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Chapter 20: Affliction


.The senses are manifestations of one’s own mind. If you can understand thoroughly like this, then it’s called the knowledge that there’s neither self nor others. Heaven and hell are nowhere else but in the heart of the person.
.As soon as you become aware of gradually conserving power in the midst of the afflictions of daily activities - this is how a person achieves buddhahood.
.When you see it as it really is, practice according to reality and act according to reality.
.Only if you arrive at this stage can you say there is no heaven or hell, and such things. Yung Chia said, “There are neither humans nor buddhas. The universe is like a bubble in the ocean, all the sages are like flashes of lightning.” If he hadn’t gotten to this stage, how could Yung Chia have said this? But with these words, those who misunderstand are many..

Feelings and Affliction

.It is precisely when afflicted that you should carefully investigate and inquire where the affliction arises from. If you cannot get to the bottom of its origination, then where does the one who is afflicted right now come from? Right when you’re afflicted, is it existent or nonexistent, empty or real? Keep investigating until your mind has nowhere to go. If you want to think, then think; if you want to cry, then cry. Just keep on crying and thinking. When you arouse yourself to the point where the habit energy of love and affection within the store-house consciousness is exhausted, then naturally it’s like water being returned to water - giving you back your original being, without affliction, without thoughts, without sorrow or joy.
“Having entered the world, leave the world completely.” Is there such a thing as a father who is not troubled when his son dies? If you try to suppress (such sentiments) forcibly, not daring to cry or think about it, then this is deliberately going against the natural pattern, denying your inherent nature: (it’s like) raising a sound to stop an echo, or pouring on oil to put out a fire.

Ta Hui, the man who started searching, has disappeared in the search. Now the one who is speaking is no more the old Ta Hui; he is discontinuous. The old is gone and the new is born. Whatever he is saying now has a totally different significance: it is not coming out of his mind, it is coming out of his experience.

One of the most significant experiences is power - power not over others, but simply a tremendous energy arising in you from the very core of your being. It is not that you are powerful over others, it is simply that you are powerful. The power that is over others can be taken away; it is dependent on others, it is not yours. You are simply hiding your impotence.

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