The first public Zen
postings appear in Chapter I of the Sutra Spoken by
the Sixth and Last Zen Patriarch Hui-neng (637-713 CE)
"One day the [Fifth Zen] Patriarch
assembled all his disciples and said to them:
'The question of incessant rebirth is a very momentous one, but instead of trying
to free yourselves from that bitter sea of life and death, you men, day after day,
seem to be going after tainted merits only. Merit will be of no help to you if your
essence of mind is polluted and clouded.
'Go now and seek for the transcendental wisdom that is WITHIN
your own minds and
then write me a stanza about it. He who gets the clearest idea of what Mind-essence
is will be given the insignia of the Patriarch; I will give him the secret teaching of
, and will appoint him to be the Sixth Patriarch.
'Go away quickly, now, and do not delay in writing the stanza; deliberation [long
and careful consideration or discussion]
is quite unnecessary and will be of no use.
The one who has realized Essence of Mind
can testify to it at once as soon as he is
spoken to about it. He cannot lose sight of it, even if he were engaged in a battle."
The Sutra Spoken by the Sixth Patriarch
is a translation of a speech given by an
illiterate laborer named Hui-neng
(637-713 CE). The scholar(s) who translated this
transcription into English around 1932 chose to use the then obscure wordsentient
in the following way:Chapter IV Discourse on Repentance
"We have now vowed to deliver an infinite number of sentient beings
; but what
does that mean? It does not
mean that I, Hui-neng is going to deliver them.
"AND WHO ARE THESE sentient beings
, potential WITHIN
our minds? They are
the delusive mind, the deceitful mind, the evil mind, and such like—all these aresentient beings
. Each of them has to be delivered by oneself by means of his ownEssence of Mind
; only by his own deliverance, is it genuine.
"NOW, WHAT DOES IT MEAN,
'delivering oneself by one's own Essence of Mind
It means the deliverance of the ignorant, delusive, and the vexatious beings
spring up WITHIN
our own mind, by means of Right Views
. With the aid of Right
[perspicacity], the barriers
thrown up by these delusive and
may be broken down; so that each of us will be in a position to
deliver himself by his own efforts. The false will be delivered by truthfulness; the
delusive by enlightenment; the ignorant by wisdom; and the malevolent by
benevolence; such is genuine deliverance."So for 1300 years (82 years in English—2014)
this sutra has not been read or
understood by Zen
Buddhists or was ignored by Zen
Buddhists who chose
to go along
with the popular Buddhist crowd
and perpetuate the belief
that sentient beings
areliving beings to be saved or benefited
—a residual unconscious Christian belief in souls!
makes absolutely no sense in light of the Sutra Spoken by the Sixth Zen Patriarch
. In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at
second hand [Traditionally], and without examination.
~ Mark TwainA stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously
translates what he hears into something he can understand.
~ Bertrand RussellThere are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose
to ignore what they already know.
~ John HeywoodAnd this is why I gussy up my postings with colorful EMPHASIS:—there's no formatting for a burning bush!
of this posting is about what Buddha actually did
or accomplished sitting alone in the forest.
A secondary topic
is about the essential nature of sentient beings
My user name is pudgala2
which means persona2
and has nothing to do with the Pudgalavada
—I am Zen
is declarative and does not argue—you either get it or you don't—deliberation is pointless.
symbolizes the Noble Eightfold Path Process
(internalized by practice) leading to the release
or dissolution of the surrounding mental barrier of residual karmic sentient beings
internalized beliefs, opinions, attitudes, moods, etc.) that make up the ego causing suffering.Remember: ego is the religious centerpiece of its own arbitrarily acquired belief system—both victim and victimizer.