The Essential Scripture...

Dictionary

The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Secrets on Cultivating the Mind

Section 4

Question: If you say that the buddha-nature exists in the body right now, then, since it is in the body, it is not separate from us ordinary persons. So why can we not see now this buddha-nature? Please explain this further so that we may understand.
Chinul: It is in your body, but you do not see it. Ultimately, what is that thing that during the twelve time-periods of the day knows hunger and thirst, cold and heat, anger and joy? Now, this physical body is a construct of the four conditioning elements of earth, water, fire, and wind. Since this matter is passive and insentient, how can it see, hear, sense, and know? That which is able to see, hear, sense, and know is perforce your buddha-nature. For this reason, Linji [Yixuan] said, “The four great elements do not know how to expound the dharma or listen to the dharma. Empty space does not know how to expound the dharma or listen to the dharma. It is only that formless thing, clearly and brightly shining all by itself, that knows how to expound the dharma or listen to the dharma.” This “formless thing” is both the dharma-seal of all the buddhas and your original mind.