Chapter 1: Clear the Mind
But Ta Hui was not a master, he was a very articulate teacher. He was not talking Zen; he was talking about Zen. All that he had gathered.and he had gathered really very consistently, very logically. Only once in a while will I tell you that he has committed a mistake - which is natural, because he has nothing inside himself to compare it with. He has no criterion except his intelligence, his logic, his reason. But enlightenment is beyond your mind, beyond your rationality, beyond your intellect. That ultimate criterion is not within him. But he is certainly of immense cleverness, although blind; he has not seen the light. He describes the light as if he is a man who has eyes. He has only heard people who have eyes. But he has collected every piece of information in a very systematic way. So remember this: he is a teacher, not a master. And I make an absolute distinction.
A teacher is one who transfers knowledge which he has collected, borrowed from others. He can be very articulate. If you face a master and a teacher perhaps you may choose the teacher, because he will be more appealing to your intellect and mind.
The master will look a little crazy. He will be jumping from one point to another point without creating a systematic philosophy. But the master has the real treasure, the teacher has only heard about it. The teacher is poor, howsoever clever.
Buddha said, If you want to know the realm of buddhahood,
the world of ultimate awareness,
You must make your mind as clear as empty space.
It is another way of saying that you should move beyond mind into a state of no-mind, because there is no such thing as empty mind. That’s why I say such flaws will be there. Empty mind? Empty space? A man of enlightenment would have simply said, “You should move beyond mind to no-mind.”
There is a very famous book by a rabbi, Joshua Liebman. It has sold millions of copies in many languages. It is a beautiful piece of work; the name of the book is Peace Of Mind. Naturally, everybody wants peace of mind.
I wrote a letter in 1950 to him, saying “Your very title shows that you don’t know anything about meditation. Peace of mind is a contradiction in terms: when mind is there, peace cannot be; and if peace is there, then mind cannot be. They cannot both be there together.” In fact, mind is your anxiety, your anguish, your tensions, your thoughts, your emotions, sentiments, moods, ups and downs - everything is mind. Peace is possible only if you go beyond mind.
So I told him, “If you are really sincere, in the next edition you should change the title. Peace is equal to no-mind.” I had made it so clear in many ways to him. But this is the situation of our intellectuals - he never replied, because there was nothing to reply. He must have seen that what I am saying is a fact.