Relying on Mind

Xin Xin Ming

attributed to Jianzhi Sencan (?-606) the third Ch’an ancestor
based on a translation by Nelson Foster


The Supreme Way is not difficult;
it just precludes picking and choosing.

Without yearning or loathing,
the Way is perfectly apparent,

while even a hairbreadth difference
separates heaven and earth.

To see the Way with your own eyes,
quit agreeing and disagreeing.

The battling of likes and dislikes —
that’s the disease of the mind.

Misunderstanding the great mystery,
people labor in vain for peace.

Mind has the totality of space:
nothing lacking, nothing extra.

lt’s just selecting and rejecting
that make it seem otherwise.

Don’t pursue worldly concerns,
don’t dwell passively in emptiness;

in the peace of absolute oneness,
confusion vanishes by itself.

Suppressing activity to reach stillness
just creates agitation.

People who don’t know oneness
bog down on both sides —

rejecting form, they get stuck in it,
seeking emptiness, turn away from it.

The more people taIk and ponder,
the further they spin out of accord.

Bring chatter and speculation to a stop,
and the whole world opens up to you.

lf you want the essence, get right to the root;
chasing reflections, you lose sight of the source.

Turning the light around for an instant —
dispells becoming, abiding, and decay.

The changing phases, the ups and downs,
all result from misperception.

There’s no need to seek the truth —
just put a stop to your opinions!

Dualistic constructs don’t endure,
so take care not to pursue them.

As soon as positive and negative arise,
the mind is lost in confusion.

The two exist because of the one,
but don’t cling to oneness either.

lf you don’t conceive even oneness of mind,
the ten thousand things are all flawless.

In this flawlessness there’s nothing at all,
no conception, no mind.

The subject disappears with its objects,
objects vanish without a subject.

Objects are objects because of subjects,
subjects subjects because of objects.

If you want to know both these aspects,
originally they’re one and empty.

A single emptiness unites opposites,
pervading all things equally.

If we didn’t see things as fine and coarse,
how could prejudice exist?

The Supreme Way by nature is all-embracing,
not easy, not difficult,

but quibbling and hesitating,
the more you hurry, the slower you go.

Holding onto things wrecks your balance,
inevitably throwing you off-course,

but let everything go, be genuine,
and the essence won’t leave or stay.

Accept your nature, accord with the Way
and stroll at ease, trouble-free.

Tying up thoughts denies reality,
and you sink into a stupor of resistance.

Resisting thoughts perturbs the spirit!
Why treat what’s yours as foreign?

If you want to enter the One Vehicle,
don’t disdain the six senses.

Not disdaining the six senses —
that’s enlightenment itself.

The wise have nothing to do,
while the unwise tie themselves in knots.

Since things aren’t different in essence,
it’s stupid to hanker and cling.

To get hold of the mind by using the mind,
isn’t that a gross error, too?

Delusion creates calm and chaos,
enlightenment entails no good or evil.

Every opposition under the sun
derives merely from false thinking.

Like dreams, illusions, spots before your eyes —
why bother grasping at them?

Gain and loss, right and wrong —
let them go, once and for all.

If you don’t fall asleep,
dreams cease on their own.

If you don’t conjure up differences,
all things are of one kind.

In the essential mystery of oneness,
eternal and ephemeral are forgotten.

Seeing the things of the world evenly
restores their genuine character;

without grounds and criteria,
they can’t be judged or compared.

Still or active, nothing moves,
and active or still, nothing ceases.

If you don’t perpetuate duality,
how can even oneness remain?

In the very end, at the ultimate,
there’s no room for rules or measures.

The harmonious, equanimous mind —
is where, all effort subsides.

Doubt is wiped utterly away,
what’s truly reliable is established.

Nothing hangs in the mind,
there’s nothing to remember;

empty, luminous, genuine,
the mind needs no exertion.

This isn’t the sphere of thought,
can’t be gauged by reason or feeling.

The Dharma-realm of true actuality?
harbors neither self nor other.

To reach accord with it at once,
just say, “Not two!”

Without duality, all beings are the same,
not a single one excluded.

Sages throughout the world
all find entry to this source.

Here hurry and delay have no bearing;
an instant is ten thousand years.

“Here” and “not here” don’t apply either.
Everywhere it’s right before your eyes.

The tiny is the same as the large
once boundaries are forgotten;

the huge is the same as the small
if they’re not seen in terms of limits.

Likewise, being is actually nonbeing,
nonbeing the very same as being.

Any understanding short of this
you should definitely abandon.

One is no other than all,
all no other than one.

lf your insight matched this,
what anxieties could remain?

The reliable mind lacks dualities;
nonduality is relying on mind.

Here the way of words is cut —
no past, no future, no present.