That which follows is witnessed on the way. It’s beyond the ken of arhats and mortals.
When the mind reaches nirvana, you don’t see nirvana. Because the mind is nirvana. If you see nirvana somewhere outside the mind, you’re deluding yourself.
Every suffering is a buddha-seed. Because suffering impels to seek wisdom. But you can only say that suffering gives rise to buddhahood. You can’t say that suffering is buddhahood. Your body and mind are the field. Suffering is the seed, wisdom the sprout and buddhahood the grain. …
When the three poisons are present in your mind, you live in a land of filth. When the three poisons are absent from your mind, you live in a land of purity. …There’s no language that isn’t the dharma. To talk all day without saying anything is the way. To be silent all day and still say something isn’t the way. Hence, neither does a tathagata’s speech depend on silence, nor does his silence depend on speech. Nor does his speech exist apart from his silence. Those who understand both speech and silence are in samadhi. If you speak when you know, your speech is free. If you’re silent when you don’t know, your silence is tied. Language is essentially free. It has nothing to do with attachment. And attachment has nothing to do with language. …
Bodhidharma is a mine of pure gold, except for two points on which he keeps continually insisting. He is a man to be listened to, to be understood, to be absorbed as deeply into your heart as possible. But those two points have to be remembered.
I have been wondering why nobody contemporary to Bodhidharma pointed out those two flaws. The only thing I can think of is that Bodhidharma was too strong an individual, too charismatic, so that in front of him people must have felt completely silent. His power must have been overwhelming; otherwise, the defects are so clear that it is impossible that nobody would have noticed them.
He himself has reached to his ultimate flowering; he has arrived home. It is no longer his concern that on the path he has gone astray a few times – he always came back. There is an ancient saying in the East that if somebody goes astray in the morning and comes back home in the evening, he should not be considered lost.
And it is very natural for people who are spontaneous to go astray once in a while, because they are not following any ready-made track. They are not like railway trains, continuously moving on the same track. They are more like wild rivers – without any map, without any guide. The river arises far away in the Himalayas and starts its journey into the mountains, into the valleys, into the plains, moving continuously this way and that way. But finally it falls into the ocean. And who cares, when one has arrived at the ocean, that on the way a few steps have been taken which were not necessary, which could have been avoided.