The Essential Scripture...


The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Secrets on Cultivating the Mind

Section 23

Nevertheless, although you must cultivate further, you have already awakened suddenly to the fact that deluded thoughts are originally void and the mind-nature is originally pure. Thus you eradicate evil [the unwholesome], but you eradicate it without actually eradicating anything; you cultivate the good [the wholesome], but you cultivate it without actually cultivating anything. This is true cultivation and true eradication. For this reason [Guifeng Zongmi] said, “Although one may be prepared to cultivate the manifold practices [of the bodhisattva], no-thought is the source of them all.” Guifeng summed up [the distinction] between the implications of initial awakening and subsequent cultivation when he said:
One has the sudden awakening to the fact that one’s nature is originally free of affliction and that one is originally in full possession of the uncontaminated (anāsrava) wisdom-nature that is no different from that of the buddhas. To cultivate while relying on this [awakening] is called supreme-vehicle Sŏn; it is also called the pure Sŏn of the tathāgatas. If thought-moment afterthought-moment念念修習one continues to develop one’s training, then naturally one will gradually attain hundreds of thousands of samādhis. What has been transmitted successively in the school of Bodhidharma is this Sŏn.
Hence these two aspects—sudden awakening and gradual cultivation—are like the two wheels of a cart: neither can be missing.