Search A Light In The Darkness

Monday, 10 March 2008

Making Contact with Truth

With your eyes shining bright, you penetrate through obscurities and recognize what is happening on the other side of the mountain. You swallow your sound and eliminate your traces, without leaving behind anything whatsoever. Yet you can set in motion waves that go against the current and employ the ability that cuts off the flow. You are swift as a falcon that gets mistaken for a shadow as it soars into the air with its back to the deep blue sky. In the blink of an eye, it’s gone. Point to it, and it comes. Press it, and it goes. It is unstoppably lofty and pure.

This is the way this true source is put into circulation, to serve as a model and standard for later generations. All those who would communicate the message of the source must be able to see through a person’s false personality without blinking an eye; only then can they enter into it actively.

People with the will to reach the Truth must be fully developed and thoroughly polished to be able to go beyond conventions and transcend sects. They can only be seedlings of transcendence when at the subtle level they can see through every drop, and at the expansive level the thousand sages cannot find them.

Old Master Zufeng used to say, “Even Shakyamuni Buddha and Maitreya Buddha are servants of the Way. Ultimately, what is the Way?” How can this admit of arbitrary and confused probing? You will only get what you are aiming for if you realise the Way

In general, a good Zen teacher will energize the indomitable spirit of the great person inside a student and cause them to move ahead into the superior stream so that they cannot be trapped or called back. As a teacher helps people respond to their potential, the process should all be clear and freeing. If the supposed teacher uses contrived concepts of “mysteries” and “marvels” and “the essence of truth,” how can this produce any genuine expedient teachings? If they put a gleam in their eye and strut around uttering apt sayings of doctrines they claim to be absolute reality, this is just one blind man leading a crowd of blind people further into confusion.

When you make contact with Truth, then it covers heaven and earth. Always nurturing it and putting it into practice, you discover an extraordinary state. Only then do you share the understanding that comes from Spirit Peak and Few Houses Mountain.

Who says that no one perceives “the priceless pearl?” I say the black dragon’s pearl shines forth wherever it is.

Yuanwu (1063-1135)

— Excerpt from "Zen Letters - Teachings of Yuanwu"
Trans by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary

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