From the Publisher
"Those who like robust Zen will enjoy both Linji's bluntness and Thich Nhat Hanh's candor in commenting on the master's work."Shambhala Sun
"The teaching of Linji is not like any other master. He dares to say everything truthfully, clearly, and very frankly. When we follow a spiritual path, we have to learn and we have to practice. But when we can't digest what we've learned and can't use it in our daily life for our transformation, that's when we need the teachings of Master Linji. They are strong medicinenot a vitamin, but a purgative."
Thich Nhat Hanh
"If you aspire to Buddha, you lose Buddha. If you aspire to the Way you lose the Way. Do not commit this mistake! I do not need you to give a good explanation of the sutras. I do not need you to be eloquent, speaking non-stop, as a torrent of water. Nor do I need you to become wonderfully penetrating and wise. I just need you to have correct insight into the way things naturally are."
"As I see it, there isn't so much to do. Just be ordinaryput on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing."
Read an Excerpt
We all carry the seeds of happiness, of enlightenment, of no-birth, no-death, and no-fear in ourselves. What we search for is already there. A teacher's role is simply to remind us that we are the Buddha, we are already what we search for. If you only search on the outside or in the teachings of the Buddha and the Zen Masters it's not enough. This idea repeats itself several times in the teaching of Master Linji. It is as if Linji himself is standing in front of you shouting, “Don't try to search for me. Happiness is in you already. Enlightenment is in you already. The depth, the beauty, the greatness, the light is in you. Don't search after me, don't run after me, and don't run after the Buddha. Stop running. The Buddha is you!" That is a very revolutionary sentence.
"Why is it that some of you who study nowadays cannot succeed? It is because you have no self-confidence. If you think that you need to worship and put all your devotion in the sacred texts, than you don't have enough self-confidence in you, and you will not get very far, you will not find the Buddha. Because you don't have self-confidence, you run after the ten thousand objects of your mind. These objects pull you away and you lose all your liberty. Only if you stop all this thinking, this running after and craving of the objects of your mind, then you will see that you and the Buddha are not different-they are one. Do you want to know who is the Buddha? The Buddha is you."
Master Linji has shown us that we have to come back to ourselves, that we have to have confidence in ourselves. Don't feel that you have nothing, that you are only suffering, that you have no value, and that you have to bow to the Buddha and bodhisattvas. You don't need that; you only have to stop to follow your cravings. Then you are Buddha, you are a bodhisattva. Don't wait to put it into practice, do it right away.