Translator's Introduction

The Mind is neither large nor small; it is located neither within nor without.  It should not be thought about by the mind nor be discussed by the mouth.  Ordinarily, it is said that we use the Mind to transmit the Mind, or that we use the Mind to seal the Mind.  Actually, however, in transmitting the Mind, there is really no Mind to receive or obtain; and in sealing the Mind, there is really no Mind to seal.  If this is the case, then does the Mind exist or does it not exist?  Actually, it cannot be said with certainty that the Mind either exists or does not exist, for it is Absolute Reality.  This is expressed in the Ch'an Sect by the maxim:  "If you open your mouth, you are wrong.  If you give rise to a single thought, you are in error."  So, if you can quiet your thinking totally, all that remains is voidness and stillness.

The Mind is Buddha; Buddha is the Mind.  All sentient beings and all Buddhas have the same Mind, which is without boundaries and void, without name and form and is immeasurable.

What is your Original Face and what is Hua-Tou? Your Original Face is without discrimination. Hua-Tou is the Reality before the arising of a single thought.  When this Mind is enlightened, it is the Buddha; but when it is confused, it remains only the mind of sentient beings.

The Ch'an Master Huang-Bei Tuan-Chi was a major Dharma descendent of the Sixth Patriarch and was the Dharma-son of the Ch'an Master Pai-Chang.  He was enlightened by the Supreme Vehicle to realize the Truth.  Transmission of Mind is this alone ? nothing else!

The Dharma of Mind Transmission, the teaching of Ch'an Master Huang-Bei Tuan-Chi, is a cover-title that includes both The Chung-Ling Record and The Wan-Ling Record. These Records are sermons and dialogues of the Master that were collected and recorded by his eminent follower P'ei Hsiu.  Both a government official and great scholar, P'ei Hsiu set down what he could recollect of the Master's teaching in 857 C.E., during the T'ang Dynasty, eight years after the Master's death (ca. 850 C. E. ), fifteen years after his first period of instruction by the Master at a temple near Chung Ling (842 C.E.), and nine years after his second period of instruction at a temple near Wan Ling (848 C.E.).  The Records were presumably edited and published somewhat later in the T'ang Dynasty by an unknown person, and they contain a "Preface" by the recorder, P'ei Hsiu.

I would like to say to all present and future students of the Dharma, both in the East and in the West, and to all my good friends: If you want to practice, you should practice just as this Ch'an Master Huang-Bei Tuan-Chi did.  Then you, too, can realize Sudden Enlightenment. 

Dharma Master Lok To 
Young Men's Buddhist Association of America 
Bronx, New York 
December, 1985

Note:  To help the reader, a glossary of Sanskrit terms has been included at the end of the text.