Today, on the 5th Day/10th Lunar Month, 7th November 2013, the Chinese Mahayana Tradition commemorates Arya Bodhidharma,
the 28th Indian Dhyana Patriarch & 1st Chán Patriarch in China
After the meal, the Magistrate asked the Master to take his seat. Together with officials, scholars, and the assembly, he bowed reverently and asked,
“Your disciple has heard the High Master explain the Dharma. It is truly inconceivable.
I now have a few doubts and hope you will be compassionate and resolve them for me.”
The Master said, “If you have any doubts, please ask me and I will explain.”
The Honorable Wei said, “Is not what the Master speaks the same as the doctrine of Bodhidharma?”
The Master replied, “It is.”
The Magistrate asked, “Your disciple has heard that when Bodhidharma first instructed the Emperor Wu of Liang, the Emperor asked him,
‘All my life I have built temples, given sanction to the Sangha, practiced giving, and arranged vegetarian feasts. What merit and virtue have I gained?’
“Bodhidharma said, ‘There was actually no merit and virtue.’
“I, your disciple, have not yet understood this principle and hope that the High Master will explain it.”
The Master said, “There actually was no merit and virtue. Do not doubt the words of a sage. Emperor Wu of Liang’s mind was wrong; he did not know the right Dharma. Building temples and giving sanction to the Sangha, practicing giving and arranging vegetarian feasts is called ‘seeking blessings’.
Do not mistake blessings for merit and virtue. Merit and virtue are in the Dharma body, not in the cultivation of blessings.”
The Master said further, “Seeing your own nature is merit, and equanimity is virtue. To be unobstructed in every thought, constantly seeing the true, real, wonderful function of your original nature is called merit and virtue.”
“Inner humility is merit and the outer practice of reverence is virtue. Your self-nature establishing the ten thousand dharmas is merit and the mind-substance separate from thought is virtue. Not being separate from the self-nature is merit, and the correct use of the undefiled (self-nature) is virtue.
If you seek the merit and virtue of the Dharma body, simply act according to these principles, for this is true merit and virtue.”
“Those who cultivate merit and virtue in their thoughts do not slight others, but always respect them.
Those who slight others and do not cut off the ‘me and mine’ are without merit.
The vain and unreal self-nature is without virtue, because of the ‘me and mine,’ because of the greatness of the ‘self,’ and because of the constant slighting of others.”
“Good Knowing Advisors, continuity of thought is merit, and the mind practicing equality and directness is virtue.
Self-cultivation of one’s nature is merit, and self-cultivation of the body is virtue.”
“Good Knowing Advisors, merit and virtue should be seen within one’s own nature, not sought through giving and making offerings.
That is the difference between blessings and merit and virtue. Emperor Wu did not know the true principle. Our Patriarch was not in error.”
When Bodhidharma came to the East, he practiced in seclusion at Shao Lin Temple. The Second Patriarch Hui-ko went to him to ask about the Dharma.
During a long night of heavy snow, Hui-ko stood outside Bodhidharma’s Ch’an hall waiting.
The snow piled up to his knees, but Hui-ko did not budge, pleading Bodhidharma for his teachings.
Finally, Bodhidharma opened his eyes and asked, “What do you want standing here so long”?
“Please, Master help me settle my mind”. “Give me your mind, I’ll settle it for you”.
“But I cannot find my mind”.
“I have already settled your mind for you completely”.
Once Hui-ko discovered his deluded mind, it became settled.
The Story of Bodhidharmahttp://ctzen.org/sunnyvale/enUS/index.p ... &Itemid=59
One Flower with Five Petals 一花開五葉
One day Bodhidharma called together his disciples and said, “The time has come for me to return. Each of you, say something to demonstrate your understanding.”
A disciple named Daofu said, “As I see it, the function of the Way is not bound by words and speech, nor is it separate from words and speech.”
Bodhidharma said, “You have attained my skin.”
The nun Zongchi said, “According to my understanding, it is like Ananda’s glimpse of the realm of Akshobhya Buddha. Seen once, it is never seen again.”
Bodhidharma said, “You have attained my flesh.”
A disciple named Daoyu said, “The four elements are all empty and the five skandhas are without actual existence. I see that there is not a single dharma to be grasped.”
Bodhidharma said, “You’ve attained my bones.”
Finally, without saying anything, Huike bowed and stood in his place.
Bodhidharma said, “You have attained my marrow.”
And Bodhidharma recited the following poem:
Originally I came to this land
To rescue the deluded by transmitting the Dharma.
One flower will open with five petals
And the fruit will ripen by itself.
The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma as Textual and Religious Paradigm
Tracking Bodhidharma: A journey into the heart of Chinese culture
Why Did Bodhidharma Come from the West?
The Patriarch Bodhidharma's Advent in China
Gathas of Night Sitting