I am giving you the name Chan-Jan, “profound clarity.” a patriarch said, “As long as there is mental discrimination, and calculating judgment, all the perceptions of one’s own mind are dreams. If mind and consciousness are quiescent and extinct, without a single thought stirring, this is called correct awareness.”
These days there’s a kind of phony, whose own standpoint is not genuine: they just teach people to control their minds and sit quietly, to sit to the point where the breath ceases. I call this lot pitiable. I’m asking you to meditate in just this way, but though I instruct you like this, it’s just that there’s no other choice….
Buddhist disciple Ch’en, you have realized that personal existence is false, and that things are illusory. Amidst illusory falsehood you were able to contemplate the saying “a dog has no buddha-nature” – you sent me a letter expressing your understanding. Though in the main your basis is already correct, you are not yet clear about the great dharma – this is a common disease of beginners entering the path.
Old Shakyamuni Buddha said, “This way is all right, and not this way is all right too; this way or not this way, it’s all all right.” Just get the root, don’t worry about the branches. Over a long, long time it will sink in thoroughly: don’t worry that you won’t attain oneness. Work on it!
I can see the difficulties Ta Hui is passing through. He can intellectually understand the path of awareness, he can also intellectually explain it to others – but he himself still remains only a philosopher. He has not transformed himself into a mystic.
The philosopher talks about truth.
The mystic is truth.
And there is a profound difference between talking about it and being it.
Certainly the people who have reached to the point of being truth itself also can talk, but their words vibrate on a totally different level, and it can be seen very clearly that they are not coming from the mind.
They are coming from an absolute nothingness.
They carry something of nothingness with them.
You cannot grasp it but you can feel it…a very subtle fragrance…you cannot see it, but you can smell it. You may not be able to prove it, but you yourself know, it is absolutely certain.