This is a great little excerpt from the teachings of the Zen Master Huang Po.
When people hear that all Buddhas transmit the Mind Dharma, they fantasize that there is a special Dharma they might attain. They then try to use the Mind to find Dharma, not realizing that this very Mind is the Dharma and that the Dharma is this very Mind. Using the mind to search out Mind, one can pass through thousands and thousands of kalpas (lifetimes) of cultivation and still not acquire it. However, if a person can be suddenly without mind, then he and Original Dharma are one. A prodigal son forgot that a pearl was hidden in the cuff of his own clothes and searched outside, here and there, running everywhere in bewilderment and wonder. Then a wise friend pointed out the pearl to him, so thus he found it where it had always been.
Most Dharma students are confused about Original Mind, not knowing that Original Dharma is non-existing, neither dependent nor staying. Neither active nor passive and without stirring thought, they can suddenly attain the stage of Perfect Awakening and see that they have reached the condition of Original Mind that alone is Buddha. Looking back on their prior cultivation throughout many kalpas, they see it now only as labor expended in vain. Thus the prodigal son found his original pearl, and he realized then that the time and energy spent looking for it, heretofore, outside himself were all completely unnecessary. Therefore, Sakyamuni Buddha stated: " There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Awakening."
GOI: All of us at some point in our lives ask the deep mystical questions of what is my purpose in life, where did I come from, etc. Well, in the end we must realize that the answers to these questions are already in front of us. We are already complete and it does not really matter where we came from. The important thing is that we are here, right now and that we are alive, in this present moment. As for the purpose in life, well this has always been with us too. Whatever we are doing at any given time is the purpose of life because NOW is the only "real" moment that exists. The past is gone and the future has not appeared.
Huang Po: Nothing to practice, nothing to attain ? this alone is the Supreme Tao, the genuine Dharma. Without seeking the Mind, there is no birth; without grasping the Mind, there is no death. That which is neither birth nor death is Buddha.
"Chop wood, carry water" is a famous Zen saying. So, basically whatever you are doing do it with all your focus. If you are eating then eat and if you are walking then walk and if you are meditating then meditate.
"Chop wood, carry water."
In this little but powerful phrase lie the keys to enlightenment.
---End of Transmission---