The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master said, “The purpose of having you recite the essential dharmas of daily practice in the morning and evening does not lie in simply reciting the words. Rather, it is intended to help you grasp their meaning in your hearts and assess it in your minds, reviewing them generally once a day, and more specifically examining them each time you are faced with sensory conditions. You must assess and check your mind over and over to see whether or not your mind-ground is disturbed, deluded, or subject to wrong-doing; whether or not you have been making active progress in belief, zeal, questioning, and dedication; whether or not you have been living in gratitude, living a life of self-power, readily learning, readily teaching, and benefiting others. You must do this until ultimately you reach a state in which the mind needs no checking. It is said that a person’s mind is so extremely subtle that it exists when you take hold of it, but disappears when you let it go. How then can a person cultivate one’s mind without checking it? Therefore, in order that you may realize this checking mind, I have established Items of Heedfulness in Daily Applications and Items of Heedfulness Regarding Temple Visits, and also established the Dharma of Keeping a Diary to examine thoroughly whether one has followed these instructions well. Thus, I have provided perfectly precise guidance regarding your methods of practice. I urge all of you to practice diligently according to this dharma, and to accomplish the great task of transcending the ordinary and entering sagehood as quickly as possible.”