The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs
Secrets on Cultivating the Mind
Question: When a truly gifted person hears [the dharma], he understands easily. Average and inferior persons, however, are not without doubt and confusion. Would you explain some expedients that will enable the deluded too to gain access [to enlightenment]?
Chinul: The path is not related to knowing or not knowing. You should get rid of the mind that clings to its delusion and waits for enlightenment to occur, and listen to my words.
Since all dharmas are like dreams or conjuring tricks, deluded thoughts are originally calm and the dusty sense-spheres are originally void. At the point where all dharmas are void, the numinous awareness is unobscured. That is, this mind of void and calm, numinous awareness is your original face (K. pollae myŏnmok). It is also the dharma-seal transmitted without a break密密 by all the buddhas of the three time-periods, the successive generations of patriarchs and teachers, and the spiritual mentors of this world. If you awaken to this mind, then this is truly what is called not climbing the rungs of a ladder: you ascend straight to the stage of buddhahood and each step transcends the three realms of existence. Returning home, your doubts will be instantly resolved, and you will become the teacher of humans and divinities. Equipped with both compassion and wisdom and fully endowed with the twofold benefit [of oneself and others], you will be worthy of receiving the offerings of humans and divinities. Each day you can use ten-thousand taels of gold [without incurring any debt]. If you can do this, you will truly be a great man (S. mahāpuruṣa, K. taejangbu) who will indeed have finished the tasks of this life.