kirtu wrote:Right, this is the classic reversing the 12 links. But jumping (seeing) the Tathagata nature directly is faster and better (IMHO). Combining the two is Zen's own above and below practice/realization.
Did Zongmi or Yanshou teach about this? Chinul of course did.
Zongmi writes in the Chan Prolegomenon (Zongmi on Chan, p. 123):"All dharmas are like a dream. All the noble ones have said the same thing. Thus, thought of the unreal from the outset is calm. Sense objects are from the outset void. The mind of voidness and calm is a spiritual Knowing that never darkens. It is precisely this Knowing of Voidness and calm that is your true nature. No matter whether you are deluded or awakened, mind from the outset is spontaneously Knowing. [Knowing] is not produced by conditions, nor does it arise in dependence on any sense object. The one word "Knowing" is the gate of all excellence. Because of beginningless delusion about it, you have falsely grasped body and mind as a self and produced such thoughts as passion and anger."
And then continues with the same as quoted already, identifying the essential practice of no mindfulness, i.e. no thought. Zongmi claims that only this teaching of the Knowing (or awareness) is the explicit method that covers both the essence and the function, while other schools (Hongzhou, Niutou, etc.) fail to achieve this completely. Yanshou directly quotes Guifeng to show the different interpretations of the nature of mind found in the Chan lineages at the beginning of the Guanxin Xuanshu, therefore both Zongmi and Yongming hold the Heze Chan as the most authentic. Yanshou writes (Integrating Chinese Buddhism, p. 175):"This awareness is the essence of mind for all the sentient beings. "Mind" is its name and awareness is its essence. It is comparable to "water" being the name and wetness being its essence. This awareness is neither the awareness that distinguishes subject and object nor the awareness of illuminating wisdom that realizes enlightenment. Rather, it is natural and spontaneous awareness. It acts freely without intention. It follows conditions but does not change; and though it does not change, it follows conditions. That is why it is called empty tranquil awareness. "Empty and tranquil" means to be without characteristics. Because it has a powerful ability to understand, yet is without form, it is called numinous awareness without confusion. Thus it is also called tranquil awareness, tranquil illumination, formless awareness, or non-knowing awareness."
Then he quotes from the Zhaolun, thus showing how the teaching of emptiness is in agreement with this, what is followed by another explanation (p. 177):"This awareness is true awareness, the same as empty tranquil awareness. It is also called "awareness of no-thought." If one has no thought and awareness, one is in the state of common people; if one has no-though and non-knowing, one is in the state of the two vehicles; if one has no-thought, but with awareness, one is in the state of the Buddhas. No-thought is empty and tranquil [awareness], and is also called "non-abiding awareness." Because if one abides in something, it is comparable to a person entering into a dark room and not being to see anything. But, if one does not abide in anything, it is like sunlight and moonlight illuminating and making visible all varieties of things."
Why did I say that seeing nature is knowing that thoughts come and go?"But the essence of Suchness itself cannot be put an end to, for all things [in their Absolute aspect] are real; nor is there anything which needs to be pointed out as real, for all things are equally in the state of Suchness. It should be understood that all things are incapable of being verbally explained or thought of; hence, the name Suchness.
Question: If such is the meaning [of the principle of Mahayana], how is it possible for men to conform themselves to and enter into it?
Answer: If they understand that, concerning all things, though they are spoken of, there is neither that which speaks nor that which can be spoken of, and though they are thought of, there is neither that which thinks nor that which can be thought of, then they are said to have conformed to it. And when they are freed from their thoughts, they are said to have entered into it."
(The Awakening of Faith - Attributed to Ashvaghosha, p. 40)"The Way needs no cultivation, just not defiling it. What is defilement? When you have a mind of birth and death and an intention of creation and action, all these are defilement. If you want to know the Way directly, then ordinary mind is the Way. What is an ordinary mind? It means no intentional creation or action, no right or wrong, no grasping or rejecting, no terminable or permanent, no profane or holy."
"Grasping good and rejecting evil, contemplating emptiness and entering concentration—all these belong to intentional creation and action. If one seeks further outside, he strays farther away. Just put an end to all mental calculations of the triple world. If one originates a single deluded thought, this is the root of birth and death in the triple world. If one simply lacks a single thought, then he excises the root of birth and death and obtains the supreme treasure of the dharma-king. Since countless kalpas, the deluded thoughts of ordinary man—flattery, deception, self-intoxication, and arrogance—have formed the one body. Therefore, the su¯tra says, ‘It is only by many dharmas that this body is aggregated. When arising, it is only dharmas arising; when extinguishing, it is only dharmas extinguishing.’ When the dharma arises, it does not say ‘I arise’; when the dharma extinguishes, it does not say ‘I extinguish.’ The former thought, the later thought, and the present thought—all successive moments of thought do not wait for one another, and all successive moments of thought are quiescent and extinct. This is called the ocean-seal sama¯dhi, which contains all dharmas."
(Mazu Daoyi in "The Hongzhou School", p. 123, 126)"If someone can suddenly awaken to the correct cause, then he is at the stage of leaving defilement behind. He then shatters the three worlds and twentyfive forms of existence. Such a person knows that all phenomena, internal and external, are not real—arising from mind’s transformations, they are all provisional designations. There is no need to anchor the mind anywhere. When feelings merely do not attach to things, then how can things hinder anyone? Let the nature of other things flow freely, without [interfering by] trying to break apart or extend anything. The sounds that one hears and the forms that one sees are all ordinary; whether being here or there, one freely responds to circumstances without any fault."
(Guishan's Admonitions in "Zen Classics", p. 30)"The One Mind alone is the Buddha, and there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient beings, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood. By their very seeking they los it, for that is using the Buddha to seek for the Buddha and using mind to grasp Mind. Even though they do their utmost for a full aeon, they will not be able to attain to it- They do not know that, if they put a stop to conceptual thought and forget their anxiety, the Buddha will appear before them, for this Mind is the Buddha and the Buddha is all living beings."
(Zen Teaching of Huang Po, p. 29-30)"If within a single moment deluded thinking suddenly ceases, [you will] thoroughly perceive your own mind and realize that it is vast and open, bright and luminous - intrinsically perfect and complete. This state, being originally pure, devoid of a single thing, is called enlightenment. Apart from this mind, there is no such thing as cultivation or enlightenment.
the illusory mind of delusion is originally rootless. You should never take a deluded thought as real and try to hold on to it in your heart. As soon as it arises notice it right away. Once you notice it, it will vanish. Never try to suppress thoughts but allow thoughts to be as you watch a gourd floating on water."
These are just a few works to show that enlightenment simply depends on grasping or not grasping a thought, just as the Platform Sutra says about moments of buddhahood. The idea of "jumping directly" to see that the nature of mind is empty and aware is in fact not that immediate, it rather serves as a background for letting go of thoughts. That's why it is the first step in Baizhang's three steps system. Not clinging to phenomena is also in perfect agreement with the teachings on selflessness, emptiness, mind only and the rest. Talking about an inherent buddha-nature can sound like a special teaching, but when it comes down to practice it is no different from the rest.