A Dialogue on the Contemplation-Extinguished

Dialogue on the Contemplation-ExtinguishedA Dialogue on the
translated by Gishin Tokiwa
from the Chueh-Kuan Lun,
an early Chinese Zen
text from Tun Huang.
The Institute for Zen Studies, 1973.


1. Gateway asks, ‘Suppose there is a beginner in search of the Way who abruptly meets a karma-occasion when someone is about to hurt him. How can he cope with this situation so as to accord with the Way?’

Answered, ‘Nothing of this sort needs to be coped with. Why? Because, if avoidable, it will be avoided. If unavoidable, it will be borne. If sufferable, it will be suffered. If insufferable, it will be wept at.’

2. Asked, ‘If he weeps, what should distinguish him from other men who have the ego-view?’

Answered, ‘Just as when a bell is struck with a hammer, his voice comes forth all of itself. How could he necessarily be a man of ego-view? If upon dying a violent death you grasp at the mind, clenching your teeth and compressing your lips to endure, this will be preserving a terribly massive ego.’

3. Asked, ‘Emotions stir in a man who has grief and weeps. How could such be identical with the sounds of a bell?’

Answered, ‘Speaking of identity or non-identity only proves your meddlesomeness. It is delusive fancy or thought-calculation that makes this question arise. If no mind makes discrimination, the Way will be Self-effected as it is.’

4. Asked, ‘I hear that the most Honoured One is he whom no military weapons hurt, no sufferings bend, no material appearances delude, nor any mind perturbs. What does this mean?’

Answered, ‘If one realizes that everything that has its own form is really without self-form, then will either voicing or voiceless, either perturbed or not-perturbed accord with the principle of the Way, without any hindrance or difficulty.’

Helping to sort out the library at the Golden Buddha Centre in Totnes,
I came across this book — amazing!

Categories: Book reviews, Buddhist meditation, Chan / Seon / Zen, Foundations of Buddhism, History, Mahayana, Texts

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5 replies

  1. I always find the perfect teaching when I need it. Many thanks.

  2. This is non-plain speak. Say what you mean without resorting to circular reasoning. Too confusing to be of value.

  3. This is incredible. And great for thinking about as we enter the new year. Thank you.

  4. What a find!


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