Bloodstream Sermon


by Bodhidharma

Everything that gives rise in the three realms comes from the mind. Buddhas transmit mind to mind throughout time, beginningless and endless, without bothering with words.

But if they don’t use words, how can they define mind? That’s your mind asking. When I answer, that’s my mind. If I had no mind, how could I answer? If you had no mind, how could you ask?

Throughout beginningless and endless kalpas, wherever you are, whatever you do, it’s your primordial mind, your inherent buddha.

The mind is the buddha. Beyond this mind, you’ll never find another buddha. To search for enlightenment or nirvana outside this mind is pointless, insane and impossible. The nature of the self, your innermost mind, is neither cause nor effect. The dharma is what’s meant by mind. The innermost nature of mind is nirvana. If you try to find buddha nature or enlightenment elsewhere other than the mind, you won’t find it.

Where is enlightenment or buddha in this mind, you might ask? Trying to locate it would be like trying to grasp space. Space may have a name, yet it has no form. It is not something you can grab or release. Beyond this mind you’ll never get to see a buddha. Buddha gives rise in your mind.

What all buddhas of the past and future ever talk about, is this mind. The mind is buddha, and buddha is the mind. Beyond this mind there is no buddha. Beyond buddha there is no mind. If you say there’s buddha beyond this mind, show me where it is? Since there is nothing outside the mind, why delude yourself? You can never truly know your real mind if you keep on deceiving yourself. Being entrapped by forms and illusions, you’re never free. It must be a helpless situation. Buddha has nothing to do with it. It is your deluded mind prevents you from realizing that your own mind is buddha. If only you could see you own mind is buddha, you wouldn’t look for a buddha outside the mind.

Buddha doesn’t enlighten buddha. If you use your mind to look for a buddha, you won’t see one. Buddha doesn’t worship buddha either. And don’t use your mind to invoke buddha either. Buddha doesn’t recite sutras. Neither does buddha keep precepts or break precepts. Simply, buddha doesn’t keep or break anything, doesn’t do good or evil.

To find a buddha, you have to realize your nature. Once you see your nature, you are a buddha. It is useless to just invoking the names of buddhas if you don’t see your nature. And it is the same with reciting sutras, making offerings, or keeping precepts. Invoking the names of buddhas may bring about good karma, while reciting sutras gives you better understanding, making offerings leads to future blessings, and keeping precepts results in good rebirth – but you still don’t get to see the buddha, as long as you don’t see your own nature.

If you can’t realize it by yourself, you’ll have to find a teacher. Be sure to find one who has realized his/her own nature. A person who never sees their own nature isn’t qualified to be a teacher. Even if you can recite the Twelvefold Canon, you are still entrapped in samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Death, suffering in the three realms endlessly.

Once upon a time, a monk named Good Star was able to recite the entire Sutras, yet he couldn’t escape the Wheel, because he never realized his nature. If this was the case with someone as well-learned as Good Star, then nowadays those who recite only a few sutras and consider themselves enlightened ones are fooling themselves. It’s useless reciting sutras without seeing your mind.

If you want to find buddha, the only thing you need to do is seeing your mind. The nature of your mind is buddha. A buddha is free and at ease. Free of plans, free of calculations, free of strives. If you don’t go inward to realize your nature, but running around all day seeking it outwardly, you’ll never succeed. Although ultimately you will see there is nothing to find – to reach such a perfect understanding, you need to have a legitimate teacher and practice diligently. The matter of life and death is the only thing that matters. Don’t spend this lifetime in vain. Don’t live in self-deception. You may be materially rich, having mountains of jewels and rivers of helpers, but you should realize that they are only illusion – at the moment of death when you finally shut your eyes and wake up from the dream, what is to be found?

If you don’t feel the urgency to find a teacher and study hard, you’ll pass this lifetime empty-handed. Although you are born with the buddha-nature, without the help of a genuine teacher you’ll never realize it. Only one in a million might become enlightened without help.

If you happen to be someone who is blessed with an innate realization superior to anything that can be taught, then you don’t have to find a teacher. Otherwise, be humble and by all means study hard.

There are deluded people who can’t tell white from black, yet they are unwilling to learn, and they even start teaching others. They proclaim that they are spreading the Buddha Dharma, while in fact they are blaspheming the Buddha and the Dharma. They talk eloquently, like the rain going nonstop, but their preaching is of devils, not of buddhas. Such ‘teacher’ is the King of Devils, and their followers are the Devil’s minions. They are bringing their followers to sink further into the Samsara of Birth and Death. It is all because they are not yet buddhas themselves, however they call themselves buddhas.

They commit the biggest sin by being a liar, deceiving others into further illusion and confusion. As long as they haven’t realized their own true mind, their preaching of the Twelvefold Canon is unhelpful, merely the preaching of devils. Without the wisdom gained through seeing one’s own nature, the teachers and their followers are doomed to repeat the cycles of birth and death.

Anyone who sees their own nature is a buddha; whoever doesn’t is a mortal. However, you can’t find your buddha-nature elsewhere away from your mortal nature; our mortal nature is our buddha-nature. Beyond the mind there’s no buddha. Buddha is your nature. There’s no buddha other than this nature, and there’s no nature other than buddha.

Suppose I don’t see my nature, can’t I still attain enlightenment through invoking the names of buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, observing precepts, practicing devotions and doing charity works? No, you can’t.

Why not? Because if you attain anything at all through those ways, it would be conditional and karmic, which results in retribution, still being subject to birth and death. To attain enlightenment, you have to see your nature. Unless you see your nature, all the theory about cause and effect is nonsense. Buddhas don’t practice nonsense. A buddha is liberated from karma, free of cause and effect. It is impossible for a buddha to hold on to any intention, any action, any thought, or any view. To say a buddha strives for anything is to slander a buddha. A buddha isn’t dualistic. The nature of a buddha’s mind is empty, neither pure nor impure, therefore no cause nor effect.

A buddha doesn’t observe precepts either. A buddha doesn’t do good or evil. A buddha is neither hardworking nor being lazy. A buddha does nothing, not even plans to be a buddha. A buddha is not a buddha. Don’t even name a buddha as buddha. If you don’t know what I am talking about right here right now, you don’t see your own mind.

People who don’t see their own mind but try to practice thoughtlessness all the time are fools. They merely fall into mindlessness, not mindfulness. They’re like drunks, can’t tell good from bad. If you intend to achieve the state of thoughtlessness, you have to see your mind first, only then you can put an end to mundane concerns. It is impossible to attain enlightenment without seeing your nature.

Some people claim karma doesn’t exist, that since everything is empty, it isn’t wrong if you do bad things, therefore they commit all sorts of evil deeds. Such people fall into a hell of pitiful darkness with no foreseeable future of release. A wise person would not do this to themselves.

But if all the time a person’s every movement or non-movement is the mind, then why doesn’t one see this mind when one’s body dies? Because the mind is always present, you just don’t see it. But if the mind is right here, why don’t I see it? To answer your question, let me ask you this – do you ever dream? Yes, of course. When you dream, is that you? Yes, it’s me. And what you’re doing and saying in the dream – is it different from you? No, it isn’t.

It’s because this mind is your dharma body, and your dharma body is this mind. Throughout all the kalpas, beginningless and endless, this mind has remained the same. It has never lived or died, never appeared or disappeared, never increased or decreased. It is neither pure nor impure, neither good nor evil, neither becoming nor leaving, neither true nor false, neither male nor female, neither monk nor layperson, neither old nor young, neither sage nor fool, neither buddha nor mortal.

And it strives for no realization, nor does it suffer karma. It has neither caliber nor form. It is like space – you can’t grasp at it, neither can you lose it. Its movements can’t be blocked by walls, mountains or rivers. It can freely penetrate the Mountain of Five Skandhas and cross the River of Samsara with ease. No karma can restrain this dharma body.

But this mind is very subtle, extremely elusive. It is not the same as the sensual mind. Everyone longs for catching a glimpse of this innermost true nature of the mind. There are as many people as the grains of sand along the Ganges who move their hands and feet chasing its light in vain. When you ask them about it, they can’t explain exactly what it is. They’re born with it, it’s theirs to use all along, why is it so difficult?

The Buddha said all sentient beings are deluded. When they act out of their delusions, they fall into the River of Endless Rebirth. When they try to get out, they sink even further. It’s all because they don’t see the true nature of their mind. Deluded people don’t know who they are, and they don’t see what is right in front of them. Only the wise know this mind. This mind is called dharma-nature, liberation, the Unstoppable Tathagata, the Incomprehensible, the Sacred Self, the Immortal, or the Great Sage. Its names may vary but not its essence. Buddhas vary too, but none is ever separate from one’s own mind.

The mind has unlimited capacity. The mind has inexhaustible manifestations. When your eyes see forms (or your ears hear sounds, or your nose smells odors, or your tongue tastes flavors …), it is all due to your mind. Every movement or state comes from your mind. That’s why it’s said, “A buddha’s forms are infinite, and so is a buddha’s wisdom.”

The endless variety of forms comes from the mind. The mind has the ability to make distinctions and applications, which is part of the mind’s awareness. The mind has no form itself and its awareness has no limit.

Troubles come from our material body of the four elements (earth. water. fire. air). A material body is subject to birth and death. While one’s dharma body exists without existing, just like a buddha’s body is beyond birth and death. The sutras say, “People should know that they are all born with the buddha-nature, which is something they forever have.”

Buddha-nature is one’s innermost mind. Our innermost mind is our true nature. This nature is the same as the mind of all buddhas. Buddhas of the past and future only transmit this mind. Beyond this mind there’s no buddha to find. Deluded people don’t realize that their own mind is the buddha. They keep searching outside. They are busy all the time, invoking the names of buddhas, worshipping buddhas, and wondering – where on earth is the buddha? Don’t indulge in such illusions. Just work on realizing your own mind. Beyond your own mind there’s no other buddha. The sutras say, “Everything that has form is an illusion.” And the sutras also say, “Wherever you are, there’s a buddha.” Your mind is the buddha. Buddha does not worship buddha.

In meditation, if a buddha or bodhisattva should suddenly appear before you, remember to maintain empty and unmoved. The true nature of mind is empty, entertaining no form whatsoever. A mind that holds onto appearances is deluded, falling from the right Path. Since the illusions (of buddhas or bodhisattvas) are born of the mind, why worship your own mind? People who worship don’t know; those who know don’t worship. If you insist to worship, you fall under the spell of devils. I put stress on this because I am afraid that you don’t know. The intrinsic nature of all buddhas has no form – keep this in mind. Even if something unusual should appear, neither embrace it nor fear it. At the appearance of spirits, demons, or divine beings, simply remember that the fundamental nature of your mind is empty. All appearances are illusions. Don’t hold on to anything.

If you give rise to any thought or view, envisioning buddhas or bodhisattvas, conceiving reverence for them, you relegate yourself to the realm of mortals. If you want to attain direct realization, never hold on to any appearance whatsoever. Apart from this, I have no other advice.

All appearances are illusions – they are impermanent, having no fixed reality, no constant form. Don’t cling to appearances, and thus you’ll be of one mind with the Buddha. The sutras say, “That which is free of all forms is the buddha.”

Then again, why shouldn’t we worship buddhas and bodhisattvas? Because devils and demons possess the power of manifestation. They can manifest as bodhisattvas in all sorts of guises. None of their manifests are true buddhas. The true buddha is your own mind. Don’t misdirect your worship.

The word buddha is Sanskrit meaning aware or awakened. Every movement or state of your body – perceiving, responding, arching your brows, blinking your eyes, waving your hands or shifting your feet – it is all your miraculously aware nature. This nature is the mind. The mind is the buddha. The buddha is the path. The path is Chan (Zen).

The word Zen remains a puzzle to both mortals and sages alike. Seeing your nature is Zen; otherwise, it is not Zen.

Even if you can explain thousands of sutras and shastras, as long as you haven’t seen your own nature, it is just the teaching of a mortal, not the teaching of a buddha. The true Way is subtle and sublime. It can’t be expressed in language. Of what use are scriptures? If you see your own nature, you instantly find the Way, even if you can’t read a word.

One who sees one’s nature is a buddha. A buddha’s body is intrinsically pure and unpolluted. Everything a buddha says is a direct expression of the buddha’s mind. Being fundamentally empty, a buddha has no use for words, let alone the Twelvefold Canon.

The Way is inherently perfect. It doesn’t require perfecting or proving. The Way is subtle, formless and nameless. It is like when you drink water: you know how hot or cold it is, but you can’t describe it precisely to others. Only a buddha knows, all men and gods alike are unaware. Mortals are ignorant, that’s why they cling to forms. As long as they remain attached to appearances, they don’t realize that the nature of their mind is empty. By clinging to the appearance of things, they lose the Way.

Once you realize that everything comes from the mind, you won’t remain attached. As long as you are still attached, you haven’t truly realized. Once you see your own nature, the entire Twelvefold Canon becomes merely prose. Its thousands of sutras and shastras are only fingers pointing to a clear mind. Once you attain realization in midsentence, what good are the rest of the doctrines?

The ultimate Truth is beyond language. Doctrines are just words, not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions, not different from the things you see in your dreams at night. Even if you see palaces, carriages, forests, lakes, pavilions in your dream, don’t get carried away. Never conceive any delight for such things – they only lead to rebirth. Keep this in mind when you approach death. Don’t cling to appearances, then you’ll be able to break through all barriers. A moment’s hesitation will put you under the spell of devils.

Your dharma body is empty and impervious. However, you’re unaware of it because of delusions. Therefore, you suffer karma in vain for countless kalpas. Wherever you find delight, you find bondage. Once you awaken to your primordial mind and original body, you are no longer bound by attachments.

If you give up the transcendent for the mundane, in any of its myriad forms, you are a mortal. A buddha finds freedom in both the transcendent and the mundane; no karma can hinder a buddha. No matter what kind of karma shows up, a buddha transforms it. Heaven or Hell has no difference to a buddha, whose enlightened mind penetrates everything, inside and out. While the obscured mind of a mortal is cloudy and dim.

If you can’t see clearly, don’t do anything. Once you act, you wander through birth and death, having no refuge. Poverty and hardship are created by false thinking. If you can see your own mind and act without acting, you will then see things from a buddha’s perspective.

As a beginner on the Path, you may find it difficult to focus your mind. If you see all sorts of strange scenes in your dreams, just remember that they all come from your own mind and nowhere else. If one day, as in a dream you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end, and the nature of reality will reveal itself. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment. But this is something only you know. You can’t explain it to others.

Or while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in somewhere quiet, you may see a light – it’s the light of your own nature. No matter how bright or how dim it is, neither tell others about it, nor focus on it.

Or while you’re walking, standing, sitting or lying in the darkness of night, everything around appears as though in daylight, don’t be startled. It’s your own mind about to reveal itself.

Or while you’re dreaming at night, you see the moon and stars in all their clarity – it means the working of your mind are about to end. Don’t tell others. Or maybe your dreams aren’t clear, as if you’re walking in the dark – it’s because your mind is still obscured by worries and attachments. This too is something only you know.

If you see the nature of your mind, you don’t need to read sutras or invoke the names of buddhas. Erudition and knowledge are not only useless but also cloud your awareness. Doctrines are only fingers pointing to the mind. Once you see your mind, why pay attention to the fingers?

To go from mortal to buddha, you have to put an end to karma, focus on nurturing pure awareness, meanwhile accept whatever life brings. If you get angry, you turn your nature against the Way. Buddhas move freely through birth and death, appearing and disappearing at will. Karmas or devils can’t do anything to them.

Once mortals see their mind, all attachment ends. Your mind doesn’t go on hiding, but you can only find it when you are mindful. It is right here right now. If you really want to see it, don’t hold on to anything. Just put an end to karma and nurture your awareness. All remaining attachment will cease to exist. Realization comes naturally. You don’t have to struggle or strive.

Fanatics are always striving. The harder they try, the farther they stray away from the Buddha’s teaching. All day long they invoke buddhas and read sutras, while remaining blind to their own divine nature. They don’t get to escape the Wheel this way.

A buddha is free and idle. A buddha doesn’t run after fortune or fame. What good are those things in the end? Unenlightened people think acquiring knowledge is practicing the Dharma, but they are blaspheming the Dharma. All buddhas of the past and future only talk about seeing the nature of mind. All practices are provisional. Unless you see your own nature, otherwise you are a liar claiming you have attained enlightenment.

Ananda was the most knowledgeable among Shakyamuni’s ten greatest disciples, but he didn’t know the Buddha. All he did was study and memorize. Arhats don’t know the Buddha either. They are just busy with so many practices that they become trapped by cause and effect. Such is a mortal’s karma: no freedom from birth and death.

Heaven and Hell are right before your eyes. Fools don’t believe it and fall straight into a hell of endless darkness without even knowing it. What keeps them from believing is the heaviness of karma. They’re like the blind who don’t believe there’s such a thing as light. In ignorance they can’t either live or die. Despite their sufferings, they say they’re as happy as gods. All mortals are likewise ignorant, including those who think themselves wellborn. Due to the heaviness of their karma, such fools can neither believe nor can they get freed.

Even if you don’t shave your head, you are a buddha as long as you realize that your mind is the buddha. People who shave their head but never see their nature are merely fanatics.

Another question – if married laymen don’t give up sex, can they still become buddhas? Once you see your nature, sex is insignificant. It ends along with your delight in it. Even if some habit remains, it doesn’t matter anymore, since your nature is essentially empty. Despite dwelling in a material life of four elements, your nature is fundamentally pure. It cannot be corrupted. Your real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirst, no warmth or cold, no ill or sickness, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no lack or excess, no weakness or strength – there is simply nothing. It’s only because you cling to this material body that things appear.

Once you stop clinging, just let things be, then you are free even of birth and death. You’ll transform everything. You’ll have unobstructed spiritual powers. You’ll be at peace wherever you are. If you doubt this, you can never see through anything. You’re better off doing nothing. Once you act, you can’t avoid the cycle of birth and death. But once you see the nature of your mind, you’re a buddha even if you work as a butcher.

But butchers create karma by slaughtering animals. How can they be buddhas? Once you see your nature, karma has no hold on you. It’s only because people never see their own nature throughout beginningless and endless kalpas, that they end up in hell. As long as you don’t see your own nature, you keep repeating the cycles of birth and death. Once you realize your original face, you stop creating karma, and thus you’re freed from the cycle. If you don’t see your nature, invoking the names of buddhas won’t release you from your karma, whether you’re a butcher or not. Once you realize your true nature, all doubts vanish. Even a butcher’s karma has no effect on an enlightened person.

Before me, the twenty-seven patriarchs in India only transmitted the imprint of the mind. The only reason I’ve come to China is to transmit the instantaneous teaching of the Mahayana – that this mind is the buddha. I don’t talk about precepts, devotions, ascetic practices such as immersing yourself in water or fire, treading a wheel of knives, eating one meal a day, or never lying down. Those are provisional teachings. Once you recognize the inconceivable nature of your mind, yours is the mind of all buddhas. All buddhas of the past and future only talk about transmitting this mind. They teach nothing else. As long as he gets this point, even an illiterate is a buddha.

Buddha is your real body, your original mind, which has no form, no character, no cause, no effect, no tendons, no bones. It is just like space. You can’t grasp it. It is not the mind of materialist or nihilist. No mortal or deluded being can fathom it. Only buddhas know it.

But this mind isn’t somewhere outside the material body of four elements. We can’t move without this mind. Without this mind the body has no awareness by itself. Like a grass or a stone, the body has no consciousness without this mind. So how does it move? It is the mind that moves.

Perception and conception, language and movement – they are all functions of the mind. Even so, the mind neither moves nor functions, because essentially its functioning is emptiness and emptiness is essentially motionless.

Therefore, the sutras tell us to move without moving, to travel without traveling, to see without seeing, to laugh without laughing, to hear without hearing, to know without knowing, to be happy without being happy, to walk without walking, to stop without stopping. The sutras say, “Stop talking and thinking. Seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing are essentially empty.” Your anger, delight, pain or itch are as empty as that of a wooden puppet – you can search all over, but you won’t find anything.

The sutras also say, “Bad deeds result in hardships, good deeds bring about blessings; resentful people go to hell, joyful people go to heaven. But if you know that the nature of anger and joy is both empty, and you don’t hold on to any, you free yourself from karma.” However, if you don’t see your own nature, quoting sutras is no help. I could go on, but let’s end it here.


達摩祖師血脈論

渝州華嚴寺沙門釋宗鏡校刻

三界混起,同歸一心。前佛後佛,以心傳心,不立文字。問曰:若不立文字,以何為心?答曰:汝問吾即是汝心,吾答汝即是吾心。吾若無心因何解答汝?汝若無心因何解問吾?問吾即是汝心,從無始曠大劫以來,乃至施為運動一切時中,一切處所,皆是汝本心,皆是汝本佛。即心是佛,亦復如是。除此心外,終無別佛可得;離此心外覓菩提涅槃無有是處。自性真實非因非果。法即是心義,自心是涅槃。若言心外有佛及菩提可得,無有是處。佛及菩提皆在何處?譬如有人以手提虛空得否?虛空但有名,亦無相貌;取不得、捨不得,是捉空不得。除此心外,見佛終不得也。佛是自心作得,因何離此心外覓佛?前佛後佛只言其心,心即是佛,佛即是心;心外無佛,佛外無心。若言心外有佛,佛在何處?心外既無佛,何起佛見?遞相誑惑,不能了本心,被它無情物攝,無自由。若也不信,自誑無益。佛無過患,眾生顛倒,不覺不知自心是佛。若知自心是佛,不應心外覓佛。佛不度佛,將心覓佛不識佛。但是外覓佛者,盡是不識自心是佛。亦不得將佛禮佛,不得將心念佛。佛不誦經,佛不持戒,佛不犯戒,佛無持犯,亦不造善惡。若欲覓佛,須是見性,見性即是佛。若不見性,念佛誦經持齋持戒亦無益處。念佛得因果,誦經得聰明,持戒得生天,布施得福報,覓佛終不得也。若自己不明了,須參善知識,了卻生死根本。若不見性,即不名善知識。若不如此縱說得十二部經,亦不免生死輪迴,三界受苦,無出期時。昔有善星比丘,誦得十二部經,猶自不免輪迴,緣為不見性。善星既如此,今時人講得三五本經論以為佛法者,愚人也。若不識得自心,誦得閑文書,都無用處。若要覓佛,直須見性。性即是佛,佛即是自在人,無事無作人。若不見性,終日茫茫,向外馳求,覓佛元來不得。雖無一物可得,若求會亦須參善知識,切須苦求,令心會解。生死事大,不得空過,自誑無益。縱有珍饈如山,眷屬如恆河沙,開眼即見,合眼還見麼?故知有為之法,如夢幻等。若不急尋師,空過一生。然即佛性自有,若不因師,終不明了。不因師悟者,萬中希有。若自己以緣會合,得聖人意,即不用參善知識。此即是生而知之,勝學也。若未悟解,須勤苦參學,因教方得悟。若未悟了,不學亦得。不同迷人,不能分別皂白,妄言宣佛敕,謗佛忌法。如斯等類,說法如雨,盡是魔說,即非佛說。師是魔王,弟子是魔民,迷人任它指揮,不覺墮生死海。但是不見性人,妄稱是佛。此等眾生,是大罪人,誑它一切眾生,令入魔界。若不見性,說得十二部經教,盡是魔說。魔家眷屬,不是佛家弟子。既不辨皂白,憑何免生死。若見性即是佛,不見性即是眾生。若離眾生性,別有佛性可得者,佛今在何處?即眾生性,即是佛性也。性外無佛,佛即是性;除此性外,無佛可得,佛外無性可得。問曰:若不見性,念佛誦經布施持戒精進,廣興福利,得成佛否?答曰:不得。又問:因何不得?答曰:有少法可得,是有為法,是因果、是受報、是輪迴法,不免生死,何時得成佛道。成佛須是見性。若不見性,因果等語,是外道法。若是佛不習外道法。佛是無業人,無因果,但有少法可得,盡是謗佛,憑何得成。但有住著一心一能一解一見,佛都不許。佛無持犯,心性本空,亦非垢淨。諸法無修無證,無因無果。佛不持戒,佛不修善,佛不造惡,佛不精進,佛不懈怠,佛是無作人。但有住著心,見佛即不許也。佛不是佛,莫作佛解。若不見此義,一切時中,一切處處,皆是不了本心。若不見性,一切時中擬作無作想,是大罪人,是癡人,落無記空中;昏昏如醉人,不辨好惡。若擬修無作法,先須見性,然後息緣慮。若不見性得成佛道,無有是處。有人撥無因果,熾然作惡業,妄言本空,作惡無過;如此之人,墮無間黑暗地獄,永無出期。若是智人,不應作如是見解。

問曰:既若施為運動,一切時中皆是本心;色身無常之時,云何不見本心?答曰:本心常現前,汝自不見!

問曰:心既見在,何故不見?師曰:汝曾作夢否?答:曾作夢。問曰:汝作夢之時,是汝本身否?答:是本身。又問:汝言語施為運動與汝別不別?答曰:不別。師曰:既若不別,即此身是汝本法身;即此法身是汝本心。此心從無始曠大劫來,與如今不別;未曾有生死,不生不滅。不增不減,不垢不淨,不好不惡,不來不去;亦無是非、亦無男女相、亦無僧俗老少、無聖無凡;亦無佛、亦無眾生、亦無修證、亦無因果、亦無筋力、亦無相貌;猶如虛空,取不得、捨不得,山河石壁不能為礙;出沒往來,自在神通;透五蘊山,渡生死河;一切業拘此法身不得。此心微妙難見,此心不同色心,此心是人皆欲得見。於此光明中運手動足者,如恆河沙,及乎問著,總道不得,猶如木人相似,總是自己受用,因何不識?佛言一切眾生,盡是迷人,因此作業,墮生死河,欲出還沒,只為不見性。眾生若不迷,因何問著其中事,無有一人得會者,自家運手動足因何不識?故知聖人語不錯,迷人自不會曉。故知此難明,惟佛一人能會此法;餘人天及眾生等,盡不明了。若智慧明了,此心號名法性,亦名解脫。生死不拘,一切法拘它不得,是名大自在王如來;亦名不思議,亦名聖體,亦名長生不死,亦名大仙。名雖不同,體即是一。聖人種種分別,皆不離自心。心量廣大,應用無窮,應眼見色,應耳聞聲,應鼻嗅香,應舌知味,乃至施為運動,皆是自心。一切時中但有語言道斷,即是自心。故云如來色無盡,智慧亦復然。色無盡是自心,心識善能分別一切,乃至施為運用,皆是智慧。心無形相,智慧亦無盡。故云如來色無盡,智慧亦復然。四大色身,即是煩惱,色身即有生滅,法身常住無所住,如來法身常不變異故。經云:眾生應知,佛性本自有之。迦葉只是悟得本性,本性即是心,心即是性,性即此同諸佛心。前佛後佛只傳此心,除此心外,無佛可得。顛倒眾生不知自心是佛,向外馳求,終日忙忙;念佛禮佛,佛在何處?不應作如是等見,但知自心,心外更無別佛。經云:凡所有相,皆是虛妄。又云:所在之處,即為有佛。自心是佛,不應將佛禮佛;但是有佛及菩薩相貌,忽爾見前,切不用禮敬。我心空寂,本無如是相貌,若取相即是魔,盡落邪道。若是幻從心起,即不用禮。禮者不知,知者不禮,禮被魔攝。恐學人不知,故作是辨。諸佛如來本性體上,都無如是相貌,切須在意。但有異境界切不用採括,亦莫生怕怖,不要疑惑,我心本來清淨,何處有如許相貌。乃至天龍夜叉鬼神帝釋梵王等相,亦不用心生敬重,亦莫怕懼;我心本來空寂,一切相貌皆是妄見,但莫取相。若起佛見法見,及佛菩薩等相貌,而生敬重,自墮眾生位中。若欲直會,但莫取一切相即得,更無別語。故經云:凡所有相,皆是虛妄。都無定實,幻無定相。是無常法,但不取相,合它聖意。故經云:離一切相,即名諸佛。

問曰:因何不得禮佛菩薩等?答曰:天魔波旬阿修羅示見神通,皆作得菩薩相貌。種種變化,是外道,總不是佛。佛是自心,莫錯禮拜。佛是西國語,此土云覺性。覺者靈覺,應機接物,揚眉瞬目,運手動足,皆是自己靈覺之性。性即是心,心即是佛,佛即是道,道即是禪。禪之一字,非凡聖所測。又云:見本性為禪。若不見本性,即非禪也。假使說得千經萬論,若不見本性,只是凡夫,非是佛法。至道幽深,不可話會,典教憑何所及。但見本性,一字不識亦得。見性即是佛,聖體本來清淨,無有雜穢。所有言說,皆是聖人從心起用。用體本來空,名言猶不及,十二部經憑何得及。道本圓成,不用修證。道非聲色,微妙難見。如人飲水,冷暖自知,不可向人說也。唯有如來能知,餘人天等類,都不覺知。凡夫智不及,所以有執相。不了自心本來空寂,妄執相及一切法即墮外道。若知諸法從心生,不應有執,執即不知。若見本性,十二部經總是閑文字。千經萬論只是明心,言下契會,教將何用?至理絕言;教是語詞,實不是道。道本無言,言說是妄。若夜夢見樓閣宮殿象馬之屬,及樹木叢林池亭如是等相;不得起一念樂著,盡是托生之處,切須在意。臨終之時,不得取相,即得除障。疑心瞥起,即魔攝。法身本來清淨無受,只緣迷故,不覺不知,因茲故妄受報。所以有樂著,不得自在。只今若悟得本來身心,即不染習。若從聖入凡,示見種種雜類,自為眾生,故聖人逆順皆得自在,一切業拘它不得。聖成久有大威德,一切品類業,被它聖人轉,天堂地獄無奈何它。凡夫神識昏昧,不同聖人,內外明徹。若有疑即不作,作即流浪生死,後悔無相救處。貧窮困苦皆從妄想生,若了是心,遞相勸勉,但無作而作,即入如來知見。初發心人,神識總不定;若夢中頻見異境,輒不用疑,皆是自心起故,不從外來。夢若見光明出現,過於日輪,即餘習頓盡,法界性見。若有此事,即是成道之因。唯自知,不可向人說。或靜園林中行住坐臥,眼見光明,或大或小,莫與人說,亦不得取,亦是自性光明。或夜靜暗中行住坐臥,眼睹光明,與晝無異,不得怪,並是自心欲明顯。或夜夢中見星月分明,亦自心諸緣欲息,亦不得向人說。夢若昏昏,猶如陰暗中行,亦是自心煩惱障重,亦自知。若見本性,不用讀經念佛,廣學多知無益,神識轉昏。設教只為標心;若識心,何用看教?若從凡入聖,即須息業養神,隨分過日。若多瞋恚,令性轉與道相違,自賺無益。聖人於生死中,自在出沒,隱顯不定,一切業拘它不得。聖人破邪魔,一切眾生但見本性,餘習頓滅。神識不昧,須是直下便會,只在如今。欲真會道,莫執一切法;息業養神,餘習亦盡。自然明白,不假用功。外道不會佛意,用功最多;違背聖意,終日驅驅念佛轉經,昏於神性,不免輪迴,佛是閑人,何用驅驅廣求名利,後時何用?但不見性人,讀經念佛,長學精進;六時行道,長坐不臥;廣學多聞,以為佛法。此等眾生,盡是謗佛法人。前佛後佛,只言見性。諸行無常。若不見性,妄言我得阿耨菩提,此是大罪人。十大弟子阿難多聞中得第一,於佛無識只學多聞,二乘外道皆無識佛,識數修證,墮在因果中。是眾生業報,不免生死,遠背佛意,即是謗佛眾生,殺卻無罪過。經云:闡提人不生信心,殺卻無罪過。若有信心,此人是佛位人。若不見性,即不用取次謗它良善,自賺無益。善惡歷然,因果分明。天堂地獄只在眼前,愚人不信,現墮黑暗地獄中;亦不覺不知,只緣業重故,所以不信。譬如無目人,不信道有光明,縱向伊說亦不信,只緣盲故,憑何辨得日光;愚人亦復如是。現今墮畜生雜類,誕在貧窮下賤,求生不得,求死不得。雖受是苦,直問著亦言我今快樂,不異天堂。故知一切眾生,生處為樂,亦不覺不知。如斯惡人,只緣業障重故,所以不能發信心者,不自由它也。若見自心是佛,不在剃除鬚髮,白衣亦是佛。若不見性,剃除鬚髮,亦是外道。

問曰:白衣有妻子,婬欲不除,憑何得成佛?答曰:只言見性不言婬欲。只為不見性;但得見性,婬欲本來空寂,自爾斷除,亦不樂著,縱有餘習,不能為害。何以故?性本清淨故。雖處在五蘊色身中,其性本來清淨,染污不得。法身本來無受,無飢無渴,無寒熱,無病,無恩愛,無眷屬,無苦樂,無好惡,無短長,無強弱,本來無有一物可得;只緣執有此色身,因即有飢渴寒熱瘴病等相,若不執,即一任作。若於生死中得自在,轉一切法,與聖人神通自在無礙,無處不安。若心有疑,決定透一切境界不過。不作最好,作了不免輪迴生死。若見性,旃陀羅亦得成佛。

問曰:旃陀羅殺生作業,如何得成佛?答曰:只言見性不言作業。縱作業不同,一切業拘不得。從無始曠大劫來,只為不見性,墮地獄中,所以作業輪迴生死。從悟得本性,終不作業。若不見性,念佛免報不得,非論殺生命。若見性疑心頓除,殺生命亦不奈它何。自西天二十七祖,只是遞傳心印。吾今來此土,唯傳頓教大乘,即心是佛,不言持戒精進苦行。乃至入水火,登於劍輪,一食長坐不臥,盡是外道有為法。若識得施為運動靈覺之性,汝即諸佛心。前佛後佛只言傳心,更無別法。若識此法,凡夫一字不識亦是佛。若不識自己靈覺之性,假使身破如微塵,覓佛終不得也。佛者亦名法身,亦名本心,此心無形相,無因果,無筋骨,猶如虛空,取不得。不同質礙,不同外道。此心除如來一人能會,其餘眾生迷人不明了。此心不離四大色身中,若離是心,即無能運動。是身無知,如草木瓦礫。身是無性,因何運動。若自心動,乃至語言施為運動,見聞覺知,皆是動心動用。動是心動,動即其用。動用外無心,心外無動。動不是心,心不是動。動本無心,心本無動。動不離心,心不離動。動無心離,心無動離,動是心用,用是心動。動即心用,用即心動。不動不用,用體本空。空本無動,動用同心,心本無動。故經云:動而無所動,終日去來而未曾去,終日見而未曾見,終日笑而未曾笑,終日聞而未曾聞,終日知而未曾知,終日喜而未曾喜,終日行而未曾行,終日住而未曾住。故經云:言語道斷,心行處滅,見聞覺知,本自圓寂。乃至瞋喜痛癢何異木人,只緣推尋痛癢不可得。故經云:惡業即得苦報,善業即有善報,不但瞋墮地獄,喜即生天。若知瞋喜性空,但不執即業脫。若不見性,講經決無憑,說亦無盡。略標邪正如是,不及一二也。

頌曰

心心心難可尋,寬時遍法界,窄也不容針。我本求心不求佛,了知三界空無物。若欲求佛但求心,只這心這心是佛。我本求心心自持,求心不得待心知。佛性不從心外得,心生便是罪生時。

偈曰

吾本來此土。傳法救迷情。一華開五葉。結果自然成。