Written or spoken by Ch’an master Seng Ts’an (Jap: Sosan) 5…? – 606
The Great Way is not hard to live
When you make your choices without grasping.
Not holding on to like or to aversion
There is understanding with clarity.
But with a hair’s breadth of discrimination
The universe is split into Heaven and Earth.
If you wish to see what is there
Better drop your for and against.
For and against locked in a fight
Causes disease of heart and mind.
Without awareness of deeper meaning
You toil in vain for peace in mind.
The all-inclusive is like great space
Where nothing is missing, nothing is too much.
Due to grasping and pushing away
We are not that way.
Neither pursuing conditioned existence
Nor trying to stay in emptiness – suppressing it,
Be at one and at peace with its diversity
And confusion will disappear naturally.
Try to return to stillness by stopping mind-activity
And the effort of staying still, fills you with agitation.
How can you know one-ness
If you are stuck with stillness or activity?
If oneness does not flow through all things
Existence and emptiness cannot function.
When you try to banish existence
There is no more aliveness,
When you chase after emptiness
You turn away from it.
When you indulge in talk and thought
You turn from Truth as it is.
Stop defining with words and working out with thoughts
And there is nothing you will not understand.
Return to the foundation and you’ll find the meaning,
Pursue things as they seem and you loose their essence.
Turn the light within just for a moment
And you go beyond appearance and emptiness.
The empty background alternating
With appearances in front,
Is due to an incorrect way of looking.
There is no need to search for the Real,
Just let go of your perspectives.
Do not stay with the dualistic view,
Take care not to get enmeshed by it or seek it.
When there is affirmation or denial
Essential nature gets scattered and unclear.
All this or that, all two, comes forth from the One
And do not hold on to this One.
When no views come forth from the One
Nothing whatsoever is of offence;
When there is no offence, there is no thing whatsoever
When neither views nor things arise, neither does mind.
The subject dies along with the object
The object perishes along with the subject
Object is object because of the subject
Subject is subject because of the object.
Know that these two are from the first one emptiness;
Within this one emptiness the two are identical.
This sameness contains all appearances.
Not ‘seeing’ either coarse or fine,
How can you form bias to either?
Living the substance of the Great Way
Is not easy, nor is it difficult.
With narrow views, fears and doubts,
However you hurry, you will slow down.
Holding on to the Way you lose the equilibrium
Then the mind will go astray.
Letting things with their own flow go
You will find “neither going nor staying.”
Accord with your nature, merge with the Way,
Live free and at ease, unbound by grievance.
Tied to thought and memory you deviate from the true
Sinking into a mental fog is not right either.
“Not right” wearies the spirit.
Why judge as distant or close?
If you wish to further yourself in the One Vehicle
Don’t then even dislike the “six sense realms”.
Being free from aversion or fear for them
Is what is meant by ‘true enlightenment’.
Persons of wisdom have neither motives nor goals,
Ignorant people tie themselves to things.
The one truth does not consist of many different truths;
To love and protect the self , that is delusion.
Using the grasping mind to get hold of all-pervasive Mind
Isn’t that a great foolishness?
For the deluded mind there is serenity and turmoil,
For the enlightened mind: neither good nor evil.
Seeing two where there is one
Is the deluded mind’s self-centred construction:
Dreams, illusions, flowers in the sky.
Why bother grasping after them?
Gain and loss, right and wrong –
Let them go at once!
If the eye does not sleep
All dreams will naturally cease,
If the mind does not make differences
All things are one as they are.
The ‘being one’ of things – as they are – is profound;
‘Cause and condition’ is forgotten in the original ‘being so’;
All things are seen to be the same,
They have returned to what they naturally are.
An end is put to the ‘why and because’
And there can be no analogy and comparison.
When you stop all mental activity
There will be no activity,
But even though there is no activity
There is no stillness.
Since neither can be complete on their own
How could either of them be absolute?
For the ultimate and supreme
Rules and standards do not exist.
Devote yourself to impartiality
And whatever you do will carry stillness.
Anxiety and doubt will completely clear
And true faith will bring things to harmony.
So that nothing clung to will remain
Nothing remembered will continue.
Spacious and bright the mind functions naturally,
Without exhausting its energy.
Thought and measure cannot reach this place
Consciousness and emotion cannot fathom it.
In the Dharma realm of the real as it is
There is no self or other.
Make sure to quickly accord with it
By simply saying: “not two”.
Within “not two” all things are the same
And nothing is not included.
Throughout the world, those with wisdom
Have all understood this principle –
Which is neither immediate nor gradual:
Ten thousand years is as a single thought.
Without “it is” or “it is not”
The universe is right before your eyes.
In this realm, where delusion has ceased,
The smallest is the same as the largest.
The largest is the same as the smallest,
No boundaries to be seen!
Existence is the same as emptiness,
Emptiness is the same as existence.
If it is not this way
Do not hold on to it.
One thing, is all things,
All things are one thing.
If it is this way
Why worry about not getting done!
Faith and ‘heart-and-mind’, are not two,
Not two is faith in heart and mind.
The pathway of words is cut
Past, present and future – gone.