Kokyo | The Ancient Mirror
That which all the Buddhas and patriarchs transmit to each other is the ancient mirror. The ancient mirror and the Buddhas are one body. Outside the mirror there are no Buddhas and outside the Buddhas there is no mirror. The seer and the seen, the reflector and the reflected are one. Practice and enlightenment are one. Everyone can become the ancient mirror and can perceive the ancient mirror. It is the truth in all things. The action of the ancient mirror is totally actualized in all things and in all changing phenomena. All things are actualized at the same time. The past is actualized. The present is actualized. Buddhas are actualized. Patriarchs are actualized.
The Sixth Patriarch's verse:
Bodhi is essentially not like a tree
Nor is it like a bright mirror
Originally not one thing exists
So where can the dust alight
In the phrase, "not like a bright mirror", we find the true essence and we should clarify the main point of this true expression. It is that when the mirror is clear everything is clear. The clear mirror reflects true form and when everything is reflected, nothing remains. Furthermore when there is no single defilement in the mirror there is none anywhere in the world. We must learn this. The world is not a world of defilement. It is nothing other than the ancient mirror.