The body of text below is from a Buddhist sutra (teaching) called Mind of Great Trust. It’s attributed to Seng-Ts’an, who was the Third Patriarch of Chan in China, and dates to the 3rd century A.D. What we know of Zen Buddhism today came through China, and was called Chan in its travel. I’ve amended the sutra, mostly based upon my own learning, perception, and experience. Hopefully it’ll be understandable by a person who has little or no exposure to Buddhism or Zen. The inherent wisdom becomes apparent as the teaching seeps in to everyday experience.
HSIN HSIN MING (The Mind of Absolute Trust)
The Great Way is not difficult for those who would release all opinions and judgments. When superficial love and petty hatred are both absent, life becomes clear, undisguised, and serene. Make the smallest distinction, however, and the mind becomes trapped by its own thoughts. If you wish to see the Truth, then live not in the world of opinion or judgment.
To set up what you like or approve of against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of each encounter in life is not understood, the essential peace of the mind is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject, to approve or disapprove, that we do not see the True Nature of things. Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things, and erroneous views will disappear of their own accord. When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity, your very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness. Those who do not live in the single Way achieve neither activity, passivity, assertion, or denial. As long as one side must win at the expense of the other losing, there will be no peace.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality. To assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the Truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know. To return to the root is to find true meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment, there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. Take refuge in the stillness of the moment and observe the workings of the entire Universe as it unfolds.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the truth: only cease cherishing opinions and judging things as good or bad. Truth becomes apparent of its own accord.
Do not remain in the dualistic state, taking a fixed position by holding to one viewpoint or another. Avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of “this and that”, of “right and wrong”, the peacefulness and wisdom of the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion. Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached to even this One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend. When a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist as a disturbance.
When thought is fluid and not concretized with judgment and opinion, the mind becomes open and flexible. When the thought process ceases to objectify all that it processes, the thinking-subject vanishes. Things are objects because of the way the subject creates itself. The mind is such because of things. Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the connection of Emptiness within all of creation. In this Emptiness, the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world. If you do not discriminate between “you and me”, “easy and difficult”, “good and bad”, you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute. The faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging cannot be limited: even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way, let Nature take its own course, and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the Nature of things (your own Nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed. When thought is in bondage, the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear. The burdensome practice of judging and opinionizing brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefits can be derived from distinctions and separations? If you wish to move in the One Way, do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully Is identical to true enlightenment. The wise person strives to no goals, but the foolish person remains fettered. There is one Dharma, not many. Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the mind is the greatest of all mistakes. To observe the movement of mind with MInd is Freedom.
Ambition, contention, and conflict derive from illusion. With Enlightenment there is no “liking and disliking”. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like dreams, or flowers in the air: foolish to try to grasp them. “Gain and loss” and “right and wrong”: such thoughts must be observed with care. Let them fall away of their own accord by placing trust in the Great Mind.
If the mind’s eye remains aware, open, and attentive it never sleeps. Dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, then ten thousand things are as they are, of single source and essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally, the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state of equanimity.
Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion: both movement and the state of being at rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist, Oneness itself as a separate concept cannot exist. To this ultimate finality, no law or description can be put into words.
For the unified mind, in accord with the Way, all self-centered striving ceases. Doubts and resolutions vanish, and life in true Faith is possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage. Nothing clings to us and we hold on to nothing, detached from entanglement. All is empty, clear and self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power. Here, thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of value only as tools in service of the MInd. In this world of Suchness, there is neither self nor “other-than-self”.
To subdue doubt and come directly into the harmony of this Reality, look for connection. Focus on the question “What is the connection underlying all that is?” From this viewpoint of interconnectedness, nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering and embracing this Truth. This Truth is beyond extension or diminution in time and space. In it a single thought is ten thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there, the Infinite Universe stands always before your eyes. It extends to be infinitely large and infinitely small, simultaneously. When it is seen to have no difference between large and small, distinctions of difference vanish and no boundaries are seen. So, too, with Being and non-Being. Don’t waste time in doubt, argument, or discourse that has nothing to do with this. One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction. To live in this Realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this Faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is One with the Mind of Great Trust.
Words! Thoughts! The world of words traps us into the world of thoughts! The world of thought binds us to the world of words!The Way is beyond language, beyond the minuscule construct of thought. I it there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, and no today.