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The Pure Land of One's Own Essence of Mind

Hui-Neng said:

For a fair mind,
observation of precepts (Sila)
is unnecessary.

For straightforward behavior,
practice in Dhyana (contemplation)
may be dispensed with.

On the principle of gratefulness,
we support our parents and serve them filially.

On the principle of righteousness,
the superior and the inferior stand
for each other (in time of need).

On the principle of mutual desire
to please, the senior and junior
are on affectionate terms.

On the principle of forbearance,
we do not quarrel even in
the midst of a hostile crowd.

If we can persevere until
fire can be obtained through
rubbing a piece of wood,

Then the red lotus (the Buddha-nature)
will shoot out from the black mire (the unenlightened state).

That which is of bitter taste
is bound to be good medicine.

That which sounds unpleasant
to the ear is certainly frank advice.

By amending our mistakes, we get wisdom.

By defending our faults, we betray an unsound mind.

In our daily life we should
always practice altruism,
but Buddhahood is not to be attained
by giving away money as charity.

Bodhi is to be found
within our own mind,
and there is no necessity
to look for mysticism from without.

Hearers of this stanza
who put its teaching
into actual practice
will find paradise in
their very presence.

"All of you should put into practice what is taught in this stanza, so that you can realize the Essence of Mind and attain Buddhahood directly. The Dharma waits for no one." — Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng

Formless stanza quote:

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