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Grand Master Lu`s Dharma talk (summary) after Saturday Group Practice on January 2, 2010

2010-01-02 Seattle Lei Zang Temple, Redmond, Washington

Translated by: TBTT

Summarized by Ameli Chiang, proofread by Angela Yeh, edited by Morgan Chiu


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六祖說:「 善知識,悟無念法者,萬法盡通;悟無念法者,見諸佛境界;悟無念法者,至佛地位。善知識,後代得吾法者,將此頓教法門,於同見同行,發願受持。如事佛故,終身而不退者,定入聖位。 」

Virtuous and knowledgeable friends, those who awaken to the no-thought practice, have the complete command of all dharma. Those awaken to the no-thought practice shall see the realm of all buddhas. Those awaken to the no-thought practice shall attain buddhahood. Those in the future acquiring my teachings, in the identical view and deed, vow to accept and endeavor, are as if tending to buddha, through lifeís course without abandonment, will unquestionably reach the sacred state.

No-thought is the gateway to all dharma.

Everyone has thoughts; the essence is in letting them pass.

All thoughts will fleet eventually. Past thoughts belong to the past. Present thoughts will soon become past thoughts. And future thoughts have not even arrived yet; donít be bothered by them.

All human beings have thoughts, and it is difficult not to have them. However, thoughts are meant for the moment; do not take them to heart.

Here is a Zen story. A man is standing on top of a mountain.

Another man walks over and asks this man, ďAre you here to breathe the fresh air??

The man replies, ďNo.?

ďAre you here to hike??

The man replies, ďNo.?

ďThen you must be here to enjoy the view.?

The man once again replies, ďNo.?

ďThen what exactly are you doing here on the mountain??

The man replies, ďIím just standing here.?

What a fascinating answer. Merely standing here. Nothing else. No other thought. This is a Zen allegory.

If you ask me if Iím sitting on the dharma throne teaching dharma, my answer would be ďNo, Iím not teaching dharma.?Then you ask me if I am sitting here looking at all the students and guests. My answer would be ďNo, I merely scan those in the audience. I leave no impression of anyone in my mind.?

Any single word is dharma. Waving my hand and raising my foot are dharma. Saying nothing is dharma too. Iím just merely sitting here and doing nothing. Iíve forgotten what Iíve taught on the previous Saturdays. And when I wake up tomorrow, I will have already forgotten what I taught today. This is a Zen allegory.

With no desire, I live my day doing what Iím supposed to do. I never pray for anything. I chant, meditate, eat, sleep and write. Everyday passes without craving.

If you have no craving, then you are buddha. If you crave everything, then you are a human being. Not a single craving is allowed. As long as you still have that one thing that you thirst for, you are bound by it. Let me tell you, with no craving, youíll live happily. Having no craving will set you free ?not to be shackled by any substance.

Itís not like I donít have thoughts. I do. But let thoughts just be thoughts. Like the Zen scripture puts it ?a goose flying over a lake. The water is even and calm. The lake may reflect the goose in the air. But when the goose is gone, the water is still even and calm. Treat thoughts exactly as geese. Let the thoughts come and go freely. You donít have to adhere to them or act on them.

Ten thousand thoughts need to be reduced to one thought. That one thought is ďcultivation.?Eventually even the one thought is no longer there. You would attain no-thought that way. Everyone has stress. Who doesnít? What Buddha teaches you; what the Six Patriarch teaches you, is to toss out your stress. Toss todayís stress today. Donít keep them until tomorrow. You accumulate stress bit by bit. You bottle more and more in you. And then one day, pop. Youíre in trouble. I have a way for you to reach buddhahood. Toss the thought of enlightenment too, then you will reach buddhahood.

A student, Lotus Yun Ming, attempts to ďshoot an arrow?today. He concluded in his note that life is ďall but a dream.?Itís correct; life is but a dream. But everybody knows that. ďLife is but a dream?is not awakening. Itís an observation, a phenomenon. You have to dig a little deeper. You actually said it in your note. But your conclusion is incorrect. ďDream?is not it. Not a dream, even. Real awakening doesnít even have ďdreams.?You have to spell it out for me. This arrow is shot into air. Thereís not even a dream.

Shoot another arrow. Iíll give you a hint. Whatís ďnot even a dream? This pointer is for everyone. If you get it, remember to bring a razor with your note. Iíll shave your head, making you a monk or nun. Six Patriarchís no-thought dharma gate is very close. No-thought is perfect enlightenment. Itís exceedingly close to buddhahood. You can in fact call it buddhahood. However there is an even deeper awareness. No-thought needs still a pointer. Dream needs still a pointer. Not even a dream.
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