Lin-Chi: The Bodhi Tree and the Tree of Ignorance

“When your mind has learned to cease its momentary seeking, this is dubbed the state of the bodhi tree. But while your mind is incapable of ceasing, this is dubbed the tree of ignorance. Ignorance has no fixed abode, ignorance has no beginning or end. As long as your mind is unable to cease its moment-by-moment activity, then you are up in the tree of ignorance. …

“But if you can learn to cease, then you’ll be in the world of the clean pure body. If not one thought arises, you’ll be up in the bodhi tree, through your transcendental powers taking different forms in the threefold world, assuming any bodily shape you please, feasting on Dharma joy and meditation delight, illuminating things for yourself with the light of your own body.” – Lin-Chi

(Burton Watson, trans. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai]. A Translation of the Lin-Chi Lu. Boston and London: Shambala, 1993, 54-5.)

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