For those living in ordinary society but wishing to practice the Dharma, the Buddha advocated that the desire mechanism be controlled rather than transcended. This ‘control’ centres around applying an appropriate sexual manifestation in society that is not excessive or that violates the social codes of the time. This is the practice of appropriate sexual discipline that allows the desiring mechanism to function through strictly defined parameters.
Many Ch’an masters, such as Ben Huan and Fo Yuan, talk of the inherent dangers for the mind whilst in the sleeping state. This is because all kinds of hellish states can be accessed when the body is dormant, but the mind remains active.
‘However, within China the Ch’an school of Buddhism has always embraced martial cultivation within the context of a thorough mind development. Certain Ch’an temples – such as the Shaolin – have become very famous, but in reality many Ch’an temples have facilitated martial practice all over China. However, martial practice within the body is acknowledged as actually occurring within the mind itself, and it is through the mind that physical mastery is developed. Within the Ch’an tradition, there is no duality between the mind, body or environment, as all things arise and pass away within the mind. Martial perfection is nothing other than realising the Mind Ground.’
‘These facts demonstrate that master Dahui did not refer to his own enlightening method as either a ‘hua tou’, or indeed a ‘kan hua’, and did not view what he was doing as some thing ‘new’ and ‘original’. In fact, the impression one gets from Dahui is that he is following an older tradition that has been forgotten by those around him.’