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Please Note to “Move Away From the Two Extremes” 注意「離開兩邊」

By on 09/07/2012

(Grand Master Lu’s Book 200 -“Pages of Enlightenment”)
True Buddha Translation Teams (TBTTs)
  Everybody, please remember that we, humanity, and sentient beings are bound to have beginnings and ends. To put it simply, there are births and deaths. Yet, enlightenment is neither birth nor death.
  We often describe enlightenment as:
  No-birth and no-cessation
  Neither birth nor death
  Neither coming nor going
  Never came and never left
  Yet, do you understand their real meaning?
  Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism in China, uttered this verse:
  Bodhi is no tree,
  Neither is bright mirror a stand.
  Intrinsically there isn’t a thing.
  Where may dust alight?
  Many people complimented the profoundness of this verse, which points out that everything is emptiness. They think it is a verse of enlightenment. But, that is wrong! Huineng’s verse shows reliance on emptiness which is still not enlightened. Genuine enlightenment is away from the two extremes. Please note, one must move away from the two extremes. Later, the Sixth Patriarch Huineng gave a different answer, “Do not think of good. Do not think of evil.” Ha! Now that’s right.
  The enlightened ones, what they realize is not emptiness or substantiality. Therefore, it is neither substantiality nor emptiness. But, is enlightenment something in between substantiality and emptiness? Actually, that is not true either.
  I am a practitioner of Vajrayana teachings. If you are a Vajrayana cultivator, you will understand the Four Joys:
  Joy [ananda] – Transformation (initiating transformation)
  Perfect Joy [paramananda] – Progress (abiding in Great Bliss)
  Joy of Cessation [viramananda] – Accomplishment (abiding in Clear Light)
  Innate joy [sahajananda] – Emptiness (Perfection)
  Through diligent Vajrayana cultivation, you will gradually achieve transformation, progress, accomplishment, and emptiness.
  Originally, I thought the emptiness of innate joy is enlightenment. Later, I realized that the emptiness of innate joy is not really enlightenment. True enlightenment is definitely not emptiness. It is also definitely not substantiality.
  Enlightenment is:
  Shakyamuni Buddha holding up a flower
  Zen Master Tianlong [Tenryu] holding up a finger
  My “Golden Rooster standing on one leg”
  My first Sutra-Buddhism teacher was the Venerable Yinshun. He was from the Sanlun School [a Chinese Madhyamaka sect], which emphasizes doctrines and philosophies. Master Yinshun was a prolific writer, and his writings on Buddhist philosophy greatly influenced the Chinese Buddhist community. Doctrines are very important and cannot be neglected. Through understanding and validating doctrines, you can identify which level you have achieved. My final Vajrayana teacher was Vajra Acharya Thubten Dargye. He was a guru who placed great importance on diligent cultivation. He felt that doctrines and diligent cultivation must be mutually complementary to achieve perfection. They are like the wheels of a car, or the two wings of a bird.
  By integrating doctrines and diligent cultivation as one, I endeavored to achieve the fruition of Buddhahood and gradually achieved accomplishment. In both cultivation and doctrine, I achieved siddhi accomplishment. When I finally achieved enlightenment, I did not achieve it through doctrines or cultivation. Please note to move away from the two extremes, that is enlightenment.
  Enlightened one,
  It is not emptiness,
  Nor is it substantiality.
  So, it is neither substantiality nor emptiness.

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