A Dialogue On The Contemplation-Extinguished

A dialogue between Attainment and Gateway, in one scroll.


  1. The Great Way is deep and void, sublime and still, beyond comprehension, beyond verbal expression. Here are provisionally set up two persons who both talk the true reality: a master named Attainment and a disciple called Gateway. Now Master Attainment is calm without words. Gateway, abruptly standing on his feet, asks Master Attainment, saying, “What is it that is called `mind`? How do we put the mind at ease?” Master says in answer, “You need not suppose a mind, nor need you particularly endeavour to put one at ease. That can be spoken of as putting the mind at ease.”
  2. Asked, “If there is no mind, how do we learn the Way?” Answered, “The Way is not anything the mind thinks of. How does it concern the mind?”
  3. Asked, “If it is not anything the mind thinks of, how can we ever think of it?” Answered, “To have thought is to have mind. To have mind contradicts the Way. To have No-thought is to have No-mind. No-mind is the true Way.”
  4. Asked, “Do all living beings have the mind or not?” Answered, “If living beings have any mind, that will be a perversion. Only because a mind is set up in the midst of No-mind do there take place delusive thoughts.”
  5. Asked, “What kind of thing does the no-mind have?” Answered, “No-mind is at once No-thing. No-thing is nature itself. Nature itself is the Great Way.”
  6. Asked, “How can the delusive thoughts of living beings be destroyed?” Answered, “In so far as one sees delusive thoughts and their destruction, one will never leave the delusive thoughts.”
  7. Asked, “Without their destruction or elimination, will it be possible to accord with the Way?” Answered, “So long as one speaks of `to accord`or `not to accord,`one will not be free from the delusive thouths, either.”
  8. Asked, “What shall I do?” Answered, “Nothing done. That`s it!”


  1. Gateway asks, “Speaking of the Most Honored One, by cutting of what, by attaining what, is he called the Most Honored One?” Attainment says, “Because of cutting off not a single bit, because of attaining not a single truth, he is regarded as the Most Honored One.”
  2. Asked, “Without cutting off anything, without attaining anything, how can he be different from ordinary beings?” Answered, “He differs because every ordinary being falsely has something to cut off, deludedly has something to attain.”
  3. Asked, “Now you say the ordinary being has something to attain but that the Most Honored One does not. Then, as regards attainment and non-attainment, how can one be distinguished from the other?” Answered, “The ordinary being, with an attainment, is under delusion. The Most Honored One, with no attainment at all, is free from delusion. Because there is delusion there is arguing for or against the identy (of the two). Because there is freedom from delusion there pertains no difference or non-difference.”
  4. Asked, “If there is no difference, what does the name `the Most Honored One`stand for?” Answered, “`The ordinary being`and `the Most Honored One`are both but names. Only mentioned by name, there is none of the two, nor is there any distinction. It is like talking nonsense as `a tortoise`s hair`or `horns of a hare`.”
  5. Asked, “If the Most Honored One is likened to a tortoise`s hair or horns of a hare, this after all will lead to speaking of his non-existence. What kind of things will you have people learn?” Answered, “I speak of the non-existence of a tortoise`s hair. I never mean the non-existence of the tortoise itself. What do you reproach me for, as you do now?”
  6. Asked, “What kind of thing do you mean by the non-existence of hair and what by the tortoise?” Answered, “By the `tortoise`I mean the Way, and by the `hair`I mean the ego. The Most Honored One, accordingly, is without ego and is what the Way is. On the contrary, the ordinary being, ego-possessed and naming-possessed, is really like the one who willfully persists in the existence of hair on a tortoise or horns on a hare.”
  7. Asked, “If that is the case, the Way will be that which exists, and the ego which does not exist. With `what is`and `what is not,`one is taking to the false view of `to be`and `not to be,` don’t you think so?” Answered, “The Way is never that which exists, nor is the ego that which does not exist. Why, because as regards the tortoise, since it is not that what previously existed now does not exist, it cannot be said to be that which does not exist. As regards hair, since in this case it is not that what previously existed now does not exist, it cannot be said to be that which does not exist. As to the Way and the ego, the same reasoning will do.”
  8. Asked, “Speaking of the Way-seekers, is it one person or numerous persons who attain it? Or is it each and every person? Or is it people altogether who have it? Or is it that people originally have it or that after finishing practice people attain it?” Answered, “Things are totally unlike the way you talk. Why? Because if the Way were one person`s attainment, it would fail to be universal. Were it numerous person`s attainments, the Way would be destined to exhaustion. Were it each and every person`s attainment, the Way would come to have numbers. If it were a common attainment of people altogether, means prescribed for attainment would be useless. If people originally have it, tens of thousands of practices would be vainly provided. If one were to attain it after finishing practice, it would be artificial far from being true.”
  9. Asked, “In the end, what is left (to say)?” Answered, “Free from every sense and measurement; free from discrimination and greed.”


  1. Gateway asks, “The ordinary being has a body; he sees, hears, feels, and knows. The Most Honorable One also has a body, and sees, hears, feels, and knows. What difference is to be found here?” Answered, “Withe the ordinary being, the eyes see, the ears hear, the body feels, and the consciousness konws. With the Most Honored One that is not the case. With him seeing is not the seeing of the eyes; likewise, knowing is not the knowing of the consciousness. Why? Because it goes beyond the senses and measurements.”
  2. Asked, “Why do we see it stated in the scriptures that the Most Honored One has no seeing, feeling, or knowing?” Answered, “The Most Honored One does not have the ordinary being’s seeing, hearing, feeling, or knowing. It is not that for the Most Honored One there is no range of perception. It is only that neither ‘to be’ or ‘not to be’ can take in the range, which is free from discriminative thoughts.”
  3. Asked, “Does the ordinary range of perception rally exist, which the ordinary being has?” Answered, “Really it does not exist while delusively it does; originally it is calm. Only when it suffers discriminative attachment, which is false and delusive, does it cause all perversion.”
  4. Asked, “I don’t understand how with the Most Honored One seeing is not the seeing of the eyes or how with him knowing is not the knowing of the consciousness.” Ansered, “The Self without form is hard to see. Illustrations will help you to know: When that profound and subtle light mirrors things, it seems as though there were that wich reflects and those reflected, but there is no such thing as an eye capable of having things reflected by itself. Also, when the dual principle of ying and yang responds to things in nature, it is as though there were that which knows and that which is known, but there is no such thing as a consciousness provided with the power to know.”


  1. Gateway rises and asks, “After all, who is the Way attributed to?” Answered, “There is no one, after all, to whom it is attributed, just like empty space has nothing to depend on. Should there be any connection or attribution for the Way, it would immmediately have now blocking, now clearing, now owner, now lodger.”
  2. Asked, “What is the root of the Way? What constitutes the activity of the Formless?” Answered, “Emptiness or voidness is the very root of the Way, and every phenomenon constitutes the activity of the Formless.”
  3. Asked, “Who effects all the working in here?” Answered, “There really exists no agent here; the world of the Formless is by nature Self-effected.”
  4. Asked, “Isn’t this the effect of the karma-force of sentient beings?” Answered, “Those who receive their karma-retribution are held in karma-bondage; there is no means for them to make agents of themselves. How could they find leisure to chisel seas and heap mountains, to arrange the heaven and settle the earth?”
  5. Asked, “Now, I have heard that the Bodhisattva has a body produced by thought. Is this not due to some supernatural power?” Answered, “The ordinary being’s defiled deeds are one thing; the Most Honored One’s defilement-free deeds are another. There is a difference between them. Nevertheless, the latter is not as yet the Self-effected Way. That is why we have the expression: ‘As for the varieties of the thought-produced body, I speak of them as none other than so many mental calculations.'”
  6. Asked, “You have already said that voidness is the very root of the Way. Is voidness the Buddha or not ?” Answered, “Yes, right.”
  7. Asked, “If voidness is the Buddha, why does not the Most Honored One have sentient beings turn their minds to voidness, instead of making them recall the Buddha?” Answered, “It is for the sake of ignorant sentient beings that we have the teaching and practice of Buddha-remembrance. If it is for those who have an understanding of the Way, we have the teaching and practice of ‘discerning the real form of one’s own being. This is also true of discerning the Buddha’ For by the ‘real form’ we mean Voidness or Formless.”


  1. Gateway rises and asks, “Now I have heard that adherents of other religions also attain the five miraculous powers; and so do the Bodhisattvas. Both having the powers, how do they differ?” Attainment answers, “They differ because adherents of other religions would consider that there is that which is capable of attaining them, whereas the Bodhisattvas who thoroughly attain the No-Self, do not consider likewise.”
  2. Asked, “Ever since the beginning of time, generally speaking, beginners in the practice of the Way are imperfect in their attainment, slightly awakened to the true reality, dimly realizing the subtle principle. Compared with the attainers of the five miraculous powers among adherents of other religions, what would such beginners excel in?” Answered, “First take to the attainment and be awakened, if slightly, to the principle. What, then would be the good of acquiring proficiency in the use of such particulars as the five miraculous powers?”
  3. Asked, “If anyone acquires the five miraculous arts, he will now be the world-honored, now the world-esteemed, one. He will in advance know what is yet to come and afterward know what had come to pass, and will guard himself against transgressions. Is it not the case that he excels?” Answered, “No, it is not. The reason is this. All the worldly beings, with their mind largely attached to external forms, are greedy to make careers for themaselves; they avail themselves of what is counterfeit so as to make the latter rival the realities. Let them acquire the miraculous arts of Sheng-i or the eloquence of Shan-hsing; if they do not know the principle of the real form, they cannot help suffering the pain of burial in a crack of the earth.”


  1. Gateway asks, “Does the Way lie only in the spiritual body? Or does it also lie in grass and tress?” Attainment says, “The Way has no place where it does not pervade.”
  2. Asked, “If the Way is so pervasive, why is it that to kill a man is criminal whereas to kill grass and trees is not criminal?” Answered, “To speak of crime and non-crime follows the discriminative mind, and is based on particularity; neither is the right Way, falsely set up their own and other selves, is killing intentional. The intention bears fruit of karman. Hence the spaking of crimes. Grass and trees, having no discriminative mind, originally accord to the Way. Since they are free from ego-centeredness, their killer engages in no calculation. Hence no arguing about crime or non-crime. No the one who is free from ego-centeredness, who, thus, accords with the Way, looks at his body as at grass or a tree, and suffers the cutting of his body with a sword as trees in a forest do. Therefore, Manjusri’s grasping a sword against Gautama Buddha and Angulimalya’s holding a dagger against Sakyamuni, are all in accord with the Way. Both attain the No-origination, and completely realize the mirage-like transformations of what are hollow and vacant in their identity. That is why there is no arguing about either a crime or a non-crime.”
  3. Asked, “If grass and trees have long been in accord with the Way, why do the sutras not record their attainment of Awakening but only man’s?” Answered, “There are records not only of man’s but of grass and trees. A sutra says, ‘In a particle of dust is included all the self-characterizing forms.’ Another says, ‘All the self-characterizing forms are also true in their manners of being. All the living beings are also true in their manners of being. ‘ What is true in its manner of being has no duality or discrimination.”


  1. Gateway asks, “As to the principle of such ultimate voidness, what should it be sought and attained in?” Attainment says, “It should be sought in all that has shape-and-color; it should be attained in your own words.”
  2. Asked, “How is it that it should be sought in all that has shape-and-color and that it should be attained in our own words? How is it to be sought in shape-and-color? How is it to be attained in words?” Answered, “Voidness and shape-and-color are in one accord; words and the attainment are not two.”
  3. Asked, “If every self-characterizing form is void, how is it that the Awakened are open whereas the unawakened are blocked up?” Answered, “The false move; hence the block. The true remain tranquil; hence the openness.”
  4. Asked, “If voidness is already a matter of fact, how is it that there is the ‘perfuming’ by ignorance? If it is an established fact that one must undergo the perfuming of oneself by ignorance, how could there be the achievement of voidness?” Answered, “Speaking of what is false, there abruptly takes place non-awakening; there is an abrupt move of non-awakening. The truth is, however, that the Self that is Voidness is without any form that undergoes the perfuming by ignorance.”
  5. Asked, “If voidness is the reality, no living beings will practice so as to attain to the Way. Why? Because their self-effected nature will do.” Answered, “No living beings, if they realize the principle of Voidness, actually will have recourse to practices to attain to the Way. Only because they do not empty the emptiness, they come to suffer from the basic delusion of being.”
  6. Asked, “If such is the case, it must be that leaving delusion is the Way. How would you say that all beings are apart from the Way?” Answered, “No, I don’t mean that. It is not that delusion is the Way, nor is it that leaving delusion is the Way. Why? Because, for example, when one is intoxicated one is not sober; when sober, one is certainly not drunk. Nevertheless, it is not that apart from intoxication there is recovery from it; nor that intoxication is sobriety.”
  7. Asked, “If one recovers from intoxication, then, where is the drunkenness once brought about?” Answered, “It is like a palm turned down. When it is turned away, who would ask where the palm is!”


  1. Gateway asks, “Is it possible for a man who does not realize this principle to preach about the truth and illumine other beings?” Attainment says, “No, not possible. Why? Because he has not yet cleard his own sight. How can he restore sight to the others?”
  2. Asked, “By making the best use of his intellectual power and contriving various ways, how can it be impossible for him to illumine others?” Answered, “Realization of the principle of the Way can be namen ‘wisdom in power’, whereas non-realization of this is to be named ‘ingorance in power.’ Why? Because the non-realization helps one’s own distress increase its force.
  3. Asked, “To illumine others in accord with the principle may be impossible for him. But how can it be to no advantage of other living beings to teach them to practice the ten virtuous deeds or the five precepts so that they may peacefully be placed in the human and heavenly lives?” Answered, “Not only is it to no advantage from the viewpoint of the ultimate principle; it also invites two disadvantages: having oneself and others fall down. By having others fall down I mean to have others remain subject to the life-death circuit within the six ways of being.”
  4. Asked, “But the Most Honored One has no intention of preaching about the differentiated truths. They are just so many manifestations of wishes in the beings’ own minds. Hence the sutra expression: ‘With the mind returned home, there is no vehicle or vehicle-rider. There being no establishment of vehicles, I speak of the One Vehicle.'”


  1. Gateway asks, “How is it that a person who truly practices the Way is unkown to others? How can it be that he is not recognized by others?” Answered, “Rare treasures are beyond the recognition of the destitute; a genuine person is beyond the recognition of the impostors.”
  2. Asked, “In the world are impostors, who are not concerned with the true principle, who externally display imposing manners, and who devote themselves to enterprises. Men and women seek their company. There are plenty of them. Why?” Answered, “Wanton women allure crowds of men around them. Stinking flesh gahters a cloud of flies on it. Likewise, that is what the name and the appearance have brought about.”


  1. Gateway asks, “How does the Bodhisattva make evils his own path so as to attain to the way of the Buddha?” Answered, “He does not discriminate good from evil.”
  2. Asked, “What do you mean by making no discrimination?” Answered, “I mean not to have the mind arise over any self-characterizing form.”
  3. Asked, “Can we negate the doer at all?” Answered, “We neither affirm nor negate the doer.”
  4. Asked, “Does the practice of non-discrimination go without sensation and consciousness?” Answered, “It goes with consciousness, yet without selfhood.”
  5. Asked, “Without selfhood, how could it go with consciousness?” Answered, “Consciousness also is as such without selfhood.”
  6. Asked, “What will be wrong if we speak of the self?” Answered, “There is nothing wrong in being conscious of the term ‘self’. I am afraid only that there will be something on the mind.”
  7. Asked, “If anythingis on the mind, what will be wrong?” Answered, “If nothing is on the mind, what wrong will need to be inquire of!”
  8. Asked, “If you reject having anything on the mind and choose to have nothing on the mind, how can you speak of ‘making evils one’s own path?” Answered, “The reality is that nothing is on the mind. You forcibly make something arise. What is the use of doing that?”
  9. Asked, “Can there be any condition under which killing is made possible?” Answered, “A field fire burns hills; fierce winds break trees; an avalanche buries beasts; and flooding water drifts worms. To the mind that works likewise killing a man will also be possible and passable. If the mind has any hesitation, if it sees life, and if it sees killing, so long as the mind therein does not exhaust itself, even an ant would keep your life in bondage.”
  10. Asked, “Can there be any condition under which stealing is made possible?” Answered, “Bees pick flowers in the pond; sparrows beak millet in the yard; cows eat peas on the swamp; and horses feed on rice in the field. After all, without the thought of another person’s possession, you could take even a mountain peak for your own. Otherwise, even a single leaf of a plant as thin as the tip of a needle might bind you by the neck, and leave you a slave.”
  11. Asked, “Can there be any condition under which wantonness is made possible?” Answered, “The heaven arches over the earth. The element of zang unites itself with that of yin. A privy accepts leakage from above. Spring water pours into gutters. If the mind works in the same manner, in no place where it functions will it meet any obstruction. If passion arouses discrimination, even your own wife would defile your mind.”
  12. Asked, “Can there be any condition which lying is made possible?” Answered, “Talks are talked without any talker; utterances are made with no uttering mind; voices ring the same as a bell; breaths sounds just like winds. When the mind works in the same manner, the ‘Buddha’ so called comes to have no existence. Otherwise, even extolling the Buddha by the name would be telling a lie.”


  1. Gateway rises and asks, “Unless one retains the view of ego and an ego’s possession of the body, how can there be going, staying, sitting, or lying?” Answered, “Just go, stay, sit, or lie. What is the use of fixing the view of ego and an ego’s possession of the body?”
  2. Asked, “Without retaining that view, is it still possible to think over the right principles?” Answered, “Should one adhere to the view that the mind exists, it will exist even when one thinks of nothing. If one realizes No-mind, even while one is thinking there will be none. Why? Because, for example, a venerable Zen master while in a calm sitting allows thoughts to arise; or because severe winds rage without any mind.”


  1. Gateway asks, “Suppose there is a beginner in search of the Way who abruptly meets a karma-occasion when someone is about to hurt him. How can he cope with this situation so as to accord with the Way?” Answered, “Nothing of this sort needs to be coped with. Why? Because, if avoidable, it will be avoided. If unavoidable, it will be borne. If sufferable, it will be suffered. If insufferable, it will be wept at.”
  2. Asked, “If he weeps, what should distinguished him from other men, who have the ego-view?” Answered, “Just as when a bell is struck with a hammer, his voice comes forth all of itself. How could he necessarily be a man of ego-view? If upon dying a violent death you grasp at the mind, clenching your teeth and compressing your lips to endure, this will be preserving a terrible massive ego.”
  3. Asked, “Emotions stir in a man who has grief and weeps. How could such be identical with the sound of a bell?” Answered, “Speaking of identity or non-identity only proves your meddlesomeness. It is delusive fancy or thought-calculation that makes this question arise. If no mind makes discrimination, the Way will be Self-effected at it is.”
  4. Asked, “I hear that the Most Honored One is he whom no military weapons hurt, no sufferings bend, no material appearances delude, nor any mind perturbs. What does this mean?” Answered, “If one realizes that everything that has its own form is really without self-form, then will either voicing or voiceless, either perturbed or not-perturbed accord with the principle of the Way, without any hindrance or difficulty.”


  1. Gateway asks, “I see a person in search of the Way who, not wholeheartedly dedicated to the search or to observing the precepts, nor very attentive to the defense of the dignity of demeanor, without helping sentient beings to wake, idles away his time. What is the intention of such a person?” Answered, “He is anxious to annihilate every discriminative mind, desirous of extinguishing every false view. Despite the external appearance of his idle resignation, internally he goes on practicing incessantly.”
  2. Asked, “If this practicer moreover has given rise to that childish view, how can he be said to be going to extinguish his false view?” Answered, “Just extinguish your own false view. Why are you so anxious about the arising of any view in him? Think, for example, of yourself as a fish that is coming out of the depths of a pool. How could you be concerned about whether or not the catcher may hate you?”
  3. Asked, “Still, he may be injuring others while benefiting himself. How can he be named a man of the Great Vehicle?” Answered, If no perverted view arises to you, none will arise of a view to the other, but that is the arising of one to yourself, not to the other.”
  4. Asked, “To be internally versed in the Mahayana principle while externally manifesting the Hinayana demeanor – what harm would this do to the truth?” Answered, “You are now eager to force a man of ripe old age to make child’s play. Of what benefit is it to the principle?”
  5. Asked, “I wonder who can recognize a man of the Great Vehicle, who has had his perverted views extinguished. Who is able to know him?” Answered, “The attainer knows him; the man of the Way recognizes him.”
  6. Asked, “Is such a man of the Great Vehicle also able to help others to awake?” Answered, “How could it be that the sun and the moon do not shine, or that a lamp lifted does not light up things around it?”
  7. Asked, “What means will he use?” Answered, “Just straightforward without any means.”
  8. Asked, “Without any means, how could he benefit others?” Answered, “A thing comes along, and it is named; a matter arises, and it is respondes to. No mind measures or compares; no occasion of calculating beforehand occur.”
  9. Asked, “I hear that the Tathagata deliberated for seven days before he devised his means. How can one say that there is no mind that makes measurement or comparison?” Answered, “The world of the Buddha’s attainment is not what thought, estimation, perception, or contemplation takes it to be.”
  10. Asked, “How can a Buddha lie?” Answered, “He tells truth, not falsity.”
  11. Asked, “Why does the sutra state that he deliberated whereas now you say he does not?” Answered, “The sutra is concerned about the expendiency of transformation.”
  12. Asked, “From whence do the Buddhas and their means originate?” Answered, “The Buddhas are Not-originated; they are only products of the mind. While there are occastions of their helping myriads of beings to awake; all that has its own form originally has no name.”


  1. Gateway asks, “I do not know this: What is it that is named the Buddha? What is named the Way? What is named transformation? What is named permanency?” Attainment answers; “Thoroughly awakened to Not-anything, one is spoken of as a Buddha. What penetrates that has its own form come out into being is considered transformation; the ultimate Calm-and-Extinction is regarded as permanency.”
  2. Asked, “Why is all that has it own form called; ‘the form of the Awakened one?'” Answered, “Not being any form nor not being any no form, all this is the form of the Awakened One.”
  3. Asked, “What is named ‘form’? What is named ‘no-form’? What is named ‘not-being-form-nor-being-no-form’?” Answered, “Affirmatevly one speaks of ‘form’ whereas negatively ‘no-form.’ Since neither affirmation nor negation measures it, it is named ‘not-being-form-nor-being-no-form’.”
  4. Asked, “Who proves the truth of this statement?” Answered, “This statement has nothing to do with ‘who’. Why prove it?”
  5. Asked, “What is stated without ‘two’?” Answered, “Without ‘who’ and without ‘statement’ – this is the right statement.”
  6. Asked, “What would you name ‘a wrong statement’?” Answered, “When someone, fixed upon the assumption that he has something to state, makes a statement, I would name it ‘a wrong one’.”
  7. Asked, “This is someone’s assumption. How could there be no assumption?” Answered, “An assumption is mere words; words, within themselves, have no words. Nor is there any assumption.”
  8. Asked, “If such is the case, all the living beings from the outset must haven been emancipated.” Answered, “Not even bound or restrained. How could there be any emancipated person?”
  9. Asked, “What would you name this truth?” Answered, “There is not even truth; how could there be its name?”
  10. Asked, “If this were the case, it would be all the more difficult for me to understand.” Answered, “Actually there is no truth to understand. Please do not seek understanding.”
  11. Asked, “Ultimately, what?” Answered, “No beginning-ending.”
  12. Asked, “How could there be no cause or effect.” Answered, “Neither first nor last.”
  13. Asked, “How could it be proved by a statement?” Answered, The true reality makes no statement to prove itself.”
  14. Asked, “How can one know and see it?” Answered, “By knowing that all is as it really is; by seeing that all is equal.”
  15. Asked, “Which mind knows it? Which eyes sees it?” Answered, “The Not-knowing knows it; the Not-seeing sees it.”
  16. Asked, “Who has made that statement?” Answered, “Just as I am asking.”
  17. Asked, “How could it be ‘just as I am asking’?” Answered, “You yourself should contemplate your question. The answer itself comes to be known.”
  18. Upon hearing this, Gateway re-considers, re-examines, keeping calm and silent. Master Attainment then asks, “Why do you keep silent?” Gateway answers, “I see no form, nor anything even like a single particle of dust, that I should make any response to.” Hereupon Master Attainment says to Gateway, “You now look like you have seen the principle of the true reality.”


  1. Gateway asks, “Why do I ‘look like I have seen’ and not ‘have rightly seen’ the principle?” Attainment answers, “Now you seee that there is not a single form. That reminds me of the one off the Way who, although he has learned how to hide his figure, is still unable to erase his shadow or cover his traces.”
  2. Gateway asks, “How is it possible to have both the figure and shadow extinguished?” Attainment answers, “Originally there is neither mind nor object. You must not give rise to the view of coming into being or of extinction.”
  3. Asked, “The ordinary being, because of what he is, asks questions; the Most Honored One, because of what he is, preaches. Is this so?” Answered, “Because of the doubt one has, one asks. So as to remove the doubt one preaches.”
  4. Asked, “I hear that the Most Honored One, without being asked, preaches of himself. What is there to remove? Is this because there is some truth to preach upon? Or is it because he apprehends the other’s doutbt?” Answered, “All this is to dispense medicine according to the disease. Just as, when the heaven thunders, it never fails to have some response to itself.”
  5. Asked, “The Great, Honored Tathagata already has no intention to be born. What has occasioned his appearance in the world?” Answered, “In the ages of a peaceful reign asupicious grass has conditions for growth.”
  6. Asked, “The Tathagata already has nothing to do with the extinction of life. Why did he reveal his own extinction?” Answered, “In the ages of famine and devastation the five cereals have causes for extinction.”
  7. Asked, “I hear that the Most Honored One out of commiseration rose from deep meditation, and that out of compassion he helped crowds of beings attain Awakening. How could the unobstructed, great thoroughness of the Tathagata be the same as auspicious grass?” Answered, “Dhyana means the Formless Self. The body of karma-retribution is the human body made up of the four gross elements. That which arises in response to the discrimination of an object presented – that is called the body of transformatione. The Formless is under no restraint of causality. The body of transformation is in no confinement to any occasion. It is free of and thoroughgoing in either appearance or disappearance. Hence the unobstructedness.”
  8. Asked, “What is spoken of as compassion?” Answered, “The body of transformation, free of discrimination, completely agrees with the true Voidness. Its affection toward all living beings is free from intention. ‘Compassion’ is a name forced upon it.”
  9. Asked, “When is it possible for a living being practicing the Way to succeed the Tathagata?” Answered, “If he is not awakened, all the practices in the Way for as many kalpas as the grains of sand of the Ganges river would leave him far short of the attainment. At the outset when he is awakened, this very living being is the Tathagata. Why argue about the possibility or impossibility of succession?”
  10. Asked, “If such is the case, the Tathagatahood will be easy to attain. Why speak of the three large kalpas of practices?” Answered, “Extremely hard, indeed.”
  11. Asked, “If without a slightest turn his very being is the One, why speak of it as hard?” Answered, “Raising the mind is easy; extinguishing the mind is hard. Affirming oneself is easy; negating onself is hard. Having intention is easy; not having intention is hard. So one knows that profound achievements are hard to understand, and that the wondrous principle is hard to accord with. The Not-stirring is the reality, which the three sages can hardly come up to.”
  12. Hereupon Gateway gave a loud sigh. The voice filled the then directions. Suddenly there was no sound, and the dawn came to him; he was awakened. Subtly profound light of pure wisdom reflecting upon itself free from doubt, for the first time he knew how hard it was to attain the Way, and that he had conceived discriminative thoughts all in vain as in a dream. Then in a loud voice he admired, “How good! My dear master, you have preached by not preaching. I have really heard by not hearing. Once all is calm and still without any words. I wonder what you, my dear master, would name the foregoing question-answering.”
  13. At this, Master Attainment, keeping himself stable and not stirring, allowing all this to strike his eye, silent, looked around in the four directions. He laughed, chuckled, and then said to Gateway, “The ultimate principle is profound and subtle, and free from letters. Your foregoing questions were aroused by calculative thoughts; they were waves of the mind. In a dream one thinks one has plenty of things to do, whereas once awake one has no such things. You want this dialogue to circulate in the world and ask me to give some temporary name. That you may rob it of its traces please name it ‘a dialogue on the contemplation-extinguished’.”

A dialogue between Attainment and Gateway, in one scroll.

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