22 Jul Movement of the Heart
(Excerpt from the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, expounded by Master Shen-Long, Chapter 1 Cultivation Cause, pg. 77)
[Sutra Text] Afterwards Hui-Neng arrived at Caoxi where he was again pursued by men with evil intentions. To avoid difficulty, he went to Sihui and lived among hunters for fifteen years and taught the Dharma to them at appropriate times. The hunters often instructed him to watch their nets, but whenever he saw beings who were still living he released them. At mealtime he cooked vegetables in the same pot alongside the meat. When he was questioned about it, he would answer: “I only eat the vegetables alongside the meat.”
One-day Hui-Neng was in contemplation: “The time has come to propagate the Buddha teaching. I cannot stay in seclusion forever.” So, he went to Fa-Xing Monastery in Guangzhou where Master Yin-Zong was doing his explanation of the Nirvana Sutra. While the wind was blowing and the banner was moving which caused the two monks to be in discussion:
One said: “It is the wind that moves.” The other said: “It is the banner that moves.” They argued incessantly.
Hui-Neng stepped forward and said: “The wind is not moving, nor is the banner. It is the mind of the virtuous one that moved.”
Explained by Master Shen-long:
Afterwards Hui-Neng arrived at Caoxi; he was still being chased by people with evil intentions, therefore, he took refuge within a group of hunters. He stayed with them for 15 years, during this time, he experienced matters that refined his mind.
How did he experience matters that refined his mind? He would explain the Buddha teaching to the hunters according to the rising opportunity of natural affinity.
The hunters always asked him to watch their hunting nets to catch birds; leaving it to the Sixth Patriarch to watch. He seized the chance when birds were tangled by the net, and would release them when the hunters were not there.
At every meal, he ate only vegetables next to the meat. He heated the vegetables in the hot soup in the pot, and he consumed the vegetables, not wanting to take the life of a living creature.
If someone asked him why it was this way?
He responded: “I eat the vegetables next to the meat, it is the same.”
One day he thought: “I need to propagate the Buddha teachings; no longer can I live in seclusion.”; after spending 15 years completely eradicating all of his subtle and unnoticeable habits, this is known as “initiating the cultivation after becoming enlightened”. The Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng left and arrived to Fa-Xing Monastery in Guangzhou. Just in time for Master Yin-Zong to expound the Nirvana Sutra.
In ancient times when holding the session of sutra explanation, they set up banners outside and people would become aware that sutra expounding happened there, and only then would people come.
One of the monks said: “For what reason do the banners move? It moves by the wind.” Then the other monk said: “It is the banner that moves.” The two monks argued incessantly regarding whether it was the banner that moves or the wind that moves.
Hui-Neng very politely said: “If the mind is unmoved then nothing moves. When the mind moves then all moves; it is neither the wind nor the banner, neither cause nor effect, neither the natural affinity nor the fundamental nature of the universe.
There is not a single thing originally, where can there be any dust (affliction)!
Then, what does “can there be any dust (affliction)” mean?
It is the interaction of each other’s self-nature and suddenly the unenlightened condition rises during the interaction.
惠能後至曹溪, 還是到處被惡人追, 所以他就避難於打獵人隊裡。經十五年, 這十五年就是歷事鍊心。他怎麼歷事鍊心? 隨機說法。
每次吃飯時吃肉邊菜。煮菜在鍋裡燙熟, 吃菜不剎生。如有人問他為什麼這樣? 他答:我吃肉邊菜, 一樣嘛!
惠能非常有禮貌的說: 「心不動, 一切不動; 心動, 一切動。非風非幡, 非因非果, 非緣非道。」
『本來無一物, 何處惹塵埃! 』那「惹塵埃」是什麼? 是自性互動, 忽生無明。