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Words of Wisdom

Blood Lineage Sermon by Bodhidharma, Part 1 of 2

Language:Mandarin Chinese(中文)
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According to the Chinese lunar calendar, tomorrow is the birthday of the first Chinese patriarch of Chan Buddhism, Bodhidharma. In the 5th or 6th century AD, this Enlightened Master traveled to China to impart sacred wisdom to others. One of Bodhidharma’s most famous recorded lectures is the "Bloodstream (Blood Lineage) Sermon Today we share with you this timeless discourse.

"EVERYTHING that appears in the three realms comes from the mind. Hence Buddhas of the past and future teach mind to mind without bothering about definitions."

"To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don't see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless. Invoking Buddhas results in good karma, reciting sutras results in a good memory; keeping precepts results in a good rebirth, and making offerings results in future blessings- but no Buddha. If you don't understand by yourself, you'll have to find a Master to get to the bottom of life and death. But unless he sees his nature, such a person isn't a Master. Even if he can recite the Twelvefold Canon, he can't escape the Wheel of Birth and Death. He suffers in the three realms without hope of release."

"Unless you see your mind, reciting so much prose is useless. To find a Buddha all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the person who's free: free of plans, free of cares. If you don't see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you'll never find a Buddha. The truth is, there's nothing to find. But to reach such an understanding you need a Master and you need to struggle to make yourself understand. Life and death are important. Don't suffer them in vain. There's no advantage in deceiving yourself."

"The sutras say, ‘People should realize that the Buddha Nature is something they have always had.’ Kashyapa only realized his own nature. Our nature is the mind. And the mind is our nature. This nature is the same as the mind of all Buddhas. Buddhas of the past and future only transmit this mind. Beyond this mind there's no Buddha anywhere. But deluded people don't realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside. They never stop invoking Buddhas or worshipping Buddhas and wondering Where is the Buddha? Don't indulge in such illusions. Just know your mind. Beyond your mind there's no other Buddha."

"The sutras say, ‘All appearances are illusions.’ They have no fixed existence, no constant form. They're impermanent. Don't cling to appearances, and you'll be of one mind with the Buddha. The sutras say, ‘That which is free of all form is the Buddha.’"
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