All you people, you enter this monastery to study Zen. Don’t do it for clothes or food. If you’ve got shoulders, you won’t be without clothes. If you’ve got a mouth, you won’t go without eating. Always direct yourself, 24 hours a day, to the place beyond knowing. Study hard, reach it, master it, and leave. Time is like an arrow; so be careful, don’t occupy your mind with miscellaneous affairs. You’ve got to see that! You’ve got to see that!
After this old monk’s pilgrimage, some of you may have rich temples with large halls and volumes of sutras decorated with gold and silver, full of noisy enthusiasts; or may read sutras and recite dharanis, do zazen for long periods without lying down, eat only breakfast, and work day and night. Although you do these things, if you don’t set your mind on the marvelous untransmitted way of Buddha and the enlightened ones, you immediately deny cause and effect, and the true teaching falls to the ground. All these are a bunch of devils, and though this old monk may have left this world for a long time, you are not to be allowed to call yourselves my descendants.
But if there is one person who seriously studies the self’s affairs, even if living out in the fields in a straw hut and cooking meals of vegetable roots over a grass fire in a broken pot, here is the one who sees me daily and is grateful for what has been received, who would dare to be careless? Work hard! Work hard!