Posted by: Wei Yu


Here's another passage that Thusness told me to post - this is by Yuan Yin Lao Ren (元音老人). A well known teacher in China with tens of thousands of students who received his teachings, he belongs to a Vajrayana lineage but teaches Mahamudra, Dzogchen, Zen, and Pure Land alike. He transmits the "Heart of Mind's Centre" (心中心) Dharma, and tantric practices involving mudras and mantras. He passed away peacefully into Nirvana in 2000 at the age of 96 in a sitting posture, as predicted by himself five years earlier.

A few excerpts with my translation based on http://club.fjdh.com/html/49/22649-191220.html

16问:什么是心中心法?

16th Question: What is the dharma of the "Heart of Mind's Centre"?



答:全名是“心中心又心”,即假心,真心,真假心都不可得的心,即证悟妙心。心中心法是大圆满法中的精髓,是中心的中心,是借假心打开真心,彻显妙心的无上大法。

Answer: The full name is "心中心又心" (not sure how to translate this), it is the mind whereby false and true minds are not obtainable, it is to attain realization of the marvellous mind. The dharma of the Heart of Mind's Centre is the quintessence of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). It is the Core of the Core, it borrows the false mind to open/reveal the true mind, revealing the supreme great dharma of marvellous mind.
 

75问:万法皆空,唯有佛性不空。这样的话,佛性与万物岂不看作二物了?

75th Question: The ten thousand dharmas are empty, only the Buddha-nature is not empty. With regards to such a saying, isn't that conceiving Buddha-nature and the ten thousand dharmas to be two things?



答:万物皆空,佛性不空是对初学佛人讲的;万法即佛性是对悟后人说的。二者不可混为一谈。 


Answer: Ten thousand dharmas are empty, Buddha-nature is not empty, such a saying is spoken to beginner Buddhists. That the ten thousand dharmas are Buddha-nature is spoken to realized beings. These two [sayings] should not be muddled up as one.



85问:不忘失本来,就是要在觉知上用功。做事时知是本性的妙用,无事时灵知觉性并不曾减少,自然就随时间因缘而成大道吗?

85th Question: Not forgetting the Original [nature], that is to be diligent/put in effort in the Knowing Awareness. When doing work, Knowing is original nature's marvellous activities, when there is no work, the essence of spirit/intelligent awareness has never decreased, does it naturally accomplish the Great Way in accordance with time and conditions?



答:不对!古人云:“但尽凡情,别无圣解”,你时时执在灵知性上,就是有所住着。须不着一切相,随缘起用才是。灵知觉性亦不可着。在觉知上用功更是大错。


Answer: Wrong! As the ancients say, "only exhausting mundane passion, there is no other sacred understanding". If you always attach onto the essence of spirit/intelligent knowingness, that is to have an attachment. One should be devoid of any attachments to images, and manifest activities according to conditions. Spirit/intelligent awareness cannot be attached to. To put in effort on that aware knowingness is an even greater error.


87问:要归无所得,一切皆了不可得。但是,空空然而有觉知的光景不是还在吗?若将此扫光,岂不断灭了?

87th Question: We should return to non-obtainability, everything is not obtainable. However, even in this state of vacuity, isn't there still a scene of Knowing Awareness? If we sweep away this Knowing Awareness, isn't that the same as annihilation?


答:不是将此灵觉扫光,而是不住此灵觉。以不住故,即无能觉与所觉,故归无所得也。有个觉知的光景,早不是了,还说什么空空然?


Answer: It's not about sweeping away spirit/intelligent awareness, it is about not being attached to this spirit/intelligent awareness. And on the basis of non-abiding, there is neither a subject that is being aware/a knower, nor an object of awareness, that is returning to non-obtainability. If there is still a "scene of awareness", that is already not it, what more about "vacuity"?
 
88问:这个无相的性体,尽管无相,但可以于无念时体会到它。是吗?

88th Question: With regards to this formless nature-substance, despite being formless as it is, nevertheless we can experience it in a state of thoughtlessness. Is that so?



答:不对!不仅于无念时体会,更须于作用事相上体会。因作用与事相皆是自性的显现,相即性,性即相,不可分离。若仅于无念时体会,岂不落死水一潭么?


Answer: Wrong! It is not just about experiencing it in a state of thoughtlessness, it is even more important to experience it in functions and events. This is because functions and events are the display of one's nature, appearance is nature, nature is appearance, it is inseparable. If it is only experienced in a state of thoughtlessness, isn't that to fall into a pool of dead water?


89问:古代禅师开悟偈中曾写到:“渠今正是我,我今不是渠。”又:“春到花香处处秀,山河大地是如来。”这不是空有不二的注脚吗?


89th Question: The ancient Ch'an masters wrote a poem of enlightenment that says, "It is now me, yet I am now not it", and furthermore: "When spring comes the scent of flowers permeates everywhere, mountains and rivers and the great earth are Buddha [the thus come one]". Isn't this a footnote on the non-duality of emptiness and form?

答:不可一概而论。上偈的“我今不是渠”,须认清宾主,不可儱侗颟顸认为是不二。当证体时,一物不立;但启用时,物物显现而不住。证体启用合起来即是“山河大地是如来”了。证体不是住在真如位上不动,死在那里,而是活泼妙用,应物随缘而无所住的。


Answer: We cannot lump different things together. In the poem above, "I am now not it", one should recognise clearly the host and guest, we cannot ignorantly and carelessly treat them as not two. When we have realized the essence, not one thing is established; when giving rise to functions, every phenomena manifest without abiding. Realizing the essence and giving rise to function combined together is "mountains, rivers and the great earth are the Thus Come One". Attaining the essence is not about abiding in the seat of True Suchness without movement, or to die/become rigid/inflexible at that place, instead it is lively, giving rise to marvellous activities, responding with phenomena according to conditions without a place of abidance.
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