The valley spirit never dies;
Timeless woman, primal mother.
Her gateway is the root of heaven and Earth.
Like a veil barely seen.
Apply her wisdom; it will never fail.
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Considering the forms of the heart-mind,
They are naturally infused and filled with it.
They are naturally generated and completed by it.
The reason why one loses it
Is because of grief, happiness, joy, anger, desire,
If you can cast off grief, happiness, joy, anger, desire
Your heart-mind will return to equanimity.
The disposition of such a heart-mind
Is that it benefits from calmness to attain serenity.
Do not disturb it; do not disrupt it.
Then harmony will naturally become complete.
When you really want to know who you are or what the real significance of human life, human suffering is, very naturally you come back to silence, even though you don't want to, you return to an area of no-sound. It cannot be explained, but in this silence you can realize, even if only dimly, what the real point is that you want to know. Whatever kind of question you ask or whatever you think, finally you have to return to silence. This silence is vast; you don't know what it is.
- Dainin Katagiri
The nature of ignorance is to lack deep communication with nature or with the universe. It is to separate, to isolate, to create discrimination and differences, so that finally we cannot communicate as a harmonious whole. These differences we create appear as fighting, anger, hatred, and war.
- Dainin Katagiri
Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things.
…The mind’s capacity is limitless, and its manifestations are inexhaustible. Seeing forms with your eyes, hearing sounds with your ears, smelling odours with your nose, tasting flavours with your tongue, every movement or state is all your mind. At every moment, where language can’t go, that’s your mind.
The sutras say, “A Tathagata’s forms are endless. And so is his awareness.” The endless variety of forms is due to the mind. Its ability to distinguish things, whatever their movement or state, is the mind’s awareness. But the mind has no form and its awareness no limit. Hence it’s said, “A Tathagata’s forms are endless. And so is his awareness.”
A material body of the four elements is trouble. A material body is subject to birth and death. But the real body exists without existing; because a Tathagata’s real body never changes. The sutras say, “People should realize that the Buddha-nature is something that they have always had.” Kashyapa only realized his own nature.
Our nature is the mind. And the mind is our nature. This nature is the same as the mind of all Buddhas. Buddhas of the past and future only transmit this mind. Beyond this mind there’s no Buddha anywhere. But deluded people don’t realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside. They never stop invoking Buddhas or worshiping Buddhas and wondering Where is the Buddha? Don’t indulge in such illusions. Just know your mind. Beyond your mind there’s no other Buddha. The sutras say, “Everything that has a form is an illusion.” They also say, “Wherever you are, there’s a Buddha.” Your mind is the Buddha. Don’t use a Buddha to worship a Buddha!
Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true than I can say, and more true than you can hear.
- Shunryu Suzuki
Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T'ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:
"Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.
When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.
Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.
Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.
A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.
Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.
Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbours discover you before you make yourself known to them.
A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.
To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.
Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.
Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave immediate appreciation.
Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation."
Word spread across the countryside about the wise Holy Man who lived in a small house atop the mountain. A man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit him.
When he arrived at the house, he saw an old servant inside who greeted him at the door.
“I would like to see the wise Holy Man,” he said to the servant.
The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly around the house, anticipating his encounter with the Holy Man.
Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside. He stopped and turned to the servant,
“But I want to see the Holy Man!”
“You already have,” said the old man. “Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant… see each of them as a wise Holy Man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved.”