Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma Quotes About Enlightenment & The Way

“The true Way is sublime. It can’t be expressed in language. Of what use are scriptures? But someone who sees his own nature finds the Way, even if he can’t read a word.”

“The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They’re not the Way.”

“The Buddha is your real body, your original mind. This mind has no form or characteristics, no cause or effect, no tendons or bones. It’s like space. You can’t hold it. It’s not the mind of materialists or nihilists. If you don’t see your own miraculously aware nature, you’ll never find a Buddha, even if you break your body into atoms.”

“All know the way, but few actually walk it.”

“To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity.”

“But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.”

“Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom.”

“Freeing oneself from words is liberation.”

“Whoever knows that the mind is a fiction and devoid of anything real knows that his own mind neither exists nor doesn’t exist.”

“And as long as you’re subject to birth and death, you’ll never attain enlightenment.”

“Someone who seeks the Way doesn’t look beyond himself.”

“Once you know the nature of anger and joy is empty and you let them go, you free yourself from karma.”

“Without the mind there is no Buddha. Without the Buddha there’s no mind.”

“Unless you see your nature, you shouldn’t go around criticizing the goodness of others. There’s no advantage in deceiving yourself. Good and bad are distinct. Cause and effect are clear. But fools don’t believe and fall straight into a hell of endless darkness without even knowing it. What keeps them from believing is the heaviness of their karma. They’re like blind people who don’t believe there’s such a thing as light. Even if you explain it to them, they still don’t believe, because they’re blind. How can they possibly distinguish light?”

“As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you’ll never see that your own mind is the Buddha.”

“Life and death are important. Don’t suffer them in vain.”

“Worship means reverence and humility it means revering your real self and humbling delusions.”

“But this mind isn’t somewhere outside the material body of the four elements. Without this mind we can’t move. The body has no awareness. Like a plant or a stone, the body has no nature. So how does it move? It’s the mind that moves.”

“To find a Buddha all you have to do is see your nature.”

“Not creating delusions is enlightenment.”

“To find 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 good rebirth, and making offerings results in future blessings—but no Buddha.”

“People who don’t see their own nature and imagine they can practice thoughtlessness all the time are liars and fools.”

“Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn’t exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.”

“The mind’s capacity is limitless, and its manifestations are inexhaustible. Seeing forms with your eyes, hearing sounds with your ears, smelling odors with your nose, tasting flavors with your tongue, every movement or state is all your mind.”

“Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free, even of birth and death. You’ll transform everything.”

“The Way is basically perfect. It doesn’t require perfecting. The Way has no form or sound. It’s subtle and hard to perceive. It’s like when you drink water: you know how hot or cold it is, but you can’t tell others.”

“The awareness of mortals falls short. As long as they’re attached to appearances, they’re unaware that their minds are empty. And by mistakenly clinging to the appearance of things they lose the Way.”

“But when you first embark on the Path, your awareness won’t be focused. You’re likely to see all sorts of strange, dreamlike scenes. But you shouldn’t doubt that all such scenes come from your own mind and nowhere else.”

“The essence of the Way is detachment. And the goal of those who practice is freedom from appearances.”

“Everything good and bad comes from your own mind. To find something beyond the mind is impossible.”

“. . . the fools of this world prefer to look for sages far away. They don’t believe that the wisdom of their own mind is the sage . . . the sutras say, “Mind is the teaching.” But people of no understanding don’t believe in their own mind or that by understanding this teaching they can become a sage. They prefer to look for distant knowledge and long for things in space, buddha-images, light, incense, and colors. They fall prey to falsehood and lose their minds to insanity.”

“Don’t hate life and death or love life and death. Keep your every thought free of delusion, and in life you’ll witness the beginning of nirvana, and in death you’ll experience the assurance of no rebirth.”

“As long as you’re enthralled by a lifeless form, you’re not free.”

“Buddhas move freely through birth and death, appearing and disappearing at will.”

“Not suffering another existence is reaching the Way.”

“To go from mortal to buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings.”

“When we’re deluded there’s a world to escape. When we’re aware, there’s nothing to escape.”

“If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both. . . . The mind and the world are opposites, and vision arises where they meet. When your mind doesn’t stir inside, the world doesn’t arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is true vision. And such understanding is true understanding.”

“Not thinking about anything is zen. Once you know this, walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is zen. To know that the mind is empty is to see the buddha. . . . Using the mind to reality is delusion. Not using the mind to look for reality is awareness. Freeing oneself from words is liberation.”

“If you see your nature, you don’t need to read sutras or invoke buddhas. Erudition and knowledge are not only useless but also cloud your awareness. Doctrines are only for pointing to the mind. Once you see your mind, why pay attention to doctrines?”

“When your mind doesn’t stir inside, the world doesn’t arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is true vision…”

“Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us.”

“Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path.”

“When mortals are alive, they worry about death. When they’re full, they worry about hunger. Theirs is the Great Uncertainty. But sages don’t consider the past. And they don’t worry about the future. Nor do they cling to the present. And from moment to moment they follow the Way.”

“A buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Such is his power that karma can’t hold him. No matter what kind of karma, a buddha transforms it. Heaven and hell are nothing to him. But the awareness of a mortal is dim compared to that of a buddha, who penetrates everything, inside and out.”

“You can’t know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself.”

“Once you see your nature, sex is basically immaterial.”

“People of this world are deluded. They’re always longing for something – always, in a word, seeking.”

“To have a body is to suffer. Does anyone with a body know peace? Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and stop imagining or seeking anything. The sutras say, “To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.” When you seek nothing, you’re on the Path.”

“The mind is the root from which all things grow if you can understand the mind, everything else is included.”

“The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.”

“To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings.”

“Whoever realizes that the six senses aren’t real, that the five aggregates are fictions, that no such things can be located anywhere in the body, understands the language of Buddhas.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *