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Do not hurt any sentient being either by body, speech or mind.
Today a thought came to my mind to study Nanyue's teaching - don't know why it came up, but this thought came up. So went to the website URL https://terebess.hu/zen/zen.html#1 and read Nanyue's webpage URL https://terebess.hu/zen/nanyue.html . Since it talks about Mazu, who was a student of Nanyue, so then I thought to read about Mazu's teachings and so I went to this URL https://terebess.hu/zen/mazu.html . Few days back I have read the above URL of Nanyue's teachings, but don't know why at that time it did not come to my mind to check what Mazu taught. But today after I read Nanyue's above URL, a thought came to my mind to check what Mazu taught, so I went to the above URL for Mazu, which has the insightful teachings of Mazu. Just copy-pasting some portion of it here, to read the complete teachings of Mazu, please go to the above URL.
A monk asked, “What is the cultivation of the Way?”The Patriarch replied, “The Way does not belong to cultivation. If one speaks of any attainment through cultivation, whatever is accomplished in that way is still subject to regress.”The monk also asked, “What kind of understanding should one have in order to comprehend the Way?”The Patriarch replied, “The self-nature is originally complete. If one only does not get hindered by either good or evil things, then that is a person who cultivates the Way. Grasping good and rejecting evil, contemplating sunyata and entering Samadhi-all of these belong to activity. If one seeks outside, one goes away from it. Just put an end to all mental conceptions in the three realms. If there is not a single thought, then one eliminates the root of birth and death and obtains the unexcelled treasury of the Dharma king. ...
The Patriarch said to the assembly, “The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is defilement. If one want to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way! What is meant by Ordinary Mind? No activity, no right or wrong, no grasping or rejecting, neither terminable nor permanent, without worldly or holy. The sutra says, ‘Neither the practice of ordinary people, nor the practice of sages, that is the Bodhisattva’s practice.’“Just like now, whether walking, standing, sitting, or reclining, responding to situations and dealing with people as they come: everything is the Way. “All dharmas are mind dharmas; all names are mind names. The myriad dharmas are all born from the mind; the mind is the root of the myriad dharmas. The sutra says, ‘It is because of knowing the mind and penetrating the original source that one is called a sramana. The names are equal, the meanings are equal: all dharmas are equal. They are all pure without mixing. If one attains to this teaching, then one is always free. If suchness is established, then everything is suchness. If the principle is established, then all dharmas are principle. If phenomena are established, then all dharmas are phenomena. When one is raised, thousands follow. The principle and phenomena are not different; everything is wonderful function, and there is no other principle. They all come from the mind. ...
I found the above teachings of Mazu insightful, so thought of sharing with you all.
May all sentient beings be peaceful, happy, safe, protected, healthy, strong, have ease of well-being and accept all the conditions of the world.
Yesterday came across Bankei's teachings in this web-page: https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/bankei.html
Copy-pasting an insightful portion from the above web-page for easy reading:
"No special practices
If one is truly natural and innocently spontaneous, the Unborn will appear.
As we have seen throughout this course, the idea of the Unborn or the Unborn Buddha Mind is a central theme running through Zen teachings. Bankei brought a fresh vitality to this by urging people not to see the Unborn as something to attain or even something to try to be. Rather, Bankei taught, the Unborn is already present, perfect and complete. It is, in fact, the core of one's being.
Instead of struggling to do or become something, one needs to cease struggling entirely. If one is truly natural and innocently spontaneous, the Unborn will appear. The key to realization is not some method or practice, however helpful these may be, but letting go of everything which is not the Unborn. This involves no special method as typically understood; it involves the total openness of one who has no presumed goal, intention, desire or wish. Letting go is possible because of the nature of the mind.
When your study
Of Buddhism is through
You haven't anything new.
Not attaching to any practice included Bankei's rejection of a narrow or formalized notion of zazen meditation. Bankei neither repudiated nor insisted upon zazen practice. Focus on a particular posture or concentration practice was beside the point.
As for zazen, since za (sitting) is the Buddha Mind's sitting at ease, whilst Zen (meditation) is another name for Buddha Mind, the Buddha Mind's sitting at ease is what is meant by zazen.
And meditation "shouldn't be limited to the time you sit meditating" in the meditation hall.
When you are abiding in the Unborn, all the time is zazen."
Heart Sutra doesn't really say there is nothing. True wisdom is found only when we decontruct all the things we think hold us and our lives together. There is still wisdom, however, once that happens. Prior to that, wisdom peeks through like a sun behind the clouds but it is clouded much of the time. The clouds being our belief systems, our ideas, our thoughts about what reality it and how we hold it together with all of our ideas and beliefs.
My understanding says that the Heart Sutra really says there is no thing - no suffering, no wisdom, no samsara and no nirvana - but this is from Ultimate Reality point of view. But from Conventional reality point of view - there is suffering, wisdom, samsara and nirvana.
My current understanding says: Even though Heart Sutra says there is no thing, but after all things are negated, may be there is still something, just that it cannot be called as a thing and may be this is what is called as suchness or just thisness of the present moment. So @karasti may be your understanding was correct.
I was reading the pdf file of The True Dharma Eye - Zen Master Dōgen’s 300 koans with commentary and verse by John Daido Loori and translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi and John Daido Loori. In this pdf file, the 17th koan is below:
Zen master Zhixian of Mount Xiangyan [Xideng] was bright in nature. Being at the assembly of Guishan, he was well learned and had extensive memory.
Guishan one day said to Xiangyan, “Everything you say is what you’ve memorized from commentaries. Now I am going to ask you a question. When you were an infant—before you could even distinguish east from west—at that time, how was it?”
Xiangyan spoke and presented his understanding, explaining the principle, but could not get approval. He went through the texts he had collected and studied, but he could not find an answer that would satisfy the master.
Deeply grieved and in tears, he burned all his books and commentaries. Then he said to himself, “I will never understand Zen in this lifetime. I will become a hermit monastic and enter a mountain and practice.”
Thus he entered Mount Wudang and built a hut near the grave site of National Teacher Nanyang. One day while he was sweeping the path, a pebble struck a stalk of bamboo and made a cracking sound. At that moment he suddenly had a great enlightenment experience. He wrote a poem expressing his understanding:
"One crack and all knowledge has dissolved.
The struggle is over.
I follow the ancient Way, not lapsing into doubt.
Dignified bearing and conduct
that is beyond sound and form;
no trace remains of my passing.
Those who have mastered the Way
call this the unsurpassable activity."
He presented this poem to Guishan, who said, “This fellow has penetrated it completely.”
I cannot become a monk, since I have a family and I have a contract job through which I earn money to take care of my family, but in whatever little time I get, if I remember to sit in zazen, then I can try to sit in zazen for that little time. I think it all comes down to suchness - just thisness of the present moment, which is just what is happening in here and now. That is why in Zen I think it is said when sit, just sit. When walk, just walk.