We celebrated the Festival Ceremony for Great Master Bodhidharma this morning. On these occasions we sing a fairly long litany in which the fundamental teachings of the Bodhisattva we are remembering are described. The following quote comes at the end of The Litany of Bodhidharma Bodhisattva, on page six. And that’s the shortened version. The line that stood out was the one about why stay troubled….and that what we have been singing is just the barest outline of the teachings!
Go beyond the mundane
And attest to That which is saintly.
It is before your very eyes,
Not off in the distance.
Awakening is but an instant away;
Why stay troubled until your hair has turned grey?
Would that I had explained for you the subtle mysteries
of the gate to the Dharma in depth
Rather than discussed the mind in barest outline,
detailing but such a scant portion of the reason for which we train.
Some of you may be familiar with the translation of The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma, translated by Red Pine (North Point Press, 1987). Here are some quotes from that translation.
If you should follow the above link do take care to avoid mental gymnastics, if you tend towards that activity. Teachings speak to the depths and it is there one needs to listen and read.