"Manual of Zen Buddhism " by D.T. Suzuki, page 73 and further

From the Chinese Zen Masters, Bodhidharma on the twofold entrance to the Tao. (1)

There are many ways to enter the Path, but briefly speaking they are of two sorts only. The one is "Entrance by Reason" and the other "Entrance by Conduct". (2) By "Entrance by Reason" we mean the realization of the spirit of Buddhism by the aid of the scriptural teaching. We then come to have a deep faith in the True Nature which is the same in all sentient beings. The reason why it does not manifest itself is due to the overwrapping of external objects and false thoughts. When a man,abandoning the false and embracing the true, in singleness of thought practises the Pi-kuan ["Wall-gazing"] he finds that there is neither self nor other,that the masses and the worthies are of one essence, and he firmly holds on to this belief and never moves away therefrom. He will not then be a slave to words, for he is in silent communion with the Reason itself, free from conceptual discrimination; he is serene and not-acting. This is called "Entrance by Reason".

By "Entrance by Conduct" is meant the four acts in which all other acts are included.

What are the four?

  1. To know how to requite hatred;
  2. To be obedient to karma;
  3. Not to crave anything; and
  4. To be in accord with the Dharma.

1. What is meant by "How to requite hatred"? He who disciplines himself in the Path should think thus when he has to struggle with adverse conditions: "During the innumerable past ages I have wandered through a multiplicity of existences, all the while giving myself to unimportant details of life at the expense of essentials, and thus creating infinite occasions for hate, ill-will, and wrongdoing. While no violations have been committed in this life, the fruits of evil deeds in the past are to be gathered now. Neither gods nor men can foretell what is coming upon me. I will submit myself willingly and patiently to all the ills that befall me, and I will never bemoan or complain. The Sutra teaches me not to worry over ills that may happen tome. Why? Because when things are surveyed by a higher intelligence, the foundation of causation is reached." When this thought is awakened in a man, he will be in accord with the Reason because he makes the best use of hatred and turns it into the service in his advance towards the Path. This is called the "way to requite hatred". 

2. By "being obedient to karma" is meant this: There is no self (atman) in whatever beings are produced by the interplay of karmic conditions; the pleasure and pain I suffer are also the results of my previous action. If I am rewarded with fortune, honour, etc., this is the outcome of my past deeds which by reason of causation affect my present life. When the force of karma is exhausted, the result I am enjoying now will disappear; what is then the use of being joyful over it? Gain or loss, let me accept the karma as it brings to me the one or the other; the Mind itself knows neither increase nor decrease. The wind of pleasure [and pain] will not stir me, for I am silently in harmony with the Path. Therefore this is called "being obedient to karma". 

3. By "not craving (ch'iu) anything" is meant this: Men of the world, in eternal confusion, are attached everywhere to one thing or another, which is called craving. The wise however understand the truth and are not like the ignorant. Their minds abide serenely in the uncreated while the body moves about in accordance with the laws of causation. All things are empty and there is nothing desirable to seek after. Where there is the merit of brightness there surely lurks the demerit of darkness. This triple world where we stay altogether too long is like a house on fire; all that has a body suffers, and nobody really knows what peace is. Because the wise are thoroughly acquainted with this truth, they are never attached to things that change; their thoughts are quieted, they never crave anything. Says the Sutra:"Wherever there is a craving, there is pain; cease from craving and you are blessed." Thus we know that not to crave anything is indeed the way to the Truth. Therefore, it is taught not "to crave anything". 

4. By "being in accord with the Dharma" is meant that the Reason which we call the Dharma in its
essence is pure, and that this Reason is the principle of emptiness (sunyata) in all that is manifested; it is above defilements and attachments, and there is no "self", no "other" in it. Says the Sutra: "In the Dharma there are no sentient beings, because it is free from the stain of being; in the Dharma there is no 'self because it is free from the stain of selfhood." When the wise understand this truth and believe in it, their lives will be "in accordance with the Dharma".

As there is in the essence of the Dharma no desire to possess, the wise are ever ready to practice charity with their body, life, and property, and they never begrudge, they never know what an ill grace means. As they have a perfect understanding of the threefold nature of emptiness, they are above partiality and attachment. Only because of their will to cleanse all beings of their stains, they come among them as of them, but they are not attached to form. This is the self-benefiting phase of their lives. They, however, know also how to benefit others, and again how to glorify the truth of enlightenment. As with the virtue of charity, so with the other five virtues [of the Prajnaparamita], The wise practice the six virtues of perfection to get rid of confused thoughts, and yet there is no specific consciousness on their part that they are engaged in any meritorious deeds. This is called "being in accord with the Dharma".


The footnotes have been slightly rearranged, so as to make the text more easily understandable.

*) (moved from the main text into a footnote) There is a large mass of literature to be called especially Zen because of its style and terminology. Until the time of Hui-neng (Yeno in Japanese) and his immediate disciples, there was not much, as far as literary expressions were concerned, to distinguish treatises specifically on Zen from the rest of Buddhist literature. But as time went on there grew up what is now known as the Tu-lu (goroku in Japanese), containing the sayings and sermons, "gatha" poems, and other literary works of a Zen master. Strictly speaking, the Yu-lu or Goroku is not limited to Zen. One of the chief characteristics of the Zen Goroku is the free use of colloquial expressions which are not found in the classical literature of China. As long as Zen appeals to one's direct experience, abstraction is too inane for the mind of a master.

1) From The Transmission of the Lamp, XXX. - Since this translation from the Transmission of the Lamp, two Tun-huang MSS. containing the text have come to light. The one is in the Masters and Disciples of the Lanka (Leng-chia Shihtzu Chi), already published, and the other still in MS., which however the present author intends to have reproduced in facsimile before long. They differ in minor points with the translation here given.

2) "Entrance by Reason" may also be rendered "Entrance by Higher Intuition", and "Entrance by Conduct", "Entrance by Practical Living". - By Seng-t'san (Sosan in Japanese). Died 606 C.E. Mind=/mn. Hsin is one of those Chinese words which defy translation. When the Indian scholars were trying to translate the Buddhist Sanskrit works into Chinese, they discovered that there were five classes of Sanskrit terms which could not be satisfactorily rendered into Chinese. We thus find in the Chinese Tripitaka such words as prajna, bodhi, buddha, nirvana, dhyana, bodhisattia, etc., almost always untranslated; and they now appear in their original Sanskrit form among the technical Buddhist terminology. If we could leave hsin with all its nuance of meaning in this translation, it would save us from the many difficulties that face us in its English rendering. For hsin means "mind", "heart", "soul", "spirit"—each singly as well as all inclusively. In the present composition by the third patriarch of Zen, it has sometimes an intellectual connotation but at other times it can properly be given as "heart". But as the predominant note of Zen Buddhism is more intellectual than anything else, though not in the sense of being logical or philosophical, I decided here to translate hsin by "mind" rather than by "heart", and by this mind I do not mean our psychological mind, but what may be called absolute mind, or Mind.