Zen

Rinzai 46

Followers of the Way, as I see it, once and for all sit down and cut off the heads – both of the Sambhogakaya Buddha and of the Nirmanakaya Buddha. Those satisfied with merely completing the ten stages of the Bodhisattva are like serfs. Those content with equality-awakening and subtlety-awakening are but fellows carrying a knife and chains around their necks. Arhats and Pratyeka-Buddhas are like cesspits. Awakening and Nirvana are like tethering posts for donkeys.

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Commentary:

‘Cut off the heads – both of the Sambhogakaya Buddha and of the Nirmanakaya Buddha’ means that we should not be deluded by illusions such as the Sambhogakaya Buddha and of the Nirmanakaya Buddha since they are just names employed for the sake of convenience. It is said that there are the ten stages of the Bodhisattva which we should go through to attain enlightenment. We should not be satisfied with merely completing them because all of them are just illusions created as expedients. Equality-awakening and subtlety-awakening are said to be kinds of sub-enlightenment, and Arhats and Pratyeka-Buddhas symbolise the figures who reached such stages. They are also illusionary expedients made for the purpose of encouraging people. The true-Self, Emptiness is such a perfect state beyond description that even the words ‘Awakening’ and ‘Nirvana’ are a kind of illusion.

Student: “What is the true-Self?”

Master: “If you say a single word about it, you come to defile it.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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