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Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
winter 2007| 30 |buddhadharma are just a group of foolish people.’ You should be sovereign according to where you find yourself; be the true person wherever you are, not allow- ing the conditions around you to pull you away. Thus, even if your habit energies have been built up over one thousand years, or you have commit- ted the five inexpiable crimes, they all will become the ocean of liberation. “Most of those who study the path of Bud- dhism in our own time do not understand the dharma. They are like goats who will eat whatever is given them; they cannot distinguish master from servant, guest from host. People like that enter on the path of practice with the wrong motivation; they are always ready to enter places of noise and disturbance. You cannot call them true monks. In fact they are worldly people. True monks must have right view in their daily life, which is able to distinguish Buddha from Mara, true from false, sacred from profane. Only when people have this ability can they be called true renouncers of the household life. If they cannot distinguish Mara from Buddha, they just renounce one household in order to enter another. They can be called liv- ing beings who are making karma but not those who have renounced the household. In our own time there is a phenomenon called Buddha-Mara, an entity in which Mara and Buddha cannot be distinguished, like when milk and water are mixed together. It is said that from such a mixture the King of Geese can drink just the milk. My dharma friends with good eyes, according to me, should topple both Buddha and Mara. If they still have the tendency to love the sacred and hate the pro- fane, they will continue to drown in the ocean of birth and death for a long time.” Commentary Buddhism should not be hard work. If we do sit- ting or walking meditation and we exert too much effort, that isn’t the buddhadharma. If, while we’re eating, we try not to speak and we try to pick up food in a very correct way with the spoon, then we’re working too hard. We should still practice mindful manners. Master Linji isn’t saying we should be unmindful, just that we should live our lives with as much relaxation as possible. If we want to put on the robe, then we put on the robe. If we want to eat our meals, then we eat our meals. If we want to defecate, then we defecate. If we want to urinate, then we can urinate. If we’re tired, then we can rest. We don’t need to listen to the dharma talk. We don’t need to go to a dharma discussion. Master Linji referred to a poem written by Puji, a student of the seventh patriarch of the Northern school of Zen Buddhism, that reads: “If we direct ourselves outward for our daily practice, In doing nothing, in simply stopping, we can live freely and true to ourselves and our liberation will contribute to the liberation of all beings. A Laundry Woman –Yamuna River, India, 2000 kiMsooja