02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 54
(Last week we ended with, “Without seeing the “nature of the absence of inherent existence”, you cannot have experiential entry into the “nature of the absence of inherent existence”. Then there is a phenomenon, there is rebirth and death, there is a cyclic existence–reincarnation.)
Where does the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” originate from? It is you who is unaware there is the absence of inherent existence and nature, and unaware there is wisdom.
Wisdom is not intelligence and intellect; those are useless. A person with intelligence and intellect still die, still reincarnate, and are still useless rotating in the Threefold Worlds (Triloka – the universe is divided into three worlds of karmic rebirth as desire, form and formless) and six realms. We often listen to the Patriarch and the great virtue one lectured:
All phenomena are produced by causes and conditions, and all phenomena are extincted by causes and conditions.
All manifested phenomena are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows; like a dewdrop or lightning, they should be regarded as such.
To be regarded as such means what insight? The insight of all as the absence of inherent existence, all as Unreal, and the Middle Way
Therefore, the “absence of inherent existence” represents no attachment to all phenomena; you are not attached, this is called “nonexistent”. It does not mean there is nothing there. If there is nothing there it is called stubbornly attached to the notion of nonexistent.
Sravaka and Pratyekabuddha of Hinayana (the smaller vehicle), who are stubbornly attached to the notion of nonexistent, they sink the state of nonexistent and attach to quiescence.
Therefore, one has no way to start seeking the mind of Buddha by means of Mahayana (the great vehicle school); asking one to return to the Threefold Worlds (Triloka- the universe is divided into three worlds of karmic rebirth as “desire”, “form” and “formless”) to help all beings, one is afraid.
Basically, the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence, you should look at your thoughts for 24 hours, and whether there is any attachment. If you have attachments, you cannot enter the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence. What is the meaning of “insight”? It is to explore and study. It is without using the mind, without using the faculty of thought and without using mental discernment to explore and study. Just like exploring and studying through Zen meditation of the Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism.
How to explore and study through Zen meditation? By letting go of the world of the body and mind. It was later promoted the practice by the Master with a “head phrase” used as a subject of meditation to focus the mind, but originally it was not this way. Originally it was to explore and study the absence of inherent existence and nature.
Under the influence of karma, the conditional causation arises, and its nature is the absence of inherent existence.
Nature is the pure and bright essence of our original life, that is our pure and undefiled Buddha-nature and enlightenment nature. The function of the enlightenment nature is the “absence of inherent existence and nature” which is precisely wisdom. Since we have explained wisdom as Prajna, it was translated from India with multi-meanings, so Prajna is used as the representation. In that case, Prajna is the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence uses what to be the external characteristic? It is the essence–Surangama.
All matters are Buddha-nature, which are ultimately inexhaustible and indestructible – Surangama.
The Buddha-nature within inherently is the Samadhi state (the imperturbable stillness of mind control) is Surangama. The Surangama Sutra states that if you want to recover the Samadhi of your Buddha-nature, there is one requirement, you need to let go of your consciousness by “abandoning the consciousness and using the origin root (enlightenment nature)”. We need to remind everyone “abandoning the consciousness and using the origin root (enlightenment nature)” is very difficult to do. If you are unclear about consciousness, then you would not know how to use the origin root (enlightenment nature). Do not make mistakes, this is not knowledge. There are no levels, or get a diploma for it; no, it is not. Set your mind in the condition of purified of defiling illusion and have the pure natural way of behaving in harmony with the true nature of all things, then you can make a great effort to advance your cultivation under that condition called “effortlessly to achieve the way of enlightenment leading to Nirvana”.
What is the sphere of “effortlessly to achieve the way of enlightenment leading to Nirvana”? It is eradicating one grade of the unenlightened condition, to confirm one grade of the truth body (Dharma body). To confirm one grade of the truth body, means you have attained one grade of Surangama-Samadhi.
We are going to view this together: Surangama-Samadhi appears at the gate of the six sense-organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind). The most virtuous ancient ones lectured:
An Abhaya (fearless) immortal (one who embodies the truth-Buddha) sends out an illuminating ray to move the earth, one’s halo is independently brilliant.
Where? It is the six senses-organs. Therefore, the disposition is what we enjoy daily, such as “objects connecting with the eyes to become sight, hearing through the ears to become sound, connecting with the nose to become smells”, these are it. How to let it recover to its pure essence? No mind, no movement of thought, no attachments, and no erroneous thinking.
Some people ask: “how is it possible for a person to not activate the mind and without thought arising. How is it possible to be without attachments and without erroneous thinking?” This thought of impossibility is because of your habit-forming.
卷 (四 ) 空、假、中三觀
「參禪」怎麼參？ 放下身心世界。後來是提起句話頭，那是後來，原先沒有。原先就參一個「空性」。緣起性空。「性」就是我們原來生命清淨光明的本體，那叫性 – 是我們清淨沒有汚染的佛性、覺性。覺性的作用在「空性」，就是智慧。既然我們把智慧講成「般若」，因為印度翻譯過來，這個多重意義的意思，是以「般若」為代表。
那「般若」本身在「空觀」裡面以什麼為表相？ 就是「體」 -《首楞嚴》。
一切事究竟堅固 – 《首楞嚴》。
自性本定是《首楞嚴》。《楞嚴經》裡講，如果要恢復自性大定，必須要有一個條件 – 要放下你的意識，「捨識用根」。我們要提一下，「捨識用根」非常難。「識」都搞不清楚，「根」是什麼你不會用的。這個不是學問，各位不要搞錯，不是有個階段，或者有個畢業證書，不是。它是把你的心定在清淨無為之中，在清淨無為之中加功用行，叫「無功用道」。