Author:   Master Fu (497 – 569)

Master Fu, a lay practitioner also known as Fu Yu, who lived during the (Chinese) Liang Dynasty.  He started out as a fisherman, but later met an Indian monk and was moved to give up fishing and took up farming.  His enlightenment occurred while he was farming.  “The Mind King” describes the mind after enlightenment.  It is not the rational mind of analysis or judgement; rather, this mind is the basis of all the Buddhas.  Although sentient beings are attached to desire and aversion, they have never really departed from the pure mind.  As soon as we let go of our anxiety and ignorance, our pure mind will manifest, and it will be free and easy, the same as the Buddha.  Thus, the mind of ignorance and the pure mind are fundamentally one and the same.  But to what extent can you put down the mind of ignorance?  If you put down one thought, that will be one instance of Buddha mind.  If you put down all thoughts, then you will have continuous Buddha mind.



Contemplate the mind, this king of emptiness is subtle and obscure.

Without shape or form, it has great spiritual power.

It can eliminate all distresses, and accomplish all merits.

Though its essence is empty, it is the measure of Dharmas.

When you look, it is formless;

When you call, it echoes.

It is the great Dharma commander,

Transmitting the sutras through precepts of mind.


As saltiness in water, transparency in color,

Surely it is there, but its form is invisible.

The Mind King is also thus, residing in the body.

It comes in and out before your eyes.

Responding to phenomena, following emotions.

When it is carefree, without obstruction,

All endeavors are successful.


When you realize original mind, the mind sees Buddha.

This mind is Buddha; This Buddha is mind.

Every thought is Buddha mind; Buddha mind dwells on Buddha.

If you wish to accomplish this soon, be vigilant and disciplined.

Pure precepts purify the mind; the mind then is Buddha.

Apart from this Mind King, there is no other Buddha.


If you wish to seek Buddhahood, don’t stain a single thing.

Though the nature of mind is empty, greed and hatred are real.

When you enter this Dharma door, sitting upright, you become Buddha.

Upon reaching the other shore, you attain perfection.


Right now mind is Buddha; Right now Buddha is mind.

The shining mind knows the Buddha; the enlightened one knows the mind.

Apart from mind, no Buddha; apart from Buddha, no mind.

Those who are not Buddha cannot penetrate; they are not fit for the task.

Grasping emptiness and blocking tranquility

Result in floating and sinking.

No Buddhas or bodhisattvas settle their minds this way.


The Great Being of shining mind awakened to this subtle sound.

The nature of body and mind is wonderful; their functions need not be altered.

Thus the wise one puts the mind down and lets it be.

Don’t say the Mind King is empty and without essence.

It can cause the body to do evil and good.


It does not exist, nor is it nonexistent.

It appears and disappears unpredictably.

When the nature of mind departs from emptiness,

It can be sacred or profane.

Thus we urge one another to guard it with care.

At the moment of fashioning, it reverts to floating and sinking.


The wisdom of pure mind is as precious as gold.

The Dharma store of prajna is within body and mind.

The Dharma treasure of non-action is neither shallow nor deep.

All Buddhas and bodhisattvas have realized this original mind.

For those whose conditions are right,

It is neither past, present, nor future.