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Chapter 21: Understanding

Between hell and heaven, they have taken away the reality of your being, the existential status of where you are. Avoiding hell, you are running to catch hold of heaven. You are running, but that which you are running for is within you. If you stop running and drop all the ambitions for greed and power and prestige, and just relax into your ordinariness - then, this very moment, this very body the Buddha, and this very place the lotus paradise. That’s what Ta Hui is saying.

If you want to study this path, you must understand right where you are. Everything is there - wherever you are, the whole of existence is centered there.

As soon as you rely on the slightest knowledge, you miss the scene right where you are standing.

Now this is from a man of great knowledge, of great acquaintance with scriptures.

As soon as you rely on the slightest knowledge, you miss the scene right where you are standing.

Because knowledge is taking away your mind and creating a screen between you and reality, like a cloud covering your eyes. You become interested in that knowledge, and you forget your reality, your presence, your here-nowness.

When you have completely comprehended the scene right where you are, then all kinds of knowledge - all without exception - are things right where you are.

You need not be worried. If you can discover yourself in the present moment, you are not only discovering your being, you are also discovering all the buddhas of the past, of the present, of the future, too - because it is the same experience, it is the same music, it is the same dance. Finding it within yourself, you have become a contemporary of all the buddhas of all time.

Thus the Patriarch.and by patriarch, Zen people refer to Bodhidharma. He was their main source from where others learnt the art of being real, authentic, sincere, from whom people learnt awareness. He was the man who introduced India’s greatest contribution to the world, the art of dhyan, to China.

Thus the Patriarch said, “At the very moment one speaks of knowledge, knowledge itself is mind. And this very mind itself is knowledge.” Since knowledge is right now..

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