Hui-Neng

‘The extent of mind is vast as space, without bounds. It has no squareness or roundness, no largeness or smallness; it has no blueness, yellowness, redness, or whiteness. It has no up or down, no long or short. It has no anger and no joy, no right and no wrong, no good and no bad. It has no head or tail.
The lands of all buddhas are all the same as space. The subtle nature of people in the world is originally empty, with nothing that can be grasped. The true emptiness of our inherent nature is also like this.
Good friends, don’t cling to emptiness when you hear me speak of emptiness. Above all, do not stick to emptiness. If you sit quietly with an empty mind, you are fixated on indifferent voidness.
Good friends, the emptiness of physical space contains the colors and forms of myriad things, the sun, moon, stars, the mountains and rivers, and land, the springs and valley streams, the grasses trees and forests, bad people and good people, bad things and good things, heaven and hell, the oceans and mountains – all are within space. The emptiness of the essential nature of people is the world is also like this.’ (The Platfrom Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch)

The bookmark I have in my copy of this book is for an art show in 2008, so that may be the last time I read the sutra. Certainly I had tried to read it before then, and I may have read it since. This time, picking it up has been a joy, and it seems clearer to me than it used to. I hope that I feel the same about his commentary on the Diamond Sutra when I get to it.

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