Guidepost of Silent Illumination by Hongzhi Zhengjue

Silent and serene,
forgetting words,
bright clarity
appears before you.

When you reflect it
you become vast,
where you embody it
you are spiritually uplifted.

Spiritually solitary and shining,
inner illumination restores wonder,

Dew in the moonlight,
a river of stars,
snow-covered pines,
clouds enveloping the peaks.

In darkness
it is most bright,
while hidden
all the more manifest.

The crane dreams in the wintery mists.
The autumn waters flow far in the distance.

Endless kalpas
are totally empty,
all things are
completely the same.

When wonder exists in serenity,
all achievement is forgotten in illumination.

What is this wonder?

Alertly seeing through confusion
Is the way of silent illumination
and the origin of subtle radiance.

Vision penetrating into subtle radiance
is weaving gold on a jade loom.

Upright and inclined
yield to each other;
light and dark
are interdependent.

Not depending on sense faculty and object,
at the right time they interact.

Drink the medicine of good views.
Beat the poison-smeared drum.

When they interact,
killing and giving life are up to you.

Through the gate
the self emerges
and the branches
bear fruit.

Only silence
is the supreme speech,
only illumination
the universal response.

Responding without falling into achievement,
speaking without involving listeners.

The ten thousand forms
majestically glisten
and expound the dharma.

All objects certify it,
every one in dialogue.
Dialoguing and certifying,
they respond
appropriately to each other;

But if illumination neglects serenity
then aggressiveness appears.

Certifying and dialoguing,
they respond to to each other appropriately;
But if serenity neglects illumination,
murkiness leads to wasted dharma.

When silent illumination is fulfilled,
the lotus blossoms,
the dreamer awakens,

A hundred streams
flow into the ocean,
a thousand ranges
face the highest peak.

Like geese preferring milk,
like bees gathering nectar,

When silent illumination reaches the ultimate,
I offer my teaching.

The teaching of silent illumination
penetrates from the highest
down to the foundation.

The body being shunyata,
the arms in mudra,

From beginning to end
the changing appearances
and then thousand differences
share one pattern.

Mr. Ho offered jade [to the Emperor];
[Minister] Xiangru pointed to its flaws.

Facing changes has its principles,
the great function is without striving.

The ruler stays in the kingdom,
the general goes beyond the frontiers.

Our school’s affair
hits the mark straight and true.

Transmit it to all directions
without desiring to gain credit.