Seeking enlightenment is a roadblock to its realization

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Huang Po

All seeking is futile. Sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood. By their very seeking they lose it. There is no way to Buddhahood, and, as such, cannot be studied: You must not allow this name (The Way) to lead you into forming a mental concept of a road.
Seeking enlightenment is a roadblock to its realization. What is necessary is to avoid attachment of any kind and any form of seeking.
If you would only rid yourselves of the concepts of ordinary and Enlightened, you would find that there is no other Buddha than the Buddha in your own Mind. …The arising and the elimination of illusion are both illusory. Illusion is not something rooted in Reality; it exists because of your dualistic thinking. If you will only cease to indulge in opposed concepts such as ‘ordinary’ and ‘Enlightened’, illusion will cease of itself.
No activity is the gateway but all who reach this gate fear to enter. One must, then, enter it with the suddenness of a knife-thrust.
To the great majority of people, the moon is the moon and the trees are the trees. The next stage (not really higher than the first) is to perceive that moon and trees are not at all what they seem to be, since “all is the One Mind.”
When this stage is achieved, we have the concept of a vast uniformity in which all distinctions are void; and, to some adepts, this concept may come as an actual perception, as “real” to them as the moon and the trees before. It is said that, when Enlightenment really comes, the moon is again very much the moon and the trees exactly trees; but with a difference, for the Enlightened man is capable of perceiving both unity and multiplicity without the least contradiction between them!

Conceptual Thinking

To make use of your minds to think conceptually is to leave the substance [of Mind, Buddha] and attach yourselves to form.
The Mind is no mind of conceptual thought, and it is completely detached from form…. There are those who, upon hearing this teaching, rid themselves of conceptual thought in a flash…. But whether they transcend conceptual thought by a longer or shorter way, the result is a state of BEING: there is no practicing and no action of realizing. That there is nothing which can be attained is not idle talk; it is the truth.


If you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions, your ways to Mind will be cut off and you will find nowhere to enter.
Do not keep them nor abandon them nor dwell in them nor cleave to them. Above, below and around you, all is spontaneously existing, for there is nowhere which is outside Buddha-Mind.
Only awake to the One Mind and there is nothing whatever to be attained. This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind…. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like a sun.


Ordinary people look to their surroundings, while followers of the Way look to Mind, but the true Dharma is to forget them both.
The former is easy enough, the latter very difficult. Men are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma.

Huang Po was a Ch’an Buddhist, Chinese master of Zen Buddhism, born circa 750-800.
Huang Po

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