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Without the Mind Intent on Seeking Enlightenment

An itinerant monk Wendao had long admired Master Huixun for his enlightening guidance. Thus, he made an arduous long journey to the cave where Huixun lived and said, “I am Wendao. I have been admiring you for a long time. I came all the way here just to be closer to you and at your service. Please show your mercy and enlighten me.”
It was late at night, so Master Huixun said, “It’s late. Stay for the night.”
The next day when Wendao woke up, Master Huixun had already cooked porridge. However, there was no extra bowl for Wendao, so Master Huixun conveniently picked up a skull outside the cave and filled it with porridge for Wendao. When Wendao was hesitant about taking the skull, Huixun said, “You came here without the mind intent on seeking enlightenment and you are not to attain genuine Buddha Dharma. If you view the world with a strong sentiment on clean and dirty, love and hatred, how would it be possible for you to achieve enlightenment?”
Good and evil, right and wrong, gain and loss, clean and dirty, are concepts differentiated by a discriminating mind. The genuine Buddha Dharma lies in indiscrimination, regardless of good or evil, clean or dirty. Wendao had a strong sense of discrimination. No wonder Wendao was reprimanded for having no mind intent on seeking enlightenment.
Xing’en’s remarks: Desire and greed lead mortal beings to eternal unhappiness. If one clings to ideas that beauty is what to see, splendid melody is what to hear and delicious food is what to eat, discrimination appears. Once desire is not satisfied, annoyances come. That is why mortal beings are always unhappy. For Master Huixun, a bowl is no more than a piece of tableware. No matter it is made of gold, silver, ceramics or not, or even if it is a skull, it is acceptable as long as it can be used to serve a dish. That is why he can live in peace and tranquility. We eat food to maintain the five functions (skandha, wu yun) of the sentient being so as to practice Buddhism instead of to appreciate food. We wear clothes to keep warm with no attention to the materials of which it is made. If we put the discriminating mind down in our lives, we will be happier and free of trouble.

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