aka: Mind Essence of Entering the Hua-Yen Phenomena Realm
Imperturbable Mind Regarding Phenomena – All phenomena are conditioned and impermanent, coming and going freely with myriad forms, bright and clear like the cyclic alternations of the sun and moon in the void. Regardless of desire and aversion, form appears just as it should be, with nothing added or subtracted. The illusory conscious mind makes unnecessary discrimination that will not affect phenomena in the slightest, and in the process takes phenomena as the triggering conditions for acting out the habitual defilements of an agitated mind state. Therefore in regard to phenomena, one should practice keeping the mind as clear as a bright mirror, without desire or aversion to forms. The myriad phenomena of the world are like images in the mirror, born of the mind, manifesting from the mind, and naturally reflect the awakened nature of the mind without any fabricated effort. Contemplate, learn, and practice this accordingly, letting phenomena come and go, as they naturally will. Perceive all phenomena as images in the mirror, leaving or remaining on their own accord. Over time this practice will subdue all coarse habitual grasping tendencies regarding phenomena.
Seeing All Phenomena As Solely The Creation Of The Mind– The mind is the phenomenon, the phenomenon is the mind; mind and phenomenon are not-two, undifferentiated. The mind is the source of all phenomena. Without the mind there is no phenomenon; as the phenomenon is, the mind is. There is no phenomenon outside the mind since all karmic fruits in this very moment are the manifestation of the mind—there is no other cause. Immediately take up this view of reality and relinquish the attachment to the idea of a cause outside the mind. In all perceptions of all phenomena, firmly establish oneself in the view that they are solely the creation of the mind. Repeatedly contemplate this principle and realize that the source of all forms is the mind. Break through the habitual tendencies due to ignorance and subdue the external seeking impulses. Diligently practice returning to the mind itself and abiding firmly in the present moment in order to cut off all false views and tendencies of regarding that which is not the cause as the cause and that which is not the result as the result.
Use The Situation To Illuminate The Mind – Since all phenomena are the manifestations of the mind, the defects in phenomena reflect the defects in the mind’s function. A mind free of flaws manifests reality without flaws. In regard to adverse situations, one must inwardly illuminate the mind in order to discover the illness in the mind and examine the attachment that has caused the defects in the external situation. The essence of the conscious mind is invisible therefore one must illuminates it by the situation it manifests. A deviant mind cannot see reality clearly. It is confused about cause and result and unable to discern what is true and false. Ignorance of the true principle leads to confusion of the manifested situations. Such state of mind is constantly disturbed by phenomena and restless. Therefore the forerunner of all spiritual practice is to establish the right understanding of reality, bringing clarity to each situation and seeing all phenomena as inseparable from the mind. One must contemplate in silence one’s own faults and refrain from speculating and judging people and situations. When encountering situation one must reflect and illuminate one’s own mind, seeing all faults and responsibilities as one’s own, refrain from seeking recognition or assigning blame. The phenomena realm is one indivisible totality, without distinction of inner and outer. All causes and results are intimately connected. One single thought is one cause and effect. The illness of others is actually the illness in oneself. If one can contemplate and act accordingly, with time all illness of the mind shall be discovered.
Rectify the Coarse Mind Regarding Phenomenon – Having deeply reflected on the illness of one’s own mind, one should further rectify all shortcomings through the ultimate principle taught by the Buddha. Administer the painful and piercing medicine, repent all past transgressions, and apologize for wrong doings. Relinquish the grasping of the externals; eliminate the error of seeking outside one’s self. Do not let any single fault go by uncorrected. Make sure one’s mind is pure and free of desires. Any laxity on rectifying the mind’s fault will nurture the seed of birth and death. In cultivation one should live in simplicity and purity. Do not indulge in physical and sensual comfort derived from external conditions, since such desire only feed the old flame of past habitual tendencies – like adding fuel to fire that burns away one’s right thought. Therefore in all daily conduct one should be simple and plain, live within one’s own means with pure mind. Severing one measure of attachment and desire will increase one measure of concentration and purity of the mind. In daily life illuminate the truth through the manifested reality, seeing the principle underlying all external forms and eliminate the delusion regarding situations. All illness must be cured from the mind. Having reflected and abided inwardly, relaxes the grip of form attachment, the desire for things of the external world gradually wane. Once the vexation is weakened and the mind is less disturbed by phenomenon, one gains strength in establishing one’s spiritual cultivation.
Subduing the mind’s subtle grasping of phenomenon – Only through the combined cultivation of severing external material greed in daily life, the inner withdrawal of quiet meditative calmness, and Zen inquiry can one be free of vexation while engaged in the world of turbulence. The severing of external greed enhances the strength of one’s precept, the inward withdraw deepens the meditative calm and inner illumination. Just as the dust is gradually scraped off and the inner light shines through polishing, one’s mind become concentrated and firmly established in the view of the mind-dharma. Thus one is able to focus exclusively on the Tao, letting go of all external grasping tendencies regarding physical sensations such as coldness, heat, pain, itch, beauty and ugliness of appearance, wholesome and unwholesome, sweetness and smoothness taste, and remain undisturbed by the eight winds of profit and loss, fame and shame, praise and criticism, and suffering and pleasure. Having eradicated external grasping and inner delusions until nothing remains, one’s mind capacity becomes vast like the void. Naturally one has the opportunity of turning away from the unreal to the real. This practice not only brings true benefit to one’s daily life, it also opens the door to enlightenment.
Realizing the nature of mind—One should know that the mind is the source of all existence. Without the realization of the nature of mind, there is no end to birth and death, no possibility of reaching true liberation. Therefore those with genuine aspiration for the wisdom of Buddhahood must with firm resolve find the root of all existence. With unshakable determination, one must vow to realize the innate mind. Only by shattering the lair of ignorance, seeing the true face prior to the birth of phenomenon, can one forever put to an end the cycle of birth and death and become the master of his own intrinsic awakened nature. It was stated in a sutra that, “The tathagata emerges from the primordial causal ground through the perfection of the luminous, pure, awakened nature and the cessation of all ignorance in order to attain Buddhahood.” Without the realization of the nature of mind, the causal ground for Buddhahood will remain obscured.