Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Huangbo Xiyun 黄檗希运

(Huangbo Xiyun, Huángbò Xīyùn, Obaku)

? - 850 CE

An uncompromising and fierce teacher, Huángbò often hit and shouted at his students including a future emperor of China. Though according to the Blue Cliff Record he was seven feet tall, very little is known about his personal life — unsurprising given his uncompromising disregard for conceptual thinking, his focus on egolessness and One Mind. Once when he told his students that in all of China there are no teachers of Zen, a student asked him how he could say that since he was teaching them. Huángbò answered, “I didn’t say there was no Zen, just no teachers.”

Eras

Sources

Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, John Blofeld translation

Unlisted Sources

Quotes by Huangbo Xiyun (27 quotes)

“Every single sight and sound is but the Buddha’s Eye of Wisdom.”

Chapters: 45. Complete Perfection

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“know that a sudden comprehension comes when the mind has been purged of all the clutter of conceptual and discriminatory thought-activity.”

Chapters: 55. Forever Young

Themes: Meditation

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“Knowing that in truth not a single thing exists which can be attained is called sitting is a bodhimandala… a state in which no concepts arise.”

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

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“The Bodhisattva’s mind is like the void, for he relinquishes everything… all action is dictated purely by place and circumstance, subjectivity and objectivity are forgotten... no hope of reward is entertained.”

Chapters: 51. Mysterious Goodness

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“The Mind is no mind of conceptual thought and it is completely detached from form. So Buddhas and sentient beings do not differ at all.”

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

Themes: Mind

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“those who seek for something objective outside their own minds have all turned their backs on the Way…Buddhas and sentient beings do not differ at all.”

Chapters: 39. Oneness

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“Develop a mind that rests on no thing whatsoever.”

Chapters: 27. No Trace

Themes: Mind

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“discard all you have acquired as being no better than a bed spread for you when you were sick.”

Chapters: 7. Lose Yourself, Gain Your Soul

Themes: Wealth

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“there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient being are attached to forms and so seek externally… By their very seeking they lose it.”

Chapters: 14. Finding and Following the Formless Form
64. Ordinary Mind

Themes: Ordinary Mind

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“Your Mind is the Buddha. The Buddha is Mind. Mind and Buddha are indivisible.”

Chapters: 16. Returning to the Root, Meditation

Themes: Mind

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“In these days people only seek to stuff themselves with knowledge… All you can call them is people who suffer from indigestion… All the concepts you have formed in the past must be discarded and replaced by void.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

Themes: Opinion

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“The Way is not something which can be studied. Study leads to retention of concepts and so the Way is entirely misunderstood… The first step is to refrain from knowledge-based concepts.”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

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“The ignorant avoid experience but not thought; the wise avoid thought but not experience.”

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

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“Every phenomenon that exists is a creation of thought; therefore I need but empty my mind to disover that all of them are void… all the Buddhas of the whole universe do not in fact possess the smallest perceptible attribute.”

Chapters: 25. The Mother of All Things
11. Appreciating Emptiness

Themes: Emptiness

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“…since you are fundamentally complete in every respect, you should not try to supplement that perfection by such meaningless practices… Only awake to the One Mind, and thre is nothing whatsoever to be attained.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Meaningfulness

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“You have always been one with the Buddha, so do not pretend you can attain to this oneness by various practices.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

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“The foolish reject what they see and not what they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see.”

from Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, John Blofeld translation

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

Themes: Non-Thought

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“People either neglect the root and focus on the branches or neglect the reality of the branches and focus only on realization.”

from Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, John Blofeld translation

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Reality

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“Chase it and it always eludes you; run from it and it is always there.”

from Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, John Blofeld translation

Chapters: 29. Not Doing

Themes: Paradox

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“Talking about ‘attaining enlightenment’ is the one of the best ways to drive true realization far away.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

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“The Mind is no other than the Buddha, and Buddha is no other than sentient being. When Mind assumes the form of sentient being, it has suffered no decrease; when it has become a Buddha, it has added nothing to itself.”

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“When you aren't either attached to or detached from, you enjoy perfect unobstructed freedom, the seat of enlightenment.”

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“When you fail to go beyond the world of thoughts and senses, your actions have no significance or meaning.”

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“When you are neither attached to, nor detached from your senses and thoughts, then you enjoy your perfect unobstructed freedom, then you have your seat of enlightenment.”

from Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, John Blofeld translation

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“Consider the sunlight. Follow it and, behold, it escapes you; run from it and it follows you close. You can neither possess it nor have done with it. From this example you can understand how it is with the true Nature of all things and, henceforth, there will be no need to grieve or to worry about such things.”

from Zen Teachings of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, John Blofeld translation

Themes: Impermanence

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“Here it is—right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it.”

Themes: Non-Thought

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“People are afraid to empty their minds fearing that they will be engulfed by the void. What they don't realize is that their own mind is the void.”

Themes: No Trace

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Quotes about Huangbo Xiyun (0 quotes)

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