Analysis or Nothing

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Malcolm
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:43 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:...I suppose Malcolm would have to clarify there, being that it's his translation.
Phenomena is chos, dharmin; nonphenomena is chos min, i.e., dharmatā; the former is the relative, the latter is the ultimate. Since they are merged, there is no such thing as an ultimate phenomena, don dam chos, paramārthadharma.

In other words, the two truths of Madhyamaka are a deviation.

krodha
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by krodha » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:...I suppose Malcolm would have to clarify there, being that it's his translation.
Phenomena is chos, dharmin; nonphenomena is chos min, i.e., dharmatā; the former is the relative, the latter is the ultimate. Since they are merged, there is no such thing as an ultimate phenomena, don dam chos, paramārthadharma.

In other words, the two truths of Madhyamaka are a deviation.
Thank you :twothumbsup:

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:Vipaśyāna is conceptual. That is its limitation. Plus, Madhyamaka analysis is ultimately dualistic.
Of course it is conceptual, and conceptuality is dualistic. Every teaching is within the realm of the conceptual, and the point is to see that what are grasped as real, solid things are actually conceptual and dependent.
It has been clarified, you just refuse to listen:
As such, in order to recognize that concepts are dharmatā, the intimate instructions of the guru are important.
The question is about those instructions, that you say do not involve analysis.

As for directly accessing the view of suchness, Kamalashila writes,

"If it is said that one enters (nonconceptuality) through nonmindfulness and nonattention toward all dharmas, that is not reasonable. For Without the discernment of reality it is impossible to undertake either nonmindfulness or nonattention toward aIl dharmas even though they are being experienced. And if one would (attempt to) cultivate nonmindfulness and nonattention toward those (dharmas) cultivating thus,"These which are called dharmas are not to be noticed nor paid attention to by me" then still more would.they have been noticed and paid attention to by him! Thus if the mere nonexistence of mindfulness and attention constituted the nonmindfulness and nonattention intended, then in what manner does the nonexistence of those two come about?"
(Bhavanakramana 3, tr MT Adam, p 245)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Malcolm
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:08 pm

Astus wrote: The question is about those instructions, that you say do not involve analysis.
If you want those instructions, you will have to go and get them.

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:09 pm

Astus wrote:
As for directly accessing the view of suchness, Kamalashila writes,

Kamalashila's citation is completely irrelevant.

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:If you want those instructions, you will have to go and get them.
You said that Vajrayana is exempt from analysis, but then did not support that with an explanation of how could that be. That doesn't mean you have to copy instructions here, the general description of its functioning should be enough.
Malcolm wrote:Kamalashila's citation is completely irrelevant.
How so? The direct experience of suchness is what Vajrayana teaches, isn't it?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Malcolm
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:54 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:If you want those instructions, you will have to go and get them.
You said that Vajrayana is exempt from analysis, but then did not support that with an explanation of how could that be.
Yes, actually I did.

How so? The direct experience of suchness is what Vajrayana teaches, isn't it?
Everyone is already experiencing suchness directly. It simply needs to be pointed out through experience. It is not discernible through analysis. The analysis itself is the obstacle.

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:Yes, actually I did.
I don't see how "the intimate instructions of the guru are important" is an explanation for it, but it seems there is nothing more than that.
Everyone is already experiencing suchness directly. It simply needs to be pointed out through experience. It is not discernible through analysis. The analysis itself is the obstacle.
Pointing out through experience - since one cannot directly transfer experience to another, there are only teachings one can follow to confirm reality for oneself. What blocks the vision of reality is conceptual attachment. Analysis removes that attachment, thus allows the experience of insight. Skipping analysis and going directly to insight is the idea that the already quoted section from Kamalashila argues against. What other version of "pointing out through experience" do you mean?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Malcolm
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:05 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Yes, actually I did.
I don't see how "the intimate instructions of the guru are important" is an explanation for it, but it seems there is nothing more than that.
You have to receive them from a guru. Then you will understand. Until that point, there is nothing more to say.



Everyone is already experiencing suchness directly. It simply needs to be pointed out through experience. It is not discernible through analysis. The analysis itself is the obstacle.
Pointing out through experience - since one cannot directly transfer experience to another, there are only teachings one can follow to confirm reality for oneself.
A direct introduction is an introduction done through your own experience; it is not a transfer of experience.
What blocks the vision of reality is conceptual attachment. Analysis removes that attachment, thus allows the experience of insight.
Analysis merely substitutes one conceptual attachment for another, thus blocking the seeing of the truth; which one already sees anyway without knowing that one is seeing it.

The question is really, "what does one hope to find in analysis?" Is there something to find? If there is nothing to find, than the analysis itself is a deviation from reality.

As chapter thirty-eight of the Kun byed rgyal po states:
  • The sūtras of bodhisattvas
    assert the stage of Samantaprabhaḥ,
    and assert dharmatā as empty space
    through the investigation and analysis of the two truths.
    The great bliss of Ati Yoga
    is awakened mind beyond investigation and analysis,
    that which is beyond investigation and analysis is obscured by the sūtras.
    The Great Perfection explains that investigation and analysis
    are error in the sūtras.

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:Analysis merely substitutes one conceptual attachment for another, thus blocking the seeing of the truth; which one already sees anyway without knowing that one is seeing it.
The question is really, "what does one hope to find in analysis?" Is there something to find? If there is nothing to find, than the analysis itself is a deviation from reality.
Analysis results in the elimination of attachment, it does not go on indefinitely as a substitute, just as the desire to reach nirvana ends with attaining it (SN 51.15).

Kamalashila writes:
"In this way when the person does not firmly grasp on to the entity of a thing as ultimately existing, having investigated with wisdom, then the practitioner engages in a non-conceptual single-pointed concentration."
And as quoted in the OP, "like the fire produced by rubbing wood it will burn the wood of conceptual thought."

Analysis cannot be a deviation from reality for two reasons. On the one hand, while one is bound by ignorance, one needs a path to escape that ignorance. On the other hand, saying that one is already in reality and ignorance itself is such, then analysis is such as well.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by monktastic » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:51 am

I'm in way over my head here, but it seems to me that both analysis and the guru's instructions can be ways to "convince" you to stop and notice something that you've been overlooking. And depending on the circumstances, both can of course "fail", too. In the end it is you who has to do the looking and noticing. Sutra mahamudra (as in the Thrangu Rinpoche quotes, and as I gathered from my own contact with him) seems to be a combination of the two approaches. I'm sure I'll be told it's more complicated than that, and that's fine. :namaste:
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by monktastic » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:56 am

Question: You said earlier that there is the mahamudra experience of awareness being aware of itself, or awareness being aware of its own awareness. And you said, “Why have we not seen this? It’s because we’ve been under the sway of ignorance for so long.” Now, is it that we actually have not experienced this, we have not seen this awareness that’s aware of its own awareness, or is it we have not recognized it?

Rinpoche: Mainly, the way it’s explained and understood is that we’ve never had the opportunity to look. We’ve never had the circumstances under which we could have looked. The reason is that, as we saw earlier, the mind’s main qualities are intense lucidity and emptiness or insubstantiality. Now, the lucidity of mind is so intense that we are overwhelmed by it or we could say it overwhelms itself, and being overwhelmed by its own intensity, it looks outward. Now, what this means is that, if we bother to look, we will probably see or experience the mind directly. So if we look, we’ll see it.
Last edited by monktastic on Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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monktastic
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by monktastic » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:57 am

Thrangu Rinpoche wrote:If you practice and if you are fortunate, then authentic meditation experience and recognition of the mind’s nature may arise for you fairly quickly. On the other hand, although it is easy to recognize the mind’s nature, because we have a long-standing or beginningless habit of not looking at it, then we can also get confused. We can be misled by our conceptual understanding, or we can be misled by various experiences, or we can simply get involved in other things that prevent us from seeing the mind’s nature.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

Malcolm
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:26 am

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Analysis merely substitutes one conceptual attachment for another, thus blocking the seeing of the truth; which one already sees anyway without knowing that one is seeing it.
The question is really, "what does one hope to find in analysis?" Is there something to find? If there is nothing to find, than the analysis itself is a deviation from reality.
Analysis results in the elimination of attachment...
Is the consciousness that engages in analysis deluded or undeluded? Is the object of analysis delusive or non-delusive?

If either the consciousness or the object are respectively deluded or delusive, there is no means by which the analysis can result in non-delusion.

If on other other hand the consciousness or the object is respectively non-deluded or non-delusive, the analysis is unnecessary.

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:50 am

So, analysis serves no purpose, we are to seek a guru? Is that the point? Kind of makes having the need for an internet forum moot, doesn't it?
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Astus
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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:12 am

Malcolm wrote:Is the consciousness that engages in analysis deluded or undeluded? Is the object of analysis delusive or non-delusive?
If either the consciousness or the object are respectively deluded or delusive, there is no means by which the analysis can result in non-delusion.
If on other other hand the consciousness or the object is respectively non-deluded or non-delusive, the analysis is unnecessary.
That's some nice analysis you present. :twothumbsup:

Same could be said about any other teaching or instruction. Thus they are all skilful means used within a conventional context. Actually, there is just this conventional context to operate in, and supposing a separate realm is a mistake.

The reason analysis works is because it removes wrong views and eventually attachment to any view. Analysis is a means, not an end. And analysis is required because the wrong views that generate all the problems are conceptual.

But let's not stop there. Is there a consciousness to be deluded or undeluded? Is there an object to be deluded or undeluded? Since neither a consciousness nor an object can be established, talking about their state of ignorance and enlightenment is like describing the graceful stance of the son of a barren woman.

Gangottara asked in turn, "If this question were put to one who had never come into being, how should it be answered?"
The Buddha replied, "That which has never come into being is nirvana itself."
Gangottara asked, "Are not all things identical with nirvana?"
The Buddha replied, "So they are, so they are."
"World-Honored One, if all things are identical with nirvana, why did you ask me, 'Do you not seek the state of nirvana?' "Furthermore, World-Honored One, if a magically produced being asked another magically produced being, 'Do you not seek the state of nirvana?' what would the answer be?"
The World-Honored One told her, "A magically produced being has no mental attachments (and thus seeks nothing)."
Gangottara inquired, "Does the Tathagata's very question stem from some mental attachment?"
The World-Honored One told her, "I raised the question because there are in this assembly good men and good women who can be brought to maturity. I am free of mental attachments. Why? Because the Tathagata knows that even the names of things are inaprehensible, let alone the things themselves or those who seek nirvana."

(Gangottara Sutra)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by plwk » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:23 am

So, analysis serves no purpose, we are to seek a guru? Is that the point? Kind of makes having the need for an internet forum moot, doesn't it?
Well, the gist as below confirms your point isn't it, after 4 pages?
You have to receive them from a guru. Then you will understand. Until that point, there is nothing more to say.
Is the consciousness that engages in analysis deluded or undeluded? Is the object of analysis delusive or non-delusive?
If either the consciousness or the object are respectively deluded or delusive, there is no means by which the analysis can result in non-delusion.
If on other other hand the consciousness or the object is respectively non-deluded or non-delusive, the analysis is unnecessary.


Then, the next 10 pages will probably be about the one we have been asked to seek for the 'pointing out' in the light of the above... which is another can of worms for us deluded ones seeking an 'ideal' model based on 'non-delusive' criterias...

But let's face it Astus, both Sutra & Tantra have divergent methods and criterias, no amount of force fitting will work... anymore than trying to convince Nichiren that Shingon isn't Hinayana...

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:35 am

plwk wrote:But let's face it Astus, both Sutra & Tantra have divergent methods and criterias, no amount of force fitting will work... anymore than trying to convince Nichiren that Shingon isn't Hinayana...
It's not just Tantra. As I have mentioned before, analysis is not a popular method, even neglected and looked down on to some extent in Mahayana.

At the same time, we can see in the works of Kamalashila and Vimalamitra for instance that they claim not simply superiority of analysis but exclusivity. So why not look into the veracity of that claim?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by plwk » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:58 am

So why not look into the veracity of that claim?
Sure, no problem. But Astus, let's come down to us, the level of non-Sages, unlike those you quoted: how many Buddhists and their teachers actually engage in analysis as recommended by the texts and teachers that you quote in here? And to what extent is that analysis utilitarian for most people here who are more interested if the stock market will plunge or if next week's astrology chart is favourable? Sounds like worldlings? No, I found them in many centres. Most people are struggling with bread and butter issues to even be bothered with much Dharma analysis, perhaps some taking an easier way out by relying on a teacher to do their homework for them and then taking it by 'faith' than cracking their skulls over it.

Superiority, exclusivity Astus? In many places that I have been to, the vital importance of analysis is merely a nicely decorated poster slogan in the kitchen, even in Theravadin ones! But at the end of the day, nothing much of what I see pages of scholastic assertions on forums ever happens in real life Samghas, from my limited experience other than the usual housewife gossips. If you know of one that engages in compatible stringent analysis of Dharma & Vinaya in a real life Samgha practice and lifestyle, let me know.

Let's import what you quoted here say to the shores of Japan, say in the time of Honen and Shinran and even today amongst their adherents, what do you think?
Will it work? And to what extent? I dare not say there's no analysis of Dharma at all but rather not to the point of what Kamalasila or Vimalamitra teaches. I am all for what you are advocating here but perhaps, it only works for a limited few. For the rest of us, there are other methods, apparently...

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Re: Analysis or Nothing

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:24 pm

plwk wrote:how many Buddhists and their teachers actually engage in analysis as recommended by the texts and teachers that you quote in here?
I am unaware of any research on that subject. I think it is natural that Buddhist communities eventually reflect the larger society in that only a few belong to the class of literati. And the majority of Buddhist texts are produced by them and read by them. As I have seen, most of the Westerners interested in Buddhism come from that class. Therefore it looks sensible to propagate analytical meditation, as it might be actually more fitting than other methods, although it is understandable that people who daily use their intelligence in their line of work are attracted to something that appears to be trans/non-conceptual. DT Suzuki thought that Shin Buddhism could match Western people because of its similarity to Christian teachings, but it's turned out that exactly because of Shinshu's aura of religiousness many don't even accept it as Buddhist. Somewhat similarly to that, the teachings of Abhidharma, Madhyamaka and Yogacara are mostly subjects of academic studies and only recently has some books appeared with a Buddhist audience in mind.
And to what extent is that analysis utilitarian for most people here who are more interested if the stock market will plunge or if next week's astrology chart is favourable? Sounds like worldlings?
That is perfectly normal. There is a nice book by Faure discussing common misconceptions about Buddhism. Among those the role of meditation is discussed, and how it is not at all as ubiquitous in Buddhism as many believe. In fact, it is practised mostly by only a handful of monastics. But as we can see, in the West the majority of Buddhist communities consisting of middle class people are centred around meditation. And there is the other side, often neglected when surveying the Buddhist scene, the Buddhist courses at universities. It's as if those who study Buddhism in established higher educational institution were non-existent or irrelevant.
No, I found them in many centres. Most people are struggling with bread and butter issues to even be bothered with much Dharma analysis, perhaps some taking an easier way out by relying on a teacher to do their homework for them and then taking it by 'faith' than cracking their skulls over it.
True, but they are not the only demographic group. And I am not saying everyone should immediately study Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. At the same time, since those you refer to have little interest in liberation, they are not the right audience for engaging in vipasyana.
Superiority, exclusivity Astus? In many places that I have been to, the vital importance of analysis is merely a nicely decorated poster slogan in the kitchen, even in Theravadin ones! But at the end of the day, nothing much of what I see pages of scholastic assertions on forums ever happens in real life Samghas, from my limited experience other than the usual housewife gossips. If you know of one that engages in compatible stringent analysis of Dharma & Vinaya in a real life Samgha practice and lifestyle, let me know.
You are right. Even monastic communities often have other things to busy themselves with. On the other hand, you might find such groups at universities. (note: it is a prejudice to say that all those who study texts are not practitioners)
Let's import what you quoted here say to the shores of Japan, say in the time of Honen and Shinran and even today amongst their adherents, what do you think?
Both Honen and Shinran belonged to the educated monastic elite from a good family background. As for preaching to the illiterate masses, they did a great job. I personally like their approach to the whole matter. Although others like to say as well that their teaching is available to everyone, actually I don't see any other tradition as open and embracing as the Pure Land path. In a sense, it is truly the original intention of Shakyamuni.
Will it work? And to what extent? I dare not say there's no analysis of Dharma at all but rather not to the point of what Kamalasila or Vimalamitra teaches. I am all for what you are advocating here but perhaps, it only works for a limited few. For the rest of us, there are other methods, apparently...
Buddhism as a whole works only for a limited few. Just consider the size of humanity. Then think about the percentage of Buddhists, and then the number of Buddhists who actually care about the Dharma. So, it's all very limited.

As for the applicability of analysis, I think it is mostly for those who are inclined to reasoning and study. And there are quite a few of them on this forum.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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