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"To Have no Boundaries Generates Consciousness” - The Source of Happiness

The sixth patriarch of Zen Master Hui Neng lost his father when he was three, and his mother brought him up alone. He took collecting firewood for their livelihood at an early age. One day, he was selling firewood in the market, and heard someone was reading Diamond Sutra. When he heard the words "should have no live to grow the heart" and, suddenly, he obtained his first enlightenment. In order to obtain complete relief, Hui Neng said farewell and left his mother to Huang Mei, to study Zen with the fifth patriarch of Zen Master. What is "non-living grows heart"? The term includes two layers of meaning: one is non-living and the second is growing heart.

The Philosophical Meaning of "To Have no Boundaries Generates Consciousness"

The so-called "non-living", that is completely seeing through and completely giving up, so that their hearts have no commitment, no dependence, no boundaries, no paranoia. The Lengjia Classic says "the Buddha said heart is the origin." For Zen Buddhists studying, the firstly required is a "non-live" and clean heart, that is a "normal heart".

But how to achieve "non-living of heart"? At the end of the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha interpreted to all with a poem:

All laws to follow, Are just illusions, Just like thunder and dew, Should you view like this.

The general idea of this poem is that the universe and life are dreams and illusions. Human life on this planet is as fragile as a bubble. Like the shadow, they are not true; like the morning dew and the lightning are short and easy to go. Life is short and the world is capricious. No matter how long a person's life could be, it would also go as fast as arrows. The most famous poet Li Bai could only sigh "sorrow in the bright mirror of white hair in a grand house, it was just so black in the morning, but like snow in the dusk". Carefully think about it. How could our hearts stand since all things are dreams, shadows and illusions in the world? What else is there that we can't give up? As long as you understand this point naturally, you will "give up".

Buddha's "giving up” does not mean to lay down their works or their life, but the turn of mentality. To put down the paranoia, separation and dedication, hence you will have a "non-live" normal heart, so that you can be more free and easy at work and in life. Your life will be far away from the troubles and worries, but will be full of joy,comfortable and well-being.

On seeing through gains and losses in fame and fortune, the Zen Master Chuanzi Decheng said in his Pull the Oar:

Thousands inch long silk thread fall tight down, thousands of waves follow the first.

It is hard to fish in the quiet night and cold water, only the full moon accompanying me home.

"Thousands of inches of long silk thread fall straight down” is an exaggeration to describe the long silk fishing string. Everyone has a long line to catch big fishes; some people are fishing fame; some are fishing reputation; some are fishing profit, and some fishing love. But the Zen’s "long silk thread, aim at deep pool" is the unfathomable Buddhist wisdom. People living in the world with pursuits, which is normal, but once being trapped by a growing aggression without stop. This is the root cause for trouble. Life is unpredictable, the situation of "fishing hard, but in vain" happens. What a wise monk to say that "only the full moon accompanying me home". Image that no fish were caught, yet the old monk didn't care, happily standing on the boat intoxicated by the moonlight. In his eyes, the big enlightenment is far more valuable than fish. He cares more about the experience of life rather than the result of gains or losses. Isn't this a "non-living" heart?

The Meaning of "Generating Consciousness"

"Non-living" is just giving up the wishful thinking and dedication, which is a self-relief. It is regarded as Hinayana Buddhism. Hinayana Buddhism sees the world as a world of suffering and troubles. Life is tragic and evil in the pursuit of the world of Nirvana. But obviously for the tea drinkers, it is not enough. They also pursue the Mahayana Buddhism, after the "Non-live" heart, they are in pursuit of growing heart." Which means the truth behind everything, the self grown heart of equality, honesty, justice, easygoing and compassion."Non-living" but the "growing heart" is to build up. The most important "growing hear" is the heart of mercy to the tea ceremony. "Mercy is to give warmth, to use the heart to love all things in the world." Mercy is a compassion, to make people out of suffering, to have a considerate and sympathetic heart to the world and to have mercy on all creatures.

To achieve "no-living growing heart", only when we put down the mental burdens, live pleasantly without worry, believe to do good things, "always love others and be happy for others”, can we truely achieve guinue happiness.

In modem society, "non-living and growing heart" also emphasizes "heart of equality". The economy is developing at a high speed. There is an increased differentiation between the rich and the poor. The upper class people would easily have a biased view on the lower class people, and the lower class people would generate a psychology of "social rebellion", These are not balanced hearts. Buddhism believes that the "Zen heart sees no different, and life is equal."

In the eyes of tea drinkers, life is like flowers, and each flower is beautiful. Peonies, lilacs, spring orchids and chrysanthemums, all flowers can display their own color and fragrance. No matter what life, there is no difference. Whether gooses or sparrows, they both can fly freely. People who have a "heart of equality" and are not prone to jealousy or envy of others are in a real life. You don’t have to be a rock, but a lively and happy bird.

Finally, we have special emphasis upon the "easygoing heart". Buddhists believe that the source of annoyance is jealousy. Jealousy is born with humanity and became a crucial factor that harms people especially in today's increasingly competitive society with the growing division between the rich and the poor. For tea drinkers, to have an "easy-going heart" is not only a way to stop envy, but also allows them to be happy to see other people's good characters and success. Buddha teach people that to have a "easy-going heart" is to make them more happy. With the "easy-going heart", you would be happy to see others’ achievements and success. Living a life with easy-going heart will naturally make you feel that "every day is a good day."