The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
A dialogue between Master and disciple
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Bodhidharma: You are wise, my student, to realize this at this stage. Most would believe that they were Buddhas and go off to preach. But they are unwise. This insight of yours is just the beginning. That is why I give you this copy of the Lankavatara Sutra, so that one day you might come to see the world the way a Buddha does.
Bodhidharma: First, it is important to understand that the Alaya is like a receptacle in which all possible appearances are contained and reproduced. All that we perceive as human beings rests in the Alaya. But the Alaya is nothing itself except Mind's defiled aspect, insofar as we cling to effects as being absolute. To further complicate matters, when Mind is in the Alaya mode it comes under the bondage of objectifying forces of which it knows nothing, being unable to fully realize that these forces are directly from Mind. What arises from this is the world of appearance, both external and internal which mutually conditions itself. Keeping this in mind, imagine converting this perception so that you are no longer a bondsman to the appearances of Mind. At this point, you actually merge with that wherefrom all things arise and to where they cessate. In other words, you become Mind!
Bodhidharma: Yes, that is correct. But rather than this insight being nothing, you conceived the Tathagata embryo in the Alaya/ovary . And if you continue to nurture this holy conception, without fail, you will eventually generate Bodhicitta, becoming a true Bodhisattva.
Bodhidharma: Yes, one day it will change. When, for example you break the spell of your visual perception, everything will look like images in a mirror. 'nbsp; But in the mean time your vision is blocked by 4 things. First, you believe that what you see is “out there'rdquo; when it is merely an optical illusion as the images first appear on the back of your eyeballs. Second, you are habituated to ideas based on the belief that all is “out there'rdquo;. Third, you are locked on the eye organ itself, and have no idea how to break its spell. Fourth, you are attracted to what you see and so you have a love affair with the visible world.
Bodhidharma: what you see seems real is due to the mutual conditioning process between perceiver and perceived. In the past, as you have invested in the eye's world and its ideas, you did not realize that the source of your eye's images is not an image; over time you became gradually dependent on eye-consciousness originations, knowing no other way of “seeing'rdquo;. Now, do thisfor me. Look at the cave wall. Now, put your finger next to your right eye and gently move the eyeball and tell me what you see.
Bodhidharma: What does this tell you?
Bodhidharma: Hui-k'o, please understand that I am not in the body you see before you. I am completely detached from it. Like a flame gone from its fuel, my whereabouts cannot be discerned--yet the image you see, teaches Dharma through this corporeal body. How wonderful! I am able to use this body, but not be used by it. Unlike the common lot of mankind who are used by the body's needs and as a result come into samsara, I come to rest in nirvana which is perfectly detached. Without further ado, take this Sutra and retire into the forest and study it for twenty or more years. Yes, master it my disciple.