Words of Chan
Master Chang Shangte
Translated by Translation Team
Chapter Two 02.01 Bodhichitta
One should not only reach a state of Bodhi-mind or Bodhicitta (authentic wisdom) but also step upon the Bodhi path all the way up to the real and immovable realm of the eighth bodhisattva.
One should convert confidence, blessing and ascetism (sufferings) into vitality in order to reach a state of Buddha’s Bodhi-mind or Bodhicitta.
Chapter Two 02.02 Inevitable and Accidental
In the lifetime:
First, where there is an inevitable, there is an accidental, and vice versa;
Second, inevitable is accidental; accidental is inevitable;
Third, inevitable or accidental is originated from cause and condition (karma);
Fourth, existence of an individual shall not be dominated by the inevitable and accidental. One should keep an equivalent attitude towards agony, happiness, emptiness and fullness.
The Dharmakaya is ontology, neither inevitably nor by chance.
This is the highest dialectical unity of real self-existence.
Authenticity of issues related to all existences in the universe can only be scrutinized through “dialectical” method.
Chapter Two 02.03 Primary and Secondary
There is no such segmentation on primary or secondary Pure Land. Amitabha and Diamond Sutra are both Pure Land. It would be wrong to regard Amitabha as the ultimate; and even worse to regard Diamond Sutra and/or other Sutra as such. One, who is proficient in one sutra or sect, will naturally become very knowledgeable about various sutras and sects. Chanting the name of Buddha with sincerity is to return to Self completely; once returned to Self, one will be corresponding with the Buddhas, and ultimately has no Self at all.
Chapter Two 02.04 Religion and Philosophy
Buddha Dharma is both a religion and a philosophy. By placing the religious rituals on Buddha Dharma, it then becomes a religion; understanding oneself – a core course of philosophy, is what Buddha Dharma is all about. "Chan" (Zen) is commonly known as Buddha Dharma or philosophy; yet it even goes beyond them. Chan is a "Pure Land" of the pure land, and is also the destination of the "Pure Land".
Chapter Two 02.05 Ignorance of Buddha Dharma
From the standpoint of “Buddha”, Dharma is, in essence, “non-war” undoubtedly; whoever links war to Dharma’s cause and effect is in violation of Dharma, yet unfortunately many great masters fall into this category.
依他起和徧計所執，本為無因，是以既然活著，就這樣活著，那就用不著在意識和語言上來一句：「就這樣活著」。既清明在躬而又超越意識與語言，即圓成實 -- 也就是轉識成智。
Chapter Two 02.06 Transforming knowledge into wisdom and live and not live
Arising in dependence on other things or attachment by pervasive discrimination derives from nothingness at the very beginning; once alive, just live. One need not consciously verbalize such discontent as “So it is”. One needs to be clear-minded all the time, transcend consciousness and languages, and transform knowledge into enlightened wisdom – namely “Perfectly Accomplished Nature of Reality.”
Living and non-living, in fact, is a very dialectical subject; the key argument is: If one is unafraid of being not alive, he shouldn’t be afraid of being alive, and vice versa; if one is not afraid of being alive, he shouldn’t be afraid of being not alive. However, it is very difficult to live at peace, yet properly realize death is the only way out (Nirvana).
Chapter Two 02.07 Non Cause
Arising in dependence on other things or attachment by pervasive discrimination, from metaphysics point of view, was derived from nothingness at the very beginning. According to the enlightened Sanskrit (Śūraṅgama Sūtra), "All are non-karmic and unnatural." Once alive, just live and need not consciously verbalize such discontent as “So it is”.
Chapter Two 02.08 This is a matter of Dharma
Hold Vimalakirti’s essentials onto one’s outer conduct;
Cohere with Amitabha’s beliefs in one’s inner mindset.
Chapter Two 02.09 Buddhahood
See through cause and effect in this world,
Disregard mercy, joy, dissociation and conjunction,
Clear up any encountered pressure,
Be fearless to life and death,
Help others to the very end;
Chapter Two 02.10 Proverbs of Dharma Garden
Free and in-itself
Having a clear conscience
The supreme Buddha Dharma
Chapter Two 02.11 Seeds Verse
All evil karma done in the past originated from greed, hatred, infatuation, arrogance and suspicion,
I now repent all the aforementioned and bury their roots into seeds,
Yet given the chance, the five-poison will return.
Alas, Seeds Verse!
Chapter Two 02.12 Studying Buddhism
Studying Buddhism is not “Ten years of hard working on academic studies in obscurity may spring into fame overnight”; Buddhist students (śaikṣa) should work very hard on studies of the whole existence, not merely academic matters. Since the whole existence in essence encompasses Dharma in many respects, students who abide by and work hard on it with endurance will be rewarded with enlightenment and versatility eventually. This is to study Buddhism and become a Buddha; and this too, is what Confucian said, “[a sage] affects and transforms all the past occurrences, and leaves all beings with the spiritual belief.”
Chapter Two 02.13 General Verse of Dharma
Treating all causes (hetu) as good causes, anxiety instantly becomes Boddhi, and will be extricated ultimately;
Viewing any condition (pratyaya) as a non-condition, condition arises and eliminates simultaneously, and no conditions to follow with.
Chapter Two 02.14 The Mind of Buddha
My whole body is filled with sorrow for the secular world. For this sake I feel deeply sad for the human being, and I am even sorry that it makes me feel so. Conforming, as of the same nature as oneself, to fellow feeling and genuine compassion, and corroborate the truth of the law of immortality; this is called the spiritually enlightened heart.
Chapter Two 02.15 Arhat and Buddha
First, Maitreya Bodhisattva will be the future Buddha over 5 billion years later (5,670,000,000 years to be exact); Bono’s ascetism towards Buddhism are really nothing, and this is beyond words of our insignificance and ignorance; and is indeed indescribable.
Second, to become an Arhat is to knock down the physical body (rūpakāya) through destruction of the body and annihilation of the mind;
Third, to become a Buddha is to clear away all seeds and habits (vāsanā) through transformation of knowledge into enlightened wisdom.
Chapter Two 02.16 Treasure
Getting older in every meeting,
Coming in half from cause and condition or in half from emptiness,
Encourage, understand and assist mutually with each other,
It is a precious encountering, embrace it! Cherish it!
Being alive in the world, for just a sojourn, sick and tired from suffering, arguing for what and fighting for what!
Chapter Two 02.17 Meditation Essentials
First, it all derived from purity, perfection, tranquility and nothingness;
Two, taking a meditation is to pause for a moment and transform oneself upwardly, and regress toward the realm of the saints’ (ārya-jñāna) spontaneous Dhammakaya - also known as Ontology in philosophy;
Three, being with the Buddha and entering the Dharma Realm of boundless in vast nothingness; meet and then be adopted by absolutes, absolute per se is empty and void, emptiness too is empty, at this very moment, an ontological light is emerged and nothing can be emptied or extricated.
Chapter Two 02.18 Three and Philosophy
Communicating spiritually with the ancient sages
Agreeing with the entire matters and energies of the universe
Corresponding to the genuine Self
This is the all in all, a tacit correspondence and understanding.
Chapter Two 02.19 Root of the Problem
Both good fortune and misfortune of mankind, and good and bad of society are caused by human beings’ individual karma and habits (vāsanā). Ordinary People (Bono) are ignorant and selfish; those who seldom introspect, but turn to blame others all day long, will ultimately never be extricated.
Chapter Two 02.20 Qi of Righteousness
What is the greatest righteousness?
First, for the pursuit of “Truth, Benevolence and Beauty,” sacrifice oneself wholeheartedly with no reservation.
Second, righteous action emerges with inner compassion.