Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wuguan or Five Gates

 From Venerable Anzan Hoshin, roshi

The Transmission from Bodhidharma to Huike is said to have passed to Sengcan. We know little of Jianzhi Sengcan. A famous poem, the Xinxin Ming is accredited to him, doubtfully, most scholars believe. From Sengcan the Transmission was said to have continued to Dayi Daoxin, the Fourth Chinese Ancestor.

    We know quite a bit more about Daoxin. We do not know if he ever had any real historical contact with Sengcan. But we know that he established a large monastery with over 500 monks. He taught the importance of the Precepts, of zazen, and of study of the sutras. Here is an example of his Teaching style:

This text is called the Wuguan or Five Gates.

“Know this: Buddha is this mind. Outside of this mind there is no Buddha. Briefly, I suggest that there are five basic principles.

First: Know the essence of mind. The essential nature is pure. The essence is Itself Buddha.

Second: Know the function of mind. Its function gives rise to the jewel of Dharma. It functions without obstruction, but is always still; even the ten thousand delusions are In essence just this.

Third: Constant Awakening is without end. The Awakening mind is always present. The Teaching of this Awakening is without form.

Fourth: Always know the body is empty and tranquil. Inside and outside are transparent to each other. Your body arises In the midst of ultimate reality. There have never been obstacles.

Fifth: Keep unified-mindfulness without deviation. Both movement and stillness go nowhere.

Those who practice this will clearly see their Buddha-nature and enter into the gate of practice without hesitation.”

- Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 8: “Robe and Bowl” presented on September, December 2, 2000 in the series “Bodhidharma’s Eyes.”