The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Direct pointing to the human mind
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direct pointing to the human mind
直指人心 ( Jpn jikishi-ninshin )
Also expressed as "directly pointing to the human mind."
A common saying of the Zen school, attributed to Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Chinese Zen (Ch'an), that represents the school's essential doctrine.
It is the first part of a two-phrase saying, the second part of which is the phrase "perceiving one's true nature and attaining Buddhahood."
A four-phrase saying, in which those two phrases are combined with another two, reads, "[The Zen teaching represents] a separate transmission outside the sutras, independent of words or writing;
it points directly to the human mind, and enables one to perceive one's true nature and attain Buddhahood."
When each phrase is quoted independently, the translation often differs slightly.
This describes the teaching of the Zen school that enlightenment is not achieved through scriptural or doctrinal study, but by directly beholding and penetrating the true nature of the mind through seated meditation (zazen ).
In this way, one realizes that the true nature of one's mind is the Buddha nature and thereby attains enlightenment.