++ I think we will let an extra week go by, and take a few extra days, to let some folks catch up ...
We come to the Legendary (in more ways than one) "6th Patriarch", and his story best known from the Platform Sutra of the 6th Patriarch ... one of the rare Buddhist writings to have the name "Sutra" although not about a Buddha (thus placing the 6th Patriarch as such).
Notice that the 6th Patriarch was still a layperson, not yet a monk, when he became the "6th Patriarch". Notice how he is described as an illiterate unable to read or write ... yet in the Platform Sutra is shown to be wonderfully expert in Buddhist stories and doctrine. Notice also all the politics and jealousy and rivalry in the story, something unfortunately the Buddhist world is not free of ... then or now.
Hungjen, the shining star of the monastery, offered this verse ...
At all times we must strive to polish it,
And must not let the dust collect.
Does he mean that we must remove dirt from the mind, dust from the eyes in order to see and be Buddha-like?
Huineng responds ...
Buddha-nature is always clean and pure;
Where is there room for dust to alight?
Yet, he spends his days in the rice hut, polishing the rice, washing away the dust! Perhaps both Huineng and Hungjen have a point! Might we see this as the reality of our Practice? nothing to clean, nothing to improve or attain or polish ... yet scrub scrub scrub, polish polish polish ... .
Cook at 167
Hixon at 154