free of excited joy and anxiety

the mysterious principle


“The people of old said, ‘The mind changes in accord with ten thousand objects. And what is strange about this change?’ You should allow this change to happen in order to recognize your true nature. Once recognized, you will be free of excited joy and anxiety.

“This wonderful function that is happening in this present moment – who is performing it? Take hold of that and use it, and do not be caught in words. This is called the mysterious principle. Whoever has this insight is no longer obstructed by an obstacle.”

My Comment: When you allow this change to happen, you refrain from engaging with the chimera-realm of illusory forms. Only then does the monkey let go of one branch without grasping for the next. In this way abeyance happens. Allowing the wonderful function to occur without grasping, idea-making, naming or word-speaking is to look deeply at objects of perception. Then it is the openness for “Behold, it is I!” and “Who is performing this wonderful function now?”

“Dear friends, the true Buddha does not have a form, an image. The true Path does not have substance, the true Dharma does not have an outer sign. All these three fit together and become one.”

“Monks, do not be caught in clothes. Robes are motionless, there has to be a person to wear the clothes. There are the clothes of purity, of awakening, of nirvana, of master, of Buddha.

“Monks, these things are just sounds, expressions and words. They are just changing manifestations, like different clothes. They are made possible by the air which comes up from the qihai accupoint below the navel and makes the jaws clack together producing phrases and ideas. You should know clearly that they are just magic tricks.” 

Source: Thich Nhat Hanh, Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go, Waking Up to Who You Are, The Record of Master Linji p. 46 – 51




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