Buddhism Seems to Be in China,
Yet It Really Is Not
At that time, the Buddhadharma seemed to exist
in China, but it really did not. It was as if it were and yet weren't
there. That is because the work being done was superficial. There were
few who recited Sutras, investigated the Sutra texts, or explained the
Sutras, and virtually no one bowed repentance ceremonies. Ordinary
scholars regarded Buddhism as a field of study and engaged in debates
and discussions about it. But the principles in the Sutras
should be cultivated! However, nobody was cultivating. Why not?
afraid of suffering. No one truly meditated. Well, there was Venerable
Patriarch Zhi, who practiced meditation and attained the Five Eyes.
But most people feared suffering and didn't cultivate. No one
seriously investigated Chan and sat in meditation, just like you
people now who sit in meditation for a while until your legs begin to
hurt. When their legs began to ache, they would wince and fidget and
then gently unbend and rub them. People are just people and everyone
avoids suffering as much as possible. That's the way it was then;
that's the way it is now. That's called Buddhadharma seeming to be
there but not really being there.