Ils sont incapables de réussir à traverser au-delà. Nous parlons donc de « cette rive ».

C’est notre Bouddha seul qui a employé l’éclat de la grande sagesse pour éclairer et voir à travers la poussière des émotions. Il a éternellement coupé les afflictions et a mis fin à toutes les formes de souffrance. Il a fait périr les deux sortes de la mort pour toujours. (2) Il a sauté directement sur la mer de la souffrance et a réalisé la réalisation élevée du nirvana. Nous parlons donc de « l’autre rive ».

Quant au soi-disant «cœur» (3), il se réfère correctement à l’esprit de grande sagesse qui est arrivé à l’autre rive. Je crains que ce ne soit pas cette touffe de chair, l’esprit pensant à tort des gens du monde. C’est surtout parce que les gens du monde ignorent leur esprit sage et brillant originellement existant qu’ils ne reconnaissent que les reflets de la pensée discursive et la manipulation des conditions. Et par conséquent ils comptent sur et adhèrent à cette touffe de sang et de chair comme constituant leur véritable esprit. C’est pourquoi ils s’attachent à ce corps de sang et de chair comme « le mien ». Par conséquent, ils comptent sur lui pour s’engager dans toutes sortes d’activités karmiques négatives. Dans le moment de pensée après le moment de la pensée, ce processus s’écoule par vagues sans jamais avoir une seule pensée dans laquelle ils s’illuminent de manière réfléchie et se réveillent eux-mêmes. Les jours s’accumulent et les mois s’accumulent. De la naissance jusqu’à la mort, de la mort jusqu’à la naissance, il n’y a rien qu’ils font qui n’accumule l’activité karmique et il n’y a rien qu’ils font qui n’accumule la souffrance. Comment alors réussir à traverser au-delà?

Seul notre Bouddha, le Supérieur, (4) a été capable de s’éveiller à la vraie sagesse originelle, éclairant et brisant le corps et l’esprit consistant en les cinq agrégats. A l’origine, ça n’existe pas. Sa substance même est entièrement vide. Par conséquent, il a soudainement sauté sur l’autre rive et a traversé immédiatement au-delà de la mer de souffrance. Parce qu’il plaignait ceux qui étaient confus, il utilisait en plus cet accès au Dharma de la réalisation de soi pour les instruire et les guider. Il désirait que chaque personne se réveille et comprenne que la sagesse est fondamentalement existante, la pensée discursive est vide à l’origine, le corps et l’esprit sont vides et le monde est comme une transformation. Il a désiré qu’ils ne créent pas les mauvaises actions [karmiques], mais qu’ils se séparent loin de la naissance et de la mort et abandonnent tous la mer de la souffrance pour atteindre la félicité du nirvana. C’est pourquoi il a parlé de ce sutra. Un sutra est l’enseignement parlé du Saint. C’est le soi-disant dharma constant de la première antiquité.

Quand le Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara courait dans le profond praj ~ naapaaramitaa, il s’illuminait et voyait que les cinq agrégats étaient tous vides, dépassant ainsi toute souffrance et toute adversité.

Le bodhisattva est la personne qui est capable de cultiver. Le prajāna extrêmement profond est simplement le dharma qui est cultivé. Illuminé et vu que les cinq agrégats étaient tous vides alors est la méthode pour le cultiver. Traverser au-delà de toute souffrance et de toute adversité est alors le résultat authentique obtenu par la culture spirituelle. Parce que ce bodhisattva a entendu cette prajāna très profonde du Bouddha, il a ensuite pensé et cultivé. Il contemplait avec sagesse et illuminait de manière réfléchie les cinq agrégats (5) comme internes et externes d’un seul vide, et le corps, l’esprit et le monde étaient clairement dépourvus de toute chose. Il a soudainement sauté et transcendé à la fois le mondain et supra mondain, éternellement séparé de toute souffrance, et atteint une grande indépendance souveraine. Vu de ce point de vue, puisque le bodhisattva a pu, par ce moyen, réussir à passer à la libération, cela suffit pour que nous sachions que toute personne pourrait s’en prévaloir comme moyen de culture. Par conséquent, l’Honoré du Monde a tenu à informer le Vénérable (6) et a ainsi expliqué la pratique merveilleuse d’Avalokitesvara, souhaitant la rendre claire à tous.

Si nous étions seulement capables d’effectuer une contemplation comme celle-ci, si dans une pensée nous nous éveillions soudainement à la lumière fondamentale de la sagesse inhérente à notre propre esprit, si nous expérimentions une compréhension vaste, grande et pénétrante comme ceci, éclairant complètement la vacuité originelle des cinq agrégats et la non-existence des quatre grands éléments (7), quelle souffrance ne transcenderions-nous pas? De plus, que pourrait-il y avoir de plus traînant et d’attachant par l’activité karmique accumulée? Quelle argumentation puissante sur les autres et soi-même, le bien et le mal pourrait-il y avoir? Quelle intrigue comparative sur le malheur et la fortune, le succès et l’échec pourrait-il y avoir? Comment pourrait-il y avoir quelque chose dans le domaine de la richesse et de la pauvreté, de la noblesse et de l’humble position qui pourrait déranger nos esprits? Ce qui précède est le résultat authentique de l’étude du praj ~ naa par le bodhisattva. Quand il parle des « cinq agrégats », il se réfère simplement à la forme, au sentiment, aux perceptions, aux facteurs compositionnels et à la conscience. « Illuminé » fait référence à la sagesse qui est capable d’accomplir la contemplation. Les cinq agrégats sont précisément cet état qui est l’objet de la contemplation. « Tout était vide » se réfère alors au résultat authentique qui est atteint.


C’est le nom d’un disciple du Bouddha. « Shaari » est le sanscrit. Cela signifie « aigrette ». Les yeux de cet oiseau sont les plus clairs et nets. Les yeux de sa mère étaient comme ça. Et ainsi il a été pris comme nom. Ce vénérable était alors le fils de « l’aigrette ». D’où il est dit « fils de Shaari ». Parmi les disciples du Bouddha, il était le premier dans la sagesse. Et donc, cette entrée praj ~ naa du Dharma est la plus profonde. Si l’on n’est pas une personne dotée d’une grande sagesse, alors il est incapable d’en acquérir une compréhension. Par conséquent, il a fait un point spécial de l’informer. C’est un de ces exemples classiques de pouvoir en parler seulement à un sage.

La forme n’est pas différente de la vacuité. Le vide n’est pas différent de la forme. La forme est juste la vacuité. Le vide est juste forme. Il en va de même pour le sentiment, la perception, les facteurs compositionnels et la conscience.

Ceci est une explication spécifique au « Fils d’aigrette » qui explique la signification de la déclaration précédente que les cinq agrégats sont tous vides. Pour ce qui est d’aborder et de parler de la forme agrégée en premier parmi les cinq agrégats, la forme constitue les caractéristiques physiques d’une personne. Basé sur la tendance de chacun à s’attacher à ce corps comme quelque chose de possédé par le soi, une pensée erronée et persistante rend [cette idée fausse encore plus] solidement établie. C’est la racine de l’soi-disant attachement à soi. C’est ce qui est le plus difficile à briser.

Maintenant, en entrant dans la contemplation, on considère d’abord ce corps comme une fausse unité des quatre grands éléments, comme étant à l’origine inexistant, comme étant entièrement vide dans sa substance même, et comme étant vu à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur. Si l’on n’est ainsi pas enfermé par ce corps, alors en venant et en passant par la naissance et la mort, on n’est pas du tout coincé ou obstrué. L’agrégat de « nom et forme » est brisé. Si l’agrégat du nom et de la forme était brisé, on pourrait graduellement et séquentiellement approfondir la contemplation des quatre autres agrégats et les pousser de cette manière.

Quand elle dit que «la forme n’est pas différente de la vacuité», cette phrase brise la vision de la personne de la permanence de [la forme]. C’est surtout parce que le vulgaire ne reconnaît que son corps de forme et qu’il s’y accroche comme authentique et réel qu’il développe l’opinion qu’il est permanent, et qu’il fait ainsi des plans pour mille automnes et cent ans. En effet, il n’est pas conscient que ce corps est vide, faux et non substantiel, qu’il est entraîné par les quatre marques de la naissance, de la vieillesse, de la maladie et de la mort. Ce processus se poursuit à chaque instant et ne cesse de se poursuivre par la vieillesse et la mort. Il est finalement impermanent et retourne finalement à la vacuité. C’est toujours un concept qui appartient à la vacuité d’être soumis à la production et à l’extinction. Cela n’arrive toujours pas à la fin du principe [qui est prévu]. Cela signifie spécifiquement que la forme illusoire des quatre grands éléments n’est à l’origine pas différente de la vraie vacuité, période. La personne ordinaire n’est pas consciente de cela et donc il les instruit, en disant: « La forme n’est pas différente de la vacuité ». C’est-à-dire que le corps de la forme n’est fondamentalement pas différent du vrai vide.

Quant à «la vacuité n’est pas différente de la forme», cette phrase sert à briser la vision annihilationniste des non-bouddhistes et des cultivateurs des Deux Véhicules (8) parce que dans sa cultivation l’externaliste ne sait pas que le corps est produit de l’activité karmique, et que l’activité karmique surgit de l’esprit, il passe par des cycles [de renaissances] tout au long des trois périodes de temps, tournant sans cesse. Parce qu’ils n’arrivent pas à comprendre le principe de l’interaction rétributive de la cause et de l’effet pendant les trois périodes de temps, ils disent ensuite qu’après le décès d’une personne, son énergie pure revient au ciel, son énergie trouble retourne à la terre et son singulier la vraie nature numineuse revient au grand vide.

Si c’était vraiment comme ils disent ici, alors il n’y aurait certainement pas de principe de rétribution et ainsi, celui qui fait le bien travaillerait en vain alors que celui qui fait le mal obtiendrait son chemin. Si la nature revenait au grand vide, alors il n’y aurait aucune base pour déterminer ce qui est bon et ce qui est mauvais pour l’un serait sur le point de disparaître. Ne serait-ce pas une grande fortune ?! Confucius a dit: «Les âmes errantes provoquent le changement, on connaît ainsi le caractère et l’apparence des fantômes et des esprits. Cela se réfère directement à ceux qui sont morts et n’ont pas encore péri et illustre clairement le principe de la rétribution qui opère dans l’existence cyclique. Et pourtant, les gens du monde n’insistent pas sur cette affaire. [La théorie selon laquelle] son ​​existence est coupée et éteinte de façon précipitée est une erreur extrême.

Maintenant, bien que les gens des Deux Véhicules s’appuient sur les enseignements du Bouddha dans leur cultivation, parce qu’ils n’ont pas encore compris que les trois royaumes (9) sont seulement l’esprit et les myriades dharmas sont seulement la conscience, ils ne comprennent pas cette naissance et cette mort sont comme une illusion ou comme une transformation. Par conséquent, ils développent l’opinion que les caractéristiques des trois royaumes existent réellement. Ainsi, ils considèrent les trois royaumes comme étant une prison. Ils abhorrent les quatre types de renaissance comme s’ils étaient des menottes ou des fers. Ils ne génèrent pas une seule pensée consacrée aux êtres libérateurs. Les emmêler dans le vide, stagner dans l’immobilité et sombrer dans l’extinction. C’est pourquoi il leur dit clairement, « La vacuité n’est pas différente de la forme ».

C’est dire que la vraie vacuité n’est fondamentalement pas différente de la forme illusoire. Ce n’est pas cet espace qui est séparé de la forme et qui est sujet à être coupé et éteint. Ce qui se manifeste vraiment praj ~ naa, c’est la vraie vacuité de la réalité, c’est tout. Comment? Parce que le vrai vide de Prajna est comme un grand miroir rond. Toutes les formes illusoires sont comme des images dans le miroir. Si l’on est simplement conscient que les images ne sont pas séparées du miroir, alors on saurait que la vacuité n’est pas différente de la forme. Cela brise directement la vacuité des [cultivateurs des] deux véhicules qui est en dehors de la forme ainsi que le vide expansif des non-bouddhistes.

De plus, craignant que les peuples du monde n’acceptent la «forme» et le «vide», ces deux mots parlent d’eux comme s’ils étaient deux poteaux d’attelage différents et ne pourraient pas les considérer comme équivalents et un seul tel, il a de nouveau proclamé leur identité, en disant: «La forme est juste la vacuité, la vacuité est juste la forme», c’est tout.

Si l’on est simplement capable de contempler comme cela et de prendre conscience que la forme n’est pas différente de la vacuité, alors il n’y a pas de sons, de formes, d’objets matériels ou de bienfaits qui puissent être convoités. sur lequel on pourrait mourir. Si l’on fait cela, alors on dépasse soudainement la souffrance de la personne ordinaire. Si l’on est simplement conscient que la vacuité n’est pas différente de la forme, alors même sans l’émergence du samadhi d’extinction, on manifeste néanmoins chaque aspect du comportement impressionnant et sans bouger du point d’origine on continue néanmoins à amener les êtres à la libération . L’un réside dans la vacuité et pourtant la myriade de pratiques (10) déborde et jaillit. L’un est impliqué dans l’existence et pourtant la voie de l’unité reste pure. Si l’on fait cela, on sort soudainement des attachements des non-bouddhistes et des pratiquants des Deux Véhicules.

Si l’on est seulement conscient que la forme et la vacuité sont équivalentes et d’une seule qualité, alors à tout moment on amène les êtres à la libération et pourtant on ne maintient aucune vue d’un être qui peut être libéré. Et à chaque pensée, on cherche la bouddhéité sans pour autant maintenir une vue de tout résultat de la bouddhéité qui peut être recherché. C’est la réalisation dite parfaite de la singularité de l’esprit dans laquelle il n’y a pas de sagesse et pas de réalisation. Si l’on accomplit cela, alors on sort du bodhisattva et monte soudainement au sol de la bouddhéité, à l’autre rive. Si l’on est capable de réaliser une contemplation comme celle-ci d’un seul dharma de la forme « agrégat », alors dans le cas des quatre autres agrégats, ils sont parfaitement compris chaque fois que l’esprit les rencontre. C’est exactement la même chose que lorsque l’on ramène une seule des facultés des sens à la source, alors les six facultés réalisent la libération. D’où il est dit: « Il en va de même pour le sentiment, la perception, les facteurs compositionnels et la conscience ». Si l’on est vraiment capable (de réussir dans une contemplation) comme cela, alors toute souffrance est soudainement coupée, le résultat de la bouddhéité peut être atteint, et l’autre rive n’est pas loin. Il est réalisé uniquement dans la pensée contemplative de la personne donnée, c’est tout. Comment un dharma tel que celui-ci pourrait-il être tout sauf extrêmement profond?

*** Shaariputra, ces dharmas sont tous caractérisés par la vacuité. Ils ne sont ni produits ni détruits, ni souillés ni purs, et ne sont ni augmentés ni diminués.

Dans ce passage, il craint de nouveau que les gens du monde emploient l’esprit qui est soumis à la production et à la destruction pour réaliser une identification erronée du dharma de la vraie vacuité, de la réalité et du prajāna et ainsi développer une compréhension basé sur la production, l’extinction, la souillure, la pureté, augmenter et diminuer. C’est pourquoi il commande le Vénérable et lui dit clairement: « La soi-disant marque de réalité de la vraie vacuité n’est pas un dharma caractérisé par la production ou l’extinction, la souillure ou la pureté, l’augmentation ou la diminution. , souillé ou pur, augmenté ou diminué est juste un dharma appartenant aux perceptions sentimentales des êtres vivants, alors que la substance de la marque de réalité de la vraie vacuité de mon prajna na est claire et pure et comme un espace vide. un dharma qui transcende le sentiment.  » Comment pourrait-il approuver l’une de ces [désignations]? Par conséquent, il emploie les mots « ni » et « ni » pour les nier. C’est-à-dire que tous les dharmas des cinq agrégats sont identiques à la réalité de la vraie vacuité. Chacun d’eux transcende tous ces défauts.

Par conséquent, dans la vacuité, il n’y a pas de formes. Il n’y a pas de sentiments, de perceptions, de facteurs de composition ou de conscience. Il n’y a pas d’œil, d’oreille, de nez, de langue, de corps ou d’esprit. Il n’y a pas de formes [visuelles], de sons, d’odeurs, de goûts, de touchables ou de dharmas [comme objets d’esprit]. Il n’y a pas de domaine de l’œil et ainsi de suite jusqu’à ce que nous n’atteignions pas le royaume de la conscience. Il n’y a pas d’ignorance et il n’y a pas de fin à l’ignorance et ainsi de suite jusqu’à ce que nous n’ayons pas de vieillesse et de mort, ni aucune fin à la vieillesse et à la mort. Il n’y a pas de souffrance, d’accumulation, d’extinction ou de Voie. Il n’y a pas de sagesse ni de réalisation.

Ceci est donc une explication générale de la signification de la façon dont praj ~ naa transcende les fautes. Quand on dit que le vrai vide du prajâna transcende éternellement toutes les fautes, c’est parce qu’à l’intérieur il est pur et dépourvu de phénomènes. Par conséquent, il n’y a aucune trace des cinq agrégats. Non seulement il n’y a pas cinq agrégats, mais il n’y a aucune des six facultés sensorielles non plus. Non seulement il n’y a aucune des six facultés de sens, mais il n’y a aucun des six objets de sens non plus. Non seulement il n’y a aucun des six objets sensoriels, mais il n’y a aucune des six consciences non plus. Ceci étant le cas, alors les royaumes des [dix-huit sens] constitués des facultés sensorielles, des objets des sens et des consciences, étant des dharmas associés à la personne commune, sont complètement transcendés par la vraie vacuité de praj ~ naa. Par conséquent, il dit d’eux tous qu’ils sont « inexistants ».

Puisque c’est le cas, il transcende les dharmas de la personne commune. Ainsi, au sein de prajnaa, non seulement il n’y a pas de dharmas de la personne commune, mais il n’y a pas non plus de dharmas du Supérieur. C’est parce que les quatre vérités, les douze causes et conditions, les six perfections (11) et ainsi de suite sont tous [simplement] des dharmas employés par les supérieurs des trois véhicules (12) qui vont au-delà du monde. Dans le cas des quatre vérités que sont la souffrance, l’accumulation, l’extinction et la Voie, c’est à cause du dégoût de la souffrance que l’on coupe l’accumulation et c’est par désir d’extinction qu’on cultive la Voie. Ceux-ci constituent des dharmas associés aux auditeurs.

« L’ignorance » conditionne les facteurs de composition. Les facteurs de composition conditionnent la conscience. La conscience conditionne le nom et la forme. Le nom et la forme conditionnent les six entrées [sens]. Les six entrées [sens] conditionnent le contact. Sensation des conditions de contact. Sentant les conditions de désir. Conditions de désir saisissantes. Existence de conditions de saisie. Conditions d’existence naissance. Les conditions de naissance le vieil âge et la mort. Ceci constitue « la délimitation des douze causes et conditions décrivant le fait de circuler et de tourner [dans l’existence samsarique] ». Cela correspond aux deux vérités de la souffrance et de l’accumulation. [Là où le Sutra fait référence à « l’extinction de l’ignorance » jusqu’à « l’extinction de la vieillesse et de la mort », cela constitue « la délimitation décrivant le retour à l’extinction ». Cela correspond aux deux vérités d’extinction et au Chemin. C’est le dharma contemplé par le pratiquant « éclairé par la condition » (pratyekabuddha). Dans tous les cas, ils sont fondamentalement inexistants dans la substance du prajnaa.

Si l’on étend cela au point final, alors non seulement il n’y a pas de dharmas associés aux deux véhicules [mentionnés ci-dessus], il n’y a pas non plus de bodhisattva dharmas. Comment est-ce? La «Sagesse» ici n’est que la sagesse contemplative. C’est cet esprit [qui opère] dans la sagesse des six perfections et qui est capable de chercher. « Accomplissement » ici est juste le résultat de la bouddhéité. C’est ce royaume qui est recherché. Ainsi, dans la culture du bodhisattva, il prend la sagesse comme constituant ce qui est avant tout. Ses êtres transformateurs ci-dessous est uniquement pour le bien de rechercher le résultat de la bouddhéité ci-dessus. D’autant plus que le royaume de la bouddhéité est comme l’espace et n’a rien sur lequel il s’appuie, en tout cas où l’on chercherait à le chercher avec un esprit qui s’accroche à quelque chose de réalisable, cela ne serait pas authentique. C’est parce que ce phénomène est fondamentalement inexistant dans la substance de la vraie vacuité du pharjna, il dit: « Il n’y a pas de sagesse et il n’y a pas de réalisation ». C’est le non-accomplissement lui-même qui constitue l’accomplissement véritable. C’est alors que l’accomplissement atteint l’ultime.

Puisque rien n’est possible, parce que le bodhisattva s’appuie sur le praj ~ naa-paaramitaa, son esprit n’est ni suspendu ni obstrué. Parce qu’il n’est pas accroché ou obstrué, il n’a pas peur et laisse derrière lui la pensée de rêve à l’envers et atteint finalement le nirvana.

C’est surtout parce qu’il n’y a rien qui soit gagné et pourtant le résultat de la bouddhéité est acquis que le bodhisattva s’appuie sur sa cultivation sur prajāna et continue ainsi ses contemplations. Ainsi [il perçoit] que absolument tous les dharmas sont fondamentalement vides et immobiles. Si l’on se fie aux émotions, à la pensée et aux discriminations et que l’on se livre à ses contemplations de cette manière, alors son état mental deviendrait tellement lié et empêtré que l’on serait incapable d’obtenir la libération. On devient attaché par ses désirs en place après lieu et dans tous les cas cela provoque des blocages et des obstructions.

Si l’on s’appuie sur la vraie sagesse du prajāna alors qu’il continue ses contemplations, alors l’esprit et la sphère objective sont [compris pour être] vides. À chaque moment de son expérience, tout est parfaitement clair et il n’y a rien qui ne soit libération. Par conséquent, il déclare que parce que l’on s’appuie sur ce praj ~ naa l’esprit est libre de tout blocage et de toute obstruction. Du fait que l’esprit est libre de tout blocage et de toute obstruction, il n’y a pas de naissance et de mort qui puisse être craint. Par conséquent, il déclare que l’on n’a pas peur.

Comme il n’y a pas de naissance et de mort dont on puisse avoir peur, il n’y a pas de résultat de bouddhéité qui puisse être recherché non plus. C’est parce que la peur de la naissance et de la mort et la recherche du nirvana ne sont que des manifestations de la pensée du rêve et des pensées inversées. Le Sûtra des Lumières parfait affirme que la naissance, la mort et le nirvana sont exactement comme le rêve d’hier. Ainsi, en l’absence de la contemplation parfaite de praj ~ naa, on est certainement incapable de laisser derrière soi les marques de ces vues inversées et de rêver la pensée. Puisque l’on est incapable de laisser des vues inversées et de rêver, on est alors incapable d’arriver finalement au nirvana.

Maintenant « nirvana » est un terme sanscrit. Ici, il est appelé « extinction toujours » et aussi « calme parfait ». Cela fait référence au fait de se débarrasser complètement [des illusions correspondant aux] cinq stations d’habitation et de parvenir à la paix éternelle de l’extinction encore. C’est juste le résultat final auquel les Bouddhas reviennent. L’intention ici est que celui qui est capable de laisser derrière lui le sentiment [qui s’accroche à des distinctions correspondant à] la supérieure et la personne commune est alors capable de réaliser la réalisation et l’entrée dans le nirvana, c’est tout. Si dans la cultivation entreprise par le bodhisattva, il ne tient pas compte de ce point, il ne constitue certainement pas une véritable pratique.

Parce que les bouddhas des trois périodes dépendent du Prajna-paaramitaa, ils acquièrent Anuttara-samyak-sa.mbodhi. On sait donc que le praj ~ na-paaramitaa est le grand mantra spirituel, c’est le grand mantra lumineux, c’est le mantra insurpassé, et c’est le mantra inégalé qui est capable de se débarrasser de toute souffrance et qui est authentique et non faux.

C’est-à-dire que ce ne sont pas seulement les bodhisattvas qui, en s’appuyant sur ce prajāna, entreprennent leur cultivation, mais ce sont les bouddhas des trois périodes du temps. Il n’y en a aucun qui ne compte sur ce praj ~ naa pour obtenir la réalisation parfaite du résultat de l’illumination juste, égale, juste et non surpassée. Par conséquent [le Sutra] déclare, « parce que les bouddhas des trois périodes de temps s’appuient sur le praj ~ naa-paaramitaa ils gagnent anuttara-samyak-sa.mbodhi. » C’est un terme sanscrit. Le « an- » signifie « pas ». « Uttara » signifie « dépassé ». « Sam- » signifie « juste ». « Yak » signifie « égal ». « Bodhi » signifie « illumination ». C’est le terme ultime pour le résultat de la bouddhéité. En le regardant sur cette base, on sait que le Prajnaa-paaramitaa est capable de chasser les démons de la naissance, de la mort et des afflictions. Par conséquent [le Sutra] déclare que c’est le grand mantra de l’esprit. Il est capable de briser les ténèbres de l’ignorance qui a traversé toute la longue nuit de la naissance et de la mort. Par conséquent [le Soutra] déclare que c’est le grand mantra brillant. A la fois dans le monde et au-delà du monde, il n’y a pas un seul dharma qui puisse dépasser le praj ~ naa. Par conséquent [le Soutra] déclare que c’est le mantra insurpassé. Parce que le prajâna est la mère de tous les bouddhas qui donnent naissance à toutes les innombrables qualités méritoires, il n’y a rien dans le monde ou au-delà du monde qui soit égal. C’est seulement cela qui peut égaler tous les autres. Par conséquent [le Sutra] déclare que c’est le mantra sans égal.

Quant à ce que l’on appelle un «mantra», il n’y a pas un mantra autre que celui-ci. C’est juste ce praj ~ naa qui [lui-même] l’est. Pourquoi alors dit-il « praj ~ naa » et se réfère ensuite à lui comme un « mantra »? C’est à cause de la rapidité de l’efficacité spirituelle associée à [ces] mots ultimes. Ils sont comme les ordres secrets utilisés dans l’armée. Parmi ceux qui sont capables de réaliser silencieusement les actions, il n’y en a aucun qui ne soit victorieux de façon décisive. Prajâna est capable de démolir les armées démoniaques de la naissance et de la mort, de sorte que l’on puisse être victorieusement décisif de la même manière. De même, c’est comme une douce rosée [élixir]. Celui qui le boit est capable d’éviter la mort. Et donc, s’il y a quelqu’un qui possède la saveur de praj ~a, il est alors capable de se débarrasser soudainement de la grande calamité de la naissance et de la mort. Par conséquent, il déclare qu’il est capable de se débarrasser de toute souffrance. Qu’il déclare alors qu’il est vrai, authentique et non faux, c’est pour montrer que le discours du Bouddha n’est pas erroné. C’est à cause d’un désir que les gens vont vraiment croire et ne pas avoir de doutes à ce sujet. [C’est parce que] la décision dans la cultivation constitue quelque chose qui est essentiel.

Par conséquent, il a parlé le praj ~ napaaramitaa mantra. Il a ensuite prononcé le mantra, en disant:

Du fait que le prajāna possède vraiment la capacité de se débarrasser de la souffrance et de parvenir à la félicité, il a alors prononcé le mantra secret pour amener les gens à le garder en silence afin de saisir efficacité rapide.

Porte Porte Paaragate Paarasa.mgate Bodhi Svaahaa.

C’est le sanscrit. Le texte qui précède précède la déclaration ouvertement manifeste de prajnaa. Ce mantra constitue la déclaration secrète de praj ~ naa. Il n’est pas tel qu’il admet une compréhension intellectuelle. On le récite simplement en silence. La rapidité d’expérimentation de son efficacité réside précisément dans le pouvoir inconcevable et ineffable qui provient de l’oubli de ses émotions et de l’arrêt de la compréhension. Ainsi, la raison de la rapidité de l’expérience de ses effets bénéfiques réside dans la lumière originellement existante de l’esprit qui est possédée par tous. Les bouddhas en réalisent la réalisation et l’emploient comme la fonction merveilleuse des superknowledges spirituels. Les êtres restent confus à son égard et s’en servent comme base pour s’engager dans une réflexion erronée et une fatigue [des sens]. La raison pour laquelle on l’emploie chaque jour sans en être conscient est due à son propre obscurcissement de la vérité fondamentale. Ainsi, on subit injustement la souffrance amère. Comment cela ne pourrait-il pas être lamentable?

Il suffit de pouvoir s’éveiller à ce qui existe à l’origine et, sur le champ, inverser l’illumination et réfléchir [intérieurement]. Si l’un d’entre eux se laisse entraîner dans la cultivation, alors la barrière des sentiments associés à la naissance et à la mort va soudain s’effondrer. C’est comme le cas d’une pièce qui est restée sombre pendant mille ans. Une seule lampe est capable de dissiper [l’obscurité]. On n’a pas besoin de chercher ailleurs pour d’autres moyens habiles. Lorsque nous possédons la détermination de sortir de la naissance et de la mort, si nous abandonnons cette méthode, il n’y a pas de traversier ou de radeau [dont nous pourrions nous prévaloir]. Comme on l’a dit, quand on est ballotté sur les vagues au milieu de la mer de souffrance, le praj ~ naa est un navire. Dans l’obscurité profonde de la longue nuit, praj ~ naa est une lanterne.

Les gars d’aujourd’hui s’enfuient sur des routes dangereuses. Ils dérivent impuissants sur la mer de souffrance. Là où il y a quelqu’un de son propre gré et qui ne parvient pas à le chercher, je n’ai aucune idée d’où il pourrait [sinon trouver] un refuge. Même si c’est comme ça, praj ~ naa est comme [l’épée magique connue sous le nom de] Syau-lyan qui coupe proprement à travers tout ce qu’elle a contacté. Même si les choses étaient complètement coupées, le porteur ne le sentirait même pas. Si l’on n’est pas un sage spirituel, on est incapable de le mettre en pratique, d’autant plus que ce serait le cas pour un moindre.


Announcement: HengDao Shakya enters the Sangha


Dharma Winds Zen Sangha/Ordre Zen de HsuYun

is happy to announce that

Heng Dao Shakya (Daniel Scharpenburg),


Chan/Zen Priest in the TsaoTung (Jp. Soto) lineage of Upasaka Charles Luk, and founder of Morning Sky Zen Sangha,

Has been received as one of the Dharma Teachers of our Zen Order and enters the board of DWZS/OZHY.

Morning Sky Zen Sangha, is thus recognized as one of our sangha’s Zen hermitages/groups.

May his entry in our Sangha and Zen Order be the beginning of a new page in his teaching life as a Chan/Zen Priest!

Thanks to him for his continuous effort in sharing the Chan/Zen Dharma with simplicity, humility and sincerity, following our sangha’s creed.

May we manifest the bright light of the Old Empty Cloud’s Teachings in all its forms!

May we manifest the Empty MindGround and save all beings!





Version française générée automatiquement par les services de Google Traduction:

Dharma Winds Zen Sangha/Ordre Zen de HsuYun

est heureux d’annoncer que
Heng Dao Shakya (Daniel Scharpenburg),


Transmis dans la lignée TsaoTung (Jp Soto) de l’Upasaka Charles Luk, et fondateur de Morning Sky Zen Sangha,

A été reçu comme l’un des Enseignants du Dharma  de notre Ordre Zen et est entré au Conseil de DWZS / OZHY.
Morning Sky Zen Sangha, est ainsi reconnu comme l’un des ermitages / groupes Zen de notre sangha.

Que son entrée dans notre Ordre et Sangha Zen soit le début d’une nouvelle page dans sa vie d’enseignant en tant que Prêtre Chan / Zen!

Merci à lui pour ses efforts continus dans le partage du Chan / Zen Dharma avec simplicité, humilité et sincérité, en suivant le credo de notre sangha.

Puissions-nous manifester la lumière brillante des Enseignements du Vieil Empty Cloud sous toutes ses formes!

Puissions-nous manifester l’Esprit Fondamental et sauver tous les êtres!




The High King Avalokitesvara Sutra


The High King Avalokitesvara Sutra

(Taisho Tripitaka 2898)

Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

Namo Buddha-yah.
Namo Dharma-yah
Namo Sangha-yah

Due to the great relationship with Buddhas’ Worlds,
and the interlinked great causes,
There comes the Buddha’s Dharmas,
which is Eternal, Bliss, Self, and Pure;
And we have become the relations of the Buddha-Dharmas.

Namo Maha Prajna Paramita, the great sacrosanct mantra;
Namo Maha Prajna Paramita, the great brilliant mantra;
Namo Maha Prajna Paramita, the unsurpassed mantra;
Namo Maha Prajna Paramita, the unequaled mantra.

Namo Pure Light Secret Buddha, Dharma Treasury Buddha, the Tranquil King Buddha with Lion’s roar and divine speed, the Sumeru Light King Buddha announced by Buddha, Dharma Protector Buddha, Vajra Treasury Roaming Lion Buddha, Precious Victory Buddha, Supernatural Power Buddha, Medicine Master Crystal Light King Buddha, Universal Light Merit Mountain King Buddha, Merit Retaining Jewel King Buddha,

the seven past Buddhas, the coming one thousand Buddhas of the Fortunate kalpa, the fifteen hundred Buddhas, the fifteen thousand Buddhas, the five hundred Flower Victory Buddhas, the one hundred billion Vajra Treasury Buddhas, and Samadhi Light Buddha.

The Buddhas of Six Directions:
To the East the Precious Light Moon Palace Venerable Wonderful Voice King Buddha,
To the South the Tree-Root Flower King Buddha,
To the West the Spiritual Power Flower Blazing King Buddha,
To the North the Moon Palace Purity Buddha,
Above, the countless Vigor Jewel Crown Buddha,
Below, the Tranquil Moon Sound King Buddha.

All the countless Buddhas, Prabhuta-ratna(Many Treasures) Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, Akshobhya Buddha, Amitabha Buddha,

All beings in the Central Realm, and those in the Pure Lands, while moving upon the Earth and in the Heavens, continually shower compassion upon all living beings, affording them equanimity and peace, that they might cultivate day and night. By constantly invoking this sutra, one is liberated from the pain of death and birth, and freed from all the many kinds of suffering.

Namo the Great Wisdom Avalokitesvara, the Observant Avalokitesvara, the Noble Avalokitesvara, the Expansively-Minded Avalokitesvara, the Medicine King Bodhisattva, the Supreme Medicine Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Akasagarbha Bodhisattva, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the billions of Clear Cool Treasure Mountain Bodhisattvas, the Universal Light Venerable King Tathagata Bodhisattva, Chanting this sutra continually, the Seven World-Honored Buddhas, recite this mantra:

Lee-poh-lee-poh-deh, kyo-ho-kyo-ho-deh, toh-loh-nee-deb, nee-ah-la-deh, pee-lee-nee-deh, mo-ho-kya-deh, jun-len-chan-deh, so-ha.

All the transformation bodies of Avalokitesvara
and all the bodhisattvas
have vowed to liberate every being in samsara,
and to cleanse all sufferings when called upon.

One who has non-dual faith in Buddha
will be greatly blessed with guidance.
By keeping intact the root of virtue
one will be able to practice this,
and with one thousand recitations,
the practice blends into one’s mindstream.

Then one remains unharmed by fire or weapons,
and anger is transformed into happiness.
Even those who are left for dead
returns thereby to life.
One must not doubt this,
for it is the word of Buddha.

The High King Avalokitesvara
In truth removes all obstacles.
Even in the most grave plight
One is saved from death.
This is the truth all Buddhas announce,
Therefore pay them homage.
By reciting this praise one thousand times,
One purifies the most negative of karmas.
Those fortunate ones endowed with indestructible faith
Are to always uphold this sutra.

Recite the name of the Eight Mahasattvas:

Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva
Namo Maitreya Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo Akasa-garbha Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo Samanta-bhadra Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo Vajra-pani Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo Manjusri Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo Sarva-nivaraNaviskambhin Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
Namo all venerable Bodhisattva Mahasattvas.

May these merits and virtues
be spread universally to everything.

Fully recite this one thousand times,
And serious sins will be purified.



Master HsuYun’s Ten Oxherding Poems

Poems on the Oxherding series, by Master Hsu Yun

The Oxherder, the Spinning Maiden and the Ox.

Ceramic figurine at Hsu Yun Temple, Honolulu.

Master HsuYun made several poems around the theme of the Oxherding pictures, this is the 10 images version (he also wrote a 12 poems version that we will post in a few weeks).

This version was originally posted at the old website of the our Order :


These are simple and direct poems helping us to understand the way Great Master HsuYun saw and used these classical Oxherding images and poems, a classical theme of our Chan/Zen tradition.

1. Pushing Aside the Grass to Look for the Ox

Wanting to break through to Emptiness with my white cudgel
I cried out louder than the bellowing Ox, mooing through my senses.
I followed mountain and stream searching for the Ox, seeking it everywhere.
But I couldn’t tell in which direction it had gone… west?… or east?

2. Suddenly Seeing Tracks

On I searched… into the mountains and along the river banks.
But in every direction I went, I went in vain.
Who would have suspected that it was right where I stood;
That I needed only nod my head and my true Self would appear before me.

3. Seeing the Ox

Its wild nature is now calmed in lazy sleep.
By the stream, under the trees, crushing the blades of dew laden grass
The Ox sleeps without a care.
At last I have found it… there with its great head and horns.

4. Piercing the Ox’s Nose

I rush forward and pierce the Ox’s nose!
It wildly jerks and jumps
But I feed it when it is hungry and give it water when it thirsts.
Then I allow the Oxherding Boy to take care of it.

5. Training the Ox

I have supported you with great care for many years
And you plow – not mud and water, but clouds!
From dawn until dusk, the natural grass sustains you
And you keep your master company by sleeping out of doors.

6. Returning Home Riding the Ox

What place in these cloudy mountains is not my home?
There’s greenery everywhere – so lush it’s hard to tell
Crops from wild grasses. I don’t intrude on planted fields.
I ride the Ox and let him graze along the roadside.

7. Keeping the Person Because of the Ox

I went from the city to the edge of the sea
I returned riding backwards in a white ox wagon.
Into this painted hall comes a spinning red wheel.
The New Bride finally arrives, and from my own house!

8. The Bride and the Ox are Forgotten

I remember the old days as I brush out dead ashes from the cold stove.
Silently, without a trace, I pace back and forth for no reason.
But today the ice is broken by a plum blossom!
A tiger roars, a dragon growls, and all the creatures of the universe surround me.

9. Returning to the Origin and the Essence

Every thing and every creature under the sun has its own nature.
Hasn’t this knowledge been passed down through generations?
When the Ox suddenly roars like a lion
Everything in the universe reveals such infinite variety.

10. Coming Home with Folded Hands

How wide are the horizons of the spinning earth!
The moonlight leads the tides and the sun’s light will not be confined
Within the net of heaven. But in the end all things return to the One.
The deaf and dumb, the crippled and deformed are all restored to the One’s Perfection.

11. The Concluding Song

In the beginning there was nothing, nor was anything lacking.
The paper was blank. We pick up the paint brush and create the scene…
The landscape, the wind whipping water into waves.
Everything depends upon the stroke of our brush.
Our Ox lets the good earth lead it,
Just as our brush allows our hand to move it.
Take any direction, roam the world to its farthest edge.
All comes back to where it started… to blessed Emptiness.

The Maxims of Master Hanshan Deqing


The last chapter of a very important text of our Zen Order, the Autobiography of master Hanshan Deqing by our two founders JyDin Shakya and my late Dharma Teacher MingZhen Shakya.

These Maxims of Hanshan are a wonderful source of teachings used by many of our Zen Priests. The old, master was HsuYun’s rolemodel and sI still one of our main Lineage Zen figures. May his words be an inspirations for all Zen practitioners as they are for our own Zen practice!





Maxims of Master Han Shan

(from Journey to Dreamland)1. When we preach the Dharma to those who see only the ego’s illusory world, we preach in vain. We might as well preach to the dead.

How foolish are they who turn away from what is real and true and lasting and instead pursue the fleeting shapes of the physical world, shapes that are mere reflections in the ego’s mirror. Not caring to peer beneath the surfaces, deluded beings are content to snatch at images. They think that the material world’s ever-flowing energy can be modified into permanent forms, that they can name and value these forms, and then, like great lords, exert dominion over them.

Material things are like dead things and the ego cannot vivify them. As the great lord is by his very identity attached to his kingdom, the ego, when it attaches itself to material objects, presides over a realm of the dead. The Dharma is for the living. The permanent cannot abide in the ephemeral. True and lasting joy can’t be found in the ego’s world of changing illusion. No one can drink the water of a mirage.

2. There are also those who, claiming enlightenment, insist that they understand the non-substantial nature of reality. Boasting that the disease of materialism cannot infect them, they try to prove their immunity by carefully shunning all earthly enjoyments. But they, too, are in the dark.

3. Neither are they correct who dedicate themselves to exposing the fraud of every sensory object they encounter. True, perceptions of material objects give rise to wild desire in the heart. True, once it is understood how essentially worthless such apparent objects are, wild desires are reduced to timid thoughts. But we may not limit our spiritual practice to the discipline of dispelling illusion. There is more to the Dharma than understanding the nature of reality.

4. What is the best way to sever our attachment to material things?

First, we need a good sharp sword, a sword of discrimination, one that cuts through appearance to expose the real. We begin by making a point of noticing how quickly we became dissatisfied with material things and how soon our sensory pleasures also fade into discontent. With persistent awareness we sharpen and hone this sword. Before long, we find that we seldom have to use it. We’ve cut down all old desires and new ones don’t dare to bother us.

5. True Dharma seekers who live in the world use their daily activity as a polishing tool. Outwardly they may appear to be very busy, like flint striking steel, making sparks everywhere. But inwardly they silently grow. For although they may be working very hard, they are working for the sake of the work and not for the profits it will bring them. Unattached to the results of their labor, they transcend the frenetic to reach the Way’s essential tranquillity. Doesn’t a rough and tumbling stream also sparkle like striking flints – while it polishes into smoothness every stone in its path?

6. In the ego’s world of illusion, all things are in flux. But continuous change is constant chaos. When the ego sees itself as the center of so much swirling activity, it cannot experience cosmic harmony.

For example, what the ego considers to be a devastating hurricane is, as far as the universe is concerned, a perfectly natural event, a link in the endless chain of cause and effect. The universe, having no ego, continues its existence without rendering judgments about hurricanes or ocean breezes.

When we are empty of ego we, too, can carry on in calm acceptance of life’s varying events. When we cease making prejudicial distinctions – gentle or harsh, beautiful or ugly, good or bad – a peaceful stillness will permeate our mind. If there is no ego, there is no agitation.

7. Our mind and body are by nature pure; but we sully them with sinful thoughts and deeds. In order to restore ourselves to our original purity, we need only to clean away the accumulated dirt. But how do we proceed with the cleansing process? Do we put a barrier between us and the occasions of our bad habits? Do we remove ourselves from the places of temptation? No. We cannot claim victory by avoiding the battle. The enemy is not our surroundings, it is in ourselves. We have to confront ourselves and try to understand our human weakness. We have to take an honest look at ourselves, at our relationships and our possessions, and ask what all our self-indulgence has gotten us. Has it brought us happiness? Surely not.

If we are ruthlessly honest we’ll have to admit that it was our own foolish egotism that soiled us. This admission is painful to make. Well, if we want to melt ice we have to apply heat. The hotter the fire, the quicker the ice melts. So it is with wisdom. The more intense our scrutiny, the quicker we will attain wisdom. When we grow large in wisdom we dwarf our old egotistical self. The contest is then over.

8. There are times when we act with unshakable faith in the Dharma even though we don’t understand the situation we’re in. There are other times when we understand our situation but are afraid to be completely faithful.

In one instance, we have heart; and in the other we have mind. We must put these two together! Understanding AND faith!

9. With one small fulcrum, a lever can move tons of weight. With one greedy thought, years of integrity can be corrupted. A greedy thought is the seed of fear and confusion. It will grow wildly. The material gain that a greedy act brings is a small gain indeed. To act without greed and lose some material benefit is also, therefore a small loss. But to lose one’s integrity! That is an immense loss! The enlightened person stands in awe of the fulcrum.

10. What do people strive for? Money, or fame, or successful relationships, or the Dharma. Well, one man may become very rich but be hated by his family. Another man may be loved by everyone but not have a penny to his name. Still a third man may be hailed as a hero by his countrymen and then find himself with neither funds nor loving family. Usually, so much effort is put into achieving one goal, that the other goals cannot be attained. But what about the man who strives to attain the Dharma? If he succeeds he has gained in that one goal far more than the other three combined. He who has Dharma lacks nothing.

11. Put a fish on land and he will remember the ocean until he dies. Put a bird in a cage, yet he will not forget the sky. Each remains homesick for his true home, the place where his nature has decreed that he should be.

Man is born in the state of innocence. His original nature is love and grace and purity. Yet he emigrates so casually without even a thought of his old home. Is this not sadder than the fishes and the birds?

12. Those who pursue money are always rushed, always busy with urgent matters. Those who pursue the Dharma, go slow and easy. “Boring” you say? Maybe. Maybe it’s downright dreary to stop and smell a flower or listen to a bird. Maybe a glint of gold is really more dazzling than the sight of one’s Original Face. Maybe what we need is a better definition of “treasure”.

13. The heart’s weather should always be clear, always sunny and calm. The only time the weather could turn bad is when clouds of lust and attachment form. These always bring storms of worry and confusion.

14. A single speck in the eye blurs good vision, we see double or triple images. A single dirty thought confounds a rational mind. Many errors in judgment can arise from it. Remove that speck and see clearly! Remove that dirty thought and think clearly!

15. Great accomplishments are composed of minute details. Those who succeed in attaining the Whole have attended carefully to each tiny part. Those who fail have ignored or taken too lightly what they deemed to be insignificant. The enlightened person overlooks nothing.

16. Why are certain material objects so treasured? A gem is virtually useless and a gilded scabbard is no better than a plain one.

Man decides that gold is valuable because it is rare and enduring and brilliant. He then thinks that if he possesses gold he, himself, will become rare or unique, that his individual worth will endure, and that he also will be considered a rather brilliant fellow. So obsessed he may become with these foolish notions that in trying to obtain gold, he will destroy the very life he is trying to embellish.

In the darkness of delusion the unenlightened believe that they can glorify themselves by reflecting the qualities they have assigned to their possessions. Those who live the enlightened life readily discern that the qualities of an object are not transferred to its possessor. A heap of treasures piled in their path will not obstruct their vision. They can see right through them. Gold in the pocket is not gold in the character.

17. Look at people who keep tigers as pets. Even while they’re laughing and playing with them, in the back of their minds they’re afraid their pet will suddenly turn on them. They never forget how dangerous tigers are.

But what about people who lust after possessions, indulging themselves with one acquisition after another. They remain completely unaware of any danger.

Yet, the tiger can eat only a man’s flesh. Greed can devour his soul.

18. It is easier to do the right thing when we know what the right thing to do is. We can’t rely on instinct to find the Way. We need guidance.

But once we’re shown the path and begin to climb it, we find that with each step up we grow in wisdom and fortitude. Looking down we see how many of our old desires have fallen dead on the wayside. They look so feeble lying there that we wonder why we ever thought we lacked the courage to resist them.

The Mountain of Wisdom is different from other mountains. The higher we climb the stronger we grow.

19. People are always looking for the easy way. The hard way – the way learned by difficult experience and painful realizations – doesn’t interest them. They want a short-cut. True Dharma seekers are afraid of short-cuts. They know better. They know that without effort, there’s no sense of accomplishment. It’s that sense that keeps them going.

People who don’t appreciate the struggles of climbing lack understanding of where they’ve been, awareness of who they are, and determination to continue climbing. That’s why they never attain the Dharma.

20. What are the two most common goals for people who live in the world? Wealth and fame. To gain these goals people are willing to lose everything, including the health of their body, mind and spirit. Not a very good exchange, is it? Worldly wealth and fame fade so quickly that we wonder which will last longer, the money, the fame or the man.

But consider the goal of enlightenment, of attaining the wealth of the Dharma. Those who reach this goal are vigorous in body, keen in mind, and serene in spirit…right into eternity.

21. There are people who, though having accomplished nothing, connive to receive great honors or high positions of authority. Well, people who gain high rank without having earned it are like rootless trees. They live in fear that even the slightest wind will topple them.

Undeserved honor is a preface to disgrace.

22. The rich are admired because they’ve saved money. But what’s been saved can be spent. The admiration goes with the money. A king receives loyalty because his people regard him as noble. If they decide he’s acting badly, he may lose more than his throne. Those who are rich in the Dharma and noble in the Buddha’s Way always retain their wealth and the fealty of the people.

23. By successfully concealing his crimes a person can’t consider himself honorable. He knows he’s done wrong. By constantly bragging a person can’t claim to be famous even though he does hear his name mentioned everywhere he goes. By affecting the manners of holy men monks may receive veneration , but a pious demeanor never made anyone a saint. What are true honor, true recognition and true piety? They are internal qualities, not superficial acts or appearances. When a man’s conscience is free from stain, he is honorable. When his reputation for integrity precedes him, he is famous. When humility and reverence for the Dharma flow naturally out of his character, he is esteemed.

24. If men can’t evade the demands of their father and emperor, what can they do when Death gives them an order? They protest bitterly and scream at heaven, but they’ve got to obey. The man who howls the loudest is the one who thinks he’s just reached the pinnacle of worldly success.

The enlightened understand life and death. They always live well and never complain.

25. People think that if they posses worldly knowledge they know everything. But that’s not correct. Even when subjects are mastered there’s always room for error. And if the finest archers can miss their targets occasionally, what about the mediocre ones? When we know the Dharma, we have all the information we need. No matter what the other facts we acquire additionally, our storehouse of knowledge, though very deep and wide, is already full.

26. Everything in the universe is subject to change. There’s only one exception: death always follows life. Isn’t strange that people haven’t noticed this, that they conduct their lives as though they’re going to live forever, that death is nothing to worry about? Of course if they really want to live as long as they obviously expect, they’d better pursue the Dharma. Life, death, and change itself are transcended in the Dharmakaya.

27. I glean what the harvesters have overlooked or rejected. So why are their baskets empty while mine is bursting with so much good food? They just didn’t recognize their Buddha Nature when they saw it.

Everything in life depends on the choices we make.

28. In polite society everybody notices if a man’s hands are dirty. He’ll be stared at contemptuously. Why, the fellow will be wretched until he can wash his hands.

But isn’t it funny how a man can have character that’s defiled by greed and hate and nobody will pay the slightest attention? He’ll move about in perfect ease. Evidently, a dirty character isn’t worthy of notice as a dirty hand.

It’s so simple to restore dirty hands to a state of purity. Just wash them. But what about corrupted character? That’s quite another problem…

29. If a man carries too many worldly burdens, his body will soon wear out. If he worries about too many worldly problems, his mind will soon collapse. To be so occupied with material things is a dangerous way to live, a foolish waste of energy. A man ought to simplify his needs and use his strength to attain spiritual goals. Nobody ever ruined his mind or body by exercising self-restraint.

30. What, ultimately, is the difference between hardship and pleasure? A hardship is an obstacle and an obstacle is a challenge and a challenge is a way to use one’s Dharma strength. What is more pleasurable than that?

People are always so afraid of hardship. They go through life trying to avoid the difficult and embrace the easy. For me, it’s just the opposite. I don’t discriminate at all between hardship and pleasure. Whether the path ahead of me is difficult or easy, I don’t have hesitate to follow it.

31. People indignantly condemn thieves to steal material goods. I worry about the kind of thief who steals souls. People act to protect their property. They build walls and install security systems. They hang every thief they catch. What measures do they take to protect their minds from corruption and loss?

32. A man with good character is gentle, humble and free of material desires. A man with bad character is harsh, proud, and enslaved by greed. Gentleness indicates greater strength than harshness. Humility is more admirable than insolence. Freedom is always preferred to slavery.

It’s obvious. A man with good character has a better life.

33. There are material gains and spiritual gains. To gain the material objects of its desire, the mind searches the external world. When it seeks spiritual gains, it turns its attention to the heart.

A person ignores his heart becomes attached to the material world. The Dharma seeker looks inward and attends to his heart. That’s where he wants to form attachments.

34. You can’t be comfortable if you’ve got splinters in your skin. Worse, if you don’t get them out, the skin becomes infected. Infected skin becomes necrotic.

It’s the same with the heart. You can’t be comfortable if splinters of greed are stuck in it. And if you don’t get them out, your heart becomes infected. What will you do if your spirit dies?

35. A natural disaster, a so-called Act of God, doesn’t discriminate between its victims. It damages everybody – rich and poor, good and bad.

Whenever you have power over people, keep natural disasters in mind. Be godlike in your fairness.

36. They best way to convert other people to the Dharma Way, is to convert yourself to it first. Be an example for them to follow. One natural act flowing out of good character is more convincing than the most eloquent speech.

37. It’s easier to go from poverty to luxury than it is to go from luxury to poverty. Everybody knows that. Poverty is like being tossed around in troubled water. If a person is alert, he can find a way out. But luxury is like drifting gently in a river current. He’ll fall asleep and won’t wake up until he’s in the ocean. Welcome hardship. Regard rain as so much morning dew. Be afraid of sunny days. It’s hard to climb with the blazing sun on your back.

38. Our Buddha Nature is always clear and bright. If we can’t see because our eyes are darkly veiled with emotional dust. We can’t clean dust with dust and we can’t calm emotions with emotions. So how do we remove that veil? We use Dharma wisdom. Enlightenment lifts the veil and illuminates our Buddha Face.

39. The great quality of wisdom is that it always responds with precisely what’s needed. Like a well-aimed, sharp pointed sword – it always hits the spot. When we grow in wisdom we understand and can control our mind.

A wise person is always kind and considerate. He always sees what’s needed. He lets snow flakes fall on an overheated body. He provides cool water to slake a desperate thirst.

40. The easy path is always so appealing. So why do I prefer the hard way? On the easy path we take things for granted. We get lazy and bored. This is a formula for trouble and loss. When we go the hard way, we know we can’t let our guard down for a moment. We have to stay alert to meet the challenges. Solving problems makes our mind keener and our character stronger. This is achievement! This is true gain!

41. We all have a tendency to like those who listen to our advice and to dislike those who ignore it. We should guard ourselves against this tendency.

If we allow our emotions to influence us, we’re guilty of ignoring the Dharma’s advice. Love and hate can infect consciousness and jeopardize our ability to perceive clearly, to see with unprejudiced eyes. In the darkness we may stumble. When we control our emotions, we preserve the light.

42. People crave sensory stimulation. They enjoy this kind of external excitement. But I consider such craving a form of suffering. Sensory stimulation feeds on itself, grows larger and larger, and develops an ever-increasing appetite. People will destroy themselves and others, too, in trying to satisfy it. Pleasure derived from Dharma wisdom is internal excitement. Happiness grows along with the capacity to enjoy it. When given a choice between enjoyments, enlightened people always choose the Dharma.

43. Look, all worldly successes have their downside. The richer you become, the more pride you have. The higher your rank, the bossier you act. The greater your ambition, the more inconsiderate you are.

Success in the Dharma works differently. The better you become, the better you become.

44. Waves roughen the sea and windmill turn because of the wind. Take away the wind and the sea becomes calm and the windmills come to rest. For every effect there is a cause.

The waves of desire for things in the material world churn our minds, keep up in a constant state of agitation, scrambling in all directions. What do you think could happen if we eliminate desire?

45. The flow of a stream is sluggish if the source is shallow. A water-wheel won’t turn in it. A tall building won’t last if the foundation is shaky. Walls crack and soon the floors collapse. Depth and firmness are indispensable for good work and endurance. The saints knew this. That’s why they rooted themselves deep in the Dharma. They became towers of goodness that nothing could topple. Their enlightenment was a beacon that guided and inspired others for generations.

Don’t be content to study the Dharma, to memorize its surface. Plunge into it. Go as deeply as you can.

46. Limitless heaven and the huge earth are easily seen by the eye; but a tiny piece of lint can destroy that eye’s vision. A heart filled with love can expand into the universe; but a single hateful thought can puncture that heart and let the love drain out. Never underestimate the power of small things. The saints always gave full consideration to the tiniest thoughts.

47. Even though a hundred persons of great erudition predict failure, the wise person who has confidence in this own abilities will persevere and succeed. Even if these same hundred persons predict success, the person who has only knowledge and not the self confidence born of wisdom will fail.

Book knowledge alone gives rise to doubts and doubts cause confusion. In such conditions, no self confidence can develop. But wisdom leads to trust and trust inspires insight and clear thinking. Dharma followers pursue the path of wisdom in order to eliminate doubt and put knowledge to good use.

48. Not too long ago, when a person fell into the gutter, he’d feel such same that he’d vow with his blood to mend his way and never fall again. Nowadays, when a person finds himself in the gutter he sends out invitations for others to come and join him. This is really sad, isn’t it?

49. The only thing we can be sure of is that we cant’ be sure of anything. The only fact that doesn’t change is the fact that all things constantly change. The saints cultivated patience. No matter what situation they found themselves in, they calmly waited. They also understood that in matters of the heart it’s not the object alone that alters, but the subject, too, which proves fickle. Desire just might be the most changeable thing of all.

50. Cultivate the habit of going to sleep early. This is the best regimen for maintaining a strong and peaceful mind. People who stay up late need to show off and entertain their friends. Or else they’re bored and need excitement. Even if they sleep late, they’re still tired when they get up, still sluggish in body and mind. They can’t work or think well at all. People who follow the Dharma lead fuller, richer lives. They don’t need other people for support. Good habits are like muscles, the more they are exercised, the stronger they become.

51. All rivers, large or small, clear or muddy, flow into the ocean and the ocean responds by yielding vapors that become clouds which rain and fill the rivers. That is the cycle.

The saints show love and respect to all people, rich or poor, good or bad. The people, seeing such exquisite fairness, respond venerating the saints and trying to emulate them. This, too, is a cycle.

Regard the Dharma as a river regards the ocean, the source of its very nature and its endlessly renewing destiny. Regard the Dharma as saints regard the people, the object of love and the reward for loving.

52. If you treat other people as other, as separate, or as people different from yourself, you will not be inclined to be fair or merciful in your judgment of them. But if you treat other people as if they were just versions of yourself, you will understand their errors and appreciate their qualities.

Are we not fortunate that this is the way Heaven regards earth.

53. If one sees only superficial forms of matter and does not penetrate the true nature of visual reality, one is spiritually blind.

If one hears only temporary function of noise and does not penetrate to the true nature of auditory reality, one is spiritually deaf.

Forms and sounds are only illusions. We use vision and hearing to determine their essence to understand the true nature of reality.

54. The unstoppable stream of the ego’s conscious thoughts cannot stay still long enough to comprehend the truth. Yet people are always trying to think up a barrier to the flow, to use thoughts to stop thinking. Thoughts are like wildcats. We would never use one wildcat to tame another.

How then do we enter the state of non-thought? We understand the non-substantial nature of both the one who thinks and the thought itself. We understand that in reality there is not even a single tiny thought of a thought, or a thinker either. When we bear witness to this reality, our own testimony liberates us from bondage of thoughts of having no thoughts.

55. The very nature of mind and body is clear and calm and possesses not a single thought. It is the ego that thinks just as it is the ego that thinks that it desires not to think. The ego causes problems it tries to solve. To be empty of ego is to hear the soundless sound, to see the invisible sight, to think the thoughtless thought.

56. When one reaches the state of the thoughtless thought, one thinks that he is awakened to the Dharma. He thinks about his meditation experience and how it will change his thoughts about his environment. He thinks that it is absolutely wonderful that he has controlled his mind. It wouldn’t be right to say that he has more to think about. Actually, he has less.

57. The clearer the body, the brighter one’s Buddha Nature shines. In the beginning, we still need the body. It’s like a lamp. The Buddha Nature is this flame. But we may still be conscious of shadows. As we progress we feel that the body is the universe itself and that our Buddha Self shines throughout it like the sun.

58. There is no beginning to what came before, and no end to what will come after. It is thought that interrupts the flow of time and calibrates it. It is thought that decides that night follows day, that death follows life, that some things are tiny while others are huge. What, to the universe, is big or large, bright or dark, future or past?

59. Acts are small; the Principle is great. Acts are various; the Principle is one. Those who live the Principle, who let its meaning flow through their very bloodstream, never act at variance with it. In whatever they do, they fulfill the Principle. Whether busy or at ease they are never deceitful, never manipulative. They have no hidden motives and need none.

60. Nothing in the world is gained without desire, without motivation. You can take the route of honesty and be sincere in the pursuit of your desire or you can take the route of deceit and get what you want under false pretenses. One way or the other, when you acquire the object of your desire you’ll become attached to it – for at least as long as it takes you to desire something else. But between the routes of sincerity and guile lies a path in which neither strategy is necessary. This is the route that leads to understanding worldly desires for what they are. On this route your motivations die in their tracks while you move straightforwardly on.

61. When you think of a thing, you impart existence to it. Objects which cause desire to arise disappear when the mind’s eye closes to them. They blend into the scenery.

It is the same with emotions. Hopes, fears, judgments of right and wrong, and feelings of pleasure or misery also vanish when the mind remains uninvolved in the worldly events that occasioned them. When uncluttered by worldly refuse, the empty mind can hold infinite space. Peace pervades its purity, heaven gleams, and the harmony of the spheres resonates throughout.

62. The more people try to use willpower to obliterate a desire, the more they strengthen the desire. The additional force only serves to confuse them. They become obsessed with the problem. The more people talk about the Dharma without knowing what it is, the more they strengthen their ignorance. They grow in this ignorance and soon consider themselves towers of rectitude. They’re like fish out of water who attempt to teach others to swim, or like caged birds who offer lessons in flying.

If you want to conquer a desire, take off its mask and see it for what it is. Instantly, it becomes insignificant – not worth a second thought. If you want to discourse on the Dharma, let it become your natural habitat. Be at home in it. Familiarize yourself with human nature by recognizing your own errors and base desires. Instantly, you’ll forgive others for their mistakes. Be humble and gentle in your love for humanity. That’s the way to set an example for others to copy. Proud rigidity isn’t rectitude. It’s spiritual rigor mortis.

63. Those who are serious about the Dharma seek the insights of wisdom in everything they do. Whether busy or at rest, whether alone or in a crowd, in every situation they find themselves, they strive to remain consciously aware. Such vigilance isn’t easy. But once they get used to the practice, it becomes so natural an activity that nobody around them even suspects what they are achieving.

64. If you subtract a single blade of grass from the universe, the universe can no longer be said to be all-inclusive. If you put one tiny thought of greed or lust into a pure mind, the mind can no longer claim to be undefiled.

Be careful of small things. Their absence or presence can change everything.

65. The mind expands, into the universe; the body shrinks to mouse-like size. To be enlightened is to appreciate the dynamics of the Dharma.

When the mind soars into boundless space, the body remains confined to earthly habitats. It is usually found scurrying around in the dark.

66. What a waste of time and energy it is to strive to obtain material objects of desire. No lasting satisfaction can result from acquiring them since by their very acquisition they have ceased to be objects of desire. They are consumed like firewood and “burnt offerings”. We spit out the ashes in our mouths and search for another tree to cut down.

The saints strove for spiritual insights. They questioned the meaning of life. Achieving this insight, they gained the universe. There being nothing else left to desire, they lit no sacrificial fires.

67. Vast as the universe is, it fits inside the mind. Small as the body is, there is not enough in creation to satisfy it.

68. Everything in the universe has One Nature. People who live in the Nature have all that they could possibly want. The enlightened posses. The unenlightened desire.

69. The person who considers himself superior to others constantly renders judgments and perceives differences. He rigidly deals in opposites: good or bad, right or wrong. If he follows his own standards of fairness, he’ll have to reject at least half of creation.

A person who follows the Dharma strives to unify himself with the rest of humanity. He doesn’t discriminate and is indifferent to qualitative distinctions. He knows that Buddha Nature is the One, Indivisible Reality. A person who follows the Dharma strives to remain ever-conscious of his inclusion in that One.

70. Mountains, rivers and the earth itself are parts of The One. The clear mind is transparent; all existence can be seen through it. The mind clouded by illusion of ego sees nothing but itself.

Strive to realize that you are included in The One! Your body may dwell in the material world, but your mind will understand that there is nothing apart from itself that it can desire.

71. In the Dharma’s perfect stillness, the heart perceives and understands everything. There are no words for the tongue to speak, no sound for the ear to hear, no sights for the eye to see. Those who live in the Dharma live in their hearts. It’s strange that though their bodies may be decaying, their breath is always like a fragrant cool breeze. How wonderful it is to be near them!

72. I have learned so much from people who have been shunned by society. Yes, it’s true. Take my advice. If you want to find good teachers, seek out those who have been rejected for being blind, deaf or ignorant.

73. The objects of the material world are the props, sets and characters of a dream-drama. When one awakens, the stage vanishes. The players and the audience too, disappear. Waking up is not death. What lives in a dream can die in a dream; but the dreamer has a real existence that doesn’t perish with the dream. All that is necessary for him to stop dreaming, to cease being fascinated by dream images, and to realize that he has merely been a dreamer.

74. Most people only perceive change. To them things come in and out of existence. Sooner or later, what’s new becomes old, what’s valuable becomes worthless. Their egos determine the nature of destiny of everything

When existence is defined in such finite, ephemeral terms, the power to control people and things is naturally seen as an exercise of ego. And why not? Isn’t the ego an authority on the subject of change? Of course, when it comes to the One Thing That Never Changes, the ego is amazingly ignorant. Nowadays people don’t appreciate the Changeless. They scramble to keep up with every fad and fashion. They’re like comedians, desperately trying to acquire new jokes. Their lives depend on keeping the audience laughing.

What’s truly funny is their conviction that they’re free, powerful and in control. In reality they’re merely helpless slaves to an illusion.

75. There are two ways to perceive the Dharma: the Sudden Way, the way in which the obstacle of illusion is shattered by a striking awareness; and the Gradual Way, the way in which illusion is dispelled incrementally, by continuous effort. One way or the other the obstacle must be destroyed.

76. The Buddha Mind contains the universe. In this universe there is only one pure substance, one absolute and indivisible Truth. The notion of duality does not exist.

The small mind contains only illusions of separateness, of division. It imagines myriad objects and defines truth in terms of relative opposites. Big is defined by small, good by evil, pure by defiled, hidden by revealed, full by empty. What is opposition? It is the arena of hostility, of conflict and turmoil. Where duality is transcended peace reigns. This is the Dharma’s ultimate truth.

77. Though, in fact, the Dharma’s Truth cannot be expressed in words, teachers talk on and on, trying to explain it. I suppose it’s just human nature to say that something cannot be explained and then spend hours trying to explain it. No wonder people walk away. Well, we could be more entertaining. We could make up amusing stories and appeal to our audience with flattering assurances. Of course, we’d just be piling illusion upon illusion. But what would that have to do with the Dharma?

78. A person who is alone can’t hold a conversation. A drum has to be hollow for its sound to reverberate. Absences count. Words limit. Interpretations differ. What isn’t said is also relevant. Absolute Truth cannot be expressed in words. It must be experienced.

And then, in eloquent silence we best reveal that we have awakened to the Dharma.

Nuit de pratique du Zen pour commémorer l’Illumination du Bouddha Shakyamuni


Afin de commémorer l’Illumination du Bouddha Shakyamuni, nous faisons le voeux de pratiquer la méditation assise et marchée toute une nuit.

Sentez-vous libre de nous rejoindre ce samedi 09 décembre dés 20h. La pratique continuera jusqu’à 8h le dimanche. Chaque période d’assise et de marche durera approximativement 25/30 minutes afin que tous puisse partager ce temps avec nous, entièrement ou en partie.

Une majorité de la pratique sera humblement retransmise via la Page Facebook de la Dharma Winds Zen Sangha , en direct depuis le Dharma Winds Zen Hermitage, Namur, Belgique.

Namo Benshi Shijiamuni Fo!

Namo Benshi Shijiamuni Fo!

Namo Benshi Shijiamuni Fo!

To commemorate the Illumination of Shakyamuni Buddha, we vow to practice sitting and walking meditation all night long.

Feel free to join us this Saturday, December 09 from 20h (Paris time). The practice will continue until 8am on Sunday (Paris time). Each sitting and walking period will last approximately 25/30 minutes so that everyone can share this time with us, in whole or in part.

A majority of the practice will be humbly broadcast via the Facebook page of the Dharma Winds Zen Sangha, live from the Dharma Winds Zen Hermitage, Namur, Belgium.

Namo Benshi Shijiamuni Fo!

Namo Benshi Shijiamuni Fo!

Namo Benshi Shijiamuni Fo!

Are stones and trees meditating?

IMG_20171103_142749.jpgIn a biography from the fifth Patriarch of Chinese Zen, Great Master Hungjen, we find a beautiful statement very powerful for the Huatou practitioners:

« At the moment when you are in the temple sitting in meditation, is your body also sitting in meditation beneath the trees of the mountain forests or not? Are earth, trees, tiles, and stones also able to sit in meditation or not?
Are earth, trees, tiles, and stones able to see forms and hear sounds, wear a robe and carry a bowl, or not?

May we all answer the great question without a single word!