The Third Patriarch of Zen
Hsin Hsin Ming by Seng-T'san
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 not 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.
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;
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.
The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
Translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke
Featured in Jack Kornfield, Teachings of the Buddha
Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity
ALL see Spirituality as being "Relative"
to "Desire" and to "Wrath"
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana who does not cling to
pleasures, like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the
point of a needle.
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana who, even here, knows the
end of his suffering, has put down his burden, and is
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana whose knowledge is deep,
who possesses wisdom, who knows the right way and the wrong, and
has attained the highest end.
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana who keeps aloof both from
laymen and from mendicants, who frequents no houses, and has but
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana who finds no fault with
other beings, whether feeble or strong, and does not kill nor
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana who is tolerant with the
intolerant, mild with fault-finders, and free from passion among
Him I call indeed a Brâhmana from whom anger and hatred,
pride and envy have dropt like a mustard seed from the point of a
Dhammapada V. 401-407
Hinduism or Vedanta is another of the World Faiths which
imputes a multi-faceted character to Human "Existential
In the Bhagavad Gita we read ~
But by what is a man impelled, O Varshneya! when he commits
sin even against his will, as if compelled by force?
The Holy One spoke.
It is lust: it is wrath, born from the "passion" mode: know
that this, all-devouring, all-defiling, is here our foe.
Bhagavad Gita 3: 36-37
and again ~
... the pleasures that come from the world bear in them sorrows to come. They come and they go, they
are transient: not in them do the wise find joy.
But he who on this earth, before his departure, can endure the storms of desire and wrath, this man is a
Yogi, this man has joy.
He has inner joy, he has inner gladness, and he has found inner Light. This Yogi attains the Nirvana
of Brahman: he is one with God and goes unto God.
Holy men reach the Nirvana of Brahman: their sins are no more, their doubts are gone, their soul
is in harmony, their joy is in the good of all.
Because the peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from
desire and wrath, who know their own soul.
Bhagavad Gita 5: 22-26
One of the best examples of Chistianity making similar claims lies in a central teaching known as the Parable of the Sower.
"The Parable of the Sower" is a teaching which, alongside an
unmistakable, Gnostic, message, shows Jesus' own words as
suggesting that individual human nature has several aspects. In
effect suggesting that Spirituality is relative to other facets
of Human Being!!!
The Parable of the Sower
And he began to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered
unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and
sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was beside the sea on the
And he taught them many things by parables, and he said unto
them in his doctrine,
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side,
and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and
immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no
root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked
it, and it yielded no fruit.
And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang
up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and
some an hundred.
And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve
asked of him the parable.
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery
of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these
things are done in parables:
That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they
may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be
converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then
will ye know all parables?
The sower soweth the word.
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but
when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away
the word that was sown in their hearts.
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground;
who, when they have heard the word immediately receive it with
And have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time:
afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's
sake, immediately they are offended.
And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches,
and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it
And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear
the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold,
some sixty, and some an hundred.
And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a
bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested;
neither was anything secret, but that it should come
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that
hear shall more be given.
For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not,
from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast
seed into the ground;
And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should
spring and grow up, he knoweth not how,
For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade,
then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in
the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Jesus Mark 4: 1- 29
Is Human Being more truly Metaphysical than Physical?
Where this could, possibly, lead ...