The Sutra of the 6 th Patriarch, Hui Neng
(Translated by A.F.Price and Wong Mou-Lam)
Learned Audience, it has been the tradition of our school to take 'Idealessness' as our object, 'Non-objectivity' as our basis, and 'Non-attachment' as our fundamental principle. 'Idea-lessness' means not to be carried away by any particular idea in the exercise of the mental faculty. 'Non-objectivity' means not to be absorbed by objects when in contact with objects. 'Nonattachment' is the characteristic of our Essence of Mind.
Reciting Amitabha would fall under the three categories mentioned above. Why? By reciting Amitabha, you are not engaging in your activities of the mental faculty; you are not engaging in your thoughts and emotions. When you see forms (the 6 fields) through the six bases, you are not engaged by it because you are focusing on reciting Amitabha. And lastly, non-attachment you will not be attaching to forms and mental activities because you are reciting Amitabha. What about attaching to Amitabha? Ahh...if you are deluded to be attached to the boat, then you will have a problem. As long as you can recognize that liberation is not an attachment even to the boat or destination. So I guess people should recognize why they seek the Path to liberation, or should constantly remind themselves...Another way to understand this is by asking ourselves if we are practicing for liberation or for something else? And this is can be applied to all other methods or forms of Buddhism that we are practicing. Hui Neng said implied that we should not be deluded or detached to things such as merits, but merits come from true cultvation from within towards liberation. However, there should be not an attachment to liberation also. As long as there is a thought in purpose to create, we are deluded. That's why the three categories mentioned above are to talk about essentially non-attachment as everything as it is...an example to understand this is when sometimes you experience complete peace and lightness (not heavy) when no disburbance arises, and at this moment you see clearly.
And keep in mind that Amitabha also works via through medium such that Amitabha sends his infinite lights to us every time we recite or say his name.
Our mind should stand aloof from circumstances, and on no account should we allow them to influence the function of our mind. But it is a great mistake to suppress our mind from all thinking; for even if we succeed in getting rid of all thoughts, and die immediately thereafter, still we shall be reincarnated elsewhere. Mark this, treaders of the Path. It is bad enough for a man to commit blunders from not knowing the meaning of the Law, but how much worse would it be to encourage others to follow suit? Being deluded, he sees not and in addition he blasphemes the Buddhist Canon.
This is just a reminder for people from falsely trying to grasp emptiness or non-attachment. Grasping is already at false. Fundamentally there is not a thing or dharma to be obtained in Mind. And what is alight in our mind everyday is the 3 karma body, speech, and mind (3 poisons-greed,anger,and ignorance). If we don't alight these things in our mind everyday, we will have some purity/peace.
Thanks for listening to my rant.