The Sixth Patriarch’s Sutra February 3, 2012 lecture©

as outlined by a Buddhist monk
at 1777 Murchison Drive, Burlingame, California 94010, open to public (phone 650-6925912) (Listen ‘live’ or recorded audio explanations at www.wondrousdharma.org)

Q&A Applying “Mind is the myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind” Chapter 2 – Prajna – the greatness of
Mahaprajnaparamita
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Verse for opening a sutra

• Na Mwo Fundamental Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha (3x) • Homage to the Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra (3x) • The unsurpassed, deep, profound, subtle, wonderful Dharma, • In a hundred thousand million eons, is difficult to encounter, • Now that I’ve come to receive and hold it, within my sight and hearing, • I vow to fathom the Thus Come One’s true and actual meaning.
Exhortation to uphold the Buddhadharma:

“The Buddhas, the World Honored Ones, appear in the world because they wish to lead living beings to open to the knowledge and vision of the Buddhas .to demonstrate to lead living beings to awaken to lead living 2 beings to enter into the knowledge and vision of the Buddhas.” (the Wonderful
Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra)

Q&A
Question: What is the implication or how do we apply ‘mind is

myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind.’ in our daily life?
Answer:

• Knowing ‘Mind is myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind’, we should not be attached to the myriad phenomena because the myriad phenomena are empty and impermanent in nature • the entire world does not have a nature of its own since it originates from and it is our mind. • The verse offers two compelling reasons to put down our attachments; the universe is empty in character and the universe is just our own mind!

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Q&A
• The fallacy that our conscious mind and the world of phenomena are separate is now overturned; both are one and the same.

• The universe is seen as empty just like the unconditioned world of Sages; the secret lies in the understanding the reality of the universe is fundamentally empty being a product of a confused mind.

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Q&A

• When the mind is no longer confused, there is no difference between the conditioned and unconditioned world. • We do not experience the Sages world of unconditioned because our minds are confused; the confusion in our minds or our lack of understanding creates the karma or actions that lead to and binds us in the conditioned existence. • The reason why we create karma is because we mistaken the self and the myriad phenomena to be separate.
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Q&A

• The verse ‘mind is myriad phenomena’ points to the mind as the source and reason for seeing this universe in its true character in that the universe is empty. • ‘Myriad phenomena are the mind’ reminds us that our mind and phenomena are one and the same. • Recognizing such, is there a self, others, living beings and a life? No because • our true self is just this original mind, our self nature!
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Q&A

• Recognizing the universe is our mind, would there be suffering, distress and affliction? No because • everything (the mountains, rivers, seas, disasters, bumper crop harvest, births, deaths, glory, defeat, good, evil etc) are just appearances in our minds and therefore there is no cause for suffering, happiness, distress, afflictions and so on!

• The experience is ultimate peace and happiness within this world.
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Q&A
• The provisional teaching teaches that the world is impermanent because it is a conditioned world built upon causes and conditions.

• The provisional teaching is about getting out of conditioned totally and to dwell in the unconditioned.

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Q&A
• The final teaching of the Mahayana Vehicle is • the world is empty without a nature of its own because it came from an empty original mind; being produced from a confused mind and • when the mind is no longer confused, no karma is created to generate a cause because we realize that the myriad phenomena are just our mind and the myriad phenomena are empty in nature.

• Confusion or awakening of the mind holds the key; there is no distinction between the conditioned and the unconditioned as both are fundamentally one and the same, not two entities.
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Q&A
• The initial teaching is: we put down attachments because this world is impermanent and we don’t want to create a cause for the continual existence in this conditioned world. • The final teaching is: 1. we put down attachments because everything in this world is empty in nature. Seeing everything as appearances in the mind, we don’t create the karma activity that creates the cause that binds us to this conditioned world. 2. Yet we don’t abandon the conditioned world because it is just our own mind being temporarily confused until we awaken to the fact that this world in nature is empty and everything in this world are just appearances in our confused mind similar to a 10 dream.

Q&A
• “Mind is myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena is the mind” therefore helps us to understand why Venerable Kumarajiva said,

• “The Great Vehicle propounds the doctrine that dharmas are empty. The Two Vehicles relies upon names and appearances.”
• Venarable Bandhutta of the Two Vehicles retorted:

• “The Great Vehicle talks about emptiness, but emptiness is just emptiness – nothing at all. What’s the use of studying it?. If everything is empty, why study it?” • Venerable Kumarajiva said, “In emptiness, there is existence. In True Emptiness there is Wonderful Existence. This is ultimate Reality. The Two Vehicle restricts itself with names and terms and does not teach genuine liberation.” 11

Q&A
• Knowing ‘Mind is myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind’, we should not be attached to the myriad phenomena because the myriad phenomena are just our conscious mind and myriad phenomena are not a separate entity. • Grasping at our own conscious mind, what is ‘not illusion’ turns illusory, that is, we create another mind whilst in the midst of our mind when we attach to the myriad phenomena not knowing they are just our mind, not knowing “mind is myriad phenomena, myriad phenomena are the mind”. • Not grasping at our own mind, we abide in ultimate Reality, the false illusory world no longer register in our mind.
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Q&A
• Ignorance is not understanding that “mind is myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind” and so we go chasing and grasping at phenomena thinking the mind and phenomena are two. • Awakening is understanding that mind and myriad phenomena are in substance one and the same and myriad phenomena are empty in nature, we don’t go grasping at phenomena and

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Q&A

turning our sense organs inward; having ‘no mind’ for the myriad phenomena because we don’t want to create another false mind whilst we are presently in the midst of the mind.

• Walking, standing, sitting and reclining be always mindful that all phenomena are empty of characteristics because “mind is myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind.” • Contemplate thus!

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Q&A
• Not wanting to create another mind for the myriad phenomena which we already understood to be our mind, we have to release the sense organs from the myriad phenomena to enter into the realm of the unconditioned. • For example, have ‘no mind’ for the sounds, and the ear organ will be released from the sound. • When one of the six sense organs is released, all the six sense organs will be released from the sense objects.

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Q&A
• The stillness of releasing the sense organs from the myriad phenomena together with the contemplation of ultimate Reality from the foregoing will be the cause of our returning to our original mind. • In the Shurangama assembly the Buddha said to Ananda, “The faculties and their objects come from the same source. What binds and what unbinds areone and the same. The consciousnesses are by nature illusory . • .When objects are not perceived as separate from awareness that itself is nirvana, which is true purity, free of outflows; why would you allow anything to be added to it?”
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Q&A
• In our true nature, all conditioned things are seen as empty; • That which arises from conditions are illusory. • That which is unconditioned is not born, nor does it perish; • It too has no reality, like flowers in the sky. • But when you grasp hold of your own mind, what’s not illusion • Then becomes illusory. And If you don’t grasp hold, • Then what is called ‘illusion’ and ‘what’s not illusion’ too • Will not arise. How could what is illusion be established?
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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the emptiness of the

universe is able to contain the forms and shapes of the ten thousand things: the sun, moon, and stars; the mountains, rivers, and the great earth; the fountains, springs, streams, torrents, grasses, trees, thickets, and forests; good and bad people, good and bad dharmas, the heavens and the hells, all the great seas, Sumeru and all mountains–all are contained within emptiness. The emptiness of the nature of worldly men is also like this.
Comments:

• The emptiness of the nature is our inherent self nature or Buddhanature. • “Those who have resolved their minds on anuttarasamyaksambodhi do not affirm the destruction of the 18 appearances of all dharmas.” (Vajra Sutra)

Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the ability of one’s own

nature to contain the ten thousand dharmas is what is meant by ‘great.’ The myriad dharmas are within the nature of all people.
Comments:

• The greatness of Maha is that everything is included inside and nothing is excluded. • Because nothing is excluded, the false world of existence should not be excluded; myriad dharmas are the self nature (mind) • Myriad dharmas and the self nature is one, not two separate entity as they don’t obstruct each other.
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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the ability of one’s own

nature to contain the ten thousand dharmas is what is meant by ‘great.’ The myriad dharmas are within the nature of all people.
Comments:

• Excluding the world of existence is to discriminate the false yet the false came from the true and it will return back to the true eventually. • How unexpected! The self nature produces the myriad dharmas. • The dharma of anuttarasamyaksambodhi is the awakening to 20 the teaching of “being level and equal, without high or low.”

Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “If you regard all people, the bad as well as the

good, without grasping or rejecting, without producing a defiling attachment, your mind will be like empty space. Therefore it is said to be ‘great,’ ‘Maha.’”
Comments:

• Don’t discriminate the false and the true because both false and true are false appearances. • The original self nature is non dual because everything comes from the self nature. • The dharma of anuttarasamyaksambodhi is the awakening to the teaching of “being level and equal, without high or low.”
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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the mouth of the

confused person speaks, but the mind of the wise person practices. There are deluded men who sit still with empty minds, vainly thinking of nothing and declaring that to be something great. One should not speak with these people because of their deviant views.
Comments:

• Being delusional about what ultimately is the objective of practicing sitting meditation. • The Great Master is breaking the attachment to sitting still with an empty mind and remind that the objective of sitting meditation is ultimately to activate the inherent prajna wisdom.
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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the capacity of the mind

is vast and great, encompassing the Dharma realm.”
Comments:

• Buddhadharma is about opening up our minds that the entire dharma realm to the ends of empty space is just our minds. • For example, when we do transference of merit and virtue, we transfer it to the entire dharma realm to the ends of empty space and not merely planet earth.

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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the capacity of the mind

is vast and great, encompassing the Dharma realm. Its function is to understand clearly and distinctly. Its correct function is to know all. All is one; one is all. • Coming and going freely, the mind’s substance is unobstructed. That is Prajna.”
Comments:

• When we get involved in trivialities, we fail to comprehend the big matter of ultimate Reality which the mind is capable of comprehending clearly and distinctly everything. • The ultimate Reality is
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Chapter 2 Prajna
• “All is one, one is all” everything is one, one is everything because

• “Mind is myriad phenomena; myriad phenomena are the mind.”

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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, the capacity of the mind

is vast and great, encompassing the Dharma realm. Its function is to understand clearly and distinctly. Its correct function is to know all. All is one; one is all. • Coming and going freely, the mind’s substance is unobstructed. That is Prajna.”
Comments:

• When we understand that “all is one; one is all” the mind will no longer be deceived by the myriad phenomena. Why is this so? • It is because myriad phenomena is the mind and being turned by the myriad phenomena and grasping them is just grasping our own mind a case of • creating a mind within a mind or putting a head on top of 26 an existing head.

Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, all Prajna wisdom is

produced from one’s own nature; it does not enter from the outside.”
Comments:

• The understanding that “all is one, one is all” comes from the wisdom of understanding that this mind is within our self nature. • There is no need to seek this mind from outside; the original mind is just our inherent self nature. • Therefore our self nature contains inherent prajna wisdom.
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Chapter 2 Prajna
• Sutra: “Good Knowing Advisors, all Prajna wisdom is

produced from one’s own nature; it does not enter from the outside. Using the intellect correctly is called the natural function of one’s true nature. One truth is all truth.”
Comments:

• “Using the intellect correctly” is to turn the confused intellectual conscious mind into an understanding mind through understanding ultimate Reality. • In one penetration, suddenly everything is understood. What is being penetrated in one truth is all truth? • The ultimate Reality that all dharmas are empty of characteristics because “mind is myriad phenomena; myriad 28 phenomena are the mind.”

Dedication of merit
• May every living beings, • Our minds as one and radiant with light • Share the fruits of peace, with hearts of goodness luminous and bright. • If people hear and see, how hands and hearts can find in giving unity • May their minds awake, to great compassion, wisdom and to joy. • May kindness find reward; may all who sorrow leave their grief and pain; • May this boundless light break the darkness of their endless night. • Because our hearts are one, this world of pain turns into paradise; 29 • May all become compassionate and wise (2x)

Dedication of merit
• • • • • • • I vow that merit made from this deed will become, Adornments for the Pure Land of Bu-ddhas. Repaying the four kinds of kindness above, And aiding those in three paths below. May all who see and hear of this deed Bring forth the resolve to reborn In the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

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