Chapter 4: Trust
Do Not Grasp Another’s Bow
Actively try to clear out your mind, then you won’t go wrong; since you don’t go wrong, correct mindfulness stands out alone. When correct mindfulness stands out alone, inner truth adapts to phenomena; when inner truth adapts to events and things, events and things come to fuse in inner truth. When phenomena fuse with their inner truth, you save power; when you feel the saving, this is the empowerment of studying the path. In gaining power you save unlimited power; in saving power you gain unlimited power.
This matter may be taken up by brilliant, quick-witted folks, but if you depend on your brilliance and quick wits, you won’t be able to bear up. It is easy for keen and bright people to enter, but hard for them to preserve it. That’s because generally their entry is not very deep and the power is meager. With the intelligent and quick-witted, as soon as they hear a spiritual friend mention this matter their eyes stir immediately, and they are already trying to gain understanding through their mind’s discriminating intellect. People like this are creating their own hindrances, and will never have a moment of awakening. “When devils from outside wreak calamity, it can still be remedied,” but this reliance on intellectual discrimination amounts to “When one’s own family creates disaster, it cannot be averted.” This is what Yung Chia meant when he said, “The loss of the wealth of the dharma, and the demise of virtue, all stem from mind’s discriminating intellect.”
The Mind’s Conceptual Discrimination
The obstruction of the path by the mind, and its conceptual discrimination, is worse than poisonous snakes or fierce tigers. Why? Because poisonous snakes and fierce tigers can still be avoided, whereas intelligent people make the mind’s conceptual discrimination their home, so that there’s never a single instant - whether they’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying down - that they’re not having dealings with it. As time goes on, unknowing and unawares they become one piece with it - and not because they want to, either, but because since beginningless time they have followed this one little road until it’s become set and familiar. Though they may see through it for a moment and wish to detach from it, they still can’t. Thus it is said that poisonous snakes and fierce tigers can still be avoided, but the mind’s conceptual discrimination truly has no place for you to escape.
The great problem with people like Ta Hui is their own intellect. Even if they are talking against intellect, it is nothing but their own intellect. The intellect is capable of creating an illusion that you are going beyond intellect, but the illusion can be easily detected.