Friday, April 8, 2011


by Scott Bradley

Ma-tsu (709-788) was a disciple of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch and author of The Platform Sutra, and was awakened when Hui-neng asked him why he meditated. To become a Buddha, responded Ma-tsu. At this Hui-neng began to polish a brick with a stone, and when asked what he was doing, replied, making a mirror. How can you make a mirror from a brick, asked Ma-tsu. How can meditation make a Buddha, replied Hui-neng. With this, Ma-tsu was enlightened.

Judging from his subsequent teachings, what Ma-tsu realized at that moment was that he was already a Buddha. Here are a few quotes from that teaching:
"The grasping of the Truth is the function of everyday-mindedness. Everyday-mindedness is free from intentional action, free from concepts of right and wrong...All our daily activities -- walking, standing, sitting, lying down -- all response to situations, our dealings with circumstances as they arise: all is Tao."

"Those who seek for the Truth should realize that there is nothing to seek. There is no Buddha but Mind; there is no Mind but Buddha."

"Do not choose what is good, nor reject what is evil, but rather be free from purity and defilement. Then you will realize the emptiness of sin."
You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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