Chapter 5: Suchness Is Our Self-nature
Only the wise know this no-mind, this no-mind called dharma-nature, this no-mind called liberation.
Here the person who has taken these notes has missed the point. Instead of saying no-mind, he says mind. Mind is not your ultimate reality. He has not understood Bodhidharma and it is a great sin to misrepresent a man of enlightenment because for centuries people will be confused.
Neither life nor death can restrain this no-mind. Nothing can. It is also called the unstoppable tathagata, the incomprehensible, the sacred self, the immortal, the great sage.
And the person who has taken these notes is not even intelligent enough to see the point that mind cannot be called tathagata. Mind cannot be called the incomprehensible. The mind cannot be called the sacred self, the immortal, the great sage.
The mind is very ordinary, mundane. It is useful for day-to-day work; its function is in the outside world. In the inner world it is absolutely useless. Those who want to know their inner being have to go beyond mind. They have to leave the mind behind. That is the whole process of meditation.
One word tathagata has to be understood. The translator could not find any word to translate it; perhaps he could not even understand the meaning of the word because in the West and in Western languages, no parallel word exists. Tathagata is specifically a Buddhist term. Gautam Buddha preached the philosophy of tathata and tathata is very close to the word suchness. Whatever happens, Buddha says, such is the nature of things. There is no need to be happy, there is no need to be miserable, there is no need to be affected at all by anything that happens. Birth happens, death happens, but you have to remain in a suchness, remembering that this is how life functions. This is the way of life. You cannot do anything against it.
Just as rivers move towards the ocean, that is their suchness. Just as fire is hot, that is its suchness. Suchness is our self-nature.
So whatever happens.somebody comes and insults Gautam Buddha, abuses him. He listens silently and when asked by his disciples, when the man went, “Why did you remain silent?” Buddha said, “That was his suchness, that was his way of behaving. It was my suchness to remain silent. I’m not holier than that man, I’m not higher than that man, just our suchness is different, our natures differ.”