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Zen queries

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran

Hi All,
In the teachings of earlier Chan masters, which can be found at URL: , I am finding two words - principle and phenomena. Can somebody please tell what these two words mean in Chan or Zen teachings? Thanks.


  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran UK Veteran

    Could you maybe quote a passage where they’re used? Then at least if we don’t know, we can all have a bit of a guess.

    Spoiler alert: I won’t know =)

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited March 2019

    In the teachings of Mazu, the above 2 words are mentioned. Does anybody know of any text, which tells about what practices were done by some Chan masters before their enlightenment - specifically those Chan masters whose awakening happened during a conversation with their teachers or during incidents like a sound produced by a pebble striking a bamboo? Thanks.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    Spoiler alert: I won’t know =)

    Neither will the rest of us :wink:

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Perhaps the following translation of Mazu by Thomas Cleary may be of help...


    Delusion and Enlightenment
    Delusion means you are not aware of your own fundamental mind; enlightenment means you realize your own fundamental essence. Once enlightened, you do not become deluded anymore. If you understand mind and objects, then false conceptions do not arise; when false conceptions do not arise, this is the acceptance of the beginninglessness of things. You have always had it, and you have it now - there is no need to cultivate the Way and sit in meditation.


    The Mind
    All phenomena are mental; all labels are labeled by the mind. All phenomena arise out of mind; mind is the root of all phenomena. A sutra says, 'When you know mind and arrive at its root source, in that sense you may be called a devotee.

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