The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master said, “Practitioners of the Way who avoid all sensory conditions and discipline their mind only in quiet places are like a person trying to catch fish who stays away from water: what effect will it have? Thus, if we are to cultivate the true Way, we must learn to discipline our minds amid thousands of sensory conditions. Only in this wise can one gain the great strength that is not disturbed by such conditions. If one disciplines one’s mind only in places that are free from all sensory conditions, then, on coming out into such conditions, one’s mind will be instantly disturbed, just as a mushroom grown in shade will wilt when exposed to the sun. Thus, it is said in the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa (The Teaching of Vimalakīrti), ‘A bodhisattva’s mind is settled even in a noisy place; a non-Buddhist’s mind is disturbed even in a quiet place.’ This means that practice depends on the mind’s finding its suitable measure, not on external sensory conditions.”