Field of Boundless Emptiness, by Zen Master Hongzhi

Buddha, Probably Amitabha (Amituofo), early 7th century, China. © The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe field of boundless emptiness is what exists from the very beginning. You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away all the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits. Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness.

Utter emptiness has no image, upright independence does not rely on anything. Just expand and illuminate the original truth un­con­cerned by external conditions. Accordingly we are told to realize that not a single thing exists. In this field birth and death do not appear.

The deep source, transparent down to the bottom, can radiantly shine and can respond unencumbered to each speck of dust without becoming its partner. The subtlety of seeing and hearing transcends mere colours and sounds. The whole affair functions without leaving traces, and mirrors without obscurations.

Very naturally mind and dharmas emerge and harmonise. An Ancient said that non-mind embodies and fulfils the way of non-mind. Enacting and fulfilling the way of non-mind, finally you can rest. Proceeding you are able to guide the assembly. With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the centre of the circle of wonder. This is how you must penetrate and study.

Cultivating the Empty FieldExtract from,  Cultivating the Empty Field. The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi. Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton. ISBN: 9780804832403

Reproduced with many thanks to Tuttle.



Categories: Book reviews, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen

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