Buddha Flowers, Leaves, Roots, and Dusts

· Teachings · ,

by Zen Master Hongzhi

Contemplating your own authentic form is how to contemplate Buddha. If you can experience yourself without distractions, simply surpass partiality and go beyond conceptualizing. All buddhas and all minds reach the essential without duality. Patch-robed monks silently wander and tranquilly dwell in the empty spirit, wondrously penetrating, just as the supreme emptiness permeates this dusty kalpa. Dignified without relying on others and radiant beyond doubt, maintaining this as primary, the energy turns around and transforms all estrangement. Passing through the world responding to situations,

illumination is without striving and functions without leaving traces. From the beginning the clouds leisurely release their rain, drifting past obstacles. The direct teaching is very pure and steady. Nothing can budge it. Immediately, without allowing past conditions to turn you, genuinely enact it. The Way is not what the ancestors transmit. Before the ancestors come, it already pervades the whole environment. Emptiness is inherently without characteristics; spirituality cannot be imitated. On its own, illumination emerges from causes and conditions. Constantly living apart from surface appearances is called being the ancestor. Simply certify and unite with it; you cannot be handed it. All buddhas arrive here and regard this as the ultimate. They respond to transformations and disperse their bodies as flowers, leaves, roots, and dusts. Wisdom enters the three times and the ten thousand changes do not disturb us, each dust is not outside us. This marvel is beyond the vast thousands of classical texts, so where could you hold on to the shadowy world?

Zen Master Hongzhi (1091–1157) was a Ch’an Master, known for “just sitting” practice and for the koans collection “Transmission of the Lamp.”

From Cultivating The Empty Field by Hongzhi Zhengju, translated by Daniel Taigen Leighton
and Yi Wu. Copyright © 2000 by Dan Leighton. Used with permission of Tuttle Publishing.

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