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The Fivefold Incenses and the Formless Repentance

Zen Master Hui-Neng said:

"The first is the Sila Incense, which means that our mind is free from taints of misdeeds, evil jealousy, avarice, anger, spoliation, and hatred.

"The second is the Samadhi Incense, which means that our mind is unperturbed in all circumstances, favorable or unfavorable.

"The third is the Prajna Incense, which means that our mind is free from all impediments, that we constantly introspect our Essence of Mind with wisdom, that we refrain from doing all kinds of evil deeds, that although we do all kinds of good acts, yet we do not let our mind become attached to (the fruits) of such actions, and that we are respectful towards our superiors, considerate to our inferiors, and sympathetic to the destitute and the poor.

"The fourth is the Incense of Liberation, this means that our mind is in such an absolutely free state that it clings to nothing and concerns itself neither with good nor evil.

"The fifth is the Incense of 'Knowledge obtained on the Attainment of Liberation.' When our mind clings to neither good nor evil we should take care not to let it dwell upon vacuity, or remain in a state of inertia. Rather should we enlarge our study and broaden our knowledge, so that we can know our own mind, understand thoroughly the principles of Buddhism, be congenial to others in our dealings with them, get rid of the idea of 'self' and that of 'being', and realize that up to the time when we attain Bodhi the 'true nature' (or Essence of Mind) is always immutable. Such, then, is the Incense of 'Knowledge obtained on the Attainment of Liberation.' This five-fold Incense fumigates us from within, and we should not look for it from without."

...

"May we, disciples so and so, be always free from the taints of ignorance and delusion. We repent of all our sins and evil deeds committed under delusion or in ignorance. May they be expiated at once and may they never arise again.

"May we be always free from the taints of arrogance and dishonesty (Sathya). We repent of all our arrogant behavior and dishonest dealings in the past. May they be expiated at once and may they never arise again.

"May we be always free from the taints of envy and jealousy. We repent of all our sins and evil deeds committed in an envious or jealous spirit. May they be expiated at once and may they never arise again."


Reference:

Chapter 6: On Repentance: http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/huineng/huineng6.html
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/huineng/huineng6.html

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