A Song of Trusting in Mind | James Ford – Patheos

Posted: October 20, 2019 at 8:49 am

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I write this on the 15th in Bhutan. I realize where this is going mostly to be read, it is a day earlier. Ive been mostly enjoying the confusions of the international date line and the reminders of the mess that is time and space

That noted, according to one source in Japanese tradition the 15th of October, is marked as the day in the year 606, when Jianzhi Sengcan returned to that mystery from which all of us come and, as with that ancient venerable, to which all of us return.

In our Zen traditions Sengcan (Seng-tsan in the older Pinyin transliteration and Sosan in Japanese) is the third Chinese ancestor, inheriting the dharma from Huike who inherited it from Bodhidharma. Just as the historicity of this lineage is confused, clouded, best to be held within the mysteries of story and myth, he is also traditionally named as the author of a poem.

And that poem, the title variously translated as Faith in Mind, or On Trust in the Heart, or Have Faith in Your Mind, or a Song of Enlightenment has invited numerous attempts at rendering into English.

Among my favorite versions is that by Stanley Lombardo, poet, classicist, and Zen master within the Kwan Um School.


The Great Way is not difficult,Just dont pick and choose.If you cut off all likes or dislikesEverything is clear like space.

Make the slightest distinctionAnd heaven and earth are set apart.If you wish to see the truth,Dont think for or against.

Likes and dislikesAre the minds disease.Without understanding the deep meaningYou cannot still your thoughts.

It is clear like space,Nothing missing, nothing extra.If you want somethingYou cannot see things as they are.

Outside, dont get tangled in things.Inside, dont get lost in emptiness.Be still and become OneAnd all opposites disappear.

If you stop moving to become still,This stillness always moves.If you hold on to opposites,How can you know One?

If you dont understand One,This and that cannot function.Denied, the world asserts itself.Pursued, emptiness is lost.

The more you think and talk,The more you lose the Way.Cut off all thinkingAnd pass freely anywhere.

Return to the root and understand.Chase appearances and lose the source.One moment of enlightenmentIlluminates the emptiness before you.

Emptiness changing into thingsIs only our deluded view.Do not seek the truth.Only put down your opinions.

Do not live in the world of opposites.Be careful! Never go that way.If you make right and wrong,Your mind is lost in confusion.

Two comes from One,But do not cling even to this One.When your mind is undisturbedThe ten thousand things are without fault.

No fault, no ten thousand things,No disturbance, no mind.No world, no one to see it.No one to see it, no world.

In emptiness the two are the same,And each holds the ten thousand things.If you no longer see them as different,How can you prefer one to another?

The Way is calm and wide,Not easy, not difficult.But small minds get lost.Hurrying, they fall behind.

Clinging, they go too far,Sure to take a wrong turn,Just let it be! In the end,Nothing goes, nothing stays.

Follow nature and become one with the Way,Free and easy and undisturbed.Tied by your thoughts, you lose the truth,Become heavy, dull, and unwell.

Not well, the mind is troubled.Then why hold or reject anything?If you want to get the One VehicleDo not despise the world of the senses.

When you do not despise the six senses,That is already enlightenment.The wise do not act.The ignorant bind themselves.

In true Dharma there is no this or that,So why blindly chase your desires?Using mind to stir up the mindIs the original mistake.

Peaceful and troubled are only thinking.Enlightenment has no likes or dislikes.All opposites ariseFrom faulty views.

Illusions, flowers in the air Why try to grasp them?Win, lose, right, wrong Put it all down!

If the eye never sleeps,Dreams disappear by themselves.If the mind makes no distinctions,The ten thousand things are one essence.

Understand this dark essenceAnd be free from entanglements.See the ten thousand things as equalAnd you return to your original nature

Enlightened beings everywhereAll enter this source.This source is beyond time and space.One moment is ten thousand years.

Even if you cannot see it,The whole universe is before your eyes.

Infinitely small is infinitely large:No boundaries, no differences.Infinitely large is infinitely small:Measurements do not matter here.

What is is the same as what is not.What is not is the same as what is.Where it is not like this,Dont bother staying.

One is all,All is one.When you see things like this,You do not worry about being incomplete.

Trust and Mind are not two.Not-two is trusting the Mind.

Words and speech dont cut it,Cant now, never could, wont ever.

And at absolutely no extra cost a brief visit with the translator, Stanley Lombardo, together with his wife Judith Rotiman, also a poet, and, like her husband, a Zen master within the Kwan Um School

Go here to read the rest:
A Song of Trusting in Mind | James Ford - Patheos

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October 20th, 2019 at 8:49 am

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