I heretofore acquired the Dharma of the Transmission of Mind, as expressed in The Chung-Ling Record and in The Wan-Ling Record, from Ch'an Master Huang-Bei (Hsi-Yun). So thus I have come to write a gatha on The Transmission of Mind:
The Mind cannot be transmitted;
To tacitly understand is transmission.
The Mind can perceive nothing at all,
But nothingness is true perception.
The tally is not the tally;
Also, nothing is not nothing.
Do not remain in Illusion City,
Or you'll mistake the pearl on your forehead;
Be aware, the word "pearl" is only an expedient,
For how can Illusion City have any form?
Only the Mind is Buddha,
The Buddha without birth.
So know directly that "it is!"
Without seeking or acting.
For a Buddha to seek Buddha
Is just a waste of energy.
If you let a Dharma-view arise,
You'll only fall into Mara's realm.
Don't separate the worldly and the holy;
Then seeing and hearing will disappear.
Just like a clear mirror, be without mind,
And there is no competition with things.
Just like the bright void, be without thinking,
And you contain the ten thousand things.
The Three Vehicles are outside of the Dharma,
But to know this is rare in a kalpa's course.
When one attains such realization, then
He is the Hero Who Leaves the World.
Once I heard this gatha from a Mahasattva, who resided on the east side of the river and who was with the Master at Kao-An during that time when he was preaching the Dharma of the Transmission of Mind to Prime Minister P'ei-Hsiu. It was about that time that P'ei-Hsiu wrote this gatha and recorded the teaching of the Master as clearly and brilliantly as if he were painting a picture, hoping that the deaf and the blind would suddenly be awakened. Since it would a great pity if P'ei-Hsiu's account of the Master's words was lost or destroyed, I have thus compiled and edited it in these Records.
The Year of Ching-Li Wu-Tzu
Master Tien Jen