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Weekly Update


 

Hsin Hsin Ming or Song of the Trusting Mind


by Seng T’san, the third Chan Patriarch in China

Translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke

 
 
The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.

When the deep meaning of things is not understood,
the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
 
The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
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 such
erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

When you try to stop activity by 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
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
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 meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment,
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.

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 to cherish opinions.
do not remain in the dualistic state.
Avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that,
of right and wrong,
the mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
 
Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend.
And when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes:
As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
 
Things are objects because of the subject (mind):
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
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 (attachment) cannot be limited:
Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.  Just let things be in their own way
and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature)
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden
for everything is murky and unclear.
And the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit 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 with enlightenment.

The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.

There is one Dharma, not many.
Distinctions arise
from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.
 
Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment
there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air –
foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong,
such thoughts must
finally be abolished at once.

If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things are as they are,
of single 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.

Consider movement stationary
and the stationary in motion,
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist
Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality,
no law or description applies.
 
For the unified mind in accord with the way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage:
Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no exertion of the mind’s power.
Here thought, feeling,
knowledge and imagination are of no value.

In this world of suchness
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality
just say when doubt rises “not two”.
In this “not two” nothing is separate,
nothing is excluded.

No matter when or where,
enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension
or diminution in time and space:
In it a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, emptiness there,
but the infinite universe
stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
no difference, for definitions have vanished
and no boundaries are seen.
 
So too with Being and non-Being.
Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments
That have 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 trusting mind.

Words!
The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
no yesterday
no tomorrow
no today.
     
 
 
Dharma Talk
by Monshin Nannette Overley
Hold No Preferences…..What?…..How?

In this Dharma talk, Monshin Nannette Overley examines how we can use the teachings of Buddhist Chan poem, “Hsin Hsin Ming or Song of the Trusting Mind” in our practice and in relation to our vows. Monshin, also breaks down the meaning of the title Hsin Hsin Ming and looks at the historical confluence of Buddhism and Daoism in China.

 

 

Zoom link for Wednesday meditation

The Lincoln Zen Center remains temporarily closed in light of current health concerns surrounding COVID-19. 

In the meantime, join us for meditation online on Zoom at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Meditation will include one 25-minute sit followed by a five-minute walking meditation. Join us on Wednesdays by clicking the  Zoom link.

Meeting ID: 737 6491 6452
Passcode: j36MAJ


Monday Evening Online Meditation

We started offering an additional online meditation every Monday at 6pm in the same format as the Wednesday evening online meditation.  The Zoom link will be announced prior to the meditation. 

UPDATED CHANTS

As a reminder, please note that meditation at the Zen Center will now involve reciting the Verse Of Atonement before the first seated meditation:

(recited three times, hands in Gassho)
ALL MY ANCIENT TWISTED KARMA
FROM BEGININNGLESS GREED, HATE AND DELUSION
BORN OF BODY, SPEECH, AND MIND,
I NOW FULLY ATONE.

Following seated meditation and before the dharma reading, we will recite the Verse Before The Dharma Talk:

(recited three times, hands in Gassho)
THE DHARMA IS VAST AND SUBTLE
WE NOW HAVE A CHANCE TO HEAR IT,
STUDY IT, AND PRACTICE IT.
WE VOW TO REALIZE ITS TRUE MEANING.

Before closing each meditation session, we recite the Four Bodhisattva Vows:

(recited three times, hands in Gassho)
CREATIONS ARE NUMBERLESS,
I VOW TO FREE THEM.
DELUSIONS ARE INEXHAUSTIBLE,
I VOW TO TRANSFORM THEM.
REALITY IS BOUNDLESS,
I VOW TO PERCEIVE IT.
THE AWAKENED WAY IS UNSURPASSABLE,
I VOW TO EMBODY IT.

 The Four Bodhisattva Vows will be followed by the Evening Verse, recited once by the doan:

LET ME RESPECTFULLY REMIND YOU:
LIFE AND DEATH ARE OF SUPREME IMPORTANCE.
TIME PASSES SWIFTLY BY AND OPPORTUNITY IS LOST
LET US AWAKEN, AWAKEN - TAKE HEED
DO NOT SQUANDER YOUR LIFE

Your donation of $5~$10 each time keeps the Zen Center open.  We appreciate your donation. You can make a donation at the following PayPal link:

https://paypal.me/LZCNE2020?locale.x=en_US

Copyright © 2013-20 LZT, All rights reserved.

LINCOLN ZEN CENTER
 www.LincolnZenCenter.org


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