Xu Yun (1840 -1959), a Chinese-born Chan (zen) Buddhist master.
1.Experience Chan! It's not mysterious.
As I see it, it boils down to cause and effect.
Outside the mind there is no Dharma
So how can anybody speak of a heaven beyond?
2. Experience Chan! It's not a field of learning.
Learning adds things that can be researched and discussed.
The feel of impressions can't be communicated.
Enlightenment is the only medium of transmission.
3. Experience Chan! It's not a lot of questions.
Too many questions is the Chan disease.
The best way is just to observe the noise of the world.
The answer to your questions?
Ask your own heart.
4. Experience Chan! It's not the teachings of disciples.
Such speakers are guests from outside the gate.
The Chan which you are hankering to speak about
Only talks about turtles turning into fish.
5. Experience Chan! It can't be described.
When you describe it you miss the point.
When you discover that your proofs are without substance
You'll realize that words are nothing but dust.
6. Experience Chan! It's experiencing your own nature!
Going with the flow everywhere and always.
When you don't fake it and waste time trying
to rub and polish it,
Your Original Self will always shine through brighter than bright.
7. Experience Chan! It's like harvesting treasures.
But donate them to others.
You won't need them.
Suddenly everything will appear before you,
Altogether complete and altogether done.
8. Experience Chan! Become a follower who when accepted
Learns how to give up his life and his death.
Grasping this carefully he comes to see clearly.
And then he laughs till he topples the Cold Mountain ascetics.
9. Experience Chan! It'll require great skepticism;
But great skepticism blocks those detours on the road.
Jump off the lofty peaks of mystery.
Turn your heaven and earth inside out.
10. Experience Chan! Ignore that superstitious nonsense
That makes some claim that they've attained Chan.
Foolish beliefs are those of the not-yet-awakened.
And they're the ones who most need the experience of Chan!
11. Experience Chan! There's neither distance nor intimacy.
Observation is like a family treasure.
Whether with eyes, ears, body, nose, or tongue -
It's hard to say which is the most amazing to use.
12. Experience Chan! There's no class distinction.
The one who bows and the one who is bowed
to are a Buddha unit.
The yoke and its lash are tied to each other.
Isn't this our first principle... the one we should most observe?