Followers of the Way, there are certain bald fellows who try to attain the Dharma for getting out of the world by applying their efforts to this. They are doing wrong. To seek the Buddha is to lose the Buddha. To seek the Way is to lose the Way. To seek the patriarchs is to lose the patriarchs. Venerable ones, do not be deceived. I do not care whether you are well versed in the Sutras and Treatises. I do not care whether you are imperial ministers. I do not care if your eloquence is like a mountain torrent. I do not care whether you are sagacious and wise. I only care whether you have true and genuine insight.
‘Try to attain the Dharma for getting out of the world by applying their efforts to this’ means trying to attain enlightenment by directing their efforts to words such as the Three Vehicles and the Five Natures, as well as the Complete and Sudden Teachings mentioned previously. Trying to attain enlightenment by clinging to words is running counter to it since it can be attained only beyond intellectual understanding. ‘To seek the Buddha is to lose the Buddha. To seek the Way is to lose the Way. To seek the patriarchs is to lose the patriarchs’ means that seeking them is chasing after illusions of the Buddha, the Way and the patriarchs and being deluded by the words such as the Buddha, the Way and the patriarchs. This is why ancient masters would say that we should treat the Sutras and masters’ words as enemies. In other words, no matter how well read you are in the Sutras and Treatises, no matter how high and powerful your position is, no matter how fluently you speak, and no matter how clever and wise you are, they are nothing before the true and genuine insight, enlightenment because they are merely illusions.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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