The people I meet nowadays are superficial. They think of merit as something that has form. They squander their wealth and butcher creatures of land and sea. … They see something tangible and instantly become attached. If you talk to them about formlessness, they sit there dumb and confused. Greedy for the small mercies of this world, they remain blind to the great suffering to come. Such disciples wear themselves out in vain. Turning from the true to the false, they talk about nothing but future blessings.
If you can simply concentrate you mind’s inner light and behold its outer illumination, you’ll dispel the three poisons and drive away the six thieves once and for all. And without effort you’ll gain possession of an infinite number of virtues, perfections and doors to the truth. Seeing through the mundane and witnessing the sublime is less than an eye-blink away. Realization is now. Why worry about gray hair? But the true door is hidden and can’t be revealed. I have only touched upon beholding the mind.
Thank God that this is the last Bodhidharma sutra. I was worried about where he is going after the bathhouse! It has been a tremendous journey to the mountaintop and back to your home. Bodhidharma has been taking you on the whole merry-go-round.
I started with Bodhidharma – the name Bodhidharma means “the self-nature of awareness” – but unfortunately I have to end the journey with Buddhudharma. Buddhudharma means “the nature of unawareness, of stupidity.”
He got himself into this mess, but it has been of tremendous insight to us. Watching him you can avoid the same mess. Whatever he said earlier showed his insight into the deepest potential of man, but what he is saying now is just absolutely irrelevant. Once in a while he remembers who he is but it seems he goes on forgetting; or perhaps he is too much attached to his special doctrine of Mahayana and much worried about disturbing the newly initiated Buddhists.
In this situation, he must have suffered a lot. I can see – perhaps nobody may have noted it – but I can see his suffering. His suffering is that he is saying things very unwillingly and this is the problem with all those who accept any doctrine, any scripture, any church. They are in constant trouble. If they listen to their own inner voice, it says something; if they listen to the tradition, it says something else.
There have been very few people in the world who are ready to antagonize everybody. If Bodhidharma had said whatever his experience was, perhaps he would have lost all his prestige, respectability and his great name in the annals of Buddhism. But to me, it would not have been a loss. To me, he would have risen higher than anyone else, just because his single commitment was concentratedly and consistently one…and that is his own experienced truth. Nothing else can change it.