One day when Fa-yen Wen-i (885-958), one of the well known Chinese Ch'an masters, has ascended his seat. From the assembly, a monk came out and asked:
-What is one drop of water from the fount of Tsao-ch'i?
Things-as-they-are means things themselves. This does not mean they always stand still or do not move at all. They move. They are their movement. Movement is their life.
Otherwise thing has nothing to do with what one thinks about it or his emotion for it, such as, when he likes it he wants it with him, or when he dislikes it he wants to drive it away. What one thinks about a thing or what he feels for it is one thing and the thing itself is another thing. Picking-up and choosing happens when one is in his confusion - he is caught in the network of his own thoughts and emotion - he makes comparison and decision.
When he looks at it without liking or disliking without any images of any kinds come from his own memory, he sees things as-they-are. This is called "seeing without choices." When one sees things clearly or seeing things without choices, he just acts. He is the act itself. He does not have to make up his mind to act at all. This is called the clarity of the Mind or the Empty Mind or the Buddha-mind or whatever it is called.
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