30 Jul The Teaching of Non-Duality
(Excerpt from the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, expounded by Master Shen-Long, Chapter 1 Cultivation Cause, pg. 82)
(Continuing from the ending of last week: )
[Sutra Text] Hui-Neng stepped forward and said: “The wind is not moving, nor is the banner. It is both of your minds that have moved.”
Everyone was startled hearing this. Master Yin-Zong held him with the highest seat of honor. He examined the reliability of this profound supreme truth, and saw that Hui-Neng’s language was concise and matched equally with the truth, and was not expressed in a forced style.
Yin-Zong said: “You, the cultivator are certainly not an ordinary man. I heard long ago that the robe and teaching of Huang-Mei’s came South. Is it you?”
Hui-Neng said: “I dare not (accept the honor).” Yin-Zong then paid obeisance to him and requested him to display the robe and bowl to the assembly.
He further asked: “How was Huang-Mei’s teaching being guided and instructed in person?”
Hui-Neng replied: “There was no guiding and instruction in person, we merely discussed beholding our self-nature, there was no discussion of Zen meditation to free oneself from worry.”
Yin-Zong asked: “Why was there no discussion of Zen meditation to free oneself from worry?”
Hui-Neng said: “Things that are conditioned by contributory causes is a teaching of dualism, that is not Buddha’s teaching; Buddha Dharma is non-duality.”
Explained by Master Shen-Long:
All people were shocked after hearing the statement of the Sixth Patriarch, never before hearing a person with this way of speaking. Master Yin-Zong was a person who was extremely difficult to come across through the ages. Hui-Neng came from a poor family, he flees from trouble and arrived to Fa-Xing Monastery. It just so happened that he had this opportunity, Master Yin-Zong was the Buddhist Abbot explaining the Nirvana Sutra at that time. With this kind of status, how could it be Hui-Neng’s turn to address his teaching?
Master Yin-Zong gave him the highest seat of honor, Master Yin-Zong heard his words and knew he was definitely not a common person. Actually Master Yin-Zong was not a common person himself; he came to perform for us. Therefore, he has this kind of magnanimity to let the Sixth Patriarch to pass on his teaching.
He examined the reliability of this profound supreme truth, the supreme truth is the doctrinal essentials of Buddha teaching. The one with the enlightened self-nature, their spoken language is clear and plain, and is definitely not ambiguous. Seeing Hui-Neng’s language was concise and matched equally with the truth, the truth refers to him confirming the fundamental essence. Matched equally means suitable or appropriate and hitting the nail on the head. His language and the truth or the inner essence and external phenomena are one, and undivided and without discrimination. Not expressed in a forced style, refers to him not obtaining this from memorization and recitation of all kinds of topics from books and is regarded as having learned it.
Yin-Zong said: I knew you definitely are not an ordinary person, I heard early on that the Sixth Patriarch, the great master, had brought the robe and bowl to Guang-Zhou, the South. Very possible it is you? Could it be that is you?
Hui-Neng said: “I dare not (accept the honor).” This expression of “I dare not (accept the honor)” contains infinite meanings and it means that he is unwilling to pass on his responsibilities to others however, that he is modest and humble as well.
Yin-Zong then paid obeisance, a person following this kind of way must be a Buddha Bodhisattva. As for us, would not the ordinary masses act this way? If you look at a person with an ugly face or ugly features, would you prostrate yourself with the head at his feet? It is impossible. To the average person, if you are a Buddha Bodhisattva, you will have an appearance like the moon and have a stately presence. But if an ugly person shows up, would you prostrate yourself with the head at one’s feet?
He asked Hui-Neng to take out the robe and bowl to gain the trust of the public.
Huang-Mei is the Fifth Patriarch Hong-Ren; use of his location name was honorific. What kind of teaching did he give? There was no guiding and instruction in person, we merely discussed beholding our self-nature, this sentence goes right to the heart of the matter. Dharma that is given by guiding and instruction in person are not Buddha’s teaching, Buddha’s teaching is the supreme truth, and partial revelation cannot be adapted to the capacity of the listeners. We merely discussed beholding our self-nature, precisely there is only one teaching: “There is not a single thing originally, where can there be any dust.” We merely discussed beholding our self-nature, referring to beholding the Buddha nature to become Buddha.
Hui-Neng said: “Things that are conditioned by contributory causes is a teaching of dualism, that is not Buddha’s teaching.” Buddha’s teaching is one undivided truth. Zen meditation to free oneself from worry is dualism which does not represent the Buddha Dharma. Any teaching comes with discrimination and attachment is not Buddha’s teaching. This is why I (Master Shen-Long) always emphasize: “All teaching is inherent without differentiations. It is people who like to divide it into two, or three, or four, or five…to infinite. Fundamentally it exists within non-duality, but if you divide it, then it no longer is the teaching of enlightenment and it definitely becomes dualism. The Buddha Dharma is absolutely unconditioned – the unity of the Buddha-nature.”
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。」
所有人聽六祖講後都嚇一跳,從來沒有人是這樣說法。這印宗法師也是千古難逢。你想惠能窮苦人家生生,等於是逃難逃到法性寺。剛好有這個機會。印宗你想當時是大法師講涅槃經；這是首座, 住持, 方丈；這等地位還輪得到六祖講話嗎?
印宗向他頂禮, 做這樣的人是佛菩薩。我們眾生那裡做得到? 不信你去看奇貌不祥之人, 你會跟他頂禮嗎?不可能,我們一般人,我是佛菩薩,一定是風光及月,相貌莊嚴。來了個醜八怪, 相貌平庸的, 你會跟他頂禮嗎? 告訴他, 請把傳來的衣缽取出來, 表示取信。
「黃梅」指五祖忍和尚,以地名代表為尊重他。他傳了你什麼法? 「指授即無，唯論見性」;這句語是一針見血。「指」是指點,「授」是傳授;指點和傳授的不是佛法,它是第一義諦,不是了義。「唯論見性」, 就是只有一法:「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」。不是「禪定」, 不是「解脫」, 不是這些; 「唯論見性」-見性成佛。印宗說: 為什麼不論禪定解脫?
能云：「為是二法，不是佛法，佛法是不二之法。」禪定解脫是二,二法者非佛法。有分別執著者不是佛法。所以我常講: 一切法本來不二, 人就把它分為二, 分三, 分四,… 分無量。本來無二, 你要去分, 這就不是覺悟法; 一定是二法。佛法是不二法。