People who learn the Buddhadharma must have the Dharma-Selecting Eye. You must be able to recognize right dharmas and wrong dharmas, good dharmas and evil dharmas. You don't want to take right as wrong and wrong as right, or white as black and black as white. To do that is to be upside down. If you want to recognize these dharmas, you must be replete with the Dharma- Selecting Eye. First of all, you must have no mark of self. Why? Because if you have the mark of a self, you will give rise to all kinds of obstructions. You will be without any wisdom. If you have the mark of a self, then the mind of selfishness will arise. Once the selfish mind manifests, the mind of self-benefitting follows right behind. If you are selfish and self-benefitting, then you will have seeking. If you need to seek after something, then your greed mind is produced. Once the greedy mind is revealed and you can't get what you're seeking, then the mind of contention will arise. You'll always be fighting and contending. But if you can be without a mark of a self, you won't see yourself as so important
What's meant by the "self"? Ask yourself, "Who am I?" "I am who?" You should investigate the topic "Who is mindfu1 of the Buddha?" The meditation topic is not for reciting. If you only recite it back and forth, it's useless. Instead, you should investigate it, like using a drill to drill a hole. Drilling through and making a hole is likened to obtaining an awakening. When you drill totally through, you become totally enlightened. Then you will understand completely.
Investigate! Don't just try to guess. It's not a guessing game. You can't just speculate about,"I am reciting the Buddha, you are reciting the Buddha, he is reciting the Buddha, and they are reciting the Buddha." You may try to figure it out, back and forth, but you won't get a result that way. Instead, you should look for "who?" The word, "who," is a Vajra Jeweled Sword. It's the wisdom sword. You use this wisdom sword to cut off all other false thinking, so your wisdom will manifest. In the Dharma door of investigating Ch'an, you aren't reciting the topic, "Who is mindful of the Buddha? Who is mindful of the Buddha? Who is mindful of the Buddha?" It's not the same as reciting the Buddha’s name. You shouldn't investigate rapidly—that way you recite the Buddha's name. The best thing is to draw out the sound, longer. The word "Who" can be investigated for several hours, even for eighty thousand great kalpas, without your having to cut off your train of thought. That's truly investigating Ch'an. It's a way to truly use the Dharma-Selecting Eye.
Why do we want to investigate "Who?" Originally, the word "who" is also false, but because people are like monkeys, always wanting to find something to do, this method is effective for them. Monkeys look for things to do everywhere, seeking from east to west. People like to be busy too. So we use the word "who" to block other random thoughts so these false thoughts will disappear. This is the Dharma door of "using poison to defeat poison." It is also known as the process of diligently wiping and cleaning. We don't want to let the dust alight. If you can pick up the word "who," then you can use it to wipe away all dharmas and leave all marks. Everything will disappear and be gone.
But if you don't have the Dharma-Selecting Eye, you won't know how to investigate and you will use your effort in vain. You won't be able to recognize the Proper Dharma, but will pursue evil dharmas instead. Like last night, one of my disciples talked. He said that the Asian lefthome people are more compassionate and kinder than American lefthome people. That's a completely erroneous idea. I am from Asia, and I am quite clear about the situation of Buddhism in Asia. There are many phony lefthome people in Asia who seek advantages and who are opportunists. Besides that, I don't see much kindness, compassion, joy, or giving in them. If on occasion, they express joy and giving, they are doing it just to "throw out bricks in hope of attracting jade." And if they seem to be compassionate and kind, they are harboring the thought of climbing on conditions or being obsequious—fawning on people. Their "compassionate" manner is contrived and they harbor ulterior motives. A person who is truly kind and compassionate will not let on; he won't let you recognize him. But if a person wants you to recognize that he is compassionate and kind, he's just playing cat and mouse with you, trying to make friends. That's just psychological trickery; it's phoney. Mind you, not all Asian lefthome people are like this. Some of them have hearts of gold. I'm just saying that there are those who fall into this category and who make a bad name for all of Buddhism.
You yourself don't have the Dharma-Selecting Eye, so you don't recognize what's true and what's false. Don't take a thief as your son. If genuine Buddhism existed in Asia, then it would not have had to come to America to be transmitted here - it would have remained strong in Asia. If you learn crooked and devious ways such as fawning on other people, then even as a lefthome person, you will never attain liberation.