Key Lessons From Huang Po’s Transmission Of Mind

With the incisiveness of the kind of supreme Chan master that he was, Huang Po (?-850 AD) taught thus:

1. There is only the One Mind.

The One Mind, as itself, is not some thing. Hence, its profound existence cannot be realized except by relinquishing any attempt to objectify or reify it (see 2 below).

Furthermore, there is no single phenomenon apart from the One Mind, and every single phenomenon is nothing but an expression of the One Mind.

2. Huang Po urges us to stop—-

Stop hanging onto concepts like relics of the Buddha, like the ‘true Dharma.’ The Buddha is no image, the ‘true Dharma’ nothing but This!

Stop insisting on the use of discriminating thought. There are, in the One Mind, no such thing as Buddhas and non-Buddhas. Therefore, no such distinctions, in the indivisible One Mind, can be drawn.

And we must stop seeking. For all seeking is born of a presumption of lack, all lack gives rise to desire, and all desire allows seeking to lift off. How can we seek what is always already underfoot? As Rupert Spira has urged: “Go ahead and, right now, try to take one step toward or away from your Self.” How, indeed, is it possible to seek what we already are and could not ever be other than?

3. To stop all this is the essence of Chan.

To stop is to return to the source, and that source is the One Mind.