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When Shakyamuni transmitted the Zen school to his student Mahakasyapa, he said,
I have the treasury of the eye of the Correct Dharma,
The wondrous mind of nirvana,
The formless reality,
The subtle Dharma Gate,
The special trassnmission beyond the scriptural teachings which does not establish any verbal formulas:
This I entrust to Mahakasyapa.
The first Zen Patriarch in China, Bodhidharma, explained Zen as,
A special transmission outside the scriptures,
not relying on words or letters;
pointing directly to the human mind,
seeing true nature is becoming a Buddha.