Your very mind is Buddha

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“Now you know clearly: what is called ‘mind’ is the great earth with its mountains and rivers; it is the sun, the moon, and the stars. Even so, when you take what is being expressed here one step further, something is lacking; when you draw back from what it is saying, something has gone too far. The mind that is the great earth with its mountains and rivers is simply the great earth with its mountains and rivers: there are no surging waves nor is there any wind-driven spindrift to disturb or upset it.

“The mind that is sun, moon, and stars is simply sun, moon, and stars: there is no fog nor is there any mist to obscure its clarity. The mind that is the coming and going of birth and death is simply the coming and going of birth and death: there is no ‘being deluded’ nor is there any ‘realizing enlightenment.’

“The mind that is the tiles and stones for walls and fences is simply the tiles and stones for walls and fences: there is no mud nor is there any water to make a binding mortar. The mind that is the four elements and the five skandhas is simply the four elements and the five skandhas: there are no wild horses of unbridled willfulness nor any monkeys with insatiable desires.

“The mind that is the Master’s Dharma seat and his ceremonial hossu is simply the Master’s seat and hossu: there is no bamboo whose joints block clear passage nor is there any wood twisted up with knots.

“Since this is the way things are, ‘Your very mind is Buddha’ means, pure and simply, that your very mind is Buddha; all Buddhas are, pure and simply, all Buddhas. …

“Even if, for a fraction of an instant, you give rise to the intention to train and realize the Truth for yourself, your very mind will be Buddha.”

(From Dōgen’s The Shōbōgenzō, tr. Hubert Nearman, p. 51.)

Breathe.

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