Venerable Master: You
all should listen to the genuine Dharma. There is nothing to
say and nothing to discuss. One should contemplate thus.
Nothing can be said or talked about. The Living Buddha of
Gold Mountain was an old man, not a young one. If you prefer
young people, don't look for the Living Buddha of Gold
Mountain; you can seek the Living Buddha of Silver Mountain.
I wrote a verse for him [Note: A photograph of the Living
Buddha of Gold Mountain was hanging on the wall of Gold
Mountain Monastery]: "What seems like appearances really are
not; they have no dwelling. In the midst of dharmas, empty
them out; then what dharmas could there be?"
"What seems like appearances really are
not; they have no dwelling." The appearances you see are not
good appearances; don't get attached to them. If you do,
then the Buddha is no longer the Buddha. The Buddha has no
appearance, and thus he is neither defiled nor pure; he can
eat dirty things or clean things. He is not produced, not
destroyed, not defiled, not pure, not increasing, and not
decreasing. He has attained the state of not dwelling, that
is, of not having any attachments.
"In the midst of dharmas, empty them out;
then what dharmas could there be?" Right within dharmas, see
them as empty. What's so special about them? They are no big
deal, nothing to get upset about. Once you attain the state
of the mind sealing the mind, then as long as you yourself
feel qualified, it's okay. However, you must truly attain
it. Attain what? I don't know either. This is: "Three
sentences, six sentences, not a single sentence."
He summoned, dismissed, and
summoned the assembly again. After he summoned
them, he drove them away, and then called them back again.
What was he up to? Wasn't he stirring up trouble for no
reason? Wasn't he making a hassle just for the sake of it?
However, if you understand, then this is just where it's at.
Those are the first two lines. The next line says:
What is it? What is it? Break false attachments.
People all like to ask, "What is it?" Whenever they see
something, they say, "What is it? What is it? " Actually, it
is nothing. "What is it?" "How do I know?" "If you knew, why
would you ask me? If I knew, why would I tell you? " There
are words, but they have no real meaning. Once they are
spoken, there is nothing to them. That's why we say, "Who is
mindful of the Buddha? Who is mindful of the Buddha?" How do
we know who it is? How do we know if it's a ghost or a
Buddha? Although we don't know, we use this method of
"fighting poison with poison" in order to find what is true.
When the false ceases, the true is gone as well. That's why
we say, "What is it? What is it?" What are we doing? We are
breaking our false attachments, the attachments of our false
thinking. Once we break them, what is left? Originally there
is nothing; where can the dust alight? Since there is
nothing at all, there's no need to ask So the next line
says: Good indeed! Good indeed! You are
terrific! You're wonderful! You've returned to the
Why didn't you speak earlier?
Why didn't you speak this wonderful Dharma earlier?
The time wasn't right. It was not time yet.
It can only be spoken when the time comes. If you speak
before the time comes, you are speaking at the wrong time.
If you speak when the conditions aren't ripe, then it
doesn't fit the situation. You have to wait till the time is
right to speak
When conditions ripened, he held
nothing back. When the conditions were ripe, he
shared everything he knew, and everyone understood. He laid
it all out in the open, holding nothing back.
Patriarchs past and present are
truly busy. Patriarchs of the past and present
basically have nothing to do, so they look for something to
occupy their time. Another way to explain it is to say that
they are extremely busy teaching and transforming living
Never shirking toil, suffering,
or trouble. They were not intimidated by toil or
hassle. In the most hopeless situation, they strove to save
living beings. They wanted to save even those who could not
be saved, and to accomplish impossible tasks. They insisted
on doing what could not be done. Even though they knew it
was hopeless, they still went ahead, not forsaking living
beings. They taught and transformed living beings, hoping to
accomplish what was as difficult as finding a needle in a
haystack or panning for gold in the sand.
This is probably how it is when the
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas teach and transform living beings.
Is it really the case? I'm merely giving you an explanation
from the perspective of an ordinary person who cannot fathom
the realm of sages. If you think my explanation accords with
the Way, then advance upon it. Otherwise, retreat from it.
If it is correct, then follow it. If it is wrong, then just
consider that I didn't say it and you didn't hear it.