I have been reading an English translation of Ranzai.
I'll post this here in the Dharma free-for-all Zone since I expect it may be controversial for some.
This of course, should be interpreted as Ranzai speaking not me.
All are free to make what they like of this. I just found it VERY interesting, so I decided to post it.
Genuine (true) Insight:
(A monk) asked: “What is genuine insight?”
The master answered:
"Today's students of the Buddha-Dharma need to look for true genuine insight.
If you have genuine insight, birth and death will not affect you, and you will be free to come and to go. (not bound by the illusions and delusions of the world)
If you want to make use of it (genuine insight), then use it right now without delay or doubt.
Nor do you need to look for worthiness (praise or adulation); it will arise of itself.
The true student of the Way clings neither to Buddha, nor to Bodhisattvas, nor to Arhats; he clings not to anything that passes as supreme (exalted) in the Three Worlds. He keeps his distance, stands alone and free, and is not bothered by events.
Though heaven and earth be turned upside down, he will not be bewildered. Though all the Buddhas of the ten directions appear before him, he will not care. And if the three deepest hells suddenly appear before him, he will not be afraid.
One who can see it like this is a man of genuine insight.
Followers of the Way:
Followers of the Way, the old masters had ways of making men.
Do not let yourselves be deluded by anyone that is all I have to teach.
Do not be deceived. If you only think of seeking Buddha, Buddha becomes a mere name to you.
And the very one who runs to seek Buddha, how do you know him?
(Can you comprehend his nature?)
All the Buddhas and patriarchs in the Three Worlds and the ten directions have appeared only appeared in this world for the purpose of seeking the Dharma, and to spin the great wheel of that Dharma.
And today's diligent Followers of the Way are they also not seeking the same Dharma?
Only when one has found it clearly is there an end to it.
As long as one has not found it, one transmigrates through the Five Paths.
But students nowadays do not succeed because they suffer from lack of self-reliance.
The trouble is, they look to the outside, and, pursuing it hotly, they doubt whether they have hands and feet.
Because of this, they run busily hither and thither, are driven around by circumstance and kept whirling by the ten thousand things.
Followers of the Way, if you know that fundamentally there is nothing to seek, you have settled your affairs. But because you have little faith, you run about agitatedly, seeking your head which you think you have lost.
You cannot stop yourselves.
An old story says: “Yajnadatta thought he had lost his head. But when he ceased from his frantic looking for it, he had nothing further to seek.”
(This refers to an old story about a man who was looking at his head reflected in a mirror; and when he dropped the mirror, shattering it; he believed he had smashed his head. He searched frantically for his head until he chanced to see his reflection somewhere, and realised he had his head all along; it was never realy lost.)
But if you can stop your heart from its ceaseless running after wisps of the will, you will not be different from the Buddha and patriarchs.
All those things are but delusions and you cannot find deliverance there.
Then do you want to know the Buddha?
Well, that one is none other than he who here in your presence now (yourself) is right now listening to the Dharma.
But because you lack self-reliance, you turn to the outside and run away seeking outside of your own true nature.
Even if you find something there, it is only words and letters and never the living spirit of the patriarchs.
Do not be deceived. Venerable Zen students, if you do not meet Him at this very moment, you will circulate in the Three Worlds (the worlds of illusion and delusion) for ten thousand Kalpas and a thousand rebirths.
Pursuing agreeable situations, you will be reborn in the wombs of donkeys and cows.
Venerable Ones, there is no place of rest in these Three Worlds; it is like a house on fire.
This is not a place for you to stay long.
The murderous demon of impermanence strikes in a single instant, without choosing between high and low, old and young, revered or dispised.
Do you wish to be no different from the Buddhas and the patriarchs?
Then just do not look for anything outside.
Who then can understand the Dharma and can listen to it?
That one here before your very eyes, - brilliantly clear and shining without any form — that is who can understand the Dharma you are listening to.
Your physical body, formed by the four elements, cannot understand the Dharma you are now listening to; nor can your spleen, stomach, liver or gall; nor can the empty space.
If you can really grasp this, you are not different from the Buddhas and patriarchs.
Venerable Ones, get to know the one who plays with these configurations. He is the original source of all the Buddhas.
Ceaselessly he is right here, conspicuously and continuously present.
Knowing him, wherever you are, he is there in your heart.
Instructing his monks, the master said:
Followers of the Way, it is most important that you come to see clearly.
Then you can go your way and confront the world, without letting yourselves be deceived by those delusive fox sprites.
Nothing is more precious than to be that man who has nothing further to seek.
Just do not give rise to any fancies, and be your ordinary selves.
The Dharma of the Heart
Followers of the Way, what Dharma do I expound?
I expound the Dharma of the Heart-ground.
What is that Dharma? That Dharma is the Law of the Heart.
The Dharma of the Heart is without form; pervading everywhere, (yet) it is perceptible and active right before your eyes.
(It is) The fundamental Dharma that underlies all things.
It is, and acts, of itself. It needs no help to do so.
Followers of the Way, the Dharma of the heart has no form and pervades the Ten Directions everywhere.
This pervades everything; it is in the worldly and in the sacred, in the pure and impure, the fine and the coarse.
In the eye, it is called seeing; in the ears, it is hearing; in the nose, it is smelling; (in the lungs it is breath), in the mouth, speech; in the hands, grasping; in the feet, walking.
Fundamentally, it is one thing; but (when) differentiated, it becomes the six senses.
But when passions arise, (the original) wisdom is disrupted; and the true perception separates from the changing pictures. (the illusions prented by the senses).
This is the cause of transmigration (attachent to error) in the Three Worlds with its concomitant suffering.
But as I see it, there is nothing that is not (truely) profound, nothing that is not (truely)deliverance. (liberation)
When one's whole heart comes to a full stop, one is delivered from such false illusions right where one stands.
Venerable ones, just be your ordinary selves and refrain from fanciful imaginings.
The True Man of the Way
Why do I speak thus?
It is only because I see you, followers of the Way, all running about with an agitated heart, quite unable to stop, and fretting yourselves over the playthings of the old masters.
Not so is the True Man of the Way who goes with the concurrent causes to wipe out his old Karma and lets things follow their own course.
He dresses himself as is fitting; when he wants to go, he goes; when he wants to stay, he stays.
Not even for the fraction of a moment does he (vainly) aspire to Buddhahood.
But, if there is lack of faith, then one chases names and phrases and, in a welter of words, (the deluded mind) arbitrarily speculates on the Buddha Dharma which (being not of the heart) is as far away from him as is heaven from earth.
The most essential thing is that you refrain from making labels, such as fine or coarse, worldly or sacred, and thus (mistakenly) think that by naming them you now know them.
But the fine and the coarse, the worldly and the sacred cannot be known to man by name only.
(Because their true nature is of the Heart-dharma and not of the mind,)
Followers of the Way, realize this and make use of it, but do not slap labels on it, for these tend to be like pen-names, only creating mystery.
Followers of the Way, the Buddha-Dharma needs no skilled application. (skillful learning)
Just be your ordinary selves with nothing further to seek, living your own true nature, wearing robes and eating; saying,
“When tired I sleep, When hungry I eat".
"Fools will laugh at me, but the wise understand.”
Venerable ones, time is precious! Yet you run about hither and thither, studying Zen, studying the Way, chasing names and phrases; vainly seeking the Buddha and patriarchs and good teachers, full of arbitrary judgments.
Do not commit such errors.
Buddha and Mara
A monk asked: “What are Buddha and Mara?”
The master said: A moment of doubt in your heart (that) is Mara.
But if you can grasp that the ten thousand things are unborn and that the heart is like an illusive fantasy, then no thing even of the
size of a speck of dust exists — everywhere is purity — this is Buddha.
It may be said that Buddha and Mara present the pure and the tainted state; yet as I see it there is no Buddha, no living being, no past, no present.
Those (of you) who can realize this, do so at once, without training or testimonial, without gain or loss.
There is no other Dharma.
That one with nothing further to seek
This is all that I teach.
Followers of the Way, the one who at this moment stands alone, clearly and lively right before the eyes (yourself) and is listening (to this teaching); truely that one is nowhere obstructed; unhindered he penetrates everywhere and moves freely in the Three Worlds.
Entering all kinds of situations, he is never affected by them.
In the fraction of a moment he goes to the bottom of the scheme of things.
Meeting Buddha, he talks with Buddha; meeting patriarchs, he talks with patriarchs; meeting Arhats, he talks with Arhats; meeting hungry ghosts, he talks with hungry ghosts.
He goes everywhere, roaming through the kingdoms and talking with living beings, yet never strays for a single thought from his shining purity.
Penetrating the ten directions, the ten thousand things are (to him) of one sameness.
There is only the Independent Man of the Way who is now listening to the Dharma.
He is the mother of all the Buddhas. Therefore is the Buddha born from independence. If you truly understand this independence, then you know that the Buddha is not something to be attained!
Followers of the Way, do not be deceived by teachers who everywhere say "I know Zen, I understand the Way," and who
endlessly deliver discussions like mountain torrents.
All this is action that produces hellish Karma.
All I am talking about is only (that) medicine appropriate for curing specific ailments. In my talks there is nothing absolutely real.
If you see it thus, you are a true leaver-of-home, a man with nothing further to seek; and can spend ten thousand pieces of yellow gold per day (enjoy yourself).
If one is a true learner of the Way, one does not search for the faults of the world, but rather speedily applies oneself to attain genuine insight. If one only can see with perfect clarity, then all is completed.
The master said: "Entering the realms of the worldly and the sacred, the tainted and the pure, the land of the Buddhas, the upper chambers of Maitreya, and Vairocana's Dharma world; you will see them all clearly as subject to coming to be and ceasing to be. (birth and rebirth) Buddha appeared in the world, only to turn the Great Wheelwheel of the Dharma, and then entered Nirvana.
But he did not see these as the features of coming and going. Followers of the Way, the true Buddha has no shape, the true
Dharma has no form.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach