From the Blue Cliff Record of Ta Hui’s teacher, Yuan Wu:
The teacher would not offer a word of explanation, but made Ta Hui express his own view. In every case Ta Hui completely comprehended the subtle meaning. The older master exclaimed, “You must be someone who’s come again.”
Yuan Wu told Ta Hui, “It wasn’t easy for you to get to this stage – too bad that having died, you are unable to come back to life. Without a doubt, words and phrases are a great disease, but haven’t you seen the saying
Hanging from a cliff,
let go – and agree
to accept the experience.
come back to life –
I couldn’t deceive you.”
Ta Hui was given a purple robe and the name “Buddha Sun” as a sign of imperial honor. Emperor Hsiao Tsung bestowed the title “Ch’an Master of Great Wisdom” from which the name of Ta Hui comes.
It was 1163, on the ninth day of the eighth month, after showing signs of illness, when Ta Hui told the congregation of monks, nuns, and lay-people, “Tomorrow I’m going.” Towards the pre-dawn hours, his attendant asked Ta Hui for a verse. In a serious voice Ta Hui said, “Without a verse, I couldn’t die.” He took up the brush and wrote:
Birth is thus
Death is thus
Verse or no verse
What’s the fuss?
Then he let go of the writing brush and passed on.
Clear the Mind (to Li Hsien-Ch’en)
Buddha said, If you want to know the realm of buddhahood, you must make your mind as clear as empty space, and leave false thinking and all grasping far behind, causing your mind to be unobstructed wherever it may turn. The realm of buddhahood is not some external world, where there is a formal “Buddha”: it’s the realm of the wisdom of a self-awakened sage.
Once you are determined that you want to know this realm, you do not need adornment, cultivation, or realization to attain it. You must clear away the stains of afflictions from alien sensations that have been on your mind since beginningless time, so that your mind is as broad and open as empty space, detached from all the clinging of the discriminating intellect, and your false, unreal, vain thoughts too are like empty space. Then this wondrous, effortless mind will be unimpeded wherever it goes.
Mindlessness (to Hung Po-Ch’ong)