Chapter 17: No Goal
If you understand, there is no repentance: past is past. You were unenlightened - how can you expect from an unenlightened man anything better than what he has done? He has to be forgiven. He was no one other than you, but you are now on a higher peak. Now you can see better, your perspective is vaster. Then you were in the dark valley where you could not see clearly, and you may have said a few things which now you feel were not right.
If understanding is clear, you will simply laugh at the stupidity of intellectuals, of yourself, of those past days - there will be no repentance. But if a certain repentance is there, then you will try to do just the opposite to compensate. And that’s where he is committing another mistake. That is the only statement in the today’s sutras where he is not yet completely free of the past.
Whether you are happy or angry, in quiet or noisy places, you still must bring up Chao Chou’s saying, “A dog has no buddha-nature.”
Why is he insisting on this statement: “A dog has no buddha-nature”? This statement is not true. Chao Chou’s statement is: A dog has a buddha-nature.
Ta Hui does not want to make another derogatory statement about Buddha - he has already made derogatory statements - so he changes the statement of Chao Chou.and it was not derogatory! Just in his mind, the repenting mind, it looks derogatory that a dog has a buddha-nature. It seems that you are putting Buddha in the same category as dogs. But the reality is, you are putting dogs in the same category as the buddhas. Buddha is not insulted; only the dog is raised to its potential, ultimate glory.
The statement is not about Buddha; the statement is about buddha-nature. To translate it rightly, buddha-nature means awakening. If he had simply thought about awakening, then Chao Chou’s statement that a dog has also the capacity to be awake would not have created this problem - that he is making a derogatory statement towards Buddha. To avoid that, he changes the statement and says, “A dog has no buddha-nature.”
This is a guilt feeling that moves to its extreme. It will disappear; the way he is growing up and the way he is dropping many things, this too will be dropped. But this is the only statement where he is still wrong.
Above all, don’t consciously await enlightenment.
If you consciously await enlightenment, you are saying, “Right now I am deluded.”