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Dharma Talk by Joden Bob Rose : Vasubandu 7 Verses 18-20 – Ripening Karma and The Three Natures

  • Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Here is the story referenced at the end of the talk:

From: Critical Sermons of the Zen Tradition: Hisamatsu’s Talks on Linji, edited by Christopher Ives and Tokiwa Gishin; University of Hawaii (2002).  

5.  Leaving after the Summer Retreat, p.25-26

When Linji returned in the middle of the summer retreat. And found Huangbo reading a sutra, he said,   “I always thought of you as a great teacher of the truth that is independent of words and letters and transmitted apart from the scriptural teachings. But now I see you're just a black-bean nibbler in monk’s attire. With these words, Linji displayed his extraordinary Zen insight to Huangbo.

We might expect him to say such a thing, for in the Record Linji negates our searching in sutras for the Buddha-Dharma. He says, “The mind-dharma is without form and pervades the ten directions. It functions right here.” The Mind is briskly functioning before our very eyes. Linji speaks of us having a lack of faith, by which he means that we don't realize that the Buddha-Dharma is functioning here at this moment.

Since people lack sufficient faith in this, they accept names and phrases., and try to speculate about the Buddha-Dharma from within words. They and Dharma, heaven and earth are far apart.

It is a tremendous mistake to get oneself stuck in names and phrases by thinking the Buddha-Dharma is found in them. We shouldn't seek the Buddha Dharma in words, for without form the true Buddha- Dharma is vigorously functioning right here.

Linji said to his disciples, “Followers of the way, even though you could master 100 sutras and commentaries, you are not as good as a monk who has no concerns.”  No matter how many writings we read and interpret, we can't measure up to a monk who has no concerns, the person Linji indicates when he says that “one who has no concerns is the noble person.” Reading Buddhist writings will not enable us to awaken to the way of being of having no concerns. Nor will it awaken us to the True Self. Linji admonishes his disciples against seeking the Buddha-Dharma in words, for it is not found where there are names and phrases.

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