January 24th, 2020 was the Lunar New Year Eve. Together, all the disciples gathered in the Hall of the Patriarchs and offered incense. We prayed to the lineage masters for the blessing so we can travel the path steadily. What is Dharma practice? It is to "uphold and safeguard right mindfulness". How though? To be watchful of every intention. Do not allow our intentions to make trouble. Do not fabricate. Keep our minds free at all times. Keep our minds free under any circumstances.
“To be free” means the mind is not conditioned by anything. The nature is essenceless. Our awareness is to realize clearly that the nature of each individual is empty. With emptiness, we can realize clarity and awareness. Being in the state as such, it is called, “vidya ”. Should the state deviates from emptiness, it is not the stainless “vidya”.
I used to pray to the Sixth Patriarch of Chan to realize the genuine Chan. This happened when I entered the Great Compassion Mantra (Long Dharani) retreat. I found my “personal Chan”. What is “personal Chan”? It is the realization that is free from duality, or, others. Through the blessing of the Great Compassion Mantra, I had realized Chan thoroughly. I was content with such realization. Buddhadharma is a practice of self-realization. Meanwhile, one needs to accumulate merits to realize this clear and naked awareness .
Hence, we must do more, give more, let go, and less comparing. We have to eliminate attachments and delusions. As long as we are caught up with them, we are not on the track of Dharma practice. Between one thought and the next, we need to let go of our discriminating judgment. Don't reenter the door of samsara by being tangled up with attachments and delusions.
A bodhimanda lies within a direct mind. This is the kind of bodhimanda we must hold. A direct mind is not the mind caught up with phenomena. It is a mind that is notionless, the essenceless nature. So, we must take care of our basis. What is the “basis”? It is our body and mind. “When the mind is active, all dharmas (phenomena) are created. When the mind is inactive, all dharmas are ceased.” We created samsara on our own. A pure land is also attained with this mind that can be arising or ceasing. Yet, without arising and ceasing, there’d be no coming and going. A mind free from delusion is named, “suchness”.