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Observations placeholder

The Ceasing of Notions – 27 Last thoughts



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Ceasing of Notions


Emmon: "Why do you say that I seem to have glimpsed rather than I have correctly seen?"

Master Nyuri: "What you now have seen is the nonexistence of all things.  That makes you like the followers of other ways who study to become invisible and yet we cannot lose their shadow nor hide their footprints."


Emmon: "How can both form and shadow be eradicated?"

Master Nyuri: "In the origin there is neither heart nor object; do not give rise to opinions of things coming to be and ceasing to be."


Emmon: "The ordinary man asks questions:  Buddha teaches, is that so?"

Master Nyuri: "Questions arise because of doubts; teaching is for the settling of doubts."


Emmon: "I have heard it said that the Buddha teaches even without being asked.  What does he have to clarify?  Is there a Dharma that has to be taught, or does his penetrating insight perceive the doubts of others?"

Master Nyuri: "It is all but the dispensing of medicine to cure specific ailments.  Just as when the thunder rolls in heaven, the echo answers."


Emmon: "Having no volitional intention to be born, why did the Great Holy Tathagata appear in the world?"

Master Nyuri: "In times of peace, sweet grass grows of itself."


Emmon: "Having no fixed lifespan that comes to an end, why then did the Tathagata reveal his nirvana and die?"

Master Nyuri: "In times of drought and famine, all crops perish."


Emmon: "l have heard that because of the compassion in his heart the Buddha came out of samadhi, and out of pity helped many sentient beings toward awakening. How can such unobstructed great functioning be the same as sweet grass in favorable conditions?"

Master Nyuri: "Samadhi is called the dharmakaya, or Dharma body; the body made up of the four great elements is the sambhogakaya, or reward body; and what appears in response to circumstance is the nirmanakaya, or transformation body. The dharmakaya is not bound by anything; the transformation body is not subject to any karmic conditions but freely rises up and sinks again with nothing remaining-and so it is said to be unobstructed."


Emmon: "What is called compassion?"

Master Nyuri: "The transformation body responds fully without thinking to the true voidness. Benevolence toward beings is free of any intention and springs from an empty heart. lf forced to give it a name, it is called compassion."


Emmon: "When will sentient beings who attain the Way become Like the Tathagata?"

Master Nyuri: "lf they have not yet completed it, though they may practice the Way for as many eons as there are grains of sand in the Ganges, they are yet far far from arriving. But once completed, the very sentient being has become the Tathagata. Why should you worry whether they can become Tathagata or not?"


Emmon: "lf this is your teaching then the state of a tathagata should be easy to attain. Why is it then said that it demands practicing for three great eons?"

Master Nyuri: "It is indeed most difficult."


Emmon: "lf this very body, without any further cultivation, already is Tathagata, why do you call it most difficult?"

Master Nyuri: "To arouse the heart is easy; to eradicate the heart is difficult indeed. To affirm the body, or oneself, is easy; to deny the body is difficult.  It is easy to act, but difficult to refrain from doing anything. Know therefore that profound achievement is difficult to comprehend, and that it is hard indeed to come into union with the mysterious principle. The immovable is the truth. Even the three sages hardly match it."


Emmon sighed deeply. That sound filled the ten directions. Suddenly the sound stopped and he had great satori. The mysterious light of clear wisdom radiated of itself and dispelled all doubt. Only now he knew how hard it is to follow the Way, and that as in a dream he had till now been agitated to no purpose.

He exclaimed, "But how marvelous and splendid! Just as the Master has taught without teaching so I have truly heard without hearing. When hearing and teaching become one, all is wide and vast, oneness without words. Might I respectfully ask you, Venerable Master by what title you would wish this above dialogue to come to be known?"

Master Nyuri just sat there for a white, without answering and with shining eyes looked into the four directions. Then he chuckled and said to Emmon, "There are no words to express the profundity of the mysterious principle.  It is ineffable.  All your many questions were due to your speculative thinking and so were born in your heart.  It is just like in a dream; though one may see all kinds of configurations, they all vanish on awakening.

So now you wish to make known these questions and answers to all and sundry and ask me to give them an expedient title. When even the last traces are vanished, call it A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions."

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