All Ancestors and Buddhas who have maintained the Buddhadharma have considered practice based upon proper sitting in jijuyu samadhi as the right path to enlightenment. In India and China, those who have gained enlightenment have all followed in this way of practice. It is a matter of rightly transmitting the wonderful means in personal encounter from master to disciple, and on the disciple’s sustaining the true essence thus received.
According to the authentic tradition of Buddha, this Buddhadharma, transmitted rightly and directly from one to another is the supreme of the supreme. From the first time you meet your master and receive the teaching, you have no need for incense-offerings, homage-paying, nembutsu, repentance, or sutra reading. Just cast off body and mind in zazen.
When even for a short period of time you sit properly in samadhi, imprinting the Buddha-seal in your three activities of deeds, words, and thoughts, each and every thing excluding none is the Buddha-seal, and all space without exception is enlightenment. Accordingly, it makes the Buddha-tathagatas all increase the Dharma-joy of their original source, and renews the adornments of the Way of enlightenment. Then, when all classes of beings in the ten directions of the universe – the hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, and animals; the fighting demons, humans, and devas – all together at one time being bright and pure in body and mind, realize the stage of absolute emancipation and reveal their original aspect, at that time all things together realize in themselves the true enlightenment of the Buddha. Utilizing the Buddha-body and immediately leaping beyond the confines of this personal enlightenment, they sit properly beneath the kingly tree of enlightenment, turning simultaneously the great and utterly incomparable Dharma-wheel, and expound the ultimate and profound prajna free from all human agency.
Since, moreover, these enlightened ones in their turn enter into the way of imperceptible mutual assistance, the person in zazen without fail casts off body and mind, severs the heretofore disordered and defiled thoughts and views emanating from discriminating consciousness, conforms totally with the genuine Buddhadharma, and assists universally in performing Buddha-work far and wide at each of the various places the Buddha-tathagatas teach, that are as infinitely numberless as the smallest atom particles – spreading universally its influence over those who have the ascendant markings of Buddha, vigorously uplifting the Dharma transcending Buddha. Then, the land, the trees and grasses, fences, walls, tiles and pebbles, all the various things in the ten directions, perform the work of Buddhas. Consequently, all persons who share in the benefits thus produced from this wind and water are imparted unperceived the wonderful and incomprehensible teaching and guidance of the Buddhas, and all manifest their own immediate and inherent enlightenment.
Since all who receive and employ this fire and water turn round and round the teaching of original enlightenment, all who dwell and talk together with them also join with one another in possessing inexhaustible Buddha-virtue, spreading it ever wider, circulating the inexhaustible, unceasing, incomprehensible, and immeasurable Buddhadharma, inside and outside throughout the universe. Yet such things are not mingled in the perceptions of one sitting in zazen because, occurring in the stillness of samadhi beyond human artifice, they are, directly and immediately, realization. If practice and realization were two different stages, as ordinary people consider them to be, the one sitting in zazen and things should perceive each other. Any such mingling of perceptions is not the mark of realization, for the mark of true realization is to be altogether beyond such illusion.
Moreover, although both the mind of the person seated in zazen and its environment enter realization and leave realization within the stillness of samadhi, as it occurs in the sphere of jijuyu, it does not disturb a single mote of dust, or obstruct a single phenomenon, but performs great and wide-ranging Buddha-work and carries on the exceedingly profound activities of teaching and enlightening. The trees, grasses, and land involved in this all emit a bright and shining light, and preach the profound and incomprehensible Dharma – and it is endless. Trees and grasses, walls and fences expound and exalt the Dharma for the sake of ordinary people, sages, and all living beings. Ordinary people, sages, and all living beings in turn preach and exalt the Dharma for the sake of trees, grasses, walls and fences. The realm of “self-enlightenment as enlightening others” is originally filled with the characteristics of realization with no lack whatsoever, and the ways of realization continue on unceasingly.
Because of this, when just one person does zazen even one time, he or she becomes, imperceptibly, one with each and all of the myriad things and permeates completely all time, so that within the limitless universe, throughout past, future, and present, they are performing the eternal and ceaseless work of guiding beings to enlightenment. It is, for each and every thing, one and the same undifferentiated practice and the same undifferentiated realization. Only this is not limited to the practice of sitting alone: the sound that issues from the striking of emptiness is an endless and wondrous voice that resounds before and after the striking of the hammer.
And this is not limited to the side of the practitioner alone. Each and every thing is, in its original aspect, endowed with original practice – it cannot be measured or comprehended. You must understand that even if all the Buddhas in the ten directions, as countless as the sands of the Ganges, mustered all their might together and by means of Buddha-wisdom attempted to measure and totally know the merit of the zazen of a single person, they could not know the whole of its measure.