Rinzai 56

Followers of the Way, what Dharma do I expound? I expound the Dharma of the Mind. This pervades everything; it is in the worldly and in the sacred, in the pure and in the impure. The most essential thing is that you refrain from making labels, such as fine or coarse, worldly or sacred, and mistakenly think that by naming them you now know them. But the fine and the coarse, the worldly and the sacred cannot be known to man by such names only. Followers of the Way, realise this and make use of it as you please, but do not slap labels on it, for this is called deep meaning.



The worldly and the sacred, the pure and impure and the fine and the coarse, all these, regardless of whether they are good or bad, are not real but just imaginary lines created by your discrimination, that is, they are just labels. But people mistake names attached to things as being the essence of these things and so are entangled in them.


When all labels are removed, with there being no good and bad, no long and short, all things, when stripped of their names, become one. That is the Dharma of the Mind-ground called the Buddha, the true-Self, Emptiness, or Oneness. In short, enlightenment is to be able to see and hear things without being deluded by their names.


‘Realise this and make use of it as you please’ means that when you realise the Dharma, the true-Self by eliminating all labels, you can see, hear and feel it anytime as you please because you are aware that there is nothing but the Dharma. Then, what you say and do is the function of the Dharma and all you see and hear is also not anything but the Dharma.



Student: “How is it when all labels are removed?”

Master: “Everything mentioned above disappears.”

Student: “If all the teachings disappear, what shall I learn and depend on?”

Master: “When all that you will learn and depend on has disappeared, the Dharma reveals itself.”

Student: “How can everything exist when there is nothing to depend on?”

Master: “Don’t be worried. The Dharma supports all mountains and oceans even though it has no bone.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s