Air - the Wind of the Reminder of the Origin in the Spirit and Obeisance to Universal Law
Luft - der Wind der Erinnerung an den Ursprung im Geiste und die Ehrerbietung für die Gesetzmässigkeit des Universums

Only simple and quiet words will ripen of themselves
For a whirlwind does not last a whole morning
Nor does a sudden shower last a whole day
Who is their author? Heaven-and-Earth
Even Heaven-and-Earth cannot make such violent things last long
How much truer is it of the rash endeavours of men?
Hence, he who cultivates the Tao is one with the Tao
He who practices Virtue is one with Virtue
And he who courts after Loss is one with Loss
To be one with the Tao is to be a welcome accession to the Tao
To be one with Virtue is to be a welcome accession to Virtue
To be one with Loss is to be a welcome accession to Loss
Defiency of faith on your part
Entails faithlessness on the part of others

Lao-Tzu   Tao The Ching     as given by John C. H. Wu
auf deutsch

From the

Sutra spoken by the sixth patriarch
Hui-neng (Wei Lang) on the high seat of the treasure of the law
   as given by Wong Mou-lam

I was selling firewood in the market one day, when one of my customers ordered some to be brought to his shop. Upon delivery being made and payment received, I left the shop, outside of which I found a man reciting a sutra. As soon as I heard the text of this sutra my mind at once became enlightened. Thereupon I asked the man the name of the book he was reciting and was told that it was the Diamond Sutra. I further inquired whence he came and why he recited this particular sutra. He replied that he came from Tung-shan monastery in the Huang-mei district of Ch'i-chou; that the abbot in charge of this temple was Hung-jen, the fifth patriarch; that there were about one thousand disciples under him; and that when he went there to pay homage to the patriarch, he attended lectures on this sutra. He further told me that His Holiness used to encourage the laity as well as the monks to recite this scripture, as by doing so they might realize their own essence of mind, and thereby reach buddhahood directly
It must be due to my good karma in past lives that I heard about this, and that I was given ten taels for the maintenance of my mother by a man who adviced me to go to Huang-mei to interview the fifth patriarch. After arrangements had been made for her, I left for Huang-mei, which took me less than thirty days to reach
I then went to pay homage to the patriarch, and was asked where I came from and what I expected to get from him. I replied, ``I am a commoner from Hsin-chou of Kwangtung. I have traveled far to pay you respect and I ask for nothing but buddhahood''
``You are a native of Kwangtung, a barbarian? How can you expect to be a buddha?''
I replied, ``Although there are northern men and southern men, north and south make no difference to their buddha-nature. A barbarian is different from Your Holiness physically, but there is no difference in our buddha-nature''
He was going to speek further to me, but the presence of other disciples made him stop short. He then ordered me to join the crowd to work
``May I tell Your Holiness,'' said I, ``that prajña often rises in my mind. When one does not go astray from one's own essence of mind, one may be called the `field of merits'. I do not know what work Your Holiness would ask me to do''
``This barbarian is too bright'', he remarked. ``Go to the stable and speak no more''. I then withdrew myself to the backyard and was told by a lay brother to split firewood and to pound rice
More than eight months after, the patriarch saw me one day and said, ``I know your knowledge of Buddhism is very sound, but I have to refrain from speaking to you lest evildoers should do you harm. Do you understand?''
``Yes, sir, I do'', I replied. ``To avoid people taking notice of me, I dare not go near your hall''
The patriarch one day assembled all his disciples and said to them, ``The question of incessant rebirth is a momentous one. Day after day, instead of trying to free yourselves from this bitter sea of life and death, you seem to go after tainted merits only. Yet merits will be of no help if your essence of mind is obscured. Go and seek for prajña in your own mind and then write me a gatha about it. He who understands what the essence of mind is will be given the robe and the dharma, and I shall make him the sixth patriarch. Go away quickly. Delay not in writing the stanza, as deliberation is quite unnecessary and of no use. The man who has realized the essence of mind can speak of it at once, as soon as he is spoken to about it; and he cannot lose sight of it, even when engaged in battle''
Having received this instruction, the disciples withdrew and said to one another, ``It is of no use for us to concentrate our mind to write the stanza and submit it to His Holiness, since the patriarchate is bound to be won by Shen-hsiu, our instructor. And if we write perfunctorily, it will only be a waste of energy''. Upon hearing this, all of them made up their minds not to write and said, ``Why should we take the trouble? Hereafter, we will simply follow our instructor, Shen-hsiu, wherever he goes, and look to him for guidance''
Meanwhile, Shen-hsiu reasoned thus with himself: ``Considering that I am their teacher, none of them will take part in the competition. I wonder whether I should write a stanza and submit it to His Holiness. If I do not, how can the patriarch know how deep or superficial my knowledge is? If my object is to get the dharma, my motive is a pure one. If I where after the patriarchate, then it would be bad. In that case, my mind would be that of a worldling and my action would amount to robbing the patriarch's holy seat. But if I do not submit the stanza, I shall never have a chance of getting the dharma. A very difficult point to decide, indeed!''
In front of the patriarch's hall there were three corridors, the walls of which were to be painted by a court artist named Lu-chen with pictures from the Lankavatara-sutra depicting the transfiguration of the assembly, and with scenes showing the genealogy of the five patriarchs, for the information and veneration of the public
When Shen-hsiu had composed his stanza he made several attempts to submit it to the patriarch, but as soon as he went near the hall his mind was so perturbed that he sweated all over. He could not screw up courage to submit it, although in the course of four days he made altogether thirteen attempts to do so Then he suggested to himself, ``It would be better for me to write it on the wall of the corridor and let the patriarch see it for himself. If he approves it, I shall come out to pay homage, and tell him that it is done by me; but if he disapproves it, then I shall have wasted several years in this mountain in receiving homage from others that I by no means deserve! In that case, what progress have I made in learning Buddhism?''
At twelve o'clock that night he went secretly with a lamp to write the stanza on the wall of the south corridor, so that the patriarch might know what spiritual insight he had attained. The stanza read:

    Our body is the bodhi-tree
    And our mind a mirror bright
    Carefully we wipe them hour by hour
    And let no dust alight

As soon as he had written it he left at once for his room, so nobody knew what he had done. In his room he again pondered: ``When the patriarch sees my stanza tomorrow and is pleased with it, I shall be ready for the dharma; but if he says that it is badly done, it will mean that I am unfit for the dharma, owing to the misdeeds in previous lives that thickly becloud my mind. It is difficult to know what the patriarch will say about it!'' In this vein he kept on thinking until dawn, as he could neither sleep nor sit at ease
But the patriarch knew already that Shen-hsiu had not entered the door of enlightenment, and that he had not known the essence of mind
In the morning, he sent for Lu-chen, the court artist, and went with him to the south corridor to have the walls there painted with pictures. By chance, he saw the stanza. ``I am sorry to have troubled you to come so far,'' he said to the artist. ``The walls need not be painted now, as the sutra says, `All forms or phenomena are transient and illusive'. It will be better to leave the stanza here, so that people ma study it and recite it. If they put its teaching into actual practice, they will be saved from the misery of being born in these evil realms of existence. The merit gained by one who practices it will be great indeed!''
He then ordered incense to be burned, and all his disciples to pay homage to it and to recite it, so that they might realize the essence of mind. After they had recited it, all of them exclaimed, ``Well done!''
At midnight, the patriarch sent for Shen-hsiu to come to the hall, and asked him whether the stanza was written by him or not
``It was, sir'', replied Shen-hsiu, ``I dare not be so vain as to expect to get the patriarchate, but I wish Your Holiness would kindly tell me whether my stanza shows the least grain of wisdom''
``Your stanza'', replied the patriarch, ``shows that you have not yet realized the essence of mind. So far you have reached the door of enlightenment, but you have not yet entered it. To seek for supreme enlightenment with such an understanding as yours can hardly be successfull
``To attain supreme enlightenment, one must be able to know spontaneously one's own nature or essence of mind, which is neither created nor can it be annihilated. From kshana to kshana, one should be able to realize the essence of mind all the time. All things will then be free from restraint. Once the Tathata is known, one will be free from delusion forever; and in all circumstances one's mind is absolute truth. If you can see things in such a frame of mind you will have known the essence of mind, which is supreme enlightenment
``You had better go back to think it over again for a couple of days, and then submit me another stanza. If your stanza shows that you have entered the door of enlightenment, I will transmit to you the robe and the dharma'' Shen-hsiu made obeisance to the patriarch and left. For several days, he tried in vain to write another stanza. This upset his mind so much that he was as ill at ease as if he were in a nightmare, and he could find comfort neither in sitting nor in walking
Two days after, it happened that a young boy who was passing by the room where I was pounding rice recited the stanza written by Shen-hsiu. As soon as I heard it, I knew at once that the composer of it had not yet realized the essence of mind. For altough I had not been taught about it at that time, I already had a general idea of it
``What stanza is this?'' I asked the boy
``You barbarian'', he replied, ``don't you know about it? The patriarch told his disciples that the question of incessant rebirth was a momentous one, that those who wished to inherit his robe and dharma should write him a stanza, and that the one who had an understanding of the essence of mind would get them and be made the sixth patriarch. Elder Shen-hsiu wrote this formless stanza on the wall of the south corridor and the patriarch told us to recite it. He also said that those who put its teaching into actual practice would attain great merit, and be saved from the misery of being born in the evil realms of existence'' I told the boy that I wished to recite the stanza too, so that I might have an affinity with its teaching in future life. I also told him that although I had been pounding rice there for eight months I had never been to the hall, and that he would have to show me where the stanza was to enable me to make obeisance to it
The boy took me there and I asked him to read it to me, as I am illiterate. A petty officer of the Chiang-chou district named Chang Tih-yung, who happened to be there, read it out to me. When he had finished reading I told him that I also had composed a stanza, and asked him to write it for me. ``Extraordinary indeed'', he exclaimed, ``that you also can compose a stanza''
``Don't despise a beginner'', said I, ``if you are a seeker of supreme enlightenment. You should know that the lowest class may have the sharpest wit, while the highest may be in want of intelligence. If you slight others, you commit a very great sin''
``Dictate your stanza'', said he. ``I will take it down for you. But do not forget to deliver me, should you succeed in getting the dharma!''
My stanza read:

    There is no Bodhi-tree
    Nor stand of a mirror bright
    Since all is void
    Where can the dust alight?

When he had written this, all disciples and others who were present were greatly surprised. Filled with admiration, they said to one another, ``How wonderful! No doubt we should not judge people by appearance. How can it be that for so long we have made a boddhisattva incarnate work for us?''
Seeing that the crowd was overwhelmed with amazement, the patriarch rubbed off the stanza with his shoe, lest jealous ones should do me injury. He expressed the opinion, which they took for granted, that the author of this stanza had also not yet realized the essence of mind
Next day the patriarch came secretly to the room where the rice was pounded. Seeing that I was working there with a stone pestle, he said to me, ``A seeker of the path risks his life for the dharma. Should he not do so?'' Then he asked, ``Is the rice ready?''
``Ready long ago'', I replied, ``only waiting for the sieve''. He knocked the mortar thrice with his stick and left
Knowing what his message meant, in the third watch of the night I went to his room. Using the robe as a screen so that none could see us, he expounded the Diamond Sutra to me. When he came to the sentence, ``One should use one's mind in such a way that it will be free from any attachment'', I at once became thoroughly enlightened, and realized that all things in the universe are the essence of mind itself
``Who would have thought'', I said to the patriarch, ``that the essence of mind is intrinsically pure! Who would have thought that the essence of mind is intrinsically free from becoming or annihilation! Who would have thought that the essence of mind is intrinsically self-sufficient! Who would have thought that the essence of mind is intrinsically free from change! Who would have thought that all things are the manifestation of the essence of mind!''
Knowing that I had realized the essence of mind, the patriarch said. ``For him who does not know his own mind there is no use learning Buddhism. On the other hand, if he knows his own mind and sees intuitively his own nature, he is a hero, a teacher of gods and men, a buddha''
Thus, to the knowledge of no one, the dharma was transmitted to me at midnight, and consequently I became the inheritor of the teaching of the Sudden school as well as of the robe and the begging bowl
``You are now the sixth patriarch'', said he. ``Take good care of yourself, and deliver as many sentient beings as possible. Spread and preserve the teaching, and don't let it come to an end. Take note of my stanza:

    Sentient beings who sow the seeds of enlightenment
    In the field of causation will reap the fruit of buddhahood
    Inanimate objects void of buddha-nature
    Sow not and reap not

He further said, ``When the patriarch Bodhidharma first came to China, most Chinese had no confidence in him, and so this robe was handed down as a testimony from one patriarch to another. As to the dharma, this is transmitted from heart to heart, and the recipient must realize it by his own efforts. From time immemorial it has been the practice for one buddha to pass to his successor the quintessence of the dharma, and for one patriarch to transmit to another the esoteric teaching from heart to heart. As the robe may give cause for dispute, you are the last one to inherit it. Should you hand it down to your successor, your life would be in imminent danger. Now leave this place as quickly as you can, lest some one should do you harm''
``Whither should I go?'' I asked
``At Huai you stop and at Hui you seclude yourself'', he replied
Upon receiving the robe and the begging bowl in the middle of the night, I told the patriarch that, being a Southerner, I did not know the mountain tracks, and that it was impossible for me to get to the mouth of the river to catch a boat. ``You need not worry'', said he. ``I will go with you''
He then accompanied me to Chiu-chiang, and there ordered me into a boat. As he did the rowing himself, I asked him to sit down and let me handle the oar
``It is only right for me to carry you across'', he said
To this I replied, ``While I am under illusion, it is for you to get me across; but after enlightenment, I should cross it by myself. As I happen to be born on the frontier, even my speaking is incorrect in pronunciation, but in spite of this I have had the honor to inherit the dharma from you. Since I am now enlightened, it is only right for me to cross the sea of birth and death myself by realizing my own essence of mind''
``Quite so, quite so'', he agreed. ``Beginning from you the Dhyana school will become very popular. Three years after your departure from me I shall leave this world. You may start on your journey now. Go as fast as you can toward the south. Do not preach too soon, as Buddhism is not so easily spread''
After saying good-bye, I left him and walked toward the south. In about two month's time, I reached Ta-yü Mountain. There I noticed that several hundred men were in pursuit of me with the intention of robbing me of my robe and begging bowl

dyana -> chan -> zen contemplation, meditation, free from attachment
patriarch of chan
sutra sacred book of the Buddhist canon
diamond sutra   `Jewel of Transcendental Wisdom', originating in a Sanskrit text called the 'Vajrachchedika-prajñaparamita-sutra' (Diamond Cutter), belonging to the 'Mahaprajñaparamita' (Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom)
prajjña transcendental wisdom
field of merits title of honour given to monks, helping others in sowing the seed of merits
gatha stanza
dharma here: the esoteric teaching of the Dhyana school
bodhi enlightenment
kshana thought moment
Tathata suchness, essence of mind, symbolized by the Diamond
carry you across an allusion to the sea of birth and death which one has to go across before the shore of nirvana can be reached

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