Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mistaking One Mind for No Mind (page 144)

The mirror of mind reflects without interference;

Its vastness and clarity radiate through countless worlds.

Various phenomena all manifest themselves;

To a perfectly illumined one there is neither inside nor outside.

Participants on retreats may be able to concentrate their minds to a focused point, and they may even be able to enter elementary levels of samadhi, but it is not the same as seeing one’s self-nature. Nevertheless, such beginning experiences are important and beneficial. They are the basis for good practice. Eventually, it will lead to experiencing one’s self-nature or entering deep levels of samadhi.

Having a pure mind is enlightenment. An enlightened person acts through wisdom for the benefit of others. You may not understand his motives and meaning, but his actions cannot be bad. A person who goes beyond the initial experience of seeing his self-nature and reaches thorough enlightenment will not be affected by worldly desires. When a thoroughlyenlightened being sees someone of the opposite sex, that person will appear no different from a man, woman, child, dog, cat, mother or father. There are no discriminations. Such a person is not touched by the problems that plague ordinary people. A person who has seen his self-nature may experience this as well, but the experience will not be as deep or enduring. In other words, a person who initially reveals his self-nature sees for the first time the goal he will eventually reach. Having seen this goal, though it is still far away, he will have fewer problems in his actions and conduct.

— The Sword of Wisdom by Master Sheng Yen (page 144)

Day 7 Mistaking One Mind for No Mind

The mirror of mind reflects without interference;

Its vastness and clarity radiate through countless worlds.

Various phenomena all manifest themselves;

To a perfectly illumined one there is neither inside nor outside.

This mind of wisdom transcends space and time. It does not exist in a specific point in space; it exists in every location of space. It does not exist only in this moment in time; it exists through all of time. There are no limits or boundaries. Everyone, whether or not they have karmic affinity with the mind mirror, will be reflected in this mind. The only difference is that those who have karmic affinity will recognize that they are being reflected, whereas those who do not have this affinity will not recognize it. This is an important point: Everything, whether karmic affinity is present or not, is reflected in the mirror of the enlightened mind. Those with karmic affinity seetheir reflection. In other words, these people face the mirror with eyes open. Those without it have their backs turned to the mirror. They are being reflected, but they do not know it; and if they turn and face the mirror, their vision is obstructed. However, all sentient beings are reflected. They cannot be separate and apart from the mind mirror.

A disciple once asked me, “What’s the purpose of reaching Buddhahood? There are already innumerable Buddhas, yet we haven’t been delivered from Samsara.”

I said, “The problem is not with the Buddha. Buddha offers help. We just don’t recognize it. If we haven’t been delivered yet, it’s our problem.”

The stronger your affinity with the mind mirror, the more clearly you will see your reflection. Those with a weak affinity may not recognize what they see. Nevertheless, whether the interaction is direct or indirect, clear or clouded, all who see a reflection benefit from Buddhadharma.

The Sword of Wisdom by Master Sheng Yen (page 143)