Chinese Buddhist Master, Founded influential Linji School of Buddhism
"When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean."
"Many students come to see me from all over the place. Many of them are not free from their entanglement with objective things. I treat them right on the spot. If their trouble is due to grasping hands, I strike there. If their trouble is a loose mouth, I strike them there. If their trouble is hidden behind their eyes, it is there I strike. So far I have not found anyone who can set himself free. This is because they have all been caught up in the useless ways of the old masters. As for me, I do not have one only method which I give to everyone, but I relieve whatever the trouble is and set men free."
"Friends, I tell you this: there is no Buddha, no spiritual path to follow, no training and no realization. What are you so feverishly running after? Putting a head on top of your own head, you blind idiots? Your head is right where it should be. The trouble lies in your not believing in yourselves enough. Because you don't believe in yourselves you are knocked here and there by all the conditions in which you find yourselves. Being enslaved and turned around by objective situations, you have no freedom whatever, you are not masters of yourselves. Stop turning to the outside and don't be attached to my words either. Just cease clinging to the past and hankering after the future. This will be better than ten years' pilgrimage."
"Neither in this world nor beyond this world is there any Buddha or any Dharma; they neither reveal themselves nor are they ever lost. Even if such things existed, they would only be words and writings for the guidance of little children, expedient remedies for illnesses, and displays of names and phrases. Moreover, names and phrases are not of themselves names and phrases; it is you, who right now radiantly and vividly perceive, know and clearly illumine [everything] - you it is who affix all names and phrases."
"When mind arises, all kinds of dharmas arise; when mind is extinguished, all kinds of dharmas are extinguished. When mind does not arise, the ten thousand dharmas have no fault."
"If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary, then you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion."
"When it's time to get dressed, put on your clothes. When you must walk, then walk. When you must sit, then sit. Just be your ordinary self in ordinary life, unconcerned in seeking for Buddhahood. When you're tired, lie down. The fool will laugh at you but the wise man will understand."