MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 134
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 134

(Last week we ended with, “So, you must think, this case-record is for all eternity; why was the Sixth Patriarch able to attain enlightenment?”) 

He awakened to the truth at the age of 24, he listened to other people recite the Diamond Sutra, and when then recited the following verse, 

In accordance with no attachment, so the mind rises thought naturally and freely.
He said: "The disciple constantly rises wisdom in the mind." 
How can this kind of discourse come from a person who has not attended school? 
There are no afflictions in the mind of the disciple. 

The Fifth Patriarch passed on the teaching to him (the 6th Patriarch Hui-Neng); what is this teaching? It is the essence of “purified of defiling illusion, radiance, free from all resistances, and joy” which everybody has. This was just like a formal confirmation of a student’s awakening by his master. The transmitting of the teaching of Buddha is “to authenticate, a formal confirmation of a student’s awakening by his master” as you have really experienced it and realized it. It is not just passing on something to you generally nowadays, this is not the meaning of it. It is not the minister’s handover, or the official seal being passed around; it is not like that. It is really that you did not have the actual skills to eradicate your unenlightened conditions. This is not possible. 

Viewing from this gong-an (case record), Hui-Neng is proficient because his body and mind had no discriminations, attachments, and erroneous thinking. His diligence, when he encountered people with wrong intentions, is no thought arises. Encountering all phenomenon, feeling at ease physically and mentally, without distinction. This phenomenon everyone has originally, but it was lost. How did we lose it?  From one unenlightened thought.

What is this “one unenlightened thought”? Precisely you give arise to curiosity, and have a confused thought moment: what is this? Then all is over, one becomes more confused and that means you are non-proficient. To speak of proficient diligence, if one is non-proficient one backslides in a mixed way and no diligence

After eradicating the unenlightened condition, the Sixth Patriarch was in the state of proficient diligence. He maintained body and mind purified of defiling illusion and without afflictions for 24 hours, furthermore, he does not even have the idea of maintaining. This is genuine state of pureness. Just like using detergent to clean a pot, he is remarkable and there is even no need for detergent the pot itself is clean. Eventually there is even no pot, he does not attach to the pot. Like this condition after the Sixth Patriarch, there were 43 people who brought the developments of Zen Buddhism to a great height who saw the true facts about the universe and eradicated the unenlightened conditions under his teaching. Later, there were a few more people; but today, there are none. Why? Modern people do not understand what is:

Originally there is not a single thing, where can dust be provoked. 

They are completely unaware.

Today, we explain proficient diligence, numerous kinds of gradation exist. From the tiny matters of waking up in the morning, brushing your teeth, washing your face, taking care of matter; you can let go of all and be thoroughly disillusioned with, free all resistance physically and mentally, be clear in mind and yet not have afflictions, nothing to worry about; also know that this matter can be surely carried out. You can train yourself in your daily life. 

Last time I talked about Tolerance under insult, and mentioned that modern people all have this complex of inferiority with deep worries that one cannot do well; in addition, there are others who are egomaniacs and overconfident, they are eventually unable to make it and collapse. A self-inferior one is forever unable to see the radiant world of one’s body and mind, to suffer awfully in every day’s living. Although society is open, one lives in the dark every day. 

Basically, from daily trivial matters all the way to cultivate yourself in right practice, you should take a close look and clearly look at it; then you can turn it around. How to turn? You are no longer lost in phenomena, no delusions. 

Thinking about no delusions is what phenomenon? You need to prove it yourself. There is no such thing as I have acquired this teaching today, let me try. Having this teaching in hand, truly put into practice thoroughly, after the teaching takes effect then you will see. 

Basically, there is still a word in our mind – greed, mentioned earlier regarding the habit of “greed, aversion and ignorance”. Curiosity is part of “greed”. To have erroneous thinking about many things as either this or that is “greed”.  If you cannot cease “greed”, to cultivate yourself in right practice there is no effect, never mind having the state of proficient diligence. 

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

 (九)  精進波羅密

(上星期講到: 所以各位要想,這是千古公案,為什麼六祖能覺悟?)






從這公案去看,他「精」,身心 – 不分別、不執著、不妄想。「進」,遇到壞人,心不動念,沒有動過念。遇到一切現象,身心自在,沒有分別。這現象本來每個人都有的,後來失去了。怎麼失去的?一念無明。






基本上,我們眾生心裡面還是一個字 – 「貪」。就最早講的「貪、瞋、痴」。就是個「貪」,好奇心也屬「貪」,這妄想很多事情怎麼樣、怎麼樣,「貪」。要是「貪」不斷掉,修行沒有效果,更談不上「精進」。

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra