I remember seeing a different version of this in the Jogyesa magazine some years ago, but what follows is a fresh new translation by Chong Go Sunim which I first saw at one of our Saturday discussions in the Buddhist English Library of Seoul. Chong Go Sunim later gave me permission to publish his translation on my online journal, but this website is a much better place for it.
The Samadhi Treatise of the Treasure King was originally written in China by Miaoxie in the 1390’s, but, though written in the Zen tradition as advice for those engaged in meditative practice, its wider application is fairly obvious. This is advice for everyone, monks and laypeople, Zen and Pure Land, Buddhists and beyond, it is good advice, surely, for all people everywhere.
Thank you again to Chong Go Sunim for kindly making this available to us.
The Samadhi Treatise of the Treasure King
1. Don’t desire perfect health. Perfect health can easily increase one’s greed and arrogance. Instead, let your suffering become medicine.
2. Don’t hope for a life free from hardships. Such a life would only increase your self-indulgence and contempt for others. Accept the worries and difficulties that come your way.
3. Don’t expect that your practice will be free of difficulties. Without difficulties, you could never learn anything. Obtain liberation in the midst of obstacles.
4. Don’t expect that you can practice hard and not experience temptations. A lack of temptations will only soften your resolve. See demons as friends who have come to help you along the Way.
5. Don’t hope for easy success. Easy accomplishment tends to make one careless. Instead, accomplish your goal by persisting and persisting.
6. Make friends, but don’t expect any benefit for yourself. Pursuing your own benefit damages trust. Maintain long-term friendship through integrity.
7. Don’t hope that others will agree with you or follow your leadership. This desire only increases your arrogance. Those who disagree with you are the ones who help build your character.
8. Don’t expect to be rewarded for your kindness. This leads to scheming. Throw out the expectation of rewards like you’d throw out an old shoe.
9. Don’t desire more than you’ve earned. Chasing after more than you’re entitled to gives rise to stupidity. Become rich through modest profits.
10. When you suffer unfairness and mistreatment, don’t dwell on it or try to expose it for everyone to see. This leads only to resentment and poisons the heart. Consider mistreatment the materials for making progress in your spiritual practice.
Progress in spiritual practice becomes possible when you are confronted by obstacles and hardships. Whereas no growth is possible where there are no obstacles. It was in the midst of hindrances that the Buddha realized supreme enlightenment.
Angulimalya committed terrible acts, and Devadatta and his followers rebelled against the Buddha, but nonetheless, the Buddha guaranteed that even they would one day be able to attain enlightenment. If even people like these are able to awaken, how can you claim that the things that offend and trouble you will prevent Liberation? Rather these will speed you on your way; through them you can make quicker progress. If you want to obtain the great treasure, you must face what confronts you and embrace it with wisdom.