Vasumitra, the Seventh Zen Patriarch, originally had been running around with a wine gourd in his hand, but he was awakened by the Sixth Zen Patriarch Mikkaka who told a gatha by Shakyamuni Buddha Giving Life Marks, and remembered his previous lives, therefore, he took an oath to follow the Sixth Zen Patriarch as a monk and learned the Proper Dharma of Eye Treasury. The Eighth Zen Patriarch Buddhanandi became a monk at the age of 14, and practiced diligently. When the Seventh Patriarch came to Kamala, Buddhanandi was originally planning to argue with him, but the Seventh Patriarch managed to win his respect and the two became master and disciple. The Seventh Patriarch later passed the Proper Dharma of Eye Treasury to Buddhanandi. Please listen to Master telling the interesting story of the Seventh and Eighth Zen Patriarchs.
We should read more stories about Bodhisattva so that we may get a little more influence from them. Our mind probably will not remember it, but our souls, or the real Self will be awakened, and this mind, or this “me” will be broken gradually. This is also a kind of spiritual practice. Even Shakyamuni Buddha also learned the Vedas in which many moral stories are told. If we do not listen to the saints’ stories or learn from their examples, we may forget due to a lot of bad influence outside. Our mind is just an ordinary being, but our soul has Buddha nature which is clean in nature. The Sixth Zen Patriarch Hui Neng, after enlightenment, said “Originally there is not a single thing; where could any dust be attracted?”
There are two gates in our forehead: one leads beyond the three worlds, and the other is within the three worlds. Our mind is also very powerful, so if the gate within the three worlds is open, our mind could be very smart, but this is limited on the intelligence level instead of having Prajna Paramita, or the ultimate wisdom. Therefore, although any practice method will bring us benefit, it is only to a certain degree. Our mind is made within the three worlds, so we have it when we are born into this mundane world. We do many bad things because of this mind, since it records both the good and the bad. It can not distinguish between the good and the bad at all; it just keeps recording and then sends everything out. If we listen to it, we will come back life after life, because it only records the stuff within the life and death cycle; it will not record what's beyond the three worlds.