The mind of sentient beings is a vast land of “mystery”. In fact, the “secrets” of the whole universe lie in the mind of sentient beings. The deepest place in the mind of sentient beings is the true reality of the universe.
Therefore, those who wish to explore the mystery and reality of the universe cannot understand it from outside of sentient beings. The most advanced study in Physics has discovered and claimed that the universe began with an explosion and the turning of the universe is caused by various movements of energy. If so, what was the source of this energy?
Answering this question requires one to explore the mind of sentient beings. Through training with proper methods, one can utilize the function of cognition to gradually tap into the deep place of consciousness, the level of mind where one can see the many “secrets” of unknown territory. If one can reach that deep point, the reality of the universe will vividly appear in front of that person.
The wisdom of the saints from the Orient reveals the discovery of this reality. The methods they have used are those of exploring the mind. They use the methods of Chan, unceasingly concentrating and contemplating the depth of the mind, peeling away layer after layer until they reach the end point and become enlightened. An enlightened one is called a buddha, someone who has awakened to the truth of the universe. Their mind is then the mind of the Buddha (Shakyamuni). Therefore, the mind of sentient beings and the mind of the Buddha are not different. The mind of the Buddha utilized various methods to see completely the clear mind through layers and layers of dust, while the minds of sentient beings are still covered by dust and pollution. That is all.
The mind of Buddha and the mind of sentient beings are the same and not different. The former has awakened, and the latter is still deluded. Those who are not awakened are sentient beings, and those who are awakened are buddhas. If one who is deluded becomes enlightened, immediately at that very moment, that person is a buddha.
(1989/11/07 written at 金馬侖, Malaysia. Published in the book 《爾然小品》by Dharma Drum Publications.)