Chapter 17: No Goal
Don’t Consciously Await Enlightenment
Whether you’re happy or angry, in quiet or noisy places, you still must bring up Chao Chou’s saying, “A dog has no buddha-nature.” Above all, don’t consciously await enlightenment. If you consciously await enlightenment, you’re saying, “Right now I’m deluded.” If you wait for enlightenment, clinging to delusion, though you pass through countless eons you will still not be able to gain enlightenment. As you bring up the saying, just arouse your spirit, and see what principle it is.
Constantly take the two concerns - not knowing where we come from at birth and not knowing where we go at death - and stick them on the point of your nose. Whether eating or drinking, whether in quiet or noisy places, you should make scrupulous efforts from moment to moment - always as if you owed someone millions with no way out, your heart sorely troubled, with no opening to escape.
Searching for birth, it cannot be found; searching for death it cannot be found - at such a moment, the roads of good and evil are immediately cut off.
Haven’t you read how in the old days, Master Tzu Hu said, “The Patriarch’s coming from the West only means that winter is cold and summer is hot, night is dark and day is light.” It’s just that you vainly set up meaning where there is no meaning, create concern where there is no concern, impose “inside” and “outside” where there is no inside or outside, and talk endlessly of this and that, where nothing exists.
“No speech is true speech, and no hearing is true hearing.” Thus I am you and you are me: we are not two, you and I, because there’s no duality, no distinction, and no separation.
It is good news that Ta Hui is at last coming closer and closer to the point. What he is saying now is not mere knowledge. It seems the sutras had been collected by his disciples from the time Ta Hui started teaching as an intellectual up to the point when he became enlightened.
In this way this series is of tremendous importance - it will give you the whole process of mind changing into no-mind, of intellect dissolving into intelligence, of words losing their existence into wordlessness. All sounds become silent.all separations disappear.even the separation between the master and the disciple is no more there. The whole series is significant in the sense that it will show you the path in different stages.
Most people who are enlightened speak only after their enlightenment. There is a great distance between you and them - they are on a high, sunlit mountain peak, and you are in the dark valleys of your life. The distance is so much that to expect any understanding arising between you becomes very difficult.