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TitleInstant Zen
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Table of Contents
                            Contents
Introduction
Zen Lectures
	Freedom and Independence
	Zen Sicknesses
	Facing It Directly
	Seeing and Doing
	The Marrow of the Sages
	Not Knowing
	Stop Opinions
	The Director
	Saving Energy
	The Most Direct Approach
	Asleep
	No Seeing
	Independence
	In Tune
	Learning Zen
	The Basis of Awareness
	Just Being There
	Two Sicknesses
	Mind Itself
	Seeing Through
	Speaking Effectively
	Naked Realization
	Seeing Mind
	Discovery
	Show the Truth
	Real Zen
	Wonder
	Just This
	Keep Evolving
	Approval
	Self Knowledge
	Step Back and See
	All the Way Through
	Comprehending Everthing
	Seek Without Seeking
	Original Reality
	Same Reality, Different Dreams
	Watch Yourself
	Understand Immediately
	Instant Enlightenment
	Zen Mastery
	Equality
	Clear Eyes
	Finding Certainty
	Get an Understanding
	Principle and Phenomena
	Keys of Zen Mind
	Sitting Meditation
	Notes
	Appendix Song of Trusting the Heart
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

INSTANT
ZEN

Waking
Up in the
Present

Translated by

Thomas
Cleary

Page 2

Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present

Copyright © 1994 by Thomas Cleary. Translated from the original Chi­
nese. No portion of this book, except for brief review, may be reproduced
in any form without written permission of the publisher. For information
contact North Atlantic Books.

Published by
North Atlantic Books

P.O. Box 12 ,317
Berkeley, CA 9 4 712

Cover illustration, The Sixth Patriarch Cutting Bamboo by Liang K’ai,
used by permission of the Tokyo National Museum

Cover and book design by Paula Morrison
Typeset by Catherine Campaigne

Printed in the United States o f America by Malloy Lithographing

Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present is sponsored by the Society for the
Study o f Native Arts and Sciences, a nonprofit educational corporation
whose goals are to develop an educational and crosscultural perspective
linking various scientific, social, and artistic fields; to nurture a holistic view
of the arts, sciences, humanities, and healing; and to publish and distrib­
ute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature.

Library o f Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Ch’ing-yuan, 10 6 7 - 1 12 0

[Selections. English. 1994]
Instant Zen : waking up in the present / translated by Thomas

Cleary.
p. cm.

“ This book contains translations of general lectures on Zen by
Foyan (10 6 7 -112 0 )”— P. xii.

Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 1-5 5 6 4 3 - 19 3 -7

1 . Zen Buddhism— Early works to 1800. I. Cleary, Thomas,
1949-. II. Title.
BQ 9265.C45725813 19 9 4
294.3 *927— dc20
94-25026

CIP

4 5 6 7 8 9 / 03 02 0 1 00 99

Page 76

Just This

C
o n s id e r t h e c a s e of Grand Maestro Ma: seeing a monk
going downstairs, the Maestro called to him, “ O Worthy!”

When the monk turned his head, the Maestro said, “ From birth
to death, it’s just this person; why turn your head and revolve
your brains?” That monk understood the essential message at
these words.

What is the logic of this? “ From birth to death, it’s just this
person.” Tell me, what person is it? As soon as you arouse the
intention to see “ this person,” then you do not see this person.

“This person” is hard to see. Very, very hard. People today
simply say, “ This is ‘this person’— who else is there? There
couldn’t be any other.” Ninety-nine out of a hundred understand
in this way; what grasp have they? If you interpret in this way,
how can you understand the njatter of “ from birth to death,”
and how can you immediately see it as “ just this person” ?

If you do not see “ this person,” you have no idea how your
mo|tal^being will end up.

WK&t ̂ bqut this lecturing and listening right now— is there
actually lectur^g and listening, or is there no lecturing and lis­
tening? If you say you are standing there while I am sitting here,
I am lecturing and you are listening, anj^villager can say such
things— how can you call yourselves If you say there
is no lecturing and no listening, still he^ jp^p^ |iitaaaat “ from
birth to death, it’s just this person”

57

Page 77

Therefore, when you get to this point, you need to find a real­
ized individual to discern precisely.

Before I had understood, I was totally helpless, so I asked of
my teacher. As soon as I’d ask a question, my teacher would just
say, “ I don’t understand. I don’t know. I’m not as good as you.”
I also asked if Zen is ultimately easy to learn or hard to learn.
He just told me, “ You’re alright; why are you asking about
difficulty and ease? Learning Zen is called a gold and dung phe­
nomenon. Before you understand it, it’s like gold; when under­
stood, it’s like dung.” I didn’t accept this at the time, but now
that I’ve thought it over, although the words are coarse the mes­
sage in them is not shallow.

These are examples of how perfectly realized people never
utter a single word or half a phrase without purpose. Whenever
they try to help others, they never give random instructions, and
they do not approve people arbitrarily. Nowadays there are teach­
ers all over who sometimes speak correctly and sometimes speak
without a grasp. Why? Because they have not yet attained per­
fect realization. Sometimes they approve people and say they are
right, but then sometimes they say they are not right; how is it
possible to clarify “ from birth to death, it’s just this person” in
such a manner?

When you look closely, you see that people of the present are
none other than people of yore, and the functions of the pre­
sent are none other than the functions of the past; even going
through a thousand changes and myriad transformations, here
it is just necessary for you to recognize it first hand before you
can attain it.

The reason people today cannot attain it is just because they
do not know how to distinguish it with certitude. How is it that
they carjnot distinguish it with certainty? They just make up
interpretations of ancient sayings, boring into them subjectively.
If you just do this, you will never understand. Why? I tell you,
if you “ turn your head and revolve your brains,” you’re already

5 8

Page 152

Sx>ng o f Trusting the Heart

Let it be as it naturally is; its substance neither goes nor stays.
Let your nature merge with the Way, and you will roam free

of vexation.
Tying down thoughts goes against the real; oblivion is not good.
It is not good to belabor the spirit; why estrange the familiar?
If you want to gain the way of oneness, don’t be averse to the

six sense fields.
The six sense fields are not bad; after all they’re the same as

true awakening.
The wise do not contrive; fools bind themselves.
Things are not different in themselves; you arbitrarily get

attached yourself.
If you take the mind to use the mind, is this not a big mistake?
When deluded, you create peace and chaos, when enlightened,

there is no good or bad.
All dualistic extremes come from subjective considerations.
Dreams, illusions, flowers in the air; why bother to grasp them?
Gain, loss, right, wrong; let them go all at once.
If the eyes do not sleep, dreams disappear of themselves.
If the mind does not differ, all things are one suchness.
One suchness embodies the mystery, utterly still and

unconditioned.
To see all things equally, is to return again to the natural state.
Without any reason therefore, you cannot judge or compare.
Stopping is movement without motion, movement is still

without stopping:
Sinc^feoth are not established, how can one be such?
When yoi^fid out the ultimate consummation, you do not

keep rules and models.
When the mind in harmony is equanimous, all doings come to

rest.
When doubts are thoroughly clea|«<^i!rdetelief is directly in

tune.
Nothing at all stays; there’s nothing to fix iffconind.

Page 153

When open and clear, spontaneously aware, you aren’t
wasting mental effort.

The realm that is not an object of thought cannot be assessed
by conscious feelings.

The reality realm of true suchness has no other or self.
If you want to tune in right away, just speak of nonduality.
Nonduality is all the same; there’s nothing it doesn’t contain.
The wise ones of the ten directions all enter this source.
The source is neither expansive nor contracted; one instant is

ten thousand years.
There is nowhere that it is not; the ten directions are right

before the eyes.
The small is the same as the large; you forget all about the

bounds of objects.
The largest is the same as the small; you do not see beyond it.
Being is none other than nonbeing, nonbeing is none other

than being;
Anything that is not like this definitely should not be kept.
One is all, all are one;
If you can just be like this,
What ruminations will not end?
The true mind is nondual, nonduality makes the mind true.
There’s no more way to talk of it; it is not past, or future, or

present.

13 6

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