Daily Zen Library


The Zen Teaching of Huang po on the Transmission of Mind

translated by John Blofeld (Translator), P'ei Hsiu (Preface) John Blofeld

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This complete translation of the original collection of sermons, dialogues, and anecdotes of Huang Po, the illustrious Chinese master of the Tang Dynasty, allows the Western reader to gain an understanding of Zen from the original source, one of the key works in its teachings; it also offers deep and often startling insights into the rich treasures of Eastern thought. Nowhere is the use of paradox in Zen illustrated better than in the teaching of Huang Po, who shows how the experience of intuitive knowledge that reveals what cannot be communicated by words. With the help of these paradoxes, beautifully and simply presented in this collection, Huang Po could set his disciples on the right path. It is in this fashion that the Zen master leads his listener into truth, often by a single phrase designed to destroy his particular demon of ignorance

Related Journal Entries

The Wan Ling Record of Zen Master Huang Po

Huang-po ( d.850) Q: What is the Buddha? A: Mind is the Buddha, while cessation of conceptual thought is the Way. Once you stop arousing concepts and thinking in terms of existence and... View Journal Entry »

Zen Teachings of Huang Po

Huang-Po (d 850) Our original Buddha-Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any atom of objectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy —... View Journal Entry »

The Chun Chou Record

Huang po (d. 850) Mind is like the void in which there is no confusion or evil, as when the sun wheels through it, shining upon the four corners of the world. For when the sun rises and... View Journal Entry »

Questions from the Wan Ling Record

Huang po (d.850) Question:  At the moment of Enlightenment, where is the Buddha? Answer:  Whence does your question come?  Whence does your consciousness arise?  When... View Journal Entry »

On Transmission of Mind

Huang-po (d. 850) All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It... View Journal Entry »

Transmission of Mind

Huang-po (d. 850) When a sudden flash of thought occurs in your mind, and you recognize it for a dream or an illusion, then you can enter into the state reached by the Buddhas of the past-not... View Journal Entry »

On the Transmission of Mind

 Huang-po (d.850) Regarding this Zen Doctrine of ours, since it was first transmitted, it has never taught that people should seek for learning or form concepts. "Studying the Way" is... View Journal Entry »

Transmission of Mind Part 2

Huang-po (d. 850) The Mind is no mind of conceptual thought, and it is completely detached from form.  So Buddhas and sentient beings do not differ at all.  If you can only rid... View Journal Entry »

Mind is the Buddha

Huang Po (d. 850) One day, after taking his seat in the great hall, the Master began as follows.  Since Mind is the Buddha, it embraces all things, from the Buddhas at one extreme to the... View Journal Entry »

The Chun Chou Record of Zen Master Huang-po

Huang-po (d. 850) Q:  Mind is the Buddha; but it is not clear as to what sort of mind is meant by this ‘Mind which is the Buddha.’ A:  How many minds have you got? Q:... View Journal Entry »

Doctrine of Mind

Huang po (d 850) When the people of the world hear it said that the Buddhas transmit the Doctrine of the Mind, they suppose that there is something to be attained or realized apart from Mind,... View Journal Entry »

The Wan Ling Record of Zen Master Huang Po - Part II

Huang-po (d.850) Q: Does the Buddha really liberate sentient beings? A: There are in reality no sentient beings to be delivered by the Tathagata. If even self has no objective existence, how... View Journal Entry »

Questions from the Wan Ling Record - Part 1

Huang Po (d 850 Q: Why was the Bodhisattva of Infinite Extent unable to view the sacred sign on the crown of the Buddha's head? A: There was really nothing for him to see. Why? The... View Journal Entry »