Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi

By Zhengjue

Tranlated by means of Taigen Daniel Leighton and Yi Wu Hongzhi -- the twelfth-century chinese language Zen grasp who used to be predecessor of the recognized thinker Dogen -- is widely known in Zen literature as one among its such a lot artistically swish stylists. He used to be the 1st to articulate silent illumination, the nondual objectless meditation regularly recognized to fashionable Zen scholars as "just sitting." formerly to be had in English in simple terms in scattered fragments, Hongzhi's influential educating is right here provided comprehensively, now not as a old artifact, yet as a undying and encouraging consultant to non secular understanding within the modern international.

Taigen Daniel Leighton offers an informative advent that lines Hongzhi's existence, vital points of his educating, and his position within the Zen tradition.

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How one can think about Buddha considering your individual actual shape is tips to examine Buddha. should you can adventure your self with out distractions, easily surpass partiality and transcend conceptualizing. All buddhas and all minds succeed in the fundamental with no duality. Patch-robed clergymen silently wander and tranquilly stay within the empty spirit, wondrously penetrating, simply because the ideal vacancy permeates this dusty kalpa. Dignified with out hoping on others and radiant past doubt, holding this as fundamental, the power turns round and transforms all estrangement.

Simply sitting with head coated all issues are at leisure. hence, this mountain monk doesn’t comprehend in any respect. dwelling the following he now not works to get loose. Who could proudly set up seats, attempting to appeal to site visitors? flip round the gentle to polish inside, then simply go back. The giant unimaginable resource can’t be confronted or became clear of. Meet the ancestral academics, be acquainted with their guide, bind grasses to construct a hut and don’t hand over. enable move of thousands of years and sit back thoroughly. Open your arms and stroll, blameless.

From this singular influence many millions of roads open, and all issues are preeminent. With this unification I radiantly converse the dharma. The self divides into ten billion designated illuminating spirits. Distinguish those with no falling into names and classifications and accord totally with out attempt. The replicate is apparent and magnanimous. The valley is empty, yet echoes. From the start unbound by way of seeing or listening to, the true self romps and performs in samādhi with out obstruction. while enacted like this, how may possibly it now not be necessary?

Figuring out with out touching issues, this information is innately refined. Illuminating with no encountering items, this illumination is innately astounding. the information innately sophisticated hasn't ever engaged in discriminative considering. The illumination innately brilliant hasn't ever displayed the slightest id. by no means undertaking discriminating pondering, this information is unusual with no fit. by no means showing the main minute id, this illumination is entire with no greedy. The water is obvious all the way down to the ground, fish lazily swim on.

This is often dynamic, radiant know-how, now not the suppression of suggestions attribute of the quietistic focus that Dahui warned opposed to. The Sōtō monk and student Menzan Zuihō (1682-1769),26 who used to be instrumental in setting up modern Sōtō Zen figuring out, reviews on Hongzhi’s verse: in the event you imagine that you've bring to an end illusory brain, rather than easily clarifying how illusory brain melts, [italics mine] illusory brain will arise back, as if you had reduce the stem of a blade of grass ...

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